While I believe in a government by the people, of the people and for the people, I don’t think the original Constitution supports the literal implementation of such a government. It’s hardly the fault of the framers. Present day technology was fairly inconceivable in 1787. When all meetings had to be in person, you could hardly expect everybody to attend, especially when that meeting was several days ride away. Naturally, they selected “representatives”. Today, those representatives each represent, on average, about 725,000 citizens. I think represent is used only in a formal sense, But it could be literal as well.
We now have the technology in the palm of our hands to vote whenever, wherever and instantly. If the IRS trusts the internet to carry our financial information, surely the technology exists to mitigate fraud to a negligible level; certainly no more fraud than has been uncovered with the present and past systems.
The way I see it, it could be done three ways:
- Modify the existing Constitution to require that elected representatives electronically poll their constituents for a specified time period before the vote, and then vote along the lines of a prevailing super majority. Anything less than a super majority, the representative gets to vote the way he/she wants. Still, individual personalities would prevail if constituents were evenly divided a lot.
- As an a alternative Constitutional modification, we could make it necessary to seek popular approval for ALL laws passed by Congress. They could do their thing, but it doesn’t become law when the President signs it. It becomes law when The People vote to accept it.
- Get rid of the Congress and it’s expense. All the people (who care to) must vote directly on every issue. Majority rules. Anyone may propose a law. Naturally, there would be a number of challenges a law must pass before it reaches national attention.
While number 2 may be the easiest, quickest way to forge an amendment, it’s the third option that intrigues me the most. Aside from the huge amount of money it would save, I think first that there would be a great effort by the existing political efforts to monopolize the voting, simply because so many people are not in the habit. But once they impose a few unfair laws upon everyone, there will be a backlash that wipes out all the special interests, lobbyists, corporations and philanthropists who fuel the campaigns of those they can control.
Putting government in the hands of the people almost sounds scary, though, doesn’t it? We tend to imagine the worst of us voting irresponsibly and unwittingly causing the downfall of this nation. Well, if we have become THAT stupid, we deserve to fall down. But I submit that we ARE falling down NOW and if we the people don’t pay attention we will lose more and more of our freedoms, money and pride.
So, then. We all nod and agree that it needs to be fixed. But do nothing to fix it.