The real-time online direct democracy challenge

Can we imagine how real-time online direct democracy might improve the following: freedom of speech; the democratic process; the accountability of the government to the electorate; fairness and the rule of law?

Harem Karem
15 May 2012

In ancient Greece, the inventors of democracy stated the meaning of the word:

Each individual is free to exercise the right to decide for him/herself (fairness for all)

Representative democracy 

Each individual is free to exercise the right to elect their representatives

In fact RepDem does not allow people a free and transparent choice of their representatives. The truth is that the choice is selected for the people by the state which uses public and private media to influence public opinion in favour of certain parties, groups or individuals. The media and state organs are used to promote a limited number who are acceptable to the state. Anyone wishing to get the highly paid job of a representative needs:

To be on the side of the political system and to obey laws into which the people have never had any input.

To be a member of a party adhering to the political system which was imposed on the people centuries earlier and in which he had no say at all.

To have a great deal of money and demagogic skills.

To fulfil certain criteria for patriotism designed and formulated by the state (i.e. those already in power).

To be an accomplished liar and cheat.

When it comes to the extent and duration of indiviudal freedom of choice under this system, even this ridiculous choice is only offered once every four or five years or an average of ten to fifteen occasions lasting just five minutes, ending in placing a dumb X on a piece of pre-prepared paper.

Thus the total length of time for exercising the right to place the X is about seventy minutes for the average human life. The price of this exercise is a whole lifetime of no say in any vital issue that may affect the individual cross-bearer.

Real-time online direct democracy

Each and every individual decides for him/herself whether or not a particular action is supported or rejected by him/her.

Let us say that 'real-time online direct democracy' is based on real democracy. This would mean that each and every individual decides for him/herself whether or not a particular action is supported or rejected by him/her. The majority vote is then determined and the appropriate action executed. There will be no room, requirement or facility to be used by any individual, group, party or lobby to influence or pressure anyone to vote one way or the other. The media would be owned by the electorate and not by those who want to con them. Lastly, the electorate will not be asked to vote for someone else to decide for them. Therefore democracy will be effective and in action throughout people’s lives and not just for a few minutes of false choice.


Freedom of speech


Your freedom of speech is limited and controlled by laws to protect the state and its patrons. You are liable to prosecution if you deviate from the prescribed laws. You have all your correspondence and phones monitored. Even thinking or viewing some things may land you in a concentration camp. These constraints and laws are passed and coined by the parties already in power and tend to maintain them or their like in power longer.

Worse still is the fact that gradually less and less freedom of choice is allowed and more and more draconian laws are placed in the face of this choice. The state enterprise is terrified of the great international awakening that is happening all over the globe.

The media - which are controlled by political rulers through direct funding or by the people through regulation - will influence public discourse by allowing only 'healthy' ideas to gain a platform to exercise the right to freedom of speech, while denying all rights to dissenting voices other than to ridicule and discredit them through controlled and specially prepared interview traps.

The media under RepDem is the playground of the rich and tyrannical 'mafia-like' tycoons which are firmly in the service of the state versus the nation. Its main function is to brainwash and place people in a state of suspended intelligence, drum up support for the state's preferred party in or out of government and influence election choices as well as playing any dirty tricks they feel like until they are exposed, after which they can get away with an apology and a fistful of compensation.


No individual or group (party) will have the right to pass laws, never mind draconian edicts aimed at creating a unified and uniform mentality. Laws will be passed by the nation via direct voting after they have been formulated by experts working to specific demands declared by the nation.

It will be these laws and these alone that define the contours of freedom of speech.

Ownership of the media under real-time online direct democracy will be transferred to private shareholders (1 share per individual voter, whatever the price). The media companies will be obliged to issue new shares as and when new voters will demand them. Thus the media will be expected to execute its duties of information provision and stop meddling in politics or influencing opinion. The shareholders will be the ones who decide the media policy directly and instruct the Expert Administration board.


The democratic process


It is claimed that under representative democarcy, democracy is the rule of the majority, but in fact all governments in RepDem systems are elected by a minority of eligible voters. Out of the entire nation only two thirds are generally allowed to vote. Since WWII only about 40% of this two thirds, or 27% of the nation on average cast their crosses once every four to five years. This leaves an apathetic 73% of the nation refusing to vote. Having said that, we have to understand that the party forming government will share the 27% with the opposition and several other parties or individuals thus the government share is far lower than that. This situation is common and prevalent among all the so-called democracies in the world and makes a real mockery of the original noble system designed to do the exact opposite by giving all individuals their rights to decide for themselves.


Under real-time online direct democracy, we would have the original and true meaning of democracy in action. Originally direct democracy worked only when the public was made up of a relatively small number of people but that became impractical as the numbers grew because everyone could not be packed into any arena and even if they could be, they could not have practical discussions and really analyse problems. The demagogues and opportunists saw a great way to cash in on this situation by claiming they would act as agents and go-betweens to represent large groups and speak on their behalf. The representative, claiming to be an expert in everything, now possessed an authority over his/her constituents without full accountability. Thus he/she was, and still is, able to 'advise' and control them in ways that enrich him/herself and increase his/her hold on power.

Real-time online direct democracy is a practical, logical and scientific way to deal with the original problem which led to the dreadful system the world politicians (today’s pound of flesh merchants and opportunists) have inherited and are using to suck the nations’ blood.

Instead of politicians administering the country, RTOLDD will have experts who do their jobs as best they can under the gaze and scrutiny of the entire nation because they are elected according to their credentials and may be removed if they under-perform.

Instead of an arena, the virtual assembly of cyberspace will be the venue.


Accountability of government to the electorate


It is claimed that representative democratic governments are accountable to the people. In fact, even monumental crimes are committed without any accountability. It is a complete fallacy because it is not only impractical but also not intended by politicians who continuously lie and hide their malpractice away from the people. There is no direct link between what goes on among those in parliament and the people’s will and wishes. It is impractical because the electorate are not and cannot be involved at all and all those in parliament have their allegiance to those above them i.e those of the state that made it possible for them to gain seats. On the contrary, war criminals not only get away with their crimes but they make huge fortunes out of it. Obama has just admitted failure of the Iraqi criminal invasion and destruction of the state at a huge price to the US nation and yet the perpetrators are living like kings, protected until the end of their lives at great expense to the taxpayer they defrauded. Where is that elusive accountability in all these and other enormous crimes committed by the so called 'people’s representatives'? It is illusory because the government of the time can only claim the support of a small minority of the electorate and thus do not speak for the great majority who have no one to hold them to account in or out of parliament. It is evil because the system is perpetually in this state of fraud.

The complete absence of the views of the silent majority in the government is guaranteed, since the vast majority of the population do not take part in elections or get represented by either of the main ruling or opposition parties. This is the single greatest flaw in so called 'representative democracy'. Thus a great injustice is done to the nation. Party politics being what it is, politicians are able to isolate issues in their own favour, securing some minor advantages to those who elected or supported them and leaving the voiceless to their own devices.

Another salient injustice is the fact that a government of one colour will tend to decide in the same ideological manner for as long as it is in power. Therefore, those outside that ideological mainframe will be at the receiving end of the effects of the government's decisions for the entire period. Those who disagree will lose out.


The greatest advantage of real-time online direct democracy is that apart from reflecting the will and wishes of the true majority at all times, the expert administration is perpetually accountable and may be changed at individual or group level if and when the people have any cause to believe that that individual or the entire group has failed. There need not be a general election because there will already be queues of elected experts ready in every domain. The replacement of one expert or an entire administration will happen seamlessly. No jobs for the boys or girls of party members, other relatives, lobbyists, members of the Masonic Lodge or old boys club or indeed anyone but the accredited expert in his/her field. Accountability is direct and based entirely on performance which will have a powerful corrective and safe steering effect on the way the entire country will move forward.

Absolutely no one will be isolated or ostracised from continuing to cast votes because of political, religious or ethical values or beliefs. There will be no periods of such phenomena resulting from fluctuations of political ideology because even if a number of people may be in the minority over one issue, this will not affect the next vote on another issue.


Fairness and the rule of law


Under representative democracy, the representatives pass laws as they see fit and beneficial to themselves and to regulate the business of government, trade and disputes among the population. They also cultivate generations of people, nearly all from the ruling class or affiliated to them, all advocates of the RepDem system and believers in the righteousness of the system and its laws. These are the judiciary, who are a class above the entire nation but beneath the control of the patrons of RepDem (the untouchables and unapproachable from the point of view of the general population - the 99% -  while very much open to relationships with the 1%). These aloof people neither understand nor appreciate the nation’s social and economic make-up and try cases with one eye on their patrons (the political class) and another on their personal betterment in a primarily fairness-free ways using the laws and their application as a tool to achieve certain outcomes agreeable to the political masters of the day rather than a system of proper and fair justice. They enjoy and revel in the demagogic interpretation of their complex laws with arrogance and a theatrical manner.

Like the politicians who exhibit efficiency at their deceitful jobs, these characters usually end up in the higher chambers of parliament without a truly democratic process of election. They then exert their arrogant input into the justice system while divesting the taxpayer of a rather healthy salary. Fairness is a victim of RepDem rather than a characteristic of it. Natural justice and human principles are also thrown out of the window to be replaced by supposedly secular laws that favour the weird and outlandish. The venal and the greedy are engaged in illegal graft, or its more subtle counterpart in the hands of corporate lobbyists. In such circumstances, there is no chance for any parliament or assembly of representatives even entertaining the thought of upsetting the apple cart.


Fairness and justice are not about applying laws but about fairness and justice which must prevail over doctrinal and draconian laws or rules. Thus a lawyer is not the best candidate to achieve this and judges should be specifically trained in the achievement of justice and not just application of written laws which may be flawed. Better to misapply the law than to cause injustice and unfairness to a human being!

Under this system, judges will be elected by the nation directly and placed in queues according to the votes cast for each of them in descending order. There will be different queues for each category and the top grades will be assigned their brief to the various courts. All trials can be jury-based if the plaintiffs ask for it and no judge will be residing alone over a trial. Bribery or malpractice will be open to dismissal by the electorate or the Department of Justice which itself will be under scrutiny by direct voting. All trials and transcripts will be open and accessible by the parties in question. Since there is no parliament there will be no elevation to any chamber after retirement.

Judges will be selected from the people by the people. Lawyers are not necessarily the best people for the judiciary, since lawyers are trained to defend the indefensible. Therefore, they are not necessarily appropriate material for the business of justice and fairness. 

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