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Book Review: Solving for Democracy

It’s been 22 years since I started my project to convince the world to abandon western democracy in favor of a system of governance with no political parties. No longer being involved in politics (other than as a spectator), I’m really not in a position to practically promote my ideas in the face-to-face world. But I have been active on the internet, joining various forums over the years. I spend a few months with each group to see if I can find other people interested in my idea. My main strategy has been to offer thoughtful responses to their musings in hopes they might reciprocate thoughtful responses to my musings.

Over the years, I have run across quite a few thinkers about how to improve democracy. Some of them are pretty good at espousing platitudes, like “campaign finance reform,” as if it is easy to do. Some of them proffer widely accepted tinkerings to western democracy, like replacing the electoral college with popular vote to elect the US president. Some do have some interesting ideas. For example, in “Democracy 2.0,” I just read a proposal for each citizen to have a social account to cover health care, disasters, or economic downturns. In “To My Countrymen”, passing a simple civics test was proposed to earn the right to vote. Great ideas, but these thinkers still leave the current system—with political parties—more or less intact.

In all these years, I have encountered only two thinkers calling for abandonment of western democracy. I found the first thinker about 2010. This fellow proposed an internet democracy, where we could switch our representative on a daily basis—basing that switch on the legislation that is being voted on each day. Our switch would strengthen the voting power of the representative we have chosen for the day. While I didn’t agree with this fellow’s solution, I sure admired his innovation—and ability to look outside the box.

Last week, I just found my second deep thinker: Tony Bracks has written “Solving for Democracy.”

Tony spends the first half of his book talking about various political blunders. Many amateur historians are already aware of these blunders, but Tony takes them to a higher level, offering us the political reason why each blunder happened. With all these blunders being shown together, a reader has to question whether western democracy is truly a stable system after all.

Tony continues the third quarter with more blunders. But this time, he is clearly taking us down a path that we know is going to lead to his solution. I was on edge in this part of the book! “Masterful writing,” I thought.

And in the last quarter, Tony introduces his solutions called “Governed Democracy.” After explaining his system, he goes back to explain how the blunders could not have happened under Governed Democracy.

I’m not going to summarize this system here for two reasons: (1) I want you to read Tony’s book, and (2) I don’t think I can explain this system as well as Tony can. But Governed Democracy is innovative and it is clever. I certainly have not heard of ideas like this in my 22 years.

Tony and I are in agreement on a lot of things:

1. Political parties have to go.

2. Abandoning the electoral college will not solve the USA’s political issues.

3. A civics test is unlikely to create better informed voters.

4. Nefarious forces will find ways around any campaign finance laws.

5. We still have to allow free speech, but the system needs to be constructed so the decision-making process is not affected by all that free speech. Tony and I have different ways of attaining this goal.

Tony has an immense sense of how western democracy really works. You should read his book for that reason alone.

So, are you truly interested in a new way to govern?

Published on Medium 2019

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