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TDG Advisory Board

Have you ever been in a situation where you were sure you were right. Then someone from far away from the situation says something that shatters your right-ness? You shift your direction, and then you find you are on a better path.

Democracy often has checks and balances to prevent one aspect of political power from behaving too arbitrarily. Sometimes these are quite official such as the separation of powers of the executive, legislative, and judicial. Sometimes they are not official. For example, Canada’s backbench Members of Parliament of the governing party are a check and balance of the governing party. The prime minister and cabinet, where the real decisions are made, cannot afford to alienate the backbenchers lest they withdraw their support for the governing party.

Tiered Democratic Governance (TDG) will have an important check and balance. It is called the TDG Advisory Board.

To summarize, the main side of the TDG is the elected bodies which make most of the decisions.

The Advisory Board is the second side of the TDG. Its function is to advise or assist the elected side.

Advisors will be appointed by the elected highest tier. They will likely have had experience on the elected side. They will have earned a good reputation as TDG representatives before they were appointed.

Advisors can sit in any meeting of the elected side. They can watch and observe and make comments. They may even champion their preference on an issue. But they have no vote or veto in the final decision.

The elected side should consider seriously whatever their advisor says. But the elected side doesn’t have to take that advice. The advisor only needs to be seriously listened to. By working together, there might be a better path that neither the elected side nor the advisor had seen before.

And sometimes, elected bodies can get into a bit of a rut in their deliberations. An astute advisor will notice this trend and make sound suggestions to help the elected bodies to a higher level of thinking.

A TDG member cannot serve on both sides of the TDG. If an advisor is elected, he/she can choose between the elected position or the appointed position. If an elected member accepts an appointment to be an advisor, that member must resign the elected position. The elected side makes the decisions; the appointed side guides the elected side.

In essence, the elected TDG representatives are the decision-making body. The advisors are more guiding the processes of that decision making.

The nature of the advisors will vary from TDG to TDG. Here are the basic functions of the advisors:

1. A source of outside, sound, second thought for the elected body’s deliberations.

2. A coach for reaching consultative decisions.

3. A coach for teaching citizens about the TDG.

4. A source of news about other TDGs.

5. Overseers of elections.

6. A second conduit for non-elected citizens to address the elected side.

With no vote and no veto, advisors seem to have no power in the TDG. Yet they still have a lot of positive influence. “Positive” is a unique check and balance.

Published on Medium 2021

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