Transforming the Electoral Oligarchy of the United States of America into a participatory democracy

New idea: rough draft

I believe we should establish Precincts, which would differ from and
replace the current uses of the term. These Precincts would be drawn
by dividing each zip code into 16 Precincts of roughly equal
population, but respecting organic boundaries of traditional
neighborhoods, rivers, major roads, etc. Because the end result will
be a proxy vote, there will be no need for gerrymandering, but we’ll
get to that soon. Each zip code would be considered a Ward. There
are approximately 43000 zip codes in the US (I couldn’t find an exact
number). Approximately 30 Wards would constitute a Shire, so we’d
have approximately 1433 Shires nationally. Again, since the end result
will be proxy votes, absolute uniformity is not necessary. In turn
28-30 Shires would comprise a District, which would give us 48-50
Districts.

At each level except the federal, an assembly of about 150-300 people
would meet to discuss the issues at hand. Legislation would be
initiated only in Precinct Assemblies, but could be amended in higher
level assemblies. After discussing the issues and voting them up or
down, a delegation of up to ten persons from that assembly would be
chosen to attend the next higher level assembly. Thus 16 precincts
per ward would create ward assemblies of up to 160 delegates. 30
wards per shire, and 30 shires per district would create assemblies of
up to about 300. Roughly 50 districts would create a federal assembly
of up to 500, similar to the current House.

The delegates from each assembly would not be elected by traditional
means. Anyone who wanted to be considered as a delegate would list
her/himself as a candidate by Party affiliation, or as an independent
with a specified plank. The assembly would then vote on who to send
using a preferential choice ballot. The field would be narrowed until
it is down to ten, and every person’s vote is retained by the
candidate. So, if 100 vote for Democrat A, 70 vote for Republican A,
10 vote for Libertarian A, 9 vote for Green A, 7 vote for Democrat B
and 4 for Republican B, and there are no more votes, then that
assembly will only send those six delegates, and when Democrat A votes
at the Ward Assembly, he/she has 100 votes, and Green A has 9 votes,
etc. They each will have equal opportunity to discuss and debate, but
they will carry the votes of their supporters.

At all levels, a bill or resolution must receive at least 2/3 to pass,
but cannot fail if it has at least a majority. Measures that fall
between these two guideposts must be amended in committee until it
either passes or fails outright. As mentioned above, once passed by
the Federal Assembly (House), it will need to clear the Senate for
justice and constitutionality, or be deferred. Bills that pass both
House and Senate then must be considered as first business at next
year’s Precinct Assemblies. In order to become law, it must pass at
least 2/3 of a majority of precincts OR at least a majority of 2/3 of
precincts, and in either case, must win at least 2/3 of the total
national vote.

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One response

  1. I’ve found out a little more about zip codes, and there are many zip codes which are dedicated to businesses or government offices, and others which are primarily or entirely commercial areas, so the number of zip codes that actually contain a substantial number of residences may be closer to 42000 rather than 43000, so based on that, it would work out better if there were 20 precincts per ward rather than 16. Of course, the actual number would be worked out knowing the exact number of zip codes that are relevant to this issue.

    Also, in zip codes with very few residences, if there were not at least 150-200 people of voting age (to designate as a precinct), then we’d have to assign them to another Ward in a different zip code.

    2007-05-12 at 9:33 AM

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