Collection of ideas for improving Democracy.

(Feel free to offer feedback or suggest more!)

My list of ideas so far, that I’ve either been told about or dreamed up:

  • Enable voting for more than one option, so that votes are not split between two similar positions, but can be given to both.
  • Vote only for individual laws (and policies?), never for people.
    • If some people think this is too much work, then perhaps they could choose (yes, choose, not vote for) a representative (which could be an individual or a group) who will vote for them.  This representative’s vote would count for as many people as they represent.
  • Proportional Representation, so that everyone’s vote counts regardless of who their neighbors vote for.  I think the NDP in Canada are currently pushing for this ^^
  • Draw one (or a small odd number, like 13) ballots from all ballots cast.  Use this draw to pick a winner.  I forget what benefits this was supposed to have, but it gives close ties a more even chance of winning.  Voter supression, and other methods of manipulating close ties, would be less effective.  Over time, all closely tied parties would have won about an equal number of times.

Thinking about various efforts, and their weaknesses:

  • Reason Rally type things:  clubs for self designated like minded people.  Largely defined by unpopular views, does not appeal to common people or outsiders.
  • the local “Secular” Church:  imitates Christian churches in form and terminology.  Weird group creed recitations.

What I’d like to see (or, failing that:  do) is a group that welcomes the masses to rational discourse, without pre-emptively proclaiming my views to be the only rational ones.  Something appealing enough for a wide variety of people to mingle and learn from each other.  I want it to function in a productive way, to actually make the population more reasonable over time, through direct participation.

This was written in a hurry, and I won’t be defending my accusatory impression of Reason Rally.  RR was probably good for rallying a certain in-group, but probably not good for creating the lasting, and well rooted change I want.  Especially since I want people of (nearly) all views to feel welcome in the intellectual dialogue.

There is merit to people gathering with like-minded people.  But I want to see my local community center hosting intellectual discussion nights that anyone is welcome to.  Something like that.  And a wide variety of “intellectual” topics, relevant to the people of the community, parenting would probably be an important topic, for instance.

That’s all I can think of to write for now, but this is something I think I’ll write more about, and research more.

A Great Art Idea from Natalie Reed

From her twitter:
Also, I had this lovely idea a couple nights ago: “Activity Books” as an art form
Pages to colour, to cut out, word searches, mazes, paper dolls, etc… but, like, taking those and doing interesting, cool art with them
Like, basically what “Activity Books” HAVE been, but instead of making them something for kids to not-be-bored, or help them learn stuff.

use them as, like, ACTIVITIES and EXPERIENCES that can be meaningful or powerful or complex or disquieting or empowering for an adult.