Monday, 26 May 2014

Chris The Revolutionary

I am not much of a revolutionary. In fact recently I have come to the conclusion that revolution is one of the worst things that can happen to a country. Just look at Syria, Ukraine and now Libya -again. Even the poster child for revolution, France, went through centuries of political turmoil after its famous revolution. Contrast this with England - only a couple of kilometres away across the Channel.

In England after many civil wars over the throne a period of stability started during the reign of Elizabeth I. After Elizabeth died childless a lucky marriage 100 years before resulted in James VI of Scotland becoming James I of England uniting the country and building a strong political foundation. In the centuries after this England became a world power and eventually a modern democracy. Now there was a lot of suffering during this period, but who was better off? I would say a gradual evolution into democracy is far better than a bloody revolution and the resulting aftermath.

But then I turn on the TV and see Tony Abbott winking back at me, it’s almost enough to make me a revolutionary. I hate the way politics is today with the 24 hour news cycle, focus groups, corruption, political donations and all that crap.

Our current system of parliamentary democracy is over 100 years old. There are similar systems the world over. Our world is a very different place now and I think it may be time to update democracy.

I imagine using the power of the Internet and social media to make decisions on a countrywide level. Some people will think that is a lot of responsibility being placed in the hands of ordinary people, but it is important to remember that politicians are ordinary people - sometimes very ordinary. Almost all of us have the capacity to become a lot more politically aware and active.

The system I would imagine it would be something like this. Say there is a need for a new law or maybe repealing or improving an existing one. A proposal would go up on Gov.Net and people would be able to read it and to sign it in a similar way to how you sign an online petition. The proposal would have to be written in simple language avoiding bureaucratic, corporate or legal jargon. Just like a petition if it gets enough signatures eventually many people see it - it snowballs.

The proposal gets debated. Experts check it to see if it will work. Eventually the proposal gets to the stage where it can be voted on. Every member of the public gets the opportunity to vote yes, no or to abstain or maybe even have the option to just ignore it. In this way, hopefully, all the stupid proposals sink to the bottom with the best floating to the top and eventually becoming law. This government would still need a public face so a Governor General or President and maybe several members of a Cabinet would still have to be selected. There would also need to be some provision for looking after the hardware and software that runs Gov.Net. All the hardware and software would be open source.

This could possibly be a stupid idea itself. It’s possible this system could be worse than what we have now. It’s possible that we aren’t ready for a system like this, but the status quo at the moment is driving me insane. I don’t think that we should just throw out our current system and replace it with this one. We need to do careful planning and research. Create a simulation or maybe a computer game that uses a government like this. It could also be used to manage something on a small scale such as a company, a town or municipality - if it goes wrong the consequences will not be too catastrophic.

I am dead sure there is something better than what we have now, but I’m still not sure what that is. I will be putting more work into this idea - writing a Constitution for a fictitious country. I may even work on some software for doing this. I just hope our current political leaders don’t drive me completely around the bend before I finish…


  1. When Abbot winked, I through my computer across the room and said some very choice words. I agree with your idea. I have a friend/acquaintance who has developed a style of democracy for a fictitious society, this was several years ago and I know he still works on it. I don't believe it is implemented anywhere through. And I only remember him as My Little Pony because he wore his hair in a blue pony tail. Good luck with your constitution. Peace out and so on. Pips x

  2. it might end up like "Twitch Plays".

  3. Damn I not! lol Hmm... Actually...yeah