I was laying in bed watching coverage of the election last November when I found this idea swirling around my head. As much as I ever have, I felt like the winners didn't even matter. I get the concept of having Senators and Representatives. It's a sensible solution to a very old problem; how do we make democratic decisions on a large scale when there are many citizens geographically separated? But what is their essential duty? We vote for them so that they can act as our proxy in Washington, where they will vote for bills and do politics type stuff. Unfortunately, this additional layer of democracy offers many opportunities for corruption.
How many times have you voted for a politician that you knew very little about besides their party affiliation? I thought so.
Historically, they have played their role simply because there aren't really any other options. We have designated election days where everybody goes and votes, and it is clear what a massive operation and burden this has become for governments. Without using a proxy, it would be a logistical nightmare to hold democratic elections for everything.
And that is exactly what I propose.
Modern day communications are quite a marvel. Look at any popular social networking service, and imagine that it existed during World War II. Everything would have been different. Imagine something like Twitter existing during The American Revolution. It's difficult to imagine exactly how things would have changed, just like it was difficult for our Founding Fathers to imagine what our country would be like centuries into the future.
Despite these advances, the basic structure of our government has never changed (with few exceptions, and always larger). And here lies the reason why I would run for Congress, best explained as follows:
As a representative of the people, I would honor that distinction rather than line my pockets with lobbyist funds. My own personal political beliefs would become irrelevant, as would my party affiliation. I would make available to the constituency a method for them to easily vote on any upcoming House bill. This would come in the form of Internet based technology such as a web page or cell phone app. Based on the outcome of this vote, as Representative, I would subsequently vote how the people in my district wish.
This effectively eliminates the influence of lobbyists as well as inherent drawbacks in using a representative based system. I, the representative, become irrelevant as a voting mechanism. I become a TRUE proxy of the people.
This is a very simplified and idealized description of this idea. I intend to cover more specific facets in future posts.