February 17, 2004
OK, this should be filed under something that’s more like Election 3028, but whatever. Inspired by this asstastic idea, Robin and I were discussing our own pie-in-the-sky visions of electoral utopia tonight.
We agree that our current political system, in practice, does not reflect America at all. Our politicians are, for the most part, rich and homogenous. We’ve been debating strategies on how best to turn the country into a truly excellent representative democracy.
Here’s one idea we had:
First off, Election Day should be a holiday. I could stop right there. Why isn’t it a holiday? Really, we take days off for some of the most arbitrary things. The single calendar day arguably most rationally suited to being a holiday is not. What gives with that? I’m making it part of my Personal Life Crusade to get at least this plank of our plan enacted.
On Election Day, everyone eligible to vote gathers in geographically divided groups of 20. They spend all day trading words, talking ideas, deliberative polling, all the good civic stuff. Then, they elect a representative for the group, ostensibly the smartest and savviest member.
Then those representatives gather in groups of 20, and do the same.
Now it’s Wednesday, and we’ve got 500,000 representatives, who gather in groups of 20, and pick 25,000 representatives, who gather on Thursday in groups of 20 and pick 1,250 representatives. Who gather on Friday and choose a legislature.
That’s the gist of it. Thoughts?