What the world needs now is better decisions.
We have the resources and the technology to meet everyone's needs in sustainable ways while providing opportunity and motivation for high achievers to obtain much more. Instead we have hunger, poverty, preventable disease, lack of opportunity, wars, strife, waste, and unnecessary environmental damage.
The problem is not our circumstances, it is our decisions. In a democracy the people are supposed to be the ultimate decision makers. In practice most of their power is exercised through their voting in elections. The present system of public voting in elections is like having the public render a verdict without a trial.
To provide citizens a better way to influence the decisions we make as a society, we must provide them a better voting process.Tribunocracy is a better voting process. A better election process will provide better elected officials and more incentive for them to make better decisions once elected.
Dissatisfaction with our election process and the government it produces is growing. The increasing role of money, shallow campaigning, little or inaccurate factual voter information, are recognized problems. The need for candidates to raise money compromises their integrity and usurps their time and energy, before and after an election. Nevertheless, for many, reverence for the present election system, precludes consideration of modifications substantial enough to significantly improve it. Tribunocracy is such a modification.
Tribunocracy utilizes Tribunes randomly selected from all the willing eligible potential voters to serve as a proxy for that voter group. Like jurors in a trial the selected Tribunes attend a public trial-like Tribunal Convention before voting. Tribunes vote on the same ballot that would otherwise be voted on by the entire pool of voters. We understand court trials require the selection of a jury that attends a full public trial in order for them to render an educated fact based verdict. Eventually it will be recognized that for the same reasons a selected group of Tribunes attending a Tribunal Convention is necessary for an educated fact based election result.
A jury is not intended to differ from the population from which it is drawn. It is recognized that the population in mass without attending a full trial before voting is less qualified to render a just verdict. Jurors more carefully deliberate because they each bear a meaningful responsibility. Jurors spend substantial time listening to the parties, and their witnesses. The same is true for Tribunes who each are given meaningful responsibility and spend substantial time listening to the parties, their witnesses, and deliberating.
Tribunocracy does not alter the role or importance of the public vote, only the way in which it is exercised. Tribunes serve only briefly, are dismissed after voting and retain no special power. Tribunocracy neither requires no other alterations in the present government system or its practice.
Although a rapid change to Tribunocracy is not possible...or advisable; experimentation followed by gradual incremental adoption is possible. Tribunocracy should first be introduced and tested in noncritical nonthreatening situations were it will be less threatening and therefore encounter less resistance.
Gandhi did not make India self governing in one giant step. He began by going to the Sea to make salt in defiance of English rule. Likewise, Tribunocracy will begin with very small steps.
The gradual introduction of Tribunocracy does not require rapid change. It should not first be employed in major important elections. It can be introduced in situations that do not require citizens to relinquishing individual voting rights that are now highly valued. For example, Tribunal Conventions might initially select officials not now elected such as city managers, or judges.
Tribunocracy reduces the role of money and shallow campaigning. All Tribunes attend a public trial-like Tribunal Convention, before they vote. Like jurors in a trial, Tribunes are exposed directly to the candidates and testifying parties for hours, over a period of days. Thus the need and value of paid advertising, and shallow slogan based campaign rhetoric proceeding the Tribunal Convention is greatly diminished. Dishonest claims, incorrect facts, and illogical arguments will be less common; because the opposition will have adequate opportunity to dispute them by presenting better more persuasive evidence and arguments during the Tribunal Convention.
A vote from a Tribune sized sample of the whole voting pool would statistically result in an outcome similar to that of the whole voting pool, if their participation as Tribunes did not affect them. The sample represented by the selected Tribunes is intended to be affected by the process of attending the Tribunal Convention; just as a jury trial is intended to affect the voting of the jurors
Tribunal Conventions educate, entertain, create new ways of participation, and provide a valuable shared experience. Many citizens learned about the American trial process by witnessing real or depicted public trials. Tribunal Conventions will become the ultimate reality TV viewed in real time. When Tribunal Conventions are witnessed their superiority will become apparent and gradualy expanding their use will become less less frightening and more appealing.
A closed hand may keep what it holds, but it can’t grasp anything new. Those that cherish democracy must be willing to loosen their grip on its present form, in order to make improvement possible. Tribunocracy will greatly reduce the recognized evils of money and shallow campaigning. Eventually, Mobocracy (our present system of mass voting) will be viewed as illogical, unjust, and primitive; the same way trial by ordeal is viewed today.
Tribunocracy will be far from perfect, but it will provide a systemic improvement in democratic political decision making. It will insure that the citizens empowered to vote as proxies, receive more exposure to facts and arguments before they vote. This gives ordinary citizens more power not less. It dramatically reduces the role of money, and shallow campaigning. It motivates and enables each Tribune's best most noble and deeply involved participation. It provides education and transparency for all that witness it.
© Copyright 2012 Dale J. Retter All rights reserved.