What the world most needs now is better management.
Democracy is now dysfunctional because of money's increasing role and poorly informed voters. In the US extreme pubic dissatisfaction with government reflects this fact. The present system of public elections is like having a mob deliver a verdict without attending a trial. Even worse, much of the mob is informed primarily by paid advertisement, pandering pundits, or highly biased sources.
Tribunocracy provides a better election process, by utilizing citizens randomly selected from all the willing potential voters to serve as Tribunes that then act as proxies. Like jurors in a trial the selected Tribunes will attend a public trial-like Tribunal Convention before voting. Tribunes will vote on the same ballot that would otherwise be voted on by the entire pool of voters. Modern standards of justice require a jury attend a public trial in order to render an informed, fact- based verdict. Eventually, it will be recognized that for the same reasons, a selected group of Tribunes attending a Tribunal Convention is required for an informed fact based election.
A Tribunal Convention is to elections what a trial is to criminal justice. Jurors attend a trial and listen to the parties, the witnesses and their cross examination. In addition to this exposure to facts and arguments Jurors deliberate and discus the issues with each other before rendering a verdict. This process is taken very seriously by jurors because they individually bear a meaningful responsibility. Most if not all jurors are ennobled by their responsibility and therefore try to honestly and open-mindedly consider the information presented in the trail they witness. The same will be true for Tribunes who attend a public Tribunal Convention.
Tribunocracy enhances the role and importance of ordinary private citizens in elections Just as jury trials make the role of private citizens acting a jurors in deciding trial outcomes more important and meaningful than would be the case if jurors were replaced by mass public voting by citizens that did not attend a trial.
Tribunes are not a special group. Tribunes will be selected at random from all the eligible citizen voters who are willing to serve if chosen. They will serve only for the duration of a Tribunal Convention and are dismissed after voting, and retain no special power or status.
Other than improving upon the election process Tribunocracy requires no other changes to existing government system.
Tribunocracy reduces the role of money and misinformed or low information voting. All Tribunes attend a public trial-like Tribunal Convention, before they vote. This exposes them directly to the candidates and testifying parties for hours. For major important elections this may take place over a period of days. Thus the need and value of paid prior advertising will be greatly diminished. This will greatly diminish the need for candidates to raise money and its importance in elections.
Dishonest claims, incorrect facts, and illogical arguments will be less common. Because the opposition will have adequate opportunity to dispute them by presenting more persuasive evidence and arguments during the Tribunal Convention. Testimony will be under oath and testifying parties will know there is a significant chance that any erroneous facts will be discovered and challenged during the Tribunal Convention before all the Tribunes and the witnessing public.
Tribunal Conventions will provide a valuable educational public experience. Many citizens learn about trial procedure by witnessing public trials. Likewise they often learn important factual information by following the details of prominent well reported public trials. Tribunal Conventions will play a similar role. They will be watched because they are the ultimate reality TV, viewed in real time. When Tribunal Conventions are witnessed their superiority will become apparent and gradually expanding their use will become less less frightening and more appealing. Eventually, Mobocracy (our present system of mass voting) will be viewed as illogical, unjust, and primitive; the same way "mob justice" is viewed today.
Tribunal Conventions will provide new ways for the public to participate in the election process. For example, time for special interest groups to speak or ask questions could be allotted based on the number of supporting signatures they obtained. Prior to and during the Tribunal Convention questions might be posted and voted on by citizens and those receiving the most votes could be asked.
Although rapid adoption of Tribunocracy is not realistic or advisable; cautions limited experimentation followed by gradual incremental adoption is possible. Tribunocracy should first be introduced and tested in noncritical non-threating situations. For example, Tribunal Conventions might initially select officials not now elected such as city managers, or select low level judges. Gandhi did not free India in one giant step. He began by leading a march to the sea to make salt in defiance of English rule. Likewise, Tribunocracy should and will begin with very small steps.
In Conclusion: Tribunocracy provides a desperately needed systemic improvement in our public election system. 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 increases voter information. It motivates and enables each Tribune's best, most noble, and deeply involved participation. It provides education and transparency for all that witness it. A better election process will enable better government, which is what the world most needs now.
© Copyright 2012 Dale J. Retter All rights reserved.