Another political idea of mine
In democracies, the people vote for a party which then represents them in the parliament, congress and/or other institutions. Depending on the system, either a coalition is formed, or a party has to get the majority of seats.
However, it is not uncommon that politicians neglect their duty of representing the people either for own political gains or due to outside influence (e.g. corporations funding campaigns of candidates, or parties in general). Probably the most wide-spreaded method is lobbyism. This is a problem, because it undermines the democratic systems and instead of representing the people, the supposed representatives pursue the interests of a few companies and/or a very wealthy elite. Two-party systems may struggle even more with it, due to the choice between party A and B. A new party could be founded, and there are indeed third parties, but they have a very slim to no chance to get seats or gain a considerable amount. The voters are worried that, if they vote for the third party, that the long-established party A is weakened and party B can reign with less interference. Multi-party systems face a similar problem, although here a greater chance exists to get out of the deadlock. Unfortunately, as the past decades have shown, the lobbyist forces of large companies and wealthy individuals can easily overshadow it.
Next to the negligence due to selfish and corrupt reasons, the representatives might lose the contact to the concerns of the common man due to the lack of contact to the people in general (which may only occur during elections). More bureaucratic-minded politicians face the threat of falsely perceiving the priorities of the people, or assess a situation wrongly which leads to policies that are counterproductive either because they are very limited in their extent or insensitive measurement.
Of course, and I want to mention it here, it isn’t a natural law that representatives are going to become corrupt. There always exist individuals, or even groups within a party or the party itself, who actually want to help the people. And they have existed, and still exist. With that in mind, it is still desirable that at least a large majority of the parties/representatives make the right decisions and introduce policies which are effective and increase the general welfare of the people and thus the nation.
In order to realize it and ensure that the interests of all are served, as well as providing a stronger connection between society and their representatives, I came up with the Council of the People’s Deputies:
As the elaboration on the side already explains, the CPD is basically a second arm of the people. The council has the task to stay in touch with their communities and inform the government/parliament/or else about problems which the group faces and what can be done to combat the issue. Through this new tool, the government is able to make more precise decisions and on a societal level, the council can also combat prejudices and strengthen the sense of togetherness and community within a nation.
Constantly being in exchange with the people on a federal level means that they will travel around a lot and talk to the people, what they are worried about, which issues they face, and what they think the government and/or parties should do to improve the situation. The CPD should also be allowed to propose bills (if deemed necessary), and the advisory role must be taken seriously by the parties and the government. Mechanisms, such as registers to whom a party/government has talked to and how it influenced a bill/law/legislation, will therefore be of great importance to hold both the new institution and the old institutions accountable. Transparency, in that regard releasing and updating the register on an official website, needs also to be implemented to give the people the chance to look whether their concerncs were addressed or not. On a state level, a smaller version of the CPD would be implemented with the same tasks – the exception here is that they just need to travel within their region. Regular meetings between the parties, the council representatives, and the people could be established as well.
In contrast to normal elections, the representatives don’t have to promise anything, rather the people need to choose members of their community who are willing to listen to problems, care for others, and have other social skills. The task is to represent the people, improve the relations between the different groups within society, and to let the politicians be informed about the issues. Transparency and Accountability have to be key components, there’s no way around it!
If a nation indeed chooses to form it, then they will ask themselves how the election works in the CPD. I introduce here three different ways how it can be done, the decision would lie ultimately in the hand of the people within a nation.
- Proportional: In this system, the members are elected proportionally. This means that their seats in the CPD corresponds with their percentual size in the population (e.g. 2.5% of group Y get 2.5% of the seats in the council).
- Degressively Proportional: Here, the members are elected degressively proportional which means that more seats are allocated to smaller divisions of the populace than under a proportional system (e.g. each group has 3-6 seats; smaller groups with only around 500,000+ people get 3 seats, while the majority of the population gets 6 seats).
- Equal Distribution: In this case, each group has the same amounts of seats and therefore the same amount of influence as the majority of the population and smaller ones.
I also had the same thing in mind with an economic council that is divided into the Industry council (subcategories of small, middle-sized, and large companies) and the Worker council (subcategories of the many different jobs, or an overall term for several jobs), freelancers may get an extra council or affiliate with one of the two councils.
The same idea exists for a Council of Science, to ensure that the right measurements are taken (e.g. climate change) which are based on scientific evidence and pragmatic.
All of them would work together as well, and thus ensure that no one is prefered. Some sort of „lobby register“ would be established which is open to all people, as it is with the CPD. However, lobbyism in itself is outlawed at this point, and the new institutions make sure – along with the transparency and accountability – that everyone gets a say in the matter. Thus, society, economy, the sciences and the different religious groups work hand in hand while at the same time closing the gap between each other (e.g. the average person learns more about economy and science; the economic sectors and politics adopt scientific approaches; and the sciences find their way into politics, the economy and society to spread their ideals like curiousity and a healthy amount of skepticism/scientific way -> from thesis to proven theory, for instance).
Note: It is possible that you may have heard of the Council of the People’s Deputies (Rat der Volksbeauftragten) at some point in a history or lesson, documentary or else. And yeah, I liked the name because it is exactly what it means. Just in case you were wondering).