Our entry into the Global Challenges Prize 2017

We are extremely happy to tell you that we are entering a version of the Interactive Electoral System into the Global Challenges Prize 2017: A New Shape — Remodelling Global Cooperation. This competition will award US$5 million in prizes for the best new models that re-envision global governance. The Global Challenges Foundation was founded in 2012 by Swedish financial analyst and author Laszlo Szombatfalvy because he recognized that the impacts of the world’s current major challenges — especially climate change, large-scale environmental degradation, violent conflict, extreme poverty and continued rapid population growth — are being seriously underestimated by political and business leaders who too often instead focus on short term interests. So, the goal of the competition is “to incite deeper understanding of the most pressing global risks to humanity and to catalyse new ways of tackling them”.

Did someone say re-envision governance!? No problem, we’re on it! The proposal we are entering has us busy scaling up the IES since the original version was conceived as a solution to a perceived violation of constitutionally guaranteed rights in Canada. Namely, while Section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms says Canadians have “the right to vote in an election of members of a legislative assembly”, the fact is that periodic elections leave long stretches of time where voters have no way to exercise this right. Consequently, they have no means of switching their vote if (or, sadly, ‘when’ is perhaps more apropos here) the representatives they formerly chose end up failing to keep their commitments or make choices counter to the voter’s values. (Excitingly, our members have agreed that, in the event we win the Prize, some of the money awarded will be devoted to going to court regarding this Charter violation.)

For those unfamiliar, the Interactive Sovereign Society (ISS) was founded in 2010 to test out the IES. For six years now ISS members (which today include US citizens) have functionally exercised major changes to contemporary democratic practice. First, elections are not periodic (hence are ‘aperiodic’), allowing every individual to change their vote at any time.

Critics of this system usually argue that any such electoral process would suffer instability and fall prey to mob rule. However, the ISS has developed unique practices to ensure stable governance in ways superior to the prevalent techniques of manufacturing majorities. These include measures that provide extremely smooth transition between candidates. What has resulted is that in times of crises or during proliferation of new beliefs through the electorate there may in some cases be a swift progression of elected officials but during times of relative agreement an incumbent’s tenure may be prolonged extensively. The continuous nature of the aperiodic system ensures representatives are always accountable to their electors.

But an aperiodic electoral process is only one aspect of an Interactive Electoral System. This system also reeducates citizens on the key concepts that are fundamental to true democracy and justice: what is sovereignty, and how are consent and authority employed and recognized or usurped? Voters using the IES become conscientious that it is citizens’ consenting to be governed that provides elected representatives the authority to govern. Thus voters using this system do not presume that a majority is morally justified in imposing decisions on minorities.

Further, our submission argues that conventional modern political paradigms are ostensibly sovereign-states that grant the authority to govern to representatives chosen by the people. This decouples the power of sovereignty from the will of the people, and can see those representatives handed the ability to ‘rule with absolution’ whereby they seemingly have the ‘right’ to take decisions and actions simply “because they are the government”. This abstraction is how the world has seen purportedly democratic governments taking actions counter to public sentiment or that could arguably be described as objectively immoral. The ISS has proven that when we instead acknowledge that it is not the state that is sovereign but the people, then the will of the people cannot be overruled by state representatives with self-serving agendas.

Stay tuned for more about our entry into the Global Challenges Prize competition!

Prime Representative Elect

I have recently been voted to become the prime representative of the ISS. I am scheduled to take office March 10th of 2017.

I am a minarchist at heart. This means I believe government should be minimalized to prevent intrusion into the lives of its people. I believe restricting the power of any government is vital to protecting the rights of the people. I support measures taken to ensure the rights of the people are protected against any potential future law makers who would be abusive to such power. I also believe every member’s wishes should be considered and respected. I have been very vocal and honest about my views in the group chat. I am available for discussion through my phone(321)-313-7506 although I can not call out to anywhere outside the United States, I am also available through email at phillipsdan1982@gmail.com or through my facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009067651667 I am very active in promoting the society both through personal contact as well as through social media. I will do everything I can to help the society grow and thrive while respecting the rights and wishes of the members. I promise to make every effort to hear and address every concern of any member of the society during my elected term of office and beyond. If anyone has any concern, feel free to contact me by any of the means listed above. Thank you for your support. I only hope I can live up to your expectations.

Statement From New ISS Prime Representative

I would like to thank the members of the ISS for having the faith in me to re-assume the position of prime representative once again, effective August 19, 2016. I am truly honoured to be in the ISS since its inception. The reason I hold such passion for the ISS is because when I was a very young man I always tried to follow the principles of the ISS without ever having put them on paper. I had no idea that so many people, 33 members strong, would embrace what the principles are. I also had a small hand in writing the Charter.

Though I am a human being with many frailties, I try my utmost to live up to the Summation of Principles. I believe in practicing forgiveness through using the principles because I make more mistakes in one week than some people make in a lifetime and I love the fact that the Summation of Principles is designed to practice wellness and forgiveness and personal growth.

I can honestly say that I am not the same person I was when I first wrote the Summation of Principles. They have served me well since the birth of the ISS.

I have you all to thank for your ongoing love and support. My door is always open to everyone. Please feel free to contact me whenever the need arises.

Best regards,

Darren

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) does not respect section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act (“the Act”) states that CSIS may by law conduct investigations regarding, or take measures against, a person believed to pose “a threat to the security of Canada”. CSIS is required by law to obtain the approval of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (“the Minister”), presently Ralph Goodale, before doing so.

Citizens of Canada have a democratic voice in choosing the Minister. Once every four years (sometimes less), they may exercise their section 3 Charter rights (“the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be eligible for membership therein”). Between those elections, citizens of Canada have virtually no say at all as to who may give the security agency of Canada permission to spy on them, enter their property without their knowledge, confiscate their possessions, and take whatever other assorted “reasonable and proportional measures” might protect us all from threats to our nation.

The Interactive Sovereign Society (ISS) has its own legislative assembly. The members of this legislative assembly are chosen using an interactive electoral system (IES). This means that each ISS member has one vote that can be cast for any candidate for the ISS legislative assembly at any time and changed to a different candidate at any time after that.  The ISS has designated Public Safety Representatives (PSRs) chosen by its legislative assembly (see pages 5 to 7 of the ISS External Legislation Registry). The ISS wrote a letter to the Director of CSIS, Michel Coulombe, informing him that for any investigations or measures intended by CSIS against an ISS member, obtaining the approval of an ISS Public Safety Representative would thus make sure that the section 3 Charter rights of the ISS member in the matter are available to be exercised at any time, instead of only once every four years, thus helping CSIS avoid becoming legally liable for violation of the Charter.

CSIS responded with a letter stating that CSIS is “unable to accept any aspect of your proposal”.

The supreme law of Canada according to the Queen, the Constitution, does state that the only limits that can be applied to the rights and freedoms guaranteed by law in it are “reasonable limits” that “can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”. Section 3 Charter rights are not available to be exercised by citizens of Canada for several years at a time. Is this a reasonable limit? Can this be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society?

Here is a more clear way to phrase the question. Can it be demonstrated that it makes Canada a more free and democratic nation to restrict Canadians to only exercise their section 3 Charter rights once every few years even though it has been demonstrated that it is possible for them to be provided the opportunity to exercise these rights at any time that they wish? If this can be demonstrated with all material facts and experiences looked at under a wise and impartial view, then of course the Constitution does allow this periodic prohibition of this right that the supreme law of Canada states every citizen to have.

When there is an empirical method available to test whether something is true, can a person be said to have demonstrated a reasonable conclusion despite having completely overlooked that method? Would an empirical method of testing the IES be to look at a society in which it has actually been used? If this empirical method has been completely overlooked, then can any person who claims to believe that it can be demonstrated that denial of these rights is justified in the interests of freedom and democracy be described as displaying a professional level of due diligence?

Have you ever believed that members of CSIS do not always follow the law while acting in their duties as servants of Her Majesty? Would it surprise you if it were found that an agent of CSIS had knowingly violated the supreme law enacted by their commander in chief? Do you believe that freedom and democracy are the most important goals that the government of Canada is designed to achieve? If you don’t believe this, then you clearly do not agree with Her Majesty, because her supreme law says that these are the most important goals. If that is the case, then perhaps you do not believe that the government of Canada has the right to govern you since the fundamental principles it has been designed to serve are not principles you agree with.

The ISS would then disagree with you. The ISS believes that freedom and democracy are of the utmost importance in our survival and happiness as a species and as individual people, as well as an innate responsibility of a person who claims to be lawful. If you share this belief, then you might like to ask about ISS membership. Email psamfrank[at]gmail.com or call 604-765-1496 for details.

The previous Prime Representative of the ISS intends to have the present Prime Rep brought before a judicial panel for conduct that is inconsistent with our society’s principles.

An election is a tool for a society to find a person who knows how to act as a representative of other people, respectfully, patiently, and compassionately. I believe that our society has done that. I have great pride in my choice to act as this society’s Prime Representative for the year that I did, as well as all three of my predecessors and also our present Prime Rep.
When an elected official acts against lawful principles, rather than toss him out of office, I prefer to teach him a lesson that will alter his conduct in future and then keep him in office so that his skills at representation are still accessible to his electorate. I therefore do not seek to regain office and have Psam removed. I remain a Secondary Collaborator, one vote behind Psam for the position of Prime Representative, and this how I wish it to stay.
I do, however, believe that Psam has a responsibility to be accountable to the laws that he as Prime Representative has agreed to have enforced in our society, and so I will ask him to appear before one of our courts at some time in future. I recommend reading the case I have put together which I intend to bring before an ISS judicial panel chair to ask if a hearing may be called. Please find my case here: http://issociety.org/wp-content/uploads/Durie-v-Frank-panel-request.pdf
Thank you very much for your time and attention.

What the Supreme Court of Canada Says

Here are several quotes that the Supreme Court of Canada has used to describe the law that it upholds in Canada. To see a full discussion about the relevance of these quotes to the section 3 Charter rights of ISS members in Canada please click here.

“The consent of the governed is a value that is basic to our understanding of a free and democratic society.”

“Democracy is a fundamental value in our constitutional law and political culture.”

“A functioning democracy requires a continuous process of discussion.”

“It is, of course, true that democracy expresses the sovereign will of the people.”

“To be accorded legitimacy, democratic institutions must rest, ultimately, on a legal foundation.  That is, they must allow for the participation of, and accountability to, the people, through public institutions created under the Constitution.”

“Democracy is not simply concerned with the process of government.  On the contrary, as suggested in Switzman v. Elbling, supra, at p. 306, democracy is fundamentally connected to substantive goals, most importantly, the promotion of self-government.  Democracy accommodates cultural and group identities: Reference re Provincial Electoral Boundaries, at p. 188.  Put another way, a sovereign people exercises its right to self-government through the democratic process.”

“It is suggested that as the notion of popular sovereignty underlies the legitimacy of our existing constitutional arrangements, so the same popular sovereignty that originally led to the present Constitution must (it is argued) also permit ‘the people’ in their exercise of popular sovereignty to secede by majority vote alone.  However, closer analysis reveals that this argument is unsound, because it misunderstands the meaning of popular sovereignty and the essence of a constitutional democracy.”

“Constitutionalism facilitates — indeed, makes possible — a democratic political system by creating an orderly framework within which people may make political decisions.  Viewed correctly, constitutionalism and the rule of law are not in conflict with democracy; rather, they are essential to it.  Without that relationship, the political will upon which democratic decisions are taken would itself be undermined.”

“We emphasize that the protection of minority rights is itself an independent principle underlying our constitutional order.”

“‘[T]he Canadian tradition’, the majority of this Court held in Reference re Provincial Electoral Boundaries (Sask.), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 158, at p. 186, is ‘one of evolutionary democracy moving in uneven steps toward the goal of universal suffrage and more effective representation’. Since Confederation, efforts to extend the franchise to those unjustly excluded from participation in our political system — such as women, minorities, and aboriginal peoples — have continued, with some success, to the present day.”

Statement From Fifth Prime Representative

I have been elected as the fifth Prime Representative of the Interactive Sovereign Society, taking office June 3.  Please click here to see a statement about why I have accepted this position and what my plans are while occupying this position.

Please look at the ISS charter and go to page 4 to read the section called “Guaranteed Term of Office” for details about the electoral system by which I have been chosen as Prime Representative.

Thank You very much.

Two Mistakes In Court

On Oct 17, 2014, an application by the Crown was heard in BC Supreme Court in front of Master Peter Keighley to have my petition dismissed.  I made two mistakes during that hearing.  It is possible that if I hadn’t made these mistakes, the petition wouldn’t have been dismissed.  Time may end up telling whether this is the case.  I apologize to the members of the Interactive Sovereign Society and also to People interested in the interactive electoral system for having made these mistakes.  I believe that just by taking the time to learn the details of the mistakes I made, You would be helping those mistakes be avoided in future, so I am very grateful for your willingness to read on.

Details of the petition I filed can be found by clicking here.

A transcript of the court session can be found by clicking here.

The first mistake that I made in this hearing was when His Honour Master Keighley asked Me what specific harm I am being subjected to because of the denial of the Charter rights I am protesting.  His specific words were that “the court is going to get into a consideration of whether claims should be considered in the abstract.  Should the court, which is an expensive operation to run at this level and the various appellate levels all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada, get engaged in deciding issues in the abstract.  Should it not, the argument will go, confine itself to situations where an individual’s rights are being put into question by a particular operation of the law.  In other words, say a charge under the income tax act, a charge under federal drug legislation, a charge under the criminal code or provincial quasi criminal statutes; in those circumstances the court will probably find it far more convincing that Charter issues could be invoked and argued.  But if you want to bring a Charter application so to speak in the abstract saying ‘look I’m not being subjected to the sharp end of any particular provincial or federal legislation; I’m not being charged with anything; I’m not being prosecuted; I’m not being sued, but I would like to have this issue resolved; I think I have a Charter right which in the abstract is being infringed by the existence of this legislation’, that’s starting to sound like frivolous, vexatious, scandalous, in the legal sense, an abuse of process of the court.  But I don’t think we even get to that point today because I’m focussed on whether your petition discloses a reasonable cause of action.”

My response to this was to try to think of specific laws that could illustrate any legislation I fear being “subjected to the sharp end of”.  What I should have instead done was to point out the response I received from the Attorney General to the letter I sent.  The Attorney General’s response basically stated that the Crown reserves the right to govern Me and it has no response to my allegations that my Charter rights are denied other than to say that it isn’t true.  A letter sent to a citizen by the Provincial Attorney General indicating intent to govern is an “operation of the law”, to use Master Keighley’s expertly phrased words.

The harm that the Attorney General caused Me by writing that letter is fear.  I am afraid of being governed by people that I do not trust, that are unaccountable, and for whom four years go by where I have absolutely no say in the decisions they make.  It is entirely possible that they’re dishonest and self serving.  It is possible that the laws they make, while acceptable in many regards, fall short of being representative of the will of the People, and of being made with the best interests of Canadians in mind, including me.  It is entirely possible that making our section 3 Charter rights available to be exercised when We Each wish, instead of all being herded like cattle to polling booths on the same day to exercise those rights, might give Us governance that We the People can trust, honour, and respect.  I can’t demonstrate that this is possible without being allowed to practice an interactive electoral system.  I can’t practice an interactive electoral system if I have periodically elected governance imposed upon Me.

The ability for the government to withdraw its imposition of governance over Me and then impose it again at a later date is reserved by section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  According to section 1, if a demonstration is made that denying the right to vote in an election of members of a legislative assembly for periods of time can be justified as a reasonable limit because freedom and/or democracy are better served by its denial, then governance upon Me by the Crown may be resumed, according to the Constitution, and I’m okay with that.  So why does the Attorney General refuse to acknowledge the significance of the fact that section 3 Charter rights are in fact denied for periods of time?  How is it justifiable for the Attorney General to make a threat of imposing laws of a moderately democratic society on a person who is living under laws of a far more democratic society?  How is that not to inspire fear, when there is any reason to believe that the people making those laws do not do so fairly?

My first mistake was not saying that.

My second mistake was when the Court Master asked Me why the Attorney General was the appropriate respondent to be named in the hearing.  Again, in considering my response to this, I devoted my mental faculties to recalling relevant legislation instead of focussing directly on the letter I had been sent by the office I was suing.  That letter states that the Attorney General clearly believes that her office has the jurisdiction and mandate to decide that my rights are not being denied and to affirm that their government intends to enforce its laws upon Me as they deem fit with no regard for the fact that my section 3 Charter rights (and as a matter of fact yours too) are denied for periods of time in the process.  If the Attorney General believes her office has this jurisdiction and mandate, then she must also believe her office is answerable for this mandate in court.  If her office does not have this jurisdiction and mandate, then the response I received should have said that her office cannot take a position on the matter of whether my section 3 Charter rights are denied, whether there is demonstrable justification for this denial, and whether governance of periodically elected legislative assemblies would be imposed upon Me anyway.

Just for the record, the duties and powers of the Attorney General are defined in section 2(i) of the BC Attorney General Act as including “the regulation and conduct of all litigation for or against the government or a ministry in respect of any subjects within the authority or jurisdiction of the legislature”.  I wish I’d been granted the time to quickly look this up when I asked for an adjournment of the court, but as far as I can tell the court did not believe I deserved any time to research the conduct of justice in scrutinizing the denial of my Charter rights.

So as it stands now, it is possible there might be a way for Me to appeal this decision, but I haven’t decided whether that would be the best course of action even if it is available.  The Crown’s lawyer, my learned friend Mr Joshua Ingram, argued that “a notice of constitutional question is served under the [Constitutional Question] Act and then a notice of civil claim which will allow a trial with experts and evidence and other parties.  Something of this scope proceeding by petition doesn’t allow for evidence beyond affidavit.”  I certainly agree that this is preferable, regardless of whether the rules would allow the matter to be handled by petition.  I am not trying to limit the avenues available to discern whether there is demonstrable justification for the denials of the rights concerned.  I think that the search for demonstrable justification should in fact be exhaustive, and a civil claim does indeed better allow for that.  So I would agree with Mr Ingram that rather than appealing the dismissal of my petition, I should commence proceedings by civil claim.

When I asked for an adjournment at one point in the hearing to further research some information about my case, Master Keighley answered by saying “I think we need to deal with it today.  There’s nothing to prevent you from trying again until this court indicates that you can’t try anymore.  If the court considers that you’ve serially brought actions which are unsustainable an order can be made under provisions of the Supreme Court Act to prevent you from bringing specific further claims.  I’m not going to make that today.  I’m not aware of any pattern on your behalf in doing that but I’m gonna deal with this one today, and if you feel that your claim is nonetheless sustainable well I suppose until the court orders otherwise you can try again, but I suggest that you would speak to a lawyer before trying again.”

Since my hearing, I have done a couple of things.  I have written a letter to the Governor General of Canada and I have distributed a notice of my intention to commence a hunger strike on July 1.  Now that I have closely evaluated what I learned from the results of my hearing after transcribing it, I have decided to rescind my intention to hunger strike.  There is evidently more that I can do to advance the interactive electoral system, and One might say also the cause of democracy.  The despair I felt at being denied what I believe to be a valid constitutional remedy to the denial of my rights has been replaced by hope that other avenues will successfully advance this cause.  Certainly the fact remains that if a member of the Interactive Sovereign Society is “subjected to the sharp end of any particular provincial or federal legislation” in future, to once again use Master Keighley’s apt phraseology, then a section 3 Charter defence can be used, and that is something I have a responsibility to contribute my skills to if it ever happens.

Crown applies to have case dismissed, hearing on Fri. 17 Oct.

As outlined in previous posts below, I recently filed my case about section 3 Charter voting rights, the aim of which is to give voters in Canada the uninterrupted right to choose who makes their laws. This, as ISS members know from experience, allows voters to make more informed decisions and to always feel enfranchised in the political process through their representative.

The Attorney General has filed to have my case thrown out of court, with three reasons given for doing so.

  1. The Attorney General refers to my case by what is referred to in Canada as an “Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument” (“OPCA”) litigation (find details of the case of Meads v Meads in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench here), which is a common form of claim to being exempt from governance by the Crown for a variety of reasons. Precedents have been set and followed in Canada for OPCA litigants to have their proceedings dismissed.
  2. The Attorney General claims that the section 3 Charter right to vote may be justifiably denied for up to 5 years because section 4(1) of the Charter states that a legislative assembly cannot continue longer than 5 years without a new election being called.
  3. The Attorney General claims that I filed the wrong form of proceedings.  I filed a petition, and the Attorney General claims that this sort of proceeding should have been filed as a civil claim.

I have filed my response to these claims in the court and served them on the Attorney General.  The hearing date is Friday October 17 at 9:45.  Any One interested in attending is welcome.  The New Westminster Supreme Court is located at 651 Carnarvon St.

Here is a summary of my answers to these claims:

  1. Unlike OPCA litigants, I have not claimed to be able to opt out of laws, as not only do I still have laws, the ones made by the ISS, but also, if the Crown’s laws were made in a way that did not deny section 3 rights for periods of time, I would not dispute having those laws imposed upon me. I have only made my petition based on denials of the rights that the Constitution of Canada claims are not only guaranteed but enforceable by the courts.
  2. If one assumes that it is impossible to provide the right to vote at all without denying it for periods of time, then it would make sense to have a maximum time limit on how long a legislative assembly can continue before another election is required. Since the Attorney General cannot cite any usage of the interactive electoral system prior to the Interactive Sovereign Society, it seems that they are assuming that it is impossible to provide the right to vote without denying it for periods of time. However, the ISS’s demonstration of an interactive electoral system, showing that it is possible for the right to vote never to be denied, may render the need for a maximum time limit obsolete. So, setting a maximum time limit based on an assumption that it is impossible to make this right constantly available does not mean it is justifiable to deny this right when it is indeed possible not to.
  3. The Supreme Court Civil Rules state that a petition must be filed when there is no person against whom relief is sought. I seek no relief against any person. I only seek a declaratory order of the rights and freedoms that the Constitution claims I am guaranteed, therefore a petition is the appropriate proceeding. This particular claim by the Crown may be either an intimidation tactic or simply an indication that they still don’t fully grasp the implications of my allegations.

For a bit more detail about what will be addressed in the hearing, find a fuller description of the points above and an exposition of the order I am asking the court to make and the laws in question here.