Interactive Electoral System

When the members of an electorate are each given the opportunity to decide who to vote for at whatever time they each feel ready, instead of only on periodically assigned dates, the result is a much more stable, responsive, flexible means to collectively make decisions. Decisions that end up being made are accepted by a majority without grudge or resentment, except perhaps those who enjoy being in control of others — they’re unhappy, but that’s because they’re needing to grow and evolve past such needs.

The interactive electoral system causes members of the group using it to dissociate themselves from the need to put people “in charge”. They work collaboratively and respectfully. The accountability of the elected (Prime Representative, in the case of the ISS) that results with this system is absolute.

That is how powerful the interactive electoral system is. It not only helps the people obtain respect from politicians. It shows people how to respect each other. People who participate in an interactive electoral system learn to appreciate each other. All of them. It literally transforms society. To your liking.

How it works

Several years have been spent researching, implementing, and observing this form of voting. This system does not set a date on which votes must be cast. Instead, the voter may cast a vote at any time for any willing candidate for an elected office, and may then change this vote at any subsequent time. The tallies for the individual candidates remain available for observation by the voters at all times, being updated as they change, ensuring absolute transparency.

In order to maintain a dependable level of stability in a society using the system to choose elected officials, there is a feature within the interactive electoral system called a guaranteed term of office. The duration of this guaranteed term is decided prior to the commencement of voting for any particular elected position, based upon the size of the electorate, the nature of the decisions being made under the mandate of the office being chosen, and the degree of contentiousness among the electorate regarding issues that may incur disagreement.

An individual seeking office must retain the leading tally of votes for the duration of the guaranteed term in order to take that office, and subsequently, if a challenging candidate wishes to take that office from the incumbent, then the challenger must gain more votes than the incumbent, and not lose the lead to the incumbent for the duration of the guaranteed term. If the incumbent has not regained the lead by the end of the guaranteed term, then the challenger takes office. If the incumbent regains the lead during the guaranteed term, then the incumbent remains in office, and subsequent to that, if a challenger regains the lead, the full duration of the agreed upon guaranteed term begins again.

There are people who believe that this system would create constant chaotic changes and that it would cost more to operate. Experience has now shown that neither of these things is true. To understand why takes some statistical analysis and a fair bit of study, OR participation (click here to see flowchart illustration) and observation. It is MORE stable, and costs LESS to operate.

What’s more is that an interactive electoral system prevents parties from developing, and instead allows a different form of association to develop between candidates in the political process, which are referred to as coalitions. This allows the candidates to directly represent the interests of the electorate in their constituency from whom they receive support, rather than being focused on representing the doctrines dictated to them by the separately formed party infrastructure over which their constituents have limited meaningful influence.

If an interactive system is introduced into an electorate in which parties already exist, it would cause the parties to basically disintegrate, replaced by a host of coalitions which directly ask the public for input on the individual issues which the coalitions represent. This would destroy the oligarchy upon which the present fraudulent system of representation bases its ability to continually increase the wealth gap for the benefit of those that have substantial lobby power to keep their grip on the chains of power within parties.

In the end, funding for the interests of coalitions would be provided by their supporters in a manner similar to the present means by which parties are funded, but of course the lobby power asked by the oligarchies in control would require a more constant monetary input from those that have that power, draining them of their funding and resources and distributing those resources into the public usage, which reduces the wealth gap, which is one of the fundamental reasons that a political process should exist in the first place.

If the ability of those with greater wealth to control the political process is impeded by making it more significantly costly to them, then the political process will cease offering them an improved means of influence over everybody else.

More details are available about how the system functions in a document comparing electoral systems.

Recent Posts

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!

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