Individual Sovereignty

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, entrenched into the Constitution of Canada in 1982, ostensibly sought to give Canadians individual rights vis-a-vis government. Sadly, the ensuing decades have nonetheless seen a tide of regulation seeking to dictate more and more aspects of citizens’ lives. And, of course, with each new wielding of legislative authority comes the bureaucracy to enforce it, funded by tax dollars, and increasingly in service of an all too powerful corporate sector. We have replaced a society that encouraged the pursuit of individual possibility and entrepreneurship with one in which inequality is at record levels and the majority of people have become stuck in consumerism and debt, and left apathetic and fearful. This may be a significant factor in causing the Interactive Sovereign Society to be founded in Canada in 2010.

The Interactive Sovereign Society is founded on the principle of the sovereignty of the individual. It is therefore crucial that this principle is understood by those with an interest in this society.

A sovereign is an individual (or group) who chooses laws, and over whom there is no greater authority in defining laws. In Canada, which is a “Constitutional monarchy”, the most commonly recognized source of laws is known as the Crown, with the sovereign being the reigning queen or king of the United Kingdom, an individual. In the United States of America, a “Republic”, the Constitution is the most commonly recognized source of laws, with the sovereign being the People of the USA, a group.

In the ISS, each member is recognized as a sovereign individual, thus each is respected as having the capability of choosing their own laws. Those who regard laws as a beneficial part of society commonly agree that laws cannot meaningfully exist without a Constitution. By signing the ISS Constitution, a member is agreeing to choose the principles enacted within the ISS as the basis for the laws to which they will consensually adhere.

Effectively, the act of signing that Constitution is the act of choosing laws for one’s Self. The ISS provides a comprehensive basis for law, upon which its members may all agree, that includes the flexibility of developing principles that may be individually interpreted. Further, this basis also comprises a means of resolution for when members have different interpretations of these principles.

The ISS also employs an electoral system by which the representatives are chosen to define these principles. However, this electoral system is different than other previously used electoral systems in that it allows You to change your vote at any time You wish, instead of only at specified times when an election is called. This is known as an interactive electoral system. This form of election provides accountability, flexibility, and responsiveness to its participants.

Dual consent

As an example of dual consent, it is possible for a citizen of Canada to become a member of the Interactive Sovereign Society without relinquishing status as a Canadian under the authority of the government headed by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This would be somewhat like having a dual citizenship. That way, the member would still have a voice in democratically determining the laws for which the sovereign members of the ISS are responsible (since they are not responsible for the laws chosen through the allegedly democratic process of Crown government), but would not have to compromise allegiance to her or his queen.

We welcome your participation, as each new member may make contributions to help Us bring our Selves to a higher standard of lawful conduct, which is our goal as mutual members of a society.

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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