Practical Democracy, Abstract

Abstract

When we speak of government by the people, 'the people' is not an amorphous mass. It is an abundance of individuals: some brilliant, some dull; some good, some bad; some with integrity, some deceitful. To achieve government by the people, we must sift through this diversity to find the individuals with the qualities needed to address and resolve contemporary public concerns.

In a truly democratic political process, the entire electorate will participate in defining the issues the government must address and selecting the individuals best equipped to resolve those issues. The size of the electorate and the varying level of interest in public affairs among the populace make the matter of including everyone a challenge.

This paper describes a method of dividing the electorate into very small groups and letting each group decide which of their members best represents the group's interests. Those so chosen are arranged in similar groups to continue sifting through the electorate to identify the individuals most motivated and best qualified to address and resolve the people's concerns. The described approach functions free of the influence of money and ensures that candidates for public office are carefully examined by their peers before they are chosen as the people's representatives.