Practical Democracy

Practical Democracy

Practical Democracy is a system proposed by Fred Gohlke. It offers a very original way to select public servants and leaders.
See Fred Gohlke's writings on Practical Democracy.

See also

The role of interest groups and political parties in Practical Democracy

The role of political parties has become a recurring theme is our discussions.

In particular, Fred and myself briefly discussed the role of special interest groups in his Practical Democracy. Their role is only passingly mentioned in his book:
I don't recall that there is a section that details the role of special interest groups in Practical Democracy.

So, I'd like to give Fred an opportunity to describe in greater details his vision.
What role if any would political parties play in Practical Democracy?

Thoughts on Political Candidate Selection

One reason many people don't vote in the United States is that the game is rigged. Why should they bother? It makes no sense to vote when the only choices are candidates committed to serving vested interests.

The political parties arrogate to themselves the conduct of our government; they write the rules by which the government functions, sell legislation to vested interests, and choose candidates committed to enact the laws written for them by the people who underwrite their election campaigns.

That's a clear case of setting a fox to guard the hen-house!!!!

Thoughts on pure democracy

The term 'pure democracy' is imprecise. If the term means public issues are resolved by having everyone in the electorate 'vote' on proposed solutions, the economic circumstances do not matter. The organizations most expert in exploiting the media will sway public opinion to the advantage of the vested interests they represent, at the expense of the people.

How can American democracy become more egalitarian?

This question was followed by the following explanation:

With thousands of lobbyists in Washington and untold sums of money being given to Super PACs by anonymous donors, there is a real sense that American democracy is not quite as egalitarian as it should be.

Please note that while these are the examples that prompted this question, I am not looking for answers that are solely focused on removing the influence of money.

Any and all ideas that could make American democracy more egalitarian are welcome here.

For the purpose of this question, egalitarian means:

Can we get out of the corrupt political system in the US?

The request for "an honest idea to get us out of the corrupt and useless political system we live in (US)" is a tall order. To be valid, such an idea must show that it addresses the causes of our present condition. However difficult the task, we must make the effort if we are to avoid civil disorder. My greatest fear is that we'll find ourselves in the throes of that disorder before we've done our homework - before we've reasoned our way to a sound political system that is free of the corruption and ineffectiveness that plague our present system.

How to go from mob rule to intelligent rule?

This web site is dedicated to improving our democracies.
But I can help but pondering about the nature of democracy itself.

As noted in our wiki page about democracy:
Jefferson may have said:

Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%.

How to go from mob rule to intelligent rule?

Practical Democracy: Implementation

It is hard to achieve democracy because true democracy has no champions. It offers no rewards for individuals or vested interests; it gives no individual or group an advantage over others. Hence, it offers no incentive for power-seeking individuals or groups to advocate its adoption.

Creating New Machinery

Political systems are always an embodiment of human nature. Since we cannot divorce our political institutions from our own nature, the new machinery to support a democratic political process must harness our nature. It must make the qualities needed to represent the common interest desirable attributes in those who seek political advancement.

Practical Democracy, 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.

Syndicate content