No modern nation is currently governed by Direct Democracy. Therefore, a model system must first be constructed from principles. The model system described here is an ultimate objective and presents one way to implement the general principles. The same principles may be implemented through different institutions. In fact, the spirit of democracy demands that the system itself should develop under the direction of the public will and practical experience.
An Overview of Principles and Institutions
The following is a brief summary of the principles that the system must implement.
· The ultimate authority is the collective will of the people.
· The body of the law is the collection of public decisions.
· Each law and issue is decided on its merits.
· Public decision-making is based on informed and objective debates. Biased manipulation of public opinion must be prevented, and the irrelevant effects of personalities on issues should be minimized.
· The system must ensure that the ultimate authority shall be the will of the people. Accomplishing this is difficult because managing society requires that thousands of decisions are made daily. Therefore, a variety of levels and means for public input will be necessary.
· Public referendums and polls are the most direct means for wide-based public input. Since these can be conducted only in limited numbers, they should be reserved for major issues. Ultimately, a body of publicly enacted law will emerge, covering all aspects of legislation.
· Public input is enhanced by the input from the Policy Juries, Public Ombudsmen and the public election of senior officials.
· Publicly decided policy is implemented by Expert Agencies. The role of these bodies is one of execution and management and not one of policy or decision-making.
· Expert Agencies are guided and aided by Policy Juries that are attached to each Expert Agency. The role of Policy Juries is to monitor the actions of the Expert Agencies and intervene when these actions conflict with the policies determined by the public. These conflicts are identified by the Public Ombudsman, the Expert Court or by 20% or more of the Policy Jury members. The Agency itself may also ask for guidance from the Policy Jury.
· Policy Juries are public panels and committees that are large enough to represent a true cross-section of the overall public. Members are randomly selected from the public and are educated in the specialized fields of the Expert Agency to which they are associated. Members serve long enough to assure that the majority of the Policy Jury at any time is well versed in the field of expertise. In this way, Policy Juries combine public input with specialist expertise.
· Expert Agencies are supervised by Public Ombudsmen to further ensure that the Agencies and their adjunct Policy Juries conform to the public will.
· The Judiciary interprets the publicly enacted laws. Expert Courts arbitrate among individuals, organizations and the Expert Agencies.
· The public elects high-ranking executives. Candidate lists for public office are narrowed by public polls and the public makes the final selection in a general vote. The qualifications of the candidates are made public, but irrelevant aspects of personality, such as race, gender, age, physical appearance and personal charisma are not publicized. To achieved this the candidates run anonymously, through professional stand-in advocates.
· Issues of general importance or basic principle may arise not only from publicly submitted proposals, but also from the Expert Agencies and the Judiciary. Issues of major importance that arise from these sources are referred to the ultimate authority, which is the general public.