Are we truly represented?

Is our geography-based system of representation still the best form of democracy?

After all the shenanigans of the Brexit referendum here in the UK, I have found myself pondering upon what democracy really is, and how best to design a system of representation that delivers it.

Democracy is generally understood to be government of the people, by the people, for the people.  In practice, that usually becomes not by the people, but on behalf of the people.  We elect representatives to re-present our views in a parliament, and we have to trust that they will do so.

I’m basing this article on the UK, but in most democracies, like the UK, we elect our representatives based on geography.  That has practical advantages – we can trot along to our local MP’s (or equivalent) surgery and tell them what we would like them to find important.  And if they are a good MP, they will take the matter up.  But it is also based in the premise that all the people in a geographical area want roughly the same things and find the same sort of things important.  The recent referendum showed how false a premise that is, with most votes being in the 51-60% range in favour of one side or the other.

And we cannot realistically expect MP’s to take up something that we are the only ones to have raised, if there are other matters that more local people are more concerned about.  MPs have limited bandwidth, and so does parliament.

That has the effect of marginalising ideas that are at the edge of the consciousness of a society.  You may say that’s as it should be – if it’s on the edges of what people are interested in, why should it get air-time in parliament?  The problem with that view is that nothing will ever change, because that leading-edge thinking gets suppressed, not by government dictat, but by it simply not getting discussed in the corridors of power.

Let’s try a thought experiment, these are not real numbers, but let’s say there are maybe 5% of the population overall who would like to see a kindness-based system of government.  With 650 MP’s, that would mean we should have 33 of them willing and able to re-present that idea in parliament.  But because each individual MP is elected by a majority (well, technically a minority much of the time) of the people in their geographical area, unless there are maybe one or two areas where the 5% of the “Kindness Rules” tribe congregate and can create a majority, they will probably not manage to get anyone at Westminster.  So they are reliant on their local Tory or Labour MP bringing it up, which is unlikely, because (quite rightly) they are focussed on what the majority who elected them want.

I find myself asking: why do we continue to define constituencies by geography?  It made sense when the system was originally designed – centuries ago – when difficulty of communication meant having someone local was important.  And most people’s major concerns were about local issues, the wider world having little effect on them.  But with modern technology enabling the communication and discussion of issues much more widely, could we not select our representatives from across the nation, based on their views rather than where they live?

There are all sorts of difficulties with putting such a system in place, not least the potential length of the ballot paper in each polling station!  But again, technology could provide an answer – perhaps with voters selecting their choice electronically.  The risks associated with that are amusingly demonstrated in a fictional US Presidential election in the movie “Man of the Year” with Robin Williams, but I am sure it is not beyond the wit of C21 man to come up with a solution – perhaps mini-printers in polling booths printing off physical ballot slips?  Or a list of candidates posted on the wall with reference numbers for voters to copy onto ballot papers.

Those are just off the top of my head, I am certain the geeks can come up with something equally as robust as what we currently have.

Of course, we probably won’t ever see anything like that, because the sheer variety of candidates and views has the potential to destroy the relevance of political parties, so they would probably all use the massively-undemocratic “three-line whip” to defeat anything that came close, as the major parties have with PR in the past.

But imagine if we did – what if you could elect someone who genuinely represented your true views about the way you want the world to be?

Why they want us beFUDdled …

Have you ever wondered why governments and the mainstream media are always so keen to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt by reminding us how much danger we are in, everywhere and every day?

Whether that’s from ‘a massive influx’ of refugees, or being ‘swamped’ by immigrants from other parts of the EU (substitute other neighbouring state if you’re not from the UK); from drugs gangs or wildfires or just people of some other religion; or from the latest ‘unstoppable’ health pandemic (that mysteriously stops almost overnight – or at least doesn’t get reported any more).  Or any one of dozens of things that we are told could harm us / kill us / ‘destroy our way of life’.

Because their mates in the Military Industrial Complex want to sell them more tanks and guns and missiles, right?

Well, no, not really.  Or perhaps I mean ‘not only’ – that is certainly one of their objectives.

But there’s a far bigger reason why propagating an atmosphere of fear is good for those who seek to control us.

Physiologically, there is a big effect that fear has on us: it puts us into “Fight or Flight” mode.  As well as diverting resources away from our organs to our extremities – the bits we need to either hit people or run away – it also closes down our finer reasoning ability.

There’s a good evolutionary reason behind that: we really don’t want to be having an internal debate about that sabre-toothed tiger’s intentions towards us, and whether we might be able to avoid conflict if we talk to it nicely.  We just want to – need to – either lop off its head, or leg it! Any other thought process is redundant until the threat (feeling of fear) has passed.

And there’s a good political reason behind ‘our masters’ wanting us to be constantly afraid: it stops us getting wise to what they are up to.

When we are in a state of constant fear (or uncertainty, or doubt), our critical thinking is impaired, and we don’t see what is going on.  We don’t notice our rights being slowly eroded, in the guise of protecting us from what they have made us fear.  We don’t see the subtle (and not-so-subtle) diversion of our tax money to their mates in the arms and drugs companies.  We don’t realise that our economies are being slowly undermined by fake ‘money’ that is nothing more than bits and bytes in a computer programme.  And we don’t see that cash is steadily being outlawed – and it’s the only way we get to operate outside of the electronic net (hmmm, interesting use of language there) they have us all tangled up in.

The simple reason fear, uncertainty and doubt is so valuable to those who seek to govern us, is that it stops us thinking straight!

Has technology been holding us back?

I was participating today in an Access Consciousness vision body process class, and we were discussing how maybe being issued with glasses was making our eyes lazy, relying on the corrective lenses rather than strengthening their own ability to correct weakness.  That got me thinking about all the other tech we have come to rely on, to help us do stuff we don’t think we can do without it.

What if all this tech as actually just getting in the way of us finding more natural, innate ways to do what we have turned to tech for?

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Why “to the seven billionth power”?

It’s simple really. With seven billion of us here sharing planet earth, everything any one of us does has the opportunity to impact, directly or indirectly, any one of the other seven billion.

Each action affects those around us, and cannot help but affect the actions they take – maybe only in small ways, maybe greatly.  And each of their actions affect those around them. Actions squared.  And theirs affect the next layer.  Actions cubed.  Then actions to the fourth power … and 5th, 6th, 7th, … all the way up to the 7 billionth power.

Nothing we do, think or say in life is insignificant; everything has the potential to go the to 7bnth power.  Life 7bn

This site is where I share my more far-out musings and ponderings on how we create a world that is more compassionate, more effective, and more fun to live in.  Feel free to challenge anything I post – the deeper the conversations go, the more chance we have of changing the world.

Continue reading “Why “to the seven billionth power”?”