The right to choose your government.

Personal Legislators — a clarification

I hope to clarify here my intentions in writing my previous blog entry.

My first point was to show how far all legislatures are today from panarchy. The proposal, as I said, was not panarchy, but perhaps something in between what we have now and what we all should have.

Current legislatures are territorial at their root. My proposal was to keep the current territorial elections simply to limit the pool of candidates, and to have a second ongoing election by each person for their Personal Legislator, thus adding the non-territorial aspect, to a degree. By ongoing, I mean that each person could change their Personal Legislator at any time. In the US we currently have three businesses called credit agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), which basically maintain the same database of every person in America who has a credit card or mortgage. By sending them identifying information about yourself, you are able to obtain from them credit reports, basically all the information they maintain on you regarding your credit-worthiness. Having already identified the vast majority of voters in the US, and having a method for identifying each person, they could easily work jointly or in turn to process the second vote, allowing each of the people in their database to choose a Personal Legislator. Certainly the means could be made electronic, so that the voting could be done anytime, anywhere, by texting or email or whatever. The day-by-day changes of Personal Legislator tallies (the identities of voters would be as secret as any secret ballot) could be used to give the legislators real time (almost) feedback from their constituency, while the annual tally on a certain day would determine each Personal Legislator’s number for the coming year as regards their control of the budget.

In the current system, legislators use two elements in their calculus for determining how to vote. The first is, how will this vote effect my ability to raise cash for my next election. The second is, how will this vote effect my ability to get a majority of votes in my next election. As a Personal Legislator, they do not need to worry about their next election, either in raising cash for it (making them less dependent on lobbyists), or in gaining a simple majority of votes from their home districts. Rather, they are most intent on pleasing those who have made them their Personal Legislator, and on getting even more people to do so. This change is therefore in the direction of panarchy in that it is non-territorial (to a degree) and more attuned to actual people than to special interests.

How is my proposal NOT panarchy. It is not panarchy because the legislature is still part of a territorial monopoly of coercion, even though on a certain level there is more personal choice involved in the process. The government is still one-per-territory, and it still feels entitled to tax. This is a long way from the free market in governments that panarchy represents.

So, why did I present this proposal? My intention was mostly to educate the casual visitor to this site, to help them understand from an example the impact that non-territoriality could have on the political process. We will have real panarchy in government some day, because more and more people will demand their freedom from serfdom (slavery by virtue of where we live; our current status vis-a-vis government). A system of Personal Legislators will probably not be the way it eventually happens, though it would certainly be a move in the right direction.


2010/01/31 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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