The Challenge

Polls indicate an increasingly widespread loss of faith in government and democratic institutions around the world.

Traditional electoral, legislative and policy-making institutions and processes are increasingly incapable of solving complex local, national and cross-national crises.

All too often these institutions and processes produce stalemates or result in the passage of ill-conceived laws and policies that lack broad-based support. These failures fuel rather than reduce political, economic and social tensions and conflicts.

Unfortunately, dysfunctional democratic institutions and processes tend to have multiple causes and prove resistant to reform efforts. Primary among the causes is the collision of large scale national and global systems — political, economic, financial, ecological, and social systems with divergent and conflicting goals and impacts.

To make matters worse, key players and special interests within these systems jockey constantly to gain political influence over elections and legislation in order to obtain governmental support for their goals — often at the expense of their electorates.

The result is increasing instability, disruption of essential activities, inequality, social tensions, and proliferating confrontations between those who benefit from these systems and those harmed by them.

The disjointed piecemeal efforts seeking to modify the systems, especially dysfunctional political systems, have yet to show signs of being capable of resolving the proliferating crises that now threaten the capacity of the planet to sustain life.

Moreover, global systems-changing solutions that can address the adverse effects of colliding large scale systems have yet to appear — with the exception of Re-Invent Democracy, Inc.'s global technology-based solution for transforming dysfunctional political systems.

The solution is the world's first large scale political consensus building and conflict resolution platform and website, reinventdemocracy.net. It is designed to enable virtually unlimited numbers and types of stakeholders to collectively and consensually devise and implement solutions to crises, large and small, at all levels. Stakeholders include electorates, elected representatives, policy-makers, electoral candidates, political parties, issue groups, etc.

The platform will enable these stakeholders to build national and cross-national voting blocs and electoral coalitions of sufficient size and political influence to devise and implement workable solutions to the adverse impacts of colliding systems — especially political systems, by determining who runs for office, who gets elected, and what laws are passed.

A Technology-Based Solution

The advanced web technologies that will be incorporated into the platform and website will be integrated with supercomputing technologies to enable individuals and groups across the political and ideological spectrum to find common ground, within and between countries. They can use the platform to negotiate common agendas and acquire the political leverage they need to get their agendas enacted.

The platform's agenda setting, political organizing and consensus building tools enable the whole spectrum of stakeholders in democratic forms of government to build consensus around collectively negotiated solutions to crises, conflicts, and legislative and policy stalemates.

These tools enable them to:
  1. Build voting blocs and electoral coalitions whose members collectively set common agendas and re-set them as needed.

  2. Use their agendas to provide elected representatives and policy-makers written legislative and policy mandates for the first time in history.

  3. Hold lawmakers accountable for exerting their best efforts to enact bloc and coalition agendas and mandates.

Significantly, the platform has the potential to add millions of democracy stakeholders and their collective intelligence, problem-solving and consensus building capabilities to the processes of formulating and enacting legislation that have traditionally been reserved to official lawmakers.

The platform will overcome the anomaly of hundreds of millions of people living under laws formulated by relatively small numbers of lawmakers who have never had any systematic way of finding out what their constituents' priorities are, across the board, and updating this information continuously throughout their tenure in office.

This disconnect contributes to the increasing gap between the priorities of a majority of voters and the enactments of elected representatives and policy-makers — a gap that is also due to the political influence of special interests.

Recent academic research in the U.S. into nearly 1800 policy issues showed that economic and organized business groups have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy while average citizens and groups representing large numbers of voters have little or no impact.

The platform has the potential to reduce this gap between lawmakers and electorates by reducing the political influence of special interests that advocate and take advantage of favorable campaign finance laws and court decisions, such as Citizens United and McCutcheon in the U.S.

Voter-controlled voting blocs and electoral coalitions will be able to negotiate the support of broad cross-sections of voters large enough to elect their candidates without special interest campaign contributions.

To further reduce the gap, elected representatives, policy-makers and candidates can also take advantage of the platform on their own to determine and honor the popular will. They can "poll" their constituents and supporters on a continuous basis by using the platform to engage them in setting their legislative and policy agendas individually, and then collaborating with them to set and continually update common agendas that representatives, policy-makers and candidates pledge to exert their best efforts to enact.

Lawmakers and candidates who succeed in generating widespread support for legislative and policy agendas that they collaboratively set with their constituents and supporters, will be able to forge electoral bases that are large enough to elect them without the financial support of special interests. As a result, these lawmakers will be able to cast their votes in legislative and policy-making bodies on behalf of their constituents unequivocally, without conflicts of interest.

Cross-National Voting Blocs and Coalitions

In addition to using the platform to build voting blocs and coalitions within a country, electorates, elected representatives, policy-makers, electoral candidates, political parties and issue groups will also be able to use the platform and website to form cross-national voting blocs and coalitions whose members work together across borders to resolve conflicts and build consensus on common solutions to transnational issues.

After the members of cross-national blocs and coalitions set common agendas, they can use the political organizing tools of the platform to build winning voting blocs and electoral coalitions in their home countries that can nominate and elect lawmakers who will enact the agendas of their cross-national blocs and coalitions.

Political Organizing Tools

To win elections, blocs and coalitions hosted on the website will be able to build winning electoral bases by merging with other blocs and coalitions hosted on the website that have similar agendas.

The members of these larger, merged blocs and coalitions can collectively set new agendas and continuously reach out to ever larger numbers of voters across the political and ideological spectrum to integrate them into their on-going agenda setting and political organizing efforts.

By so doing, they can build transpartisan electoral bases that cross partisan lines and become large enough to determine who runs for office, who gets elected, and what laws and policies are enacted.

While blocs and coalitions can align with political parties of their choice, and use their ballot lines and primary contests to get their candidates on the ballot, they can also act independently and opt to obtain their own ballot lines. They can do so because of their capacity to use the platform to build winning transpartisan electoral bases that outflank and outnumber the electoral base of any single party.

Holding Lawmakers Accountable

The voting utility that will be accessible on the platform and the reinventdemocracy.net website will enable bloc, coalition, party and issue group members to vote collectively online. They will be able to set their agendas, formulate legislative and policy proposals, and collectively devise solutions to complex conflicts and stalemates within legislative and policy-making bodies.

They will be able to hold lawmakers accountable for enacting their solutions by using the utility to:

  1. Conduct large scale petitioning campaigns, and determine and publicize the number of signatories.

  2. Conduct and publicize the results of online referendums indicating the legislative and policy-related actions that bloc and coalition members want elected representatives and policy-makers to take, and show how many of their constituents support these actions.

  3. Conduct online straw recall votes to inform representatives and policy-makers who fail to adhere to bloc and coalition agendas and mandates how many of their constituents would like to oust the lawmakers from office immediately.

  4. Defeat in actual elections lawmakers that voters, bloc and coalition members deem to have failed to exert their best efforts to enact bloc and coalition agendas and mandates.

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