Q. If Actual Democracy is so right, so superior to representative government, why didn't the Founding Fathers, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Washington, Madison, Hamilton, etc., think of it?
A. They did. See Thomas Paine's 'Common Sense', and Jefferson's Letter to Taylor, both explaining the desirability and superiority of Actual Democracy and what 'republican government', means.
It simply wasn't possible for all the people to meet and discuss, to debate and argue over the laws and then vote on them. Jefferson's letter says Actual Democracy wasn't possible for more people then the population of a small New England town.
A(2) The 1999 Tenth Edition of Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines "democracy" as, 1 a: government by the people; esp: rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usu. involving periodically held free elections.
The Association for the Advancement of Actual Democracy equates Actual Democracy with the direct exercise of the supreme power of the people and the indirect exercise of that power through representatives as an elected aristocracy (Rousseau), and as an aristocracy with term limits. A level of indirection, a representative between us and the laws we live under, is a level of tyranny. It is a level of tyranny we had to live with. But technology now enables us to directly vote for the laws and remove that level of tyranny we were previously forced to live under.
Q. Has Actual Democracy ever worked anywhere?
A. Athens, in the 5th Century B.C. (Though slaves and women were not permitted to vote.) See Pericles Speech, the Funeral Oration, given in Thucydides 'The Peloponnesian War' Book 2 paragraph  to , especially . "Its [the government's] administration favors the many instead of the few; this is why it is called a democracy. If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences; if no social standing, advancement in public life falls to reputation for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit; nor again does poverty bar the way, if a man is able to serve the state, he is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition."
Q. This is just an over-reaction to the current (2000 through 2013) extremely partisan politics. Is it wise to change the Constitution and how we make our laws when good sense and good governess can be attained in a few coming elections?
A. The ills of today's government are a very minor, but demonstrative, issue. It didn't even arise in the analysis of how to improve and enhance our freedom, our involvement in our government, and our responsibility to the government and to each other. The question arose, "How can we better cooperate?" One of the compelling answers was "Actual Democracy", directly vote for the laws, and not vote for 'law makes'. That is actual freedom. That is political quality. Nothing else is or could be.
Representative Government has served us well, but it is limited, and it is limiting. Modern technology enables us to evolve to Actual Democracy, where we vote directly on the laws and are responsible for them, personally and directly. It expands our freedom and self-determination as well as our involvement in our government.
Q. Are the people equipped to wisely select laws in areas that the vast majority don't understand and have never studied: areas like energy, science, and research; like health, the military-industrial complex; the infra-structure, farming, business, finance, crime, etc. ?
A. Our Representatives are not specialists in these areas or in all the areas that the law controls and directs. They have committees and sub-committees that research and recommend legislation. They have consultants and specialists, expert advisors, and they get them from among the people. If two heads are better than one how much better are 200,000,000 million heads better than 538? (435 congressmen, 3 house observers, and 100 Senators.)
Jefferson answered this question 213 years ago in 1800 when he made his first inaugural address: "It is often said man is not wise enough to govern himself; then he should govern others?" It's there, in the Jefferson Memorial, caved in stone!
A representative has over 500,000 constituents. He cannot possibly know their positions on the questions of the day or of their future hopes and prayers.
Representatives represent themselves; their personal philosophy, personal history, religion, party, class, family, contributors and supporters - but not the people. (See John F. Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage", p14, where he says: "In short ... if I am to be properly responsive to the will of my constituents, it is my duty to place their principles, not mine, above all else. This may not always be easy, but it nevertheless is the essence of democracy, faith in the wisdom of the people and their views. To be sure, the people will make mistakes - they will get no better government than they deserve - but that is far better than the representative of the people arrogating for himself the right to say he knows better than they what is good for them. "
Then Kennedy goes about undermining this fundamental truth, and concludes the undermining by saying,:
"The voters selected us, in short, because they had confidence in our judgement and our ability to exercise that judgement from a position where we could determine what were their own best interests, as a part of the nation's interests."
John Fitzgerald Kennedy says the Representatives are in a better position to determine their constituent's own best interests.
Seems like he agrees with Mell Brooks, "It's good to be the king".
Q. Do you really believe that Actual Democracy can work as a way of government?
A. Of course it will work. First, all the objections that can be mounted against it have been mounted against Representative Democracy. And all those objections failed to hold back Representative Democracy. The logic, philosophy, and history of democracy stands as proof that Actual Democracy can and will be the next form of democracy. It started that way and it will end that way, if it ends at all.
A(2). It will work because it is just and right that it should. It will work because a moment or two's thought and reflection clearly shows it is superior to Representative Government. Many will sy that the people are too stupid, too lazy, too busy, too indifferent, etc. But those stupid, lazy, indifferent people are busy building and rebuilding America. We run the Universities, the machine shops, the garbage dumps, our homes. The raw uneducated mothers of the land (Whitman) send the country new plumbers, electricians, and Nobel Prize winners each generation. The Doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs are responsible people, too.
They will get involved in being their legislature and make their vote count, once it really does count. And when its a vote for the laws, and not the law makers, it will Count. And if they are too busy to vote maybe the first law they pass is so they have time to study the laws before they need cast their vote. The "command and control" of the Nation needs to finally fall to where it belongs: "We the People". And it doing so it will result in a "More Perfect Union".
Q. What is the mechanism, the process, of giving the vote on the laws directly to the people?
A. That should be answered by the people themselves. But we envision any where beginning with a simple change in Article 1 section 7 of the Constitution. It currently says when a bill has passed the house and senate it gets sent to the president for his signature or veto. By adding a line that says after it passes the house and senate it gets sent to the people for their vote with a simple majority passing the bill on to the president.
Or there could be an entire Article 1 rewrite. Lawyers and current Representatives will need to work these mechanics out. But its just another Amendment to the Constitution.
The mechanics of the vote, how it is entered by each registered citizen, how much time the people will have for debate and discussion prior to voting, will all be determined by law, by the people, once the Constitution is Amended.
Q. Since the current Representative Government will need to pass a Constitutional Amendment that will remove their power and responsibility for making the laws from them, why will they agree to giving up that power and responsibility?
A. Because we are asking them to give it up. Because it is a reasonable thing for persons who espouse freedom and individual independence to do. Because they can see that it is the right thing to do. And because we, as a people, will put forth candidates committed to working for Actual Democracy, election after election, until there is a two thirds majority in both houses that pass the Amendment and send it out to the states for ratification. And there will be many patriots who will fill these roles. And do so, at least once, really "for the good of the people."
However, self interest, human frailty, party, personal philosophy, current financial and class supporters and special interest groups will most likely lead a campaign of a small, powerful, vocal, and determined minority to keep the reigns of power and government from transferring to the people.
Those Representatives that appose the Amendment will need to be voted out of office and replaced, as just noted, by ones that support Actual Democracy.
To compete in the market place of ideas the Association for Actual Democracy will need funds from members and contributors; volunteers and employees to oppose the current powerful with a flood of information and advocacy and to convince them, to be public servants and public rulers, in fact and deed.
Social media, e-mail, bumper stickers, letters to editors, letters to the Representatives, speeches in the parks, offices, schools, and street corners - Advocacy, out lobbying the politicians, arousing and convincing the general public of the rightness and justice and worthiness of our efforts and goals - may have a small chance of doing what it took women 50 years to accomplish: to amend the constitution, become free and equal, vote for the laws under which we live.