> you didn’t even know all the various offices were up for election?
> you didn’t personally know any of the dozens of candidates, except for one or two whose hands you might have shaken one time?
> you didn’t even recognize most of their names, except for maybe the ones running for the biggest offices or the ones you saw on yard signs?
> you didn’t know their stances on the issues of the day, except for what you might have picked up from a canned political commercial or from a superficial answer on some “voters information” questionnaire?
> that even in the cases in which you were acquainted with a candidate’s stances on certain issues, you knew that he or she was almost certainly blowing hot air and telling you what you wanted to hear?
So on what basis did you end up choosing each candidate? Because you saw his yard sign? Because of her party affiliation? Because he was more attractive than the other candidate or had a better smile? Because you agreed with her public stance on your “hot button” issue, even though you knew she was probably lying and would give little more than lip service to the issue once she was in office?
Asking yourself all the questions above, have you ever come to appreciate that when you cast a ballot under our current system, you are voting for complete strangers whose true agendas you don’t know to take offices of which you have little or no working knowledge? How can that ever lead to a well-functioning government of the people, by the people, and for the people? Since it was the system you were brought up in, you have accepted it as normal and the way things should be. But if you stand back and take a hard look at it, it’s actually quite insane and unworkable, isn’t it?
Now let’s imagine something entirely new…
Imagine a system where you’d vote for only one representative, and it would always be someone you personally know.
Imagine that you could talk to that representative face-to-face on the issues that concern you and build a real human relationship with him or her.
Imagine your vote and your influence on other people’s votes being very significant to that representative — that you are not just one insignificant vote out of thousands or millions.
Imagine that you could replace that representative with someone else you personally know whenever he or she steps out of line.
Imagining this, you begin to move your mind towards a sane and workable representative democracy — one that is built on real human relationships, not on abstract groupings of nameless, faceless demographic herds.
But what form would such a system take? Having considered this question, I’ll offer you my perspective in the next entry. And to give you a little hint, it is the polar opposite of a hierarchy.