A Framework for Developing a Better Democracy

So how does one get from travel to politics? There is no clear link…but perhaps those interested in a better way to travel will be interested in a better way to do democracy.

Project Introduction

Studies have shown democracy is responsive to the will of the people, but only for the high salient (i.e., important) issues, and then only in the most general sense. Is that good enough? Should a random mix of elites, special interest groups and bureaucrats control the details of the important issues and be given full control over the low salient ones? Should farmers decide on the subsidies they receive? Should big banks write banking regulations? The answer for a democracy is no; this is not responsive government.

Do our democracies at least provide effective government? The spirit of democracy brings with it opportunity to harness the diverse perspectives of the people to achieve more effective policy. How then can China continuously have higher growth rates and Singapore achieve higher education scores than the democracies? These non-democratic countries should be at a disadvantage and yet they are able to excel in these areas. Are these results a failing of democracy or our current versions of democracy? This project will show it is the latter; our democracies can be more responsive and effective. Whether or not one believes democracy is in crisis and in danger of failing outright, one should not be content with an ineffective government system when there are better options. To this end, this project builds a framework that can provide guidance for the design of democracy. It redefines boundaries, broadening one’s viewpoint so that one can analyze current institutions and redesign parts or even the whole of the democratic government system. If one’s view is that true democracy has yet to be realized because those in power wish to keep it that way, a tool that can sort out what rights, processes and structures are actually democratic provides the words for speaking truth to power.


The Framework

For a detailed diagram of the framework and more information on it, you can message me through the contact tab. 


My Perspective

My perspective is not academia. Of course, the journal articles and books of academia have been a great source of knowledge, but I am not in academia where it is most advantageous to work within a silo and to publish content that has usable results. Embarking on the creation of a comprehensive framework for democracy spreads one to thin, requiring the crossing of uncertain ground. Perhaps being free from academic obligations and my natural inclination to challenge the system has brought me down this path. My main contribution is that of organization; I believe I have framed democracy in ways that contribute to its understanding. My dedication to being a generalist on democratic government provides the required breadth for this project but fails to provide the depth. Pushing forward will require input from others, from specialists.


Project Development

Jumping ahead and using the framework to create new forms of government is tempting but it is prudent to first solidify the foundation. The framework and the criteria first need to be rigorously reviewed and further developed by both generalists and specialists; additional partners are required.