Voting is a fundamental political right that preserves all rights.
U.S. Supreme Court, Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886).
The Re-Invent Democracy Story
Our story began several decades ago when one of our founders decided to run for elective office in the U.S. for the first time, on the ballot line of one of the two major U.S. political parties. It took no time to discover that the parties and the special interests that fund them call the shots in municipal elections even at the local level -- instead of electoral candidates themselves, American citizens, and voters the parties compel to vote in party-engineered "No Choice" elections. These elections do not offer voters real choices because voters are unable to play determining roles in deciding what candidates are on the ballot, what are their legislative agendas, and how many parties are able to compete in elections.
In subsequent elections, our founder was provided further evidence of the corrupting influence of the two major U.S. political parties and their special interest funders, especially U.S. presidential elections. While trying but failing to exert any influence over a presidential candidate's legislative agenda after special interests started funding it, she realized that political parties are actually undermining the U.S. Constitution and a fundamental goal of of its authors to create a representative form of government with elections that would not be controlled by factions, parties, or special interests. To attain these goals and especially to circumvent political party control of elections, she conceived of a technological invention that would empower voters to control parties, slates of candidates and elections, and filed a patent application for the invention, which was accepted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2011.
To build a multi-disciplinary team to implement this voter empowerment technology in the U.S, she founded the Re-Invent Democracy organization a year later, and filed a related, second patent application. It too was awarded a patent by the USPTO for a multi-party online game of electoral strategy through which voters and their friends and family can gain know-how for using the original voter empower technology. More recently, a patent application has been filed for an expanded global implementation incorporating state-of-the-art decision-assisting and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.
As the end of the first two decades of the 21st century approaches, it has become clear that voters' electoral disempowerment by political parties and special interests has been occurring not only in the U.S. but throughout the world, crippling democracies everywhere, including well-established and nascent democracies. Political parties have been rigging purportedly "democratic" elections to gain control of legislative bodies and policy-makers throughout government, and thereafter enact legislation favoring party and private interests at the expense of the needs and demands of voters and populations at the grassroots. They have supported elected representatives who have dramatically increased inequality of wealth, subverted the rule of law by authoritarian officials in executive and judicial branches of government, and politicized appointments of judges to the federal judiciary. They have failed to act to curb gun violence or state-sanctioned police brutality rampant throughout the country, much of it racially rooted.
These officials align themselves with political parties to create euphemistically labelled "managed democracies", by means of a variety of mechanisms. These include sending highly partisan, ambiguous, mixed messages to targeted groups of voters to delude them into believing the parties and their incumbent office holders and candidates are pursuing the same goals as the voters receiving the messages. Since the parties and candidates are funded by special interests rather than substantial bases of voters, they seek out aggrieved groups of voters whose livelihoods are at risk and disingenuously blame their difficulties on the parties' adversaries. They accentuate their grievances to rile up enough voters to create electoral bases of unhappy voters large enough to elect their candidates. Once in office, party-backed lawmakers largely ignore their constituents' plights and turn their attention to meeting the demands of their special interest funders.
To institutionalize their "No Choice" Elections, the two major U.S. parties have perfected strategies and tactics for enacting and implementing a host of vote suppression mechanisms, including:
The consequences of this deliberate sabotage of a fundamental electoral bulwark of democracy include:
In light of the foregoing, it is unsurprising that starting early in the 21st century, a majority of U.S. voters have come to the conclusion the country is headed in the wrong direction. They blame both major parties, refuse to register in either (more voters register as Independents than in either party), and have long wanted to see most lawmakers removed from the U.S. Congress, the primary federal legislative body. Unfortunately, the parties and special interests have now imposed so many voter disempowering laws, regulations, and court decisions designed to cripple voters' political sovereignty, and force them into "No Choice" elections, that party-backed elected officials are able to keep their seats in legislative bodies year after year despite widespread opposition.
The severity of this crippling of representative forms of government in the U.S. and abroad is reflected in survey research conducted by non-partisan research organizations inside and outside the U.S. They have found that "fully functioning" democracies are in serious decline and represent a small fraction of the world's populations. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit 2019, only 5.7% of the world's population resides in a “full democracy”. Forty-two percent live in 'flawed democracies'. One-third of the world’s population live under authoritarian rule. The U.S. has been found to be a "flawed democracy", and critics within the country declare it to be fundamentally "broken".
The response to these documented failings of democracy in the U.S. has been the formulation of a plethora of piecemeal reform proposals seeking to undo the myriad mechanisms that have crippled the U.S. democracy. Unfortunately, they will take years and even decades to implement. The well-intention efforts of reformers suffer from many drawbacks not of their own making. One is that governments comprise complex "systems" of interacting components including laws, constitutions, and institutional structures and processes that determine how elections and legislation will be conducted. Changing one or another of these components, or even many of them, will not suffice to change the way a government functions as a whole. This is especially true with respect to the U.S. government with its complicated, structural separation of powers; intricate webs of federal/state relationships; and constant meddling of the two major U.S. political parties and special interests endeavoring to disempower various groups of voters, electorally and legislatively, and even the electorate as a whole.
To avoid the time-consuming pitfalls of piecemeal reform efforts, Re-Invent Democracy's web-based, voter empowerment platform, the Global Social Network for Voters, leverages state-of-the-art technologies such as decision-assisting, augmented Artificial Intelligence (AI) to empower voters worldwide to get control of their governments, elections, legislation, and political parties that have crippled their democracies. This platform enables voters to bring about systemic change through online agenda-setting, consensus-building, and political organizing tools and services that have a unique potential to empower voters to circumvent undemocratic parties entirely. Voters can use the platform to unilaterally increase their self-governing, consensus-building, and problem solving capabilities, so they can control their governments, elections, and legislation without changing any laws.
By reaching out across partisan lines to build consensus across the spectrum, and autonomous voting blocs, voter-controlled political parties, and electoral coalitions, they can forge electoral bases large enough to elect candidates of their choice, and defeat the candidates of parties with narrowly and uncompromisingly partisan electoral bases too small to win elections. Voters worldwide will be able to use these tools and services free of charge on the website described below.
It is literally a matter of life and death that voters worldwide be quickly empowered to control undemocratic parties, governments and lawmakers that are failing to prevent the origin, spread and deaths caused by the Covid-19 virus, or stop preventable climate catastrophes that are leaving tens of millions of people homeless, and threatening the sustainability of life on the planet. Unique technological capabilities incorporated into the network enable voters worldwide to connect to each other across nation-state boundaries to build cross-national voting blocs, voter-controlled political parties, and electoral coalitions. They can use these unprecedented voter-controlled blocs, parties and coalitions to collectively devise and simultaneously enact common legislative solutions in their members' home countries to surmount common crises and emergencies that require cross-bordier cooperation. Additional information is provided below describing Re-Invent Democracy's technology-based, system-changing strategy and its unprecedented potential to unite voters worldwide to control political parties and elected officials and thereby surmount the crises and emergencies currently facing humankind.
The first two decades of the 21st century illustrate the inhumane and disastrous consequences that are occurring as the result of increasing political party control of governments, elections, and legislation. These include industrializing and post-industrial countries, such as the U.S., in which the actions of parties and their elected officials have caused widespread but preventable misery, financial destitution, injuries, and loss of life by tens of millions of people worldwide, including upwards of 100 million people who have become homeless refugees living in squalid conditions.
Their actions and inactions have led to catastrophic but preventable climate disruption whose human consequences they have largely failed to address. They have also led to the global spread of diseases and mounting fatalities, especially the Covid-19 pandemic, which U.S. political parties and elected officials have defiantly refused to address or even copy the effective response models that dozens of nations have developed and implemented to save millions of lives. U.S. authorities have been so derelict in protecting the "common welfare" of the American people from the ravages of the coronavirus that U.S. residents are now barred from entering dozens of countries in Europe and around the world.
What is quite astonishing is the behavior of the party-controlled U.S. Congress. Even when party-backed elected officials in the federal government display classically recognized psychopathologies and destructive, anti-social behaviors, subvert the rule of law, rig elections, and inflict widespread cruelty and suffering on powerless individuals and families (e.g. separating babies and children in asylum-seeking families), they refuse to use readily available legal levers to expel them from office, lest they lose political influence and suffer diminished legislative control.
It is predicted that upwards of 100 million people worldwide may lose their lives due to government negligence, malfeasance, and failure to stop climate disruption and the global pandemic caused by Covid-19. These lives can be saved if governments are controlled not by corrupted lawmakers put in office by self-serving political parties and special interests, but by consensus-building voters at the grassroots working together to create workable survival strategies and tactics, including building and managing their own political parties, voting blocs, and electoral coalitions; setting their own common legislative agendas; and electing lawmakers of their choice to enact their agendas.
Rather than wait for periodic elections, voters will be able to intervene immediately, directly, and decisively into ongoing legislative processes when domestic and international crises and emergencies affect their lives. They will be able to notify and warn ineffectual and unresponsive lawmakers that dissatisfied voters' blocs, parties, and coalitions have amassed the electoral power they need to defeat them in the next election. Voters can continuously oversee, pressure, and direct lawmakers by conducting and publishing the results of petition drives, referendums, initiatives, and straw recall votes. By so doing, they will be able to prevent party-created legislative conflicts and stalemates from threatening their lives and livelihoods, in effect turning the table on corrupt parties, party lawmakers and special interests that typically ignore their needs and demands.
Voters will be able to re-invent failed and failing democratic forms of government, and the undemocratic political parties undermining them, by accessing Re-Invent Democracy's Global Social Network for Voters now in development, via VotersUnited.Global. This website will provide voters worldwide unique tools and services free of charge for organizing politically, within and across nation-state borders, building consensus across ideological and partisan lines, and setting common legislative agendas. They will be able to run candidates of their choice for elections at all levels; conduct winning campaigns that determine who is elected -- free of the corrupting influence of special interest campaign contributions; and forge overwhelmingly large electoral bases that send clear messages to political parties and party-backed lawmakers that voters have the power to defeat them in upcoming elections if they ignore voters' agendas.
Voters will be able to familiarize themselves with these tools, and increase their know-how for using them in actual elections, by playing a multiparty online game of electoral strategy, the Citizens Winning Hands Game, which will also be accessible on the website.