Global Democracy Decline
According to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance based in Stockholm, Sweden,
"Half of democratic governments around the world are in decline, undermined by problems ranging from restrictions on freedom of expression to distrust in the legitimacy of elections."
"This decline comes as elected leaders face unprecedented challenges from Russia’s war in Ukraine, cost of living crises, a looming global recession and climate change."
"The number of backsliding countries—those with the most severe democractic erosion—is at its peak and includes the established democracy of the United States, which still faces problems of political polarization, institutional disfunction, and threats to civil liberties. Globally, the number of countries moving toward authoritarianism is more than double the number moving toward democracy."
"Global democracy’s decline includes undermining of credible elections results, restrictions on online freedoms and rights, youth disillusionment with political parties as well as out-of-touch leaders, intractable corruption, and the rise of extreme right parties that has polarized politics."
"The Global State of Democracy Indices (GSoD) show that authoritarian regimes have deepened their repression, with 2021 being the worst year on record. More than two-thirds of the world’s population now live in backsliding democracies or authoritarian and hybrid regimes."
"Other key findings:
Key Causes of the Global Decline
1. Minority Rule
According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica,
“Democracy is a system of government in which laws, policies, leadership, and major undertakings of a state or other polity are directly or indirectly decided by the “people,” . . . generally understood since the mid-20th century to include all (or nearly all) adult citizens.”
In contrast, research indicates these vital decisions typically are not made directly or indirectly by "the people". Instead, in nations throughout the world the prevailing form of governance is more accurately described as "minority rule".
Harvard University Professors Levitsky and Ziblatt conducted research revealing the contours of minority rule in the US:
“Democracy is supposed to be a game of numbers: The party with the most votes wins. In our political system, however, the majority does not govern. Constitutional design and recent political geographic trends . . . have unintentionally conspired to produce what is effectively becoming minority rule.”
“No other established democracy has an Electoral College or makes regular use of the filibuster. And a political system that repeatedly allows a minority party to control the most powerful offices in the country cannot remain legitimate for long.”
In Tyranny of the Majority (2023),
"They draw on a wealth of examples—from 1930s France to present-day Thailand—to explain why and how political parties turn against democracy: When political leaders realize they can no longer win at the ballot box, they begin to attack the system from within, condoning violent extremists and using the law as a weapon. Unfortunately, our Constitution makes us uniquely vulnerable.
"It is a pernicious enabler of minority rule, allowing partisan minorities to consistently thwart and even rule over popular majorities. Most modern democracies—from Germany and Sweden to Argentina and New Zealand—have eliminated outdated institutions like elite upper chambers, indirect elections, and lifetime tenure for judges. The United States lags dangerously behind."2. Political Parties
The large majority of factors contributing to the global democracy decline in the 21st century are instituted by undemocratic political parties. Their actions engender, legally and illegally, not only minority rule by lawmakers and legislative bodies, but chronic political conflicts and infighting between parties. These disruptive patterns lead to legislative stalemates for which they lack effective consensus building mechanisms.
By imposing constraints on the exercise of voting rights, they prevent voters from fully exercising their political sovereignty to determine who runs for office, who gets elected, and what laws are passed. Political parties and their organizational hierarchies typically monopolize these decisions, excluding voters from setting priorities and deciding which candidates can run on party ballot lines. This undemocratic monoplozation of electoral decisions compels voters to “choose” among party-nominated candidates who are already on official party ballot lines, and who run on platforms and legislative agendas over which voters exert little influence.
“No Choice” Elections and Loss of Public Trust
Various forms of voter disenfranchisement, particularly by gerrymandering in the U.S., vote suppression, electoral fraud, and vote rigging, contribute to widespread loss of public trust in political parties, elections, lawmakers and legislative bodies, facts corroborated in 2022 by the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C.
One of the most striking repercussions is the widening gap between voters’ and constituents’ stated needs and priorities, contrasted with the priorities and laws enacted by elected representatives. US-based Pew Research indicates that for three decades, Americans have not believed lawmakers represent them, or care what they think. Its survey, "Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes"" shows that
Americans feel increasingly estranged from their government. Barely a third (34%) agree with the statement, ‘most elected officials care what people like me think,’ nearly matching the 20-year low of 33% recorded in 1994 and a 10-point drop since 2002."
More recent polls corroborate and extend these findings. Following the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections, half of registered voters expressed the view the newly elected Congress did not represent their views, including Democrats, Independents and Republicans. (See Most Americans Don’t Feel Well-Represented By Congress. (2018)
Recent research by university scholars confirm the perceptions, demands, and disillusionment of American voters, as reported in Opinion | Politicians Don’t Actually Care What Voters Want" (2018):
"Over the past two years, we conducted a study to find out [what voters want]. We provided state legislators in the United States with access to highly detailed public opinion survey data — more detailed than almost all available opinion polls — about their constituents’ attitudes on gun control, infrastructure spending, abortion and many other policy issues. Afterward, we gauged the willingness of representatives to look at the data as well as how the data affected their perceptions of their constituents’ opinions."
"What we found should alarm all Americans. An overwhelming majority of legislators were uninterested in learning about their constituents’ views. Perhaps more worrisome, however, was that when the legislators who did view the data were surveyed afterward, they were no better at understanding what their constituents wanted than legislators who had not looked at the data. For most politicians, voters’ views seemed almost irrelevant."
3. Populism and Anti-Government Attacks
Lawmakers and political parties controlling governments elected through undemocratic "No Choice" elections are distrusted by people they should serve, but do not enable to obtain basic life necessities and financial security. OECD" (2021)
When elections and electoral outcomes are not determined by voters, they choose alternative means to press their demands, including street-level demonstrations, protests, and violent confrontations.
400 significant anti-government protests have occurred in 132 countries worldwide since 2017, according to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace" (2023).
Dissatisfied individuals and groups angered by chronic political conflicts sparked by lawmakers and parties oppose their actions in street-level demonstrations, protests, and violent confrontations. They disrupt socio-economic activities and governmental processes, including elections.
4. Loss of Control
By preventing majority rule, and fueling chronic political conflicts and legislative stalemates, political parties often prevent governments from making decisions that enable government agencies to function on a day-to-day basis, and resolve crises and emergencies. They render ordinary people at the grassroots virtually powerless to invoke government action they need to obtain the basic necessities of life, e.g. passing laws that ensure living wages and affordable housing and healthcare, and providing disaster recovery assistance in the face of catastrophic climate disruption.
What is needed to correct these "democratic deficits" diminishing the capabilities of governments and lawmakers to serve the public good is a global power shift from undemocratic political parties, lawmakers, and legislative bodies to the people they must serve at the grassroots.
The ten power-shifting steps described below enable voters to wrest control of elections and governing processes from undemocratic political parties and undemocratically elected, minority rule governments, so they can increase their control over their lives without external interference. These steps incorporate consensus building mechanisms that enable virtually unlimited numbers of people to connect online via an autonomous social networking platform, set common legislative agendas, and build their own voting blocs, political parties, and electoral coalitions to elect lawmakers to enact their agendas.
In anticipation of the description, here's a short synopsis of the types of empowerment the social network's tools provide voters to increase their control over their own lives, their elections, and their governments (voters include individuals intending to vote, even if they have yet to be officially registered in an election district in which they are eligible to vote).
a. Network tools enable voters to extend their spheres of influence beyond the boundaries of an election district in which they may be eligible to vote, by enabling them to join forces with voters in other election districts, within and beyond a single nation-state.
b. Voters can use network communication tools at any time, day and night, to connect online with other voters using the network for a broad array of purposes.
c. They can individually define, express and share their needs, priorities, and legislative agendas with other voters using the network whose identifies have been verified.
d. The needs, priorities, and agendas that voters define do not have to conform to those of any political party, and can be updated, stored, retrieved, and shared at any time.
e. For the first time in history, voters have an autonomous web-based platform where they can individually and collectively define priorities and legislative agendas that affect regions and election districts anywhere in their home country, and in nations and regions around the world.
f. To call attention to their priorities and agendas on the part of individuals and groups outside the network, voters can use the network’s online voting utility to calculate how many voters support specific priorities and agendas, regions and election districts in which these voters reside (although voters can decide whether or not to provide this information), and publicize these numbers and locations through as many channels as they see fit.
g. Voters can also share their needs, priorities, and legislative mandates with lawmakers anywhere at any time, and alert unresponsive lawmakers to the numbers of dissatisfied voters in their election districts who indicate they are learning towards voting to defeat them in future elections.
h. The network’s AI and ML-based agenda-setting, consensus-building, and political organizing tools empower voters to create their own online political parties, and work within and between them to build consensus across partisan lines in support of specific agendas, as well as reach out across partisan lines to forge electoral bases large enough to win elections to defeat incumbent lawmakers and elect lawmakers of their choice to replace them.
i. Voters can bypass AI-generated information containing falsehoods and misrepresentations, and actively participate in elections and influence legislative decision-making, by using the network’s person-to-person and teleconferencing tools to engage in real-time, face-to-face interactions with other network users.
To summarize, the proposed 10 step voter-driven transformation process empowers voters worldwide to re-invent democracy and thereby increase their control over their lives and their governments.
Notably, the U.S. political system is used above and below as a case in point of key causes characterizing global democracy decline due to its recent ranking internationally as a "flawed democracy" -- a sharp contrast to its formerly heralded model democracy.
Step 1 Social Networking to Set Individual and Collective Legislative Agendas
Digital tools accessible on the Global Social Network for Voters enable voters to define, update, store, share and retrieve priorities and legislative agendas, and transmit them in writing to elected representatives.
These tools enable voters to remedy the historic lack of effective mechanisms enabling them to define in writing their needs, priorities, and legislative demands. Traditionally and currently, voters are unable to articulate their priorities, update them, and pressure lawmakers to enact them, especially those beholden to their special interest campaign contributors. A significant repercussion is that small numbers of elected lawmakers can pass laws enforceable on entire populations of tens of millions of people, free of constituent formulated mandates, and without comprehensive information about what millions of people need and demand.
With digital devices, such as a smartphone and desktop computer, voters can access the Global Social Network for Voters to verify their identify and those of their interlocutors on the network, receive authorization to create their own profiles, and use network tools and communication capabilities to connect with other voters.
One unique attribute of the network's capabilities is that its large scale consensus building tools differ significantly from conventional single-issue polls and multi-issue polls and surveys. These instruments tend to be used by commercial entities working for candidates, political parties, and special interests to find out how popular or unpopular political and legislative issues are. Typically they are used to assist political actors that are already largely in control of the outcomes of elections and legislative decision-making in government to retain the power they have and increase it.
In contrast, the network's tools are designed to shift power to voters at the grassroots. It enables them to take a vital step toward increasing their control over their lives and governments by gaining control of elections and legislation. This increase starts with defining and continually updating and sharing their needs, priorities, and legislative agendas so that voters can collectively become the driving force of electoral and legislative decision-making.
The network's digital tools connect mainstream voters to each other, within and across election districts and nation-state boundaries, to discuss, debate, and build consensus across partisan lines around shared legislative priorities.
A false narrative widely accepted in the U.S. and elsewhere is that Americans, and voters at large, are evenly divided into large, hostile political camps whose members are sharply polarized and hold virtually irreconcilable views and priorities. One basis for this belief in the U.S. is the notion that the division of votes cast in presidential elections actually represents the needs and priorities of the large majority of Americans and voters.
One example is the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in which 74 million voters cast votes for one of the two candidates, and 70 million cast votes for the other. This erroneously claimed division is interpreted as signifying Americans are divided into two opposing political camps, per Pew Research. But this surface conclusion neglects the underlying facts of the matter, a misinterpretation of the meaning of the electoral results that requires re-evaluation in larger contexts:
2.1 The first is that the results are based on votes that the large majority of voters have virtually no choice but to cast for one of the candidates on the two major U.S. political parties’ ballots, since most voters do not want to “waste” their votes voting for candidates on other party lines who are likely to lose because they belong to far smaller “third party” candidates.
If 1) there were three or more parties running candidates with equal chances to win, and 2) voters could chose between all three and 3) the votes of all three entitled them to a portion of the legislative seats in question, this electoral artifact would not make it appear that voters were evenly divided.
This allegedly even division would largely disappear in presidential elections if there were no state-based winner-take-all rules. The anti-democratic, anti-majoritarian rules governing how the Electoral College works give all the electoral votes in the state to the candidate who receives the most votes. But the candidates in the opposing parties with fewer votes are not given any electoral votes at all for the votes he/she received.
2.2 False narratives about asserted polarization of Americans can be also generated when U.S. major party-controlled, gerrymandered election districts obfuscate voters’ priorities, divide up voters opposed to their candidates. and dilute their voting strength by moving them into districts where the major party has moved the boundaries so that their numbers are too small to defeat major party candidates.
2.3. The third context that casts doubt on polarization narratives is the fact that eligible Americans who cast votes in 2020 represented only 2/3 of American citizens, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The reportedly 144 million Americans who cast votes for president represented only about 2/3 of all eligible voters, while the priorities of the remaining third remain virtually unknown and disregarded when laws are passed.
2.4. The fourth context is that the needs and priorities of individual voters are likely to vary significantly within and between the 50 states, although these voters have no mechanisms for defining and publicizing their preferences. These variations undoubtedly reflect many weighty personal, familial, and situational factors that current electoral practices do not reveal in how they vote in “No Choice Elections”, in which they are induced to choose between the candidates of the two major U.S. political parties that dominate U.S. elections. Elections conducted through prevailing practices typically fail to recognize or respond to these differences and variations.
When viewed in these larger contexts, it cannot be assumed that the priorities of American voters are reflected in past elections, or will be in future elections. Nor can past election results be used to support the assertion U.S. voters are divided into two highly polarized camps and hold views and priorities that are likely to be irreconcilable.
In fact, there is evidence to the contrary. This evidence indicates that mainstream Americans are not hopelessly divided, but in fact are open to compromise — including compromise across the rigid partisan lines erected by competing political parties and elected lawmakers belonging to the parties that contrive conflicts in order to “gin up” electoral support from antagonized voters.
The network's digital tools described above enable mainstream voters, who are open to compromise across partisan lines, to build consensus among themselves — in contrast to “fringe” voters outside the mainstream whose views have been skewed by highly partisan political parties and politicians utilizing polarizing social media.
The Global Social Network for Voters and its digital tools enable mainstream voters to form and manage online voting blocs, political parties, and electoral coalitions operating within and across election districts, and nation-state boundaries.
The political landscape of elections, particularly in the U.S., is marred by impediments placed by political parties to prevent voters from setting legislative priorities, deciding which candidates should run on official ballot lines, and electing candidates of their choice. Voters are corralled into election districts whose boundaries are manipulated and gerrymandered by the two major U.S. political parties to ensure their candidates are elected and re-elected, term after term, and even decade after decade.
Despite the false narrative portraying political parties as enabling the voices of the people to be heard, in far too many ways they actually prevent them from being heard. Instead of enabling peoples’ v0ices to be heard, political party officials, candidates, and incumbent lawmakers substitute their voices and priorities for those of the constituents they are supposed to represent.
Established political parties, instead of uniting voters to solve common problems are more typically in the business of dividing voters from each other and separating them into hostile camps. Parties fail to use modern networking technology to electronically connect their supporters and voters to each other, to enable them to share needs, find common ground, and develop consensus among themselves regarding legislative priorities.
Research indicates the parties, their candidates and elected representatives spend most of their time opposing each other, rather than connecting with their constituents, and raising funds year round from financial contributors who do not reside in their election districts and lack the right to vote in them. They are so distracted by these activities that they have scant time left for devising solutions to crises and emergencies threatening the lives of their constituents, such as global pandemics and climate catastrophes.
What will end the anti-democratic reign of such parties is the autonomous online platform provided by the Global Social Network for Voters, where voters can congregate to do all the things that political parties do — without their interference. This platform frees voters and elections from the partisan and ideological contraints of party organizational hierarchies whose officials substitute their decisions and legislative priorities for those that voters can and should formulate.
Since the network is open to all individuals intending to vote whose identifies can be verified, it provides an autonomous, independent platform where they can gather together online to build voting blocs, political parties, and electoral coalitions that operate within and across election districts and nation-state boundaries. They can use the network and its digital tools to collectively solve common problems arising at any level — local, state, regional, and cross-national — especially those their minority rule governments are failing to resolve.
The social network’s digital tools enable voters to build blocs, parties, and coalitions with cross-partisan electoral bases large enough to elect representatives of their choice. While voters belonging to network-hosted blocs, parties, and coalitions can reside in numerous and far flung election districts, their voters who reside in specific districts in which they are legally eligible to vote can officially register to vote in them.
They can register as unaffiliated voters, or as voters affiliated with a party, or as Independents. They can officially register in existing parties, or create and register new parties in order to place candidates of their choice on official primary and general election ballot lines. In the U.S., running winning candidates in primary elections is often an indispensable step to getting chosen candidates on official general election ballots.
By using network digital tools to build broad-based consensus across partisan and ideological lines, as described in #4 below, the blocs, parties, and coalitions can supplant the influence of established parties by defeating their candidates and electing their own. In this way, the network enables voters to take control of elections and legislation without the implementation of reforms.
The connectivity tools accessible on the Global Social Network for Voters enable virtually unlimited numbers of individuals intending to vote to congregate on an autonomous web-based platform and connect with individuals with similar legislative priorities. The network's online voting utility enables self-selecting groups of voters and their online voting blocs, political parties, and electoral coalitions to gather information, and discuss, debate, and vote on which priorities to include in their common legislative agendas.
There are billions of individuals worldwide who may intend to vote, and already be or become eligible to vote, now and in the future. These billions of individuals are governed by lawmakers who comprise a fraction of their number. The billions of actual and potential voters comprise countless individuals whose expertise, knowledge, and problem-solving know-how exceeds that of the comparatively small number of governmental officials who make laws and enforce them.
Overcoming this structural minimization of voters' repertories of skill sets and expertise, and consequent disregard of the know-how possessed by the 8.5 billion people on the plant — is vitally needed. It can dramatically increase the problem-solving capabilities that can be brought to bear for devising solutions to life-threatening crises, emergencies, and conflict — especially those stemming from global climate catastrophes and pandemics.
Fortunately, the Global Social Network for Voters and its digital tools create and enable widespread utilization of inventive, online problem-solving mechanisms. For these mechanisms enable virtually unlimited numbers of individuals and groups worldwide to connect and engage in joint problem-solving and legislative agenda setting to devise solutions to resolve life-threatening challenges that cross election district and national boundaries — that contemporary governments are failing to resolve.
The network’s decision-assisting Artificial Intelligence (AI) and question-answering Machine Learning (ML) digital tools make it possible for virtually unlimited numbers of voters, lawmakers, electoral candidates, political parties and others to connect directly with each other to collectively meet these challenges.
The effectiveness of their solutions will be greatly increased by the virtually unlimited capabilities of Machine Learning (ML) technology. Its searchable online datasets can process, store, and retrieve voluminous amounts of information, in order to answer and learn from a continuous stream of queries by individuals and groups. It will increase the utility of its answers by collecting and analyzing additional information in response to successive rounds of questions posed in Natural Language. The massive data processing capabilities of ML technology can provide users a far greater range of legislative priorities than they might be aware of, or otherwise consider. They can facilitate evaluation of far more numerous alternatives by voters, lawmakers, electoral candidates, political parties, and others who request such information for the purpose of using it to build consensus to support collectively determined solutions.
As described above and below, these key political players can take advantage of the network’s AI and ML-based digital tools to fact-check information and eliminate disinformation and falsehoods generated by political partisans using biased social media, which exacerbates the divisive impact of partisan conflicts fueled by political parties, electoral candidates, and lawmakers. Together, their impact has been shown to confuse undiscerning, “persuadable” voters to espouse priorities that jeopardize their well-being, as explained by Amanda Taub in Why Americans Vote ‘Against Their Interest’: Partisanship, New York Times, 2017.
A key contribution to digitally-enabled consensus building stems from the recent technological evolution of decision-assisting AI. It is able to amplify human intelligence, rather than replace human intelligence, by assisting real people make decisions. This evolved AI technology is reflected in IBM'S path-breaking Project Debater. Its ML technology assists people make well-informed decisions by “debating” with Debater’s AI-based argumentation tool, which uses Natural Language to “argue” on behalf of fact-checked arguments against non-fact-based arguments. It absorbs massive, diverse datasets of information, and is reported to be the “first AI system that can debate humans on complex topics.”
The technological feasibility of developing large scale question-answering systems and databases was publicly demonstrated more than a decade ago in 2011 by IBM’s Watson Technology. One of the first iterations of this novel technology won the quiz game of Jeopardy in 2011. It is described as a question-answering computer system capable of answering questions posed in Natural Language. It “learns” during successive rounds of Q&A to provide increasingly useful answers as the result of continuous interactions with humans posing questions. The programming of the algorithms of the technology enables it to gather, “input” and “process” new information to enrich and expand the usefulness of its “answers” to questions posed.
Such technological breakthroughs have the potential to master the challenges posed by the urgent need to reconcile the divergent viewpoints and priorities of billions of voters, government officials, political parties, and special interests around the world. The U.S. provides an example of the challenges that must be overcome to reconcile the disparate views of voters who are corralled within the major U.S. political parties into voting in “No Choice Elections” referenced above, which do not enable them to determine the legislative priorities of candidates on the ballot.
The Pew Research survey below summarizes the broad spectrum of disparate priorities held by supporters of these parties that do not fit within the lines of those of the nation's two major political parties: The findings of the Center’s survey, entitled "Political Typology: Beyond Red vs. Blue”, describe the division of voters’ views into a multi-faceted eight part typology required to reflect this diversity:
"Partisan polarization — the vast and growing gap between Republicans and Democrats — is a defining feature of politics today. But beyond the ideological wings, which make up a minority of the public, the political landscape includes a center that is large and diverse, unified by frustration with politics and little else. . ." [italics added]
"Even so, most Americans do not view politics through uniformly liberal or conservative lenses, and more tend to stand apart from partisan antipathy than engage in it. But the typology shows that the center is hardly unified. Rather, it is a combination of groups, each with their own mix of political values, often held just as strongly as those on the left and the right, but just not organized in consistently liberal or conservative terms. Taken together, this “center” looks like it is halfway between the partisan wings. But when disaggregated, it becomes clear that there are many distinct voices in the center, often with as little in common with each other as with those who are on the left and the right."
This typology illustrates the urgent need to enable voters to break out of partisan and ideological constraints imposed by political parties. They can do so by using the Global Social Network for Voters to build their own parties, if they cannot work effectively within existing parties, so they can autonomously set and build consensus around their own legislative priorities and agendas, and elect lawmakers to enact them.
The digital tools of the Global Social Network for Voters, including its online voting utility, enable voters’ online blocs, parties, and coalitions to gather information, discuss, debate, and vote on which electoral candidates to nominate and place on official election ballots.
Voters can create, search and query multimedia datasets comprising records of electoral candidates’ prior actions and pronouncements, and compare them with current public statements and agendas.
The information they obtain will enable them to counteract and circumvent the common practice for candidates to alter their priorities at any time to correspond to those of their special interest contributors. They do this without publicly disclosing these alterations. Once these duplicitous candidates hold office as elected representatives, such as U.S. senators, they will remain in office for six years, and possibly many decades, and pass whatever legislation they and their donors favor. But when these databases reveal they are enacting laws that contravene their campaign promises and their constituents’ needs and demands, voters will have fact-based justification for voting against their re-election.
U.S. voters have long been demanding additional choices of electoral candidates and political parties beyond those of the two major U.S. parties that dominate elections and largely control electoral laws. But these two parties maintain their grip on the outcomes of electoral processes and legislative decision-making through the candidates running on their ballot lines that get elected.
As demonstrated by a recent electoral contest in New York State for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, major party candidates can provide vague, misleading, or untruthful information about their backgrounds, qualifications, or priorities, and rely on the party’s ability to “pull” a winning vote from its “pool” of registered voters. These pools often comprise a minority of eligible voters who can determine the outcome of elections due to vote suppression and election fraud and rigging. It is reported that most of the information this New York candidate publicly provided about his background was either demonstrably false or could not be verified, including education and prior employment.
Yet despite a documented string of verified falsehoods, and by running on the official ballot line of one of the two major U.S. political parties long accustomed to winning county elections, the candidate won the election, garnering 146,000 votes against his opponent’s 125,o00 votes.
Notably, despite numerous reports raising doubts about the information he had given about himself, and his eventual expel from the House of Representatives, a Washington Post columnist argued that he should be seated anyway in Opinion George Santos may be unfit for Congress. But he should still be seated". The columnist provided the following justification to support his point of view:
"Democracy means nothing if the people themselves do not rule. That means submitting to their decision even if we are convinced they have decided badly. No one doubts that Santos was legitimately elected in November. . ."
A flawed electoral process and outcome, such as that described above, accentuates the need for voters to exert far greater influence in democratically determining who runs for office and who gets elected. Fortunately, they will be able to attain this influence through the voting blocs, parties, and coalitions they can build, manage, and host on the Global Social Network for Voters. By using the network’s digital tools and online voting utility, they can investigate and verify information about the track records of candidates they are considering, as well as candidates and incumbents they plan to oppose at the ballot box.
They can also request prospective candidates to use the network’s agenda setting tools to define their own legislative priorities, and then compare candidates’ priorities with the priorities of voters’ blocs, parties, and coalitions. These two sets of priorities can serve as an informal contract between voters and candidates who are seeking to be elected with their votes. Since both sets of priorities will be in writing, voters can later use the candidates’ written list priorities to compare their legislative actions with their electoral promises.
After the blocs, parties, and coalitions complete their pre-election investigative work, they can then use intra-network communications tools to ensure that sufficient numbers of their members register to vote in primary and general elections in election districts in which they are eligible. This step will enable them to vote for their own candidates running on written legislative agendas that reflect voters’ agendas using their own ballot lines, if they have created official ballot lines. Or they can vote for candidates running on the lines of other parties if their agendas converge. If they need to increase the voting strength of their electoral base, they can reach out across partisan lines to prospective voters across the political spectrum who may not be members of their blocs, parties, and coalitions, and ask for their votes for the candidates they collectively consider qualified and trustworthy.
The digital tools of the Global Social Network for Voters and its administrative services enable voters to raise funds online to support the electoral campaigns of their blocs, parties, and coalitions.
Exclusive public financing of elections would provide the fairest, most democratic way to finance electoral campaigns. Unfortunately, wealthy individuals serving in profit-seeking corporations, along with millionaires and billionaires, are able to infuse virtually unlimited and untraceable amounts of money into campaigns of their choice. In contrast, public financing would give candidates equitable amounts of money to publicize their campaigns and legislative priorities, and organize "get out the vote" drives to elect them.
But in the U.S., lawmakers and judges have refused to enact public financing laws that level the playing field for all candidates. Instead, they have authorized wealthy special interests and even corporations to provide the lion's share of financial support for the campaigns of candidates they prefer - even in districts in which they do not reside and cannot vote.
A major repercussion of their actions and legislative and judicial laissez-faire is that they can legally create organizational entities known as Political Action Committees (PACs) and SuperPACs. These poorly regulated organizations can make such large financial contributions to support a campaign that they dwarf the small donations provided by individuals and voters who live in the state and are entitled to vote. This gives candidates and their surrogates receiving special interest donations significant advantages in buying advertising services to reach far more voters than the donors of smaller amounts.
According to Open Secrets, expenditures for the 2020 election totaled $14.4 billion. It is reported that special interest donations amounting to tens of millions of dollars were infused into elections by people and governments outside the U.S., in order to increase the electoral prospects of candidates they anticipated would help them reach their foreign policy goals expenditures.
Unfortunately, due to stalemates between the two major U.S. political parties and their elected representatives, appointed and civil service-based U.S. government regulatory commissions, such as the Federal Election Commission, and agencies mandated to monitor and control the expenditures of money to influence campaigns, often lack quorums needed to make decisions. They are typically underfunded and inadequately staffed. This dire situation, which is undermining the integrity of elections and the legitimacy of their outcomes, can be turned around by voters using the tools and strategies described above to elect lawmakers of their choice.
Voter created online blocs, parties, and coalitions hosted on the Global Social Network for Voters can build their own campaign war chests. They can reach out to their fellow network members electronically via internal network email to seek funding. This personal inter-connectivity and network-based outreach capabilities minimizes the need to raise money for "get-out-the-vote" campaigns because these voters will already be familiar with their candidates' legislative priorities.
They can also use network administrative services and digital tools to raise money from external individuals, groups, and organizations by sharing their priorities and written legislative agendas with prospective contributors, and also invite them to provide written descriptions of their priorities to provide a basis for comparison. Convergence of the two sets of priorities will eliminate the current practice of candidates changing their priorities to correspond to those of their special interest contributors, while ignoring the needs and legislative priorities of their constituents.
The Global Social Network for Voters provides online AI and ML-based digital tools enabling voters to distinguish fact from fiction in the information they gather and evaluate for their legislative agendas.
The 21st century has the infamous distinction of witnessing the introduction of democracy crippling technology that many critics consider powerful enough to dismantle democratic institutions and processes in unprecedented ways. This noxious use of technology incorporates computer-based, "generative" Artificial Intelligence (AI) into social media platforms, and uses their communication capabilities to instantly transmit vast, unprecedented amounts of political propaganda and falsehoods to tens of millions, and even hundreds of millions, of people simultaneously.
When delivered by politicians skilled in misrepresenting facts and convincing undiscerning people to vote for them, the combination has the potential to engender massive misperceptions of facts and even reality.
Such radicalizing transformations are reported to be occurring in many countries around the world, and not just the U.S. Several post-facto analyses have concluded that this technology-transmitted disinformation has actually swayed elections in several countries, as described above.
Fortunately, in spite of this unprecedented, anti-democratic use of social media technology, in combination with biased, divisive algorithms, the Global Social Network for Voters can counteract it using the same generic, AI-based technology to devised unbiased algorithms that empower voters to distinguish facts from fiction.
The digital tools accessible to voters using the network enable them to use the computer-based capabilities provided by the ML technology described above to fact-check information and eliminate misinformation and falsehoods disseminated by political partisans via social media. This includes information contained in existing repositories of laws, legislative proposals, deliberations, and lawmakers' votes; policy and program evaluations; information describing users' agenda setting and consensus building activities; users' intra-network votes; user stories; content from social media, newspapers and journals, etc.
AI and ML-based digital tools provided by the Global Social Network for Voters, including itsonline voting utility, enable voters to conduct petition drives, referendums, initiatives, and recall votes, publicize their results, and transmit them to pressure elected representatives to enact voters legislative priorities.
After a party-backed electoral candidate wins an election and takes office in a legislative body, such as the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, they become part of the organizational hierarchies, rules, and regulations created by the minority rule party controlling the body. In exchange for favors and funds from party leadership, elected representatives adhere to them.
The members of each party assemble in a private "caucus" where they decide which legislative priorities to pursue, even if they have no bearing on the needs and demands of their constituents. They adopt strategies to move their priorities through the various committees that review their provisions and can alter them beyond recognition. These committees are often deadlocked by inter-party conflicts, but in certain circumstances may function in a bipartisan way. Their members may or may not oppose each other's proposals. Possibilities for the emergence of crippling legislative stalemates stalk their every move.
By this stage, the constituents who voted to put these lawmakers in office have largely disappeared from the decision-making arenas of legislative bodies. There are no formal mechanisms by which elected representatives regularly poll their constituents to get feedback on their priorities, those adopted by their party caucus, or various actions they might take that impinge on constituents' needs and demands.
Nor do their constituents have effective mechanisms they can use to convey to their elected representatives their immediate needs and priorities as they evolve over time. Single voters, groups of voters, of organized groups representing voters, can voice their own requests and demands for actions they would like their elected representatives to take. But they can be ignored, and typically are ignored.
Clearly, the absence of an ongoing, interactional forum and interface between constituents and lawmakers provides space for serious cleavages to emerge. There is ample technology to facilitate ongoing consultation, but most lawmakers resist and even oppose the implementation of such technologyl Making matters worse are the difficulties voters and constituents typically face when trying to figure out what votes were actually taken, and how individual lawmakers voted, including their own elected representatives.
This disconnect is worsened by the common practice preferred by lawmakers in which they take "voice votes" that are merely added up, without attribution to specific lawmakers. They avoid"role call votes" in which the name of each representative and their votes are recorded and made accessible to the public.
To counteract this disconnect, effective ways and means for voters to direct and guide legislative decision-making are provided by Global Social Network for Voters digital tools. These enable voters to conduct petition drives, referendums, initiatives, and recall votes. They can use the network's online voting utility to tally and publicize their results, and - most importantly - transmit the results to lawmakers so they know where their constituents stand on legislative proposals lawmakers are evaluating, considering enacting, and voting into law.
Since the online voting blocs, political parties, and electoral coalitions that voters build and host on the network can operate within and across voting blocs, as well as across state lines and national boundaries, these ways and means for enabling virtually unlimited numbers of voters to weigh in on legislation under consideration is vitally important for pressuring large numbers of lawmakers from multiple election districts to heed voters' demands, or risk defeat in forthcoming elections.
This is where that network members have the potential to play critical roles in ensuring their elected representatives' responsiveness and accountability. If lawmakers' actions diverge too far from the needs and priorities of their constituents, what is known as "straw" recall votes can be conducted at any time using the network's online voting utility. Such votes alert incumbent lawmakers to the possibility of future electoral defeat, in instances where their constituents evaluate their performance and legislative track records, and decide whether to re-elect or defeat and replace them in future elections with candidates of their choice.
The Global Social Network for Voters AI and ML-based digital tools and datasets enable voters and their online voting blocs, political parties, and electoral coalitions to build electoral bases large enough to supplant minority rule.
As described above, the term Minority Rule describes governments in which "a minority group of a population has a certain degree of primacy in that population's decision making, with legislative power or judicial power being held or controlled by a minority group rather than a majority that is representative of the population."
In contrast, the term Majority Rule is typically used to refer to governments in which lawmakers serving in legislative bodies represent a majority of voters and enact laws to meet their needs and demands, rather than those of minority groups.
Switzerland’s flourishing democracy is a government with many attributes of majority rule due to the existence of laws providing Swiss citizens a potentially powerful form of direct democracy. They can exert control over local and federal government bodies, lawmakers, and laws by autonomously initiating and voting on initiatives and referendums — beyond the purview of the bodies in question, and without their permission.
All adult Swiss citizens are eligible to vote and are automatically registered to vote. They receive official ballots in the mail that they can complete and deliver in person to their local polling station, or transmit by mail. If initiatives and referendums win a majority of votes cast by Swiss citizens in official votes, lawmakers are mandated to rescind or alter the laws or legislative proposals that citizens opposed, as well as enact legislation mandated by the vote.
The impact of this direct democracy principle and practice embedded into Swiss government is that they motivate lawmakers belonging to different political parties to work together across partisan lines to build consensus among themselves — in order to forestall voters’ rights to overturn their actions. They strive to collaborate and reconcile their differences in order to avoid passing laws that might incite Swiss citizens to approve initiatives and referendums requiring them to change existing laws or pending legislative proposals.
Unfortunately, the faltering U.S. democracy has failed to emulate the Swiss model. Most recall mechanisms in the U.S. that once existed have been removed or hobbled by anti-democratic political parties, lawmakers, and special interests. U.S. voters’ only option for removing unresponsive lawmakers is to wait until the next “No Choice Election” rolls around — six years in the case of a U.S. Senator. Given the numerous, intertwined impediments injected into electoral processes to disenfranchise voters, objectionable and unresponsive lawmakers are likely to be re-elected.
Fortunately, it is possible to circumvent these impediments. The Global Social Network for Voters provides voters a potent 21st century platform containing powerful elements of direct democracy. As described above, this platform enables them to build online voting blocs, political parties, and electoral coalitions hosted on the network capable of forging such large cross-partisan electoral bases that they can empower majorities of voters to determine who runs for office, who gets elected, and what laws are passed.
With this voting strength, voters can pressure lawmakers to enact their legislative agendas or risk defeat in the next election. It is not necessary to enact reforms to remove the disenfranchising impediments that political parties and special interests have inserted into U.S. electoral and legislative processes. Voters can easily and quickly use the digital tools provided on the Global Social Network for Voters to conduct online petition drives, referendums, and initiatives, and recall votes enabling the members of their blocs, parties, and coalitions to express their preferences and priorities. They can tally the results using the online voting utility and send the results to lawmakers to inform them of the actions demanded by their constituents.
These actions need not be confined to a single election district, due to the fact that the members of their network-hosted blocs, parties, and coalitions will span district boundaries across all 50 states. Their cross-country reach will enable them to transmit similar legislative demands and instructions to lawmakers representing all 50 states, if they choose to do so. Their members will be able to demonstrate their electoral strength by ensuring that those eligible to vote in specific districts register to vote and do vote in numbers large enough to determine who wins forthcoming elections, and what are their legislative priorities.
Most importantly, they can use their voting strength to put electoral candidates of their choice on official ballot lines. They can use existing party ballot lines already approved by election authorities, or they can register their own parties and obtain their own ballot lines. In the U.S., running and electing candidates in primary elections is indispensable to winning general elections. Such victories, especially with respect to winning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, are facilitated by the fact each district typically comprises less than 1 million voters, and elections can be won by only a plurality of them.
It is a unique and transformative system-changing feature of the Global Social Network for Voters that it empowers voters to build winning voting blocs, political parties, and electoral coalitions whose members reside in all 50 states. They will be able to build cross-partisan consensus around common legislative agendas and slates of candidates that their members can elect in states throughout the county, by registering to vote in election districts in which they are eligible to vote.
This opportunity to introduce majority rule in the faltering minority-rule U.S. democracy, without have to spend years and decades trying to devise and enact reforms, will enable U.S. voters to initiate and ensure enactment by lawmakers they elect of major, system-transforming legislation. This includes abolition of the minority rule-enabling Electoral College, the anti-democratic practices of the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate — especially its grossly anti-majoriarian filibuster, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
The AI and ML-based tools of the Global Social Network for Voters empower voters to democratically build and globally manage multi-national voting blocs, political parties, and electoral coalitions, which can devise and implement cross-national policies to end life-threatening and fatality-causing governmental actions and inaction.
Attainment of the lofty goals of the United Nations (UN) founded in the 20th century has been hampered since its inception by the simultaneous creation of its Security Council. Its nine nation-state members, and the veto possessed by each member over Council decisions, have vetoed the large majority of efforts by the nearly 200 nation-state members of the UN's General Assembly to devise and implement peace plans to end conflicts among members, and between members and other countries with whom they are in conflicts, particularly those involving the use of force.
The on-going 21st century, life-threatening and fatality-causing repercussions of the counterproductive features built into the design of the UN are countless. Fortunately, they can be counteracted by voters using the digital tools of the Global Social Network for Voters. For these voters can span the globe and acquire voting strength large enough to decide who holds electoral office. They can acquire this power by building large online voting blocs, political parties, and electoral coalitions that decide who wins elections. They and their electoral winners can devise and publicize breakthrough peace-making plans and policies that cannot be disregarded by elected lawmakers - unless they are willing to risk defeat in forthcoming elections.
What will spur the unfolding of such scenarios, and widespread usage of the Global Social Network for Voters, are the dire straits into which contemporary lawmakers, political parties, and special interests have plunged their constituents and the public at large. Among their most notorious failures, including defunding health systems and medical/scientific research, is their exacerbation by incompetence of contemporary global pandemics causing millions of deaths.
Furthermore, by failing to adopt and globally implement carbon emission controls, they are sparking climate catastrophes causing millions of injuries and fatalities, and threatening the sustainability of the planet. To make matters worse, they are expending vast amounts of their resources on weapons of war, instead of pursuing non-violent solutions and diverting these resources into improving the quality of lives of their populaces. Fortunately, voters now have the powerful tools provided by the Global Social Network for Voters to put an end to the conflicts, crises and emergencies their governments are aggravating.
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