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 the founder of VotersUnited.Global decided to run for elective office in the U.S. in a state municipal election, 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 the parties, rather than voters, call the shots in municipal elections and most other elections. They control official ballot lines and who can run on them.
Typically, candidates themselves, American citizens, and voters themselves do not play more decisive roles than the parties because they determine who is the ballot, what are their legislative agendas, who gets elected, and whether other parties are able to compete in elections.
In a subsequent federal election, our founder tried but failed to express and convey her legislative priorities to a U.S. presidential candidate, because he switched his initial priorities to conform to those of special interests when they started funding his campaign.
This experience convinced her that political parties can actually undermine fundamental principles of democratic representative forms of government. U.S. voters, not parties, are the original source of political sovereignty, and they should be able to determine legislative priorities and agendas. They should be able to determine which candidates are on the ballot, instead of being compelled by political parties to vote in "No Choice" elections between candidates who are already on the ballot. They should be able to fully exercise their political sovereignty by having the final say in what laws are enacted or rejected.
But instead of voters determining what laws are passed, there are where wide gaps between voters' needs and demands, and the legislation enacted by their elected "representatives". The major cause of this gap is political parties and their special interest donors that finance parties and their candidates. In the U.S., they have been inserting into electoral institutions and processes a range of legal and illegal mechanisms that limit the scope of voters' participation--including suppressing votes.
Their goal and the outcome of their efforts is to enable the two major U.S. political parties, their officials, operatives and special interest donors to assume greater and greater control over legislative bodies and policy-making agencies throughout government, even while claiming to support "democratic" elections. They use this control to enact legislation favoring party and special interests at the expense of the welfare, needs and demands of voters and grassroots populations.
This willful neglect of public welfare by government authorities is exemplified by their failure to enact effect measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 global pandemic, even though they have always had the means to do so. And once the pandemic began to spread, the most negligent and incompetent governments have failed to implement proven strategies to halt its spread, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives.
These losses are projected to increase exponentially the longer these undemocratic governments and self-serving political parties remain in power, along with the mounting loss of lives they have caused by neglecting to stop climate disruption and extreme weather catastrophes.
While these government-caused tragedies are occurring, the same governments, parties, and special interests causing them are continuing policies that dramatically increase inequality of wealth, and impoverish millions of people who lack affordable healthcare.
Many of the politicians and parties that have used undemocratic means to gain control of these governments, which are controlled by lawmakers representing a minority of voters, are subverting the rule of law to compensate for their failure to attract the support of a majority of voters. The same officials that caused these undemocratic maneuvers to get elected continuously run for re-election on the ballot lines of the undemocratic political parties that control ballot lines, while preventing competing parties from having a fair chance to run candidates against them.
Among the mechanisms they use to gain and maintain influence, social media plays a decisive role in enabling them to recruit tens of millions of undiscerning voters to join their bandwagons. They include sending highly partisan, ambiguous, mixed messages to targeted groups of voters to mislead 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, candidates and special interest donors typically lack the broadly based voting strength they need to win elections, they seek out aggrieved groups of voters whose livelihoods are at risk and disingenuously blame their difficulties on the parties' adversaries and even government per se. These instigators accentuate voters grievances in order to rile up enough of them to create electoral bases large enough to elect their candidates. Once in office, party-backed lawmakers elected through undemocratic means tend to ignore their constituents' plights, and turn their attention to meeting the demands of their parties and special interest funders.
A case in point is provided by the U.S. political party system. In order to conduct "No Choice" elections, the two major U.S. parties have perfected numerous strategies and tactics for enacting and implementing a host of mechanisms for limiting the scope of voters' electoral and legislative participation and influence, including:
Consequences of the actions of political parties in the U.S. and elsewhere to limit the scope of voters participation and influence in elections and legislation 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 party (more voters register as Independents than in either party, and both combined), and have long wanted to see most lawmakers removed from the U.S. Congress, the primary federal legislative body.
Unfortunately, they cannot do so because of the restrictions the parties and special interests have imposed on the scope and amount of voters participation and influence in elections and legislation. "No Choice" elections enable party-backed elected officials to keep their seats in legislative bodies year after year despite lacking widespread support.
Their counter-productive impact on the resolution of political conflicts through consensus-building across partisan lines appears unalterable given the lack of mechanisms for doing so. Their competitive stances vis-a-vis each other lead to conflict generation rather than resolution. They lead to legislative stalemates and paralysis even when immediate action is necessary to address extreme emergencies such as the spread of Covid-19, and extreme weather that renders uninhabitable so many regions, large and small, temporarily and even permanently.
The severity of this party-induced deformation 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 well-intended response to democratic decline by numerous "good government" groups to these documented failings of democracy in the U.S. has been the formulation of a plethora of piecemeal reform proposals. In all likelihood, they will take years to implement, perhaps even decades. Piecemeal and in combination, they may lack the a system-changing potential.
A major obstacle is that highly developed, post-industrial governments, such as the U.S., comprise complex "systems" of interacting institutions and processes, including laws, constitutions, and practices that determine how elections and legislation will be conducted.
Changing one or another of these components, or even many of them, is unlike to suffice to change the functioning of a government controlled by electorally unaccountable party-backed lawmakers. This is especially true with respect to the U.S. government with its complicated separation of powers into three branches whose respective actions are often ill-coordinated and contradictory; intricate webs of complex federal/state relationships; and constant intervention by U.S. political parties and special interests to alter distributions of influence among various groups of voters.
Given voters' urgent need for concerted, governmental collaboration to respond to the life-threatening risks they are facing, our founder has created a unique, voter empowerment social networking platform, a Global Social Network for Voters, accessible via Voters United.Global. It combines state-of-the-art technologies that empower voters to expand the scope and amount of their electoral participation, and exert direct control over legislative bodies and executive policy-makers at federal, state, and local levels.
This platform enables voters to utilize decision-assisting Artificial Intelligence (AI) that augments (rather than replaces) human intelligence to create genuine, voter-controlled democracies through unique online agenda-setting, consensus-building, and political organizing tools.
The platform incorporates technologies that enable voters to circumvent undemocratic parties entirely. They can use these tools to set their own legislative agendas, individually and collectively; create their own democratically managed online voting blocs, political parties, and electoral coalitions around common legislative agendas, and resolve conflicts by building consensus across partisan lines.
By reaching out across partisan lines to build consensus across the spectrum, they can forge electoral bases large enough to elect candidates of their choice -- and defeat the candidates of parties with narrowly partisan electoral bases too small to win elections.
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 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.
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 induced legislative conflicts and stalemates from threatening their lives and livelihoods -- in effect turning the table on undemocratic parties, party lawmakers and special interests that typically ignore their needs and demands.
Currently, voters who have lost faith in electoral processes to voice their demands and redress their grievances are resorting to alternatives that include street protests, demonstrations, and confrontations that may lead to confrontations with members of the law enforcement community. While most are competent, far too many resort to illegal and excessive use of force for routine policing matters and mental health emergencies, as well as interfere with voters' and protesters' exercise of their legitimate and constitutionally protected freedoms of assembly and speech.
The solution is for voters to defeat these lawmakers in forthcoming elections and elect a new generation of elected representatives that they can mandate to enact laws that protect everyone from such abuses. And while elections under the current status quo of limited voter participation and influence in elections and legislation is unlikely to bring about enough change to significantly change it, it is nonetheless imperative that everyone eligible to vote is able to register to vote without the interference of artificial obstacles.
The Global Social Network for Voters accessible on the VotersUnited.Global website provides a six step platform that will empower voters worldwide to counter these trends. They can use the platform to set common legislative agendas across partisan lines, and by creating and democratically managing online voting blocs, political parties, and electoral coalitions. By reaching out to voters across the political spectrum, their blocs, parties, and coalitions can grow large enough to win elections and control their governments, elections, legislation, and political parties.
These six steps enable voters worldwide to determine who runs for office, who gets elected, and what laws are passed, by using unprecedented agenda-setting, consensus-building, and political organizing tools and services accessible on the VotersUnited.Global website. They are described below and illustrated in this infographic.
These six types of activities enable unprecedented horizontal, “bottom-up”connections among voters by enabling them to freely communicate and collaborate with each other, autonomously articulate their legislative priorities, and take collection to implement them. These activities enable voters to circumvent limitations placed by vertically organized, “top down” groups and parties on voters' articulation of their priorities, and ability to connect to each other at any time to share and debate their priorities, reconcile divergent priorities, and build consensus to resolve conflicts.
Voters worldwide can initiate and manage their own interactive, online dialogues framed by their own values, concepts, and knowledge bases. The network's computer question-answering learning machine enables voters to fact-check the information on which their priorities and political stances are based, and correct those found to be inaccurate or biased.
The network performs this critical service by providing voters access to a corpus of data comprising a distributed network of databases that voters can access through its decision-assisting Artificial Intelligence technology, computer question-answering machine, and patented web-based agenda-setting, consensus-building, and political organizing tools.
Interactive question-answering dialogues initiated by voters and technologically mediated by the network's platform, enable voters to set legislative agendas, and seek and obtain a plurality of fact-checked options for their consideration for solving common problems, crises, emergencies and conflicts requiring legislative action.
Agenda-setting tools enable individual voters to define their legislative priorities and connect with voters with similar priorities to collaboratively evaluate a range of preferred options for solving common problems. Voters can build consensus across partisan lines and form online voting blocs, political parties, and electoral coalitions that can create sufficient cross-partisan voting strength to endorse and elect lawmakers to enact voters’ agendas.
The network's crowdsourcing capabilities enable voters to form and manage self-seecting and self-organizing blocs, parties, and coalitions that can operate within and across the boundaries of election districts and nation-states simultaneously to solve complex problems, crises, emergencies and conflicts requiring domestic and cross-national cooperation. In addition, these voter-controlled online entities can pressure elected representatives to enact their agendas by conducting petition drives, referenda, initiatives, and anticipatory recall votes, and publicizing results they transmit to lawmakers as legislative mandates.
Given the globalization of many inter-connected challenges and crises, such as the contemporary global Covid-19 pandemic and extreme weather catastrophes, accompanied by the legislative gridlock that typically paralyzes many legislative bodies, transformative, breakthrough technology, such as that provided by the network, is urgently needed. It gives voters around the world access to a unique online collaborative platform that enables unprecedented numbers of voters worldwide to collaboratively engage in online problem-solving to collectively devise legislative solutions to interdependent domestic and cross-national crises. Voters can implement their solutions by joining with existing blocs, parties, and coalitions hosted on the network, or by starting their own and operating them globally and in specific election jurisdictions of their choice where their members can register to vote to elect representatives to enact common agendas.
Consensus-building across partisan lines is an inherent feature of the network because its agenda-setting features motivate voters and their blocs, parties, and coalitions to reach out to voters across the partisan spectrum to reconcile divergent legislative priorities into common legislative agendas. By so doing, they can build electoral bases large enough to elect candidates of their choice to legislative bodies to enact their agendas.
The infographics below illustrate how voters can use the unique agenda-setting, consensus-building, and political organizing tools that will be accessible on VotersUnited.Global to democratically control their governments, elections, legislation, and political parties.
They 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 VotersUnited.Global website.