Minipublics beyond representation
First posted on Equality by Lot on Oct 8 Now that minipublics are no longer limited to local level “experiments” but are regularly involved in consequential political occasions, constitutional amendments … Continue reading
To Awaken Democracy
As Democracy Spring and Democracy Awakening begin a week of sit-ins and civil disobedience on Capitol Hill and as your inbox fills up with spam via the End Citizens United … Continue reading
Structure Not Policy: Why We Need More Institutional Political Theory
For too long, I’ve been repeating the self-styled slogan “structure not policy, tomorrow not today” to express the idea that has haunted me since I began studying law. Nearly every … Continue reading
Citizens’ Initiative Reviews: Democracy via Vicarious Deliberation?
Although there has been much talk (or rather speculation) in deliberative democracy circles on the potential and possible pitfalls of “intensive” citizen deliberation–especially on Equality by Lot–there has been little … Continue reading
The Citizen Jury Illustrated: The Morris Climate Dialogue
A “Citizen Jury” means to embody the informed, face-to-face deliberation of an ideal democracy, not found either in elections or in legislative debates today. Below is a photo illustration of … Continue reading
An alternative to campaign-finance reform?
[First appeared on openDemocracy on April 22, 2014.] The still fresh McCutcheon v FEC Supreme Court decision, like the January 2010 Citizens United, has again set off the rage of … Continue reading
The Neo-Athenian Revival
[Appeared April 2 openDemocracy. Ideas first appeared Jan 20, 2014 Truthout.] A recent Economist article “What’s Gone Wrong with Democracy” is chock-full of photographs of discontent from places in revolution—Ukraine, … Continue reading
Redeeming Rousseau: Politdoche & General Will
Recently on Daft Blogger I fell hard on the word “government” and offered a replacement, “politdoche.” This article demonstrates why it fares better as an ideal and how it would … Continue reading
Is the word “government” the problem?
“The wise know that foolish legislation is a rope of sand…that the state must follow, and not lead, the character and progress of the citizen.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Our prejudices … Continue reading
Citizens United and The Nadir of the Single-member-district First-past-the-post System?
Many people have been saying, ever since I’ve been old enough to vote and long before Citizens United, that we make the best of what we have and vote for … Continue reading
Remembering Mubarak: Tahrir, Zuccotti, & Future Democracy
Today marks the two-year anniversary of Hosni Mubarak’s departure. At the end of 2011, Time’s Person of the Year was “The Protester,” and the issue was wrapped in Tahrir Square. … Continue reading
Squaring The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street
“Democracy is the safest of all states.” Aristotle (Politics) Aristotle can be dismissed as a racist, misogynist, or xenophobe. He may be all those and a dry writer, but few … Continue reading
Open Letter to Muslim Brotherhood & Egyptian Opposition: A Way Out: Minimal Elections Maximal Participation
Dear Brothers and Sisters of the MB and NSF (National Salvation Front), Below is a way forward and perhaps an opportunity for Egypt to become a model for new democracy … Continue reading
Defending the People from the Professors, John P. McCormick
Defending the People from the Professors by John P. McCormick. For some years now, while presenting parts of a book on Machiavelli and democratic theory across North America, I’ve been … Continue reading
If Crowds are Wise, Why isn’t Congress?
[Appeared Dec. 20, 2013 on Truthout. Look for comments there: http://bit.ly/1hsp2zr%5D We’ve all heard of the “wisdom of crowds” especially after James Surowiecki’s 2004 best-selling book by that name and … Continue reading
US Presidential Elections 1912 to 2012: What’s changed? What’s still the same?
Wondering what has changed in society and politics over the last 100 years, I looked back at the 1912 election–no time-machine jokes please. What I found was not encouraging. Much … Continue reading
Could a Future Election be a Lottery?
What if politics were not a horse race? Hearing the junkies rattle on, the pundits and talking heads babble, I am struck by the game discourse. Every district, every seat … Continue reading