March 25, 2002
The Direct Democracy Solution:

Congress passed the so-called 'landmark' overhaul of campaign finance laws. Senators Russ Feingold and John McCain are savoring the success of their namesake legislation. President Bush is preparing to sign it into law. And Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is mustering his high-powered legal team to vigorously assert First Amendment violations of the legislation, while Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe is already devising ways to get around it.

But will anything really change? Not likely. The two-party system is a fraud against the democratic republic of the United States. The Democratic Party has betrayed democracy by becoming a national nanny and centralizing government power. And the Republican Party has betrayed democracy with a lop-sided market economy and governance by oligarchy.

Regardless of the minor incoveniences of campaign finance shifts and shuffles, the reformless legislation is incumbent-friendly. Indeed, the two-party system, moneyed interests and the selfish interests of firmly entrenched advocacy groups will still decide who gets elected and how government works, and the consolidation of power in Washington will continue, unabated.

And, alas, the people -- the voters -- will still be relegated to the back rows of democracy in America, disenfranchised as ever, wherein only about half of eligible voters are registered to vote, and less than half of those registered actually vote, which means that our representatives are elected by less than 25 percent of eligible voters, simply because most potential voters have been conditioned to feel that their votes don't really matter.

Yet, it's not voter apathy that's at the heart of it. Rather, it's been the systematic erosion of the sovereignty of the people to political factions and the personal power of the few. And that's not what the Founders or the Constitution had in mind when they created this republic of representative democracy.

However, if the people have the will to pursue it, there is a solution at the end of this tunnel, cluttered with social, political and economic road blocks. The solution offered here is a constitutional amendment establishing a nonpartisan direct democracy system comprised of secure interactive voting networks connected to voter's homes. All elections and voter decisions would be conducted over the voting networks.

Nonpartisan direct democracy would remove the stranglehold of a corrupted, unconstitutional two-party political system from the throat of America. With direct democracy there would be no campaign finance problem because there would be no need for campaign finance, or lobbyists, and there would be no need for term limits. The sovereignty of the people and free speech would be widely held among all citizens and voters.

In the proposal for direct democracy, voters would elect highly qualified, well-compensated, nonpartisan representatives -- professional government managers -- instead of highly corruptible professional politicians. The people's elected representative managers would be subject to periodic confirmation or removal from office.

Voters would be truthfully and fully informed and they would have the power of initiative and referendum. Voters would decide matters of taxation, public policy and foreign policy. Voters would not be required to micro-manage government. Their elected managers and their staff would do that.

The proposed amendment would preserve all existing rights, privileges and protections contained in the Constitution. With nonpartisan direct democracy, the vast majority of voters would participate, simply because they would be able to decide all major issues important to them as individuals, and collectively for the common good.

With direct democracy, we could trust the collective judgment of our fellow citizens. Indeed, history has proven that the collective judgment of the people has been much better than the collective judgment of those who misrepresent us.

The point is, nothing will really change until the people decide to make it happen. All it would take is the will of the people to enact the great equalizer -- direct democracy -- the will of the people. But that will take some doing. Money speaks loudly for those who have it, against those who don't.

Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center