Democracy does not exist. Let’s look at some definitions.
Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
We lack Democracy’s: Government-by-the-people
“Government by the people” is a nice phrase. It should mean that the government does what people want. It doesn’t have to always do what a simple majority wants. This is especially true in a constitutional democracy (a republic). But it should always do what a sizable number of citizens wants. In a real democracy, if not even a third of the people want a law, should it be passed?
The 2014 Princeton study found that American government is not democratic at all. They found that since 1980, “mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.” Who gets what they want? An elite set of business and wealthy interests.
We lack Democracy’s: Representation
I’ve written previously about how representative democracy isn’t representative. Some of our representatives try to represent us, but to represent us, they’d have to know us. They’d have to listen to us, and we’d have to inform them. These don’t happen well at all. We simply don’t have ways of communicating with them that work.
We need to be able to communicate with them.
They need to be able to hear us.
Besides knowing us, unless we’re lucky enough to elect great people, we’ll need them to be accountable to us. Because they need money to be re-elected, they’re naturally accountable to those who provide money.
Between inability to know us and not being accountable to us, they can not represent us.
The idea of “representation” is just an idea. For the last 240 years, people just assumed that elections would magically cause politicians to represent their constituents.
America could have real Democracy
PeopleCount proposes a system which will deliver both government-by-the-people and true representation. The lynch-pin of this is accountability of politicians to voters. To understand this, you first have to see that Americans are actually blind to the fact that accountability is missing. Then you can move on to the nuts and bolts of the system.