Prodemocracy Video Narration Text

Prodemocracy Video Narration Text

This is the full text of the narration in the PRODEMOCRACY Introductory Video:

“Hey Kids, it’s the Houses of Parliament… There’s Big Ben! Thousands of toursits pass by the houses of parliament each day to marvel at this symbolic home of representative democracy, a system of government which has existed in Britain since the 13th century.

Many now believe that this system of representative democracy, still operating in most modern western nations today, no longer functions in the way it was intended to. This system was devised before the invention of telephones, automobiles and mass-media, in a time when more than 70% of the population were illiterate. In those conditions, perhaps the only practical way for a citizen to participate in government was by casting a vote to elect a representative. In the current era, where instant electronic communication gives everyonea limitless range of consumer options, but voting is usually a choice between two unsavory candidates, is it any wonder that many citizens decide to stay home on election day? Only slightly more than half of voting-age citizens even bother vote in the federal elections held in The United States and Canada. These low voter participation rates reflect a widespread mistrust of politicians who seem incapable of honoring the promises made during election campaigns.

I want to use a simple chalkboard illustration to show the basic theory of REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY
and why it no longer works the way it is supposed to. The first entity in this diagram represents a segment of the voting public defined as a constituency or electoral riding, usually demarcated by geographical boundaries. The theory is that each riding or constituency will select the candidate who is best qualified to represent them in the legislative assembly. After the election, all of the winning candidates assemble in parliament or congress, or the state or provincial legislature to enact laws and conduct the business of government. It all sounds very simple and logical – and it should work – provided that politicians actually DO faithfully represent their constituents. In other words, the whole system relies on the integrity of the politicians.

But now in 2018, what is painfully obvious to every voter is that in order to get elected the politician must serve other masters.In order to achieve the media exposure necessary to launch a successful election campaign, a candidate must have access to massive amounts of money. To get that money, politicians must represent the donors and their associated lobbyists who have agendas and priorities which are not necessarily in alignment with the voting constituents themselves. And these lobbying organizations do not generally have a direct relationship with any individual politician, instead they exert control over large blocks of legislative members, otherwise know as political parties. Political parties whip their members into a uniform and predictable ideological framework which aligns with the expectations of their financial backers.

Voting citizens recognize that political parties control governments and therefore mostly elect representatives based on party affiliation. Elected representatives who are not members of the ruling party are in effect powerless. They may have a soapbox to stand on – in that they can make statements during legislative debates, but it is the dominant parties who dictate which bills become laws and what executive actions the governments will take. In other words, unaligned elected representatives are removed from the sphere of influence we know as government power. Therefore, casting a ballot for an independent candidate, one who is not aligned with a major political party is generally seen as a wasted vote. Meanwhile, powerful corporate interests maintain direct lines of communication with the ruling political parties through lobbyists, media advertising, political action committees, and many other mechanisms.

What everyone now understands is that the people’s elected representatives do not have any real capacity to represent their constituents in any meaningful way. Even members of the ruling parties must vote in the legislatures according to party doctrine or risk expulsion from the inner circle. What is needed is a new system to break the hold that parties have over politicians. And there is no need for a revolution or constitutional overhaul to accomplish this. All we need is a new social networking system which restores the relationship between the public representative and his or her constituents.

This proposed new system would accomplish this restoration by fulfilling two main objectives:

  1. First, by giving political representatives a highly accurate picture of what their constituents want.
  2. And secondly through ensuring that constituents can verify that their representative votes
    and acts in a way that is consistent with the preference of the majority of the constituency.”