MetaDemocracy in Brief
The concept of MetaDemocracy is based on the principle that “We the People” are the ultimate source of authority who “ordained and established” the U.S. Constitution and that, therefore, we have the right and the responsibility to guide and oversee the direction and function of our own self-governance.
MetaDemocracy is not, and should not be, a function of the government. It must be a self-organizing, non-partisan, Citizen-based institution (the Citizens Institute) that is self-funded, rather than government funded, and totally transparent to the public in all regards.
MetaDemocracy requires and makes no change to the Constitution, to our system of representative government, or to any existing law. It is designed simply to clarify, coalesce and amplify the voice of “We the People.” It has no legal authority, but strong moral authority.
How does MetaDemocracy Work?
MetaDemocracy is a process that uses Citizen Resolutions, ratified by the people, to provide guidance to our elected and appointed public servants. The simplest way to think about such Resolutions is that they are somewhat like a national initiative or a direct democracy.
The process is unfamiliar to many of us, since we have never had national initiatives. However, it has proven successful and is used in a number of countries, especially Switzerland, where it has been in use for over 170 years (over 700 years in the central Cantons). It has been clearly demonstrated that the people take the process very seriously and exercise sound judgment. Significantly, they also like it very much and feel empowered.
MetaDemocracy is not intended to ‘micromanage’ government policies and operations, or to react to short term “hot button” political issues. Citizen Resolutions should clearly express the broad, trans-partisan will of the people on high level, future-oriented, direction-setting issues, including, but not limited to Constitutional Amendments. They are designed to set our country on the right path and point the way to the shared future that we all desire and deserve.
Can we trust the “Will of the People?”
We can feel quite safe in trusting the ‘Wisdom of the People’. In fact, they (we) are much more cautious and prudent than many politicians. Unlike politicians, the People do not have to play to their base, to the political extremes, or to donors. We do not seek political contributions, golf outings or lobbying jobs after retirement. Quite to the contrary, “We the People” can best represent the broad, commonsense center, while still objectively considering the best ideas and policies put forward by the radicals on both sides. (That’s often where creative new ideas come from.)
Opponents of democracy often raise the prospect of the “tyranny of the majority” or “runaway democracy” or “mob rule” as an argument against it. This is not a serious problem. Currently, we have a much worse problem...the Tyranny of the Minority...a very small minority, based on wealth and power. Only they might be put off by real democracy.
Democracy in the form of Citizen Resolutions does not “afflict the affluent” as feared by some people, including America’s Founders. While some politicians may wish to do so, most Americans have never been inclined to extract excessive tax money from the wealthy. Under MetaDemocracy, the elites may well lose some of their excessive power and influence. But, that’s necessary in order to secure what most Americans want, which is simple fairness and a meaningful role in our own governance.
Why is a Citizens Resolution any more effective than a poll or a petition?
In the simplest terms, a poll is a random sample of public opinion and a petition is a request, while a Citizen Resolution (CR) is a direction, an instruction, or even a command. It represents not just the opinion or wishes, but the Will of “We the People.” Once enough people clearly express their “Will”, politicians will go against it at their grave peril when election time comes.
Why the 28th Amendment?
The first Citizens Resolution resolves that we should pass a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution clarifying that money is not the equivalent of free speech under the First Amendment, and 2) that Federal, State and local governments can regulate campaign contributions and expenditures, and any expenditures intended to influence public policy.
The vast majority (well over 80%) of people surveyed believe that we need fundamental campaign reform (98% believe we need at least some degree of reform) to reduce the influence of big money and special interests in our elections and governance. The proposed 28th Amendment would go to the heart of achieving that goal. We expect the vast majority of people will affirm it and insist that our representatives implement it.
What comes next?
It’s important to recognize that it will likely take several years for Congress to put forward and the States to ratify the 28th Amendment. However, it is only the beginning of this new era of MetaDemocracy and self-governance. We actually believe that most of our social, political, economic and environmental problems can be effectively addressed, if we all turn, shoulder to shoulder, to face them. It is vital that conservatives and liberals, young and old, and all classes, races, genders, and categories of people participate to achieve the type of near consensus that will push our elected representatives in the right direction. Resolutions at the State and local levels will also be considered.
Once the first CR is Ratified, the process will begin to speed up. Resolutions will be put forward on a more frequent basis (probably monthly). Since the People will have already been registered and engaged in the process it will be able to proceed quite quickly.
What is my role?
YOU, are a vital piece of this process. Democracy is not a spectator sport. On the most basic level, all you need to do is Rate Citizen Resolutions as they are put forward.
If you choose to participate more fully, you will have other opportunities to guide our future. Specifically, you can nominate a new CR. You will help select which Citizen Resolution will be considered next.
If you agree to receive monthly updates, we will share the progress on the first CR and what other CR’s are being considered. If you wish more detailed or frequent updates, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, etc. We also intend to produce some objective, trustworthy news reporting of our own.
If you are deeply committed to the passage of the 28th Amendment, or to encouraging the MetaDemocracy process, we hope you will volunteer to gather ballots. (Bear in mind that we will only need to gather them one time.) You may wish to help us arrange presentations to churches, schools and other civic groups, help with simple organizational tasks, or just convince more people to participate. Please let us know if you are aware of a group that would like a presentation.
One unique aspect of the Citizens Institute is what we call "Citizen Circles." They are composed of up to 11 people and provide a small group forum for discussion about our work and development of new Resolutions. We ask ourselves questions such as, "What would be the ideal future of ________?" (e.g., education, health care, etc.), or simply,"WHAT SHOULD WE (the People) DO?"
Circles can be based on a neighborhood or any affinity group (school or college, church, club, or just a group of friends). The Circles interlink with each other to form a rich network. Citizen Circles bring democracy to life. If you are not yet a member of a 'Circle', wish to volunteer, or have any questions or comments, please contact us or Volunteer.
If you are now ready, please Rate the Citizen Resolution.