See a similar proposal at the end

Rahul Mehta: Transition to Direct Democracy

Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999

I am now in India. I am campaigning for a bill, which I call
the Partial Direct Vote. That bill will create a mixture of
DD and ID (Indirect Democracy).

The bill's summary is as follow:

1) If a citizen gives a proposal/bill to the Speaker/Prez/PM/Queen,
  the Speaker will give him a serial number.

2) If over 3% citizens request the Speaker to present the bill, the
  Speaker  will present the bill in Legislature in 3 days and Legislators
  must vote on it within 60 days. They may vote YES/NO.

3) A citizen can walk to some designated place (such as Post Office), and 
  vote on that Bill. Thus the citizen is voting on the floor of Legislature
  via Post Office. This way he is bypassing his Senator/Rep/MP.

4) Legislator's vote will only count for those who have NOT voted.
  Suppose a constituency has 1,000,000 voters.
  Suppose 500,000 vote YES, 200,000 vote NO
  Then MP's vote will have only 30% weight
  If MP votes YES, YES fraction = 80%,  NO fraction = 20% 
  If MP votes NO,  YES fraction = 50%,  NO fraction = 50% 
  If MP abstains,  YES fraction = 50%,  NO fraction = 20% 
  If MP is absent, it will be assumed he is voting NO

5) This way voters can bypass MPs and make laws. Using this, they can make
  laws for further stengthening DD and better distribution of Natural Resources. 

To make Legislators pass the above law, which I refer as Partial-DD-Law,
we need campaigning.

This law creates a mechanism for transition.

Currently I am working on the Indian edition of my book
(i.e., the Pretty Good Direct Democracy book).


Why an MP's absence should not be treated the same way as their abstaining

Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999

I will explain why I think an absence should be treated as NO. ALL my 
proposals use following rule: those who want change must prove their numbers 
and work hard to do so. And those who do not want change, for any reason, 
should not be required to take ANY trouble at all. They should not be even 
required to say NO/Abstain. And effectively, an abstain is a 
partial-YES/partial-NO. So taking their silence as abstain amounts to taking 
their silence as partial-YES.

Thus MP represents citizens who have not EXPLICITLY represented themselves on 
the floor of Legislature. This is not my assumption, but assuption of the 
status-quo. Thus MP should not be even forced to say YES/NO/Abstain and should 
not be even required to be in the house at the time of voting.

The only minus point is that those who want change in the system will have to 
work hard. But plus point is that a "bad" will not be able to sneak-in due to 

My main proposals are on distribution of Natural Resources and 
Telecommunication. The reason I fell in love with DD as that I see DD as ONLY 
way to have them. I will mail you those proposals in a few days.


A similar proposal was made on Oct. 29, 1999 by Donald Davidson:

  Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 09:52:28 -0400
  From: (Donald E Davison)
    To: People interested in Direct Democracy 

2) The Marriage of Pure and Representative Direct Democracy:

     With current-style elected representatives, the individual should have
the option of casting a vote on any issue at any level.
     So if I decide to vote on some issue, let us make my vote equal to the
vote of my representative, and it follows that the votes of anyone else
from my district who bothers to vote will also be equal to the vote of our
     In other words we continue to have representatives, and these
representatives still do all the duties that they are currently doing,
except when it comes to voting they are to only have one vote added to the
votes that are sent in from their district.
     I see the sequence of events of a Bill unfolding as follows:

1) When a new bill is deposited in the House, email notices are sent out to
all citizens who are interested in receiving these notices.

2) If a citizen is interested in this certain Bill, he request to be put on
the information list of this certain Bill.

3) An email copy of the complete Bill is sent to this citizen, plus all
future information, like minutes of committee hearings, etc.

4) When the time comes to vote on this Bill, authority to vote is sent to
only the citizens who have requested to be put on the information list of
this certain Bill.

     The number of citizens of a single district who finally vote on this
Bill may be 100 or 1000 or 10,000, but even if it is only a few, those few
informed votes will be better than leaving the representation of the
district to only one vote.
     The percentage breakdown of yes-no votes for each district is what
would be reported to the House.

     Anyway, if more thinking is done on this, we may have something - we
may have the Marriage of Pure and Representative Direct Democracy.

Regards, Donald