Representative Government


Consider that you're in a democratic society so you wish to exercise your franchise to vote. However, since there are a lot of you (millions, say), a pure AthenianDemocracy isn't going to scale. An issue would take years to pass, if at all, if everyone had their say. Moreover, it would be unreasonable to have the entire population stay current with the issue during this time because they have to go out and actually live.

Therefore, have a RepresentativeGovernment. In a RepresentativeGovernment, the populace is divided into ridings which are (typically) geographically delineated regions whose inhabitants are grouped together. Those inhabitants then vote for a representative in a (supposedly) fair and open election. That representative is then sent to sit in government's counsel to vote on issues in line with her constituents' views.

The representative is capable of focusing on lawmaking instead of farming or software development (both very demanding jobs), of spending the time to be there, and consequently making an intelligent decision.

But, a representative is typically a member of a PoliticalParty?. This subjects her to PartisanShip. Some issues wish to avoid this so they are subjected to a FreeVote or the even stronger ReferendumVote?. Also, the political ridings's borders are occasionally messed with to gain votes. This is called GerryMandering?.

Examples: HouseOfCommons in Canada, Congress and Senate in America. The Senate in Canada is also a RepresentativeGovernment of sorts, but the senators are appointed not elected.

The term "RepresentativeGovernment" was coined by Lord Durham in 1845 in a special report to Queen Victoria who wanted to know how to stop the colony of Upper and Lower Canada from fighting so much. He also suggested assimilating the French into the English culture, but we'll ignore that for now.

In this case, "representative" means the government represented the Queen to the people, not the people to the Queen. However, we'll co-opt the term for our pattern language.

For an alternative to RepresentativeGovernment, consider PebbleDemocracy, not to mention StoneSociety. Well, I did it once, but I think I got away with it.

But is it possible for InternetGovernance ?


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