Re-balancing the power of governance

Re-balancing the power between the governed and the governing

The goal of creating a de facto World Government should be vigorously pursued. However, at the same time we need an equally urgent deep reform of democracy. Rather than going into discussing multiple reasons behind the crisis of democracy, which has been covered extensively in recent years by many authors, perhaps it is better to focus on the principles of democracy, which have after over 200 years failed to adjust to the needs and aspirations of fast changing societies. The current crisis of democracy has been mainly caused by four types of imbalances:

  1. The lack of balance between the rights and responsibilities. The overwhelming focus on human rights has created an unhealthy imbalance by barely mentioning the importance of responsibilities in maintaining social cohesion. We see it quite often in courts across the EU countries, when an offender seems to have more rights than a victim. It is a clear evidence of how sensible liberal values have led to the so-called political correctness, seriously undermining the political and social stability. How often we forget that sometimes even freedom and sovereignty must be restricted to make us safer because there is only one absolute value worth fighting for – Life. The scale of misunderstanding of what freedom means has been best illustrated recently by some people feeling there is nothing wrong with their right to move around while being infected with COVID-19, ignoring the right of others NOT to be infected.
  2. The lack of balance of power between the majority and the minority, which Alexis de Tocqueville called the Tyranny of the Majority. But the cornerstone of the liberal democracy is that famous statement by Jeremy Bentham – ‘creating the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people’. The only solution to solving this problem is governing by consensus and disallowing a single party majority government, even if it had won an actual majority. Instead, coalition governments with the Head of State as a conciliator should be preferred.
  3. The lack of balance of power between the central and local government, which in some countries, such as Britain has been stifling social and economic development. True citizens’ engagement cannot happen without a deep decentralization of power.
  4. The lack of balance between the power of the governed (the voters) and the governing. One reason why democracy has been eroded is the lack of voters’ scrutiny over the parliament, the parliamentarians, and the resulting legislation throughout the entire term of the parliament, usually for four years. Democracy cannot be reduced to voting at an election time, when the governed have the power of controlling their representatives for just one day.

It is this lack of balance between the power of the governed and the governing, where a deep reform of democracy should start because it would directly affect and limit the power of politicians. In the current system, they are effectively holding the key to starting such a reform. We must leapfrog piecemeal democratic reforms and fundamentally reset the relationship between the governed and the governing. Perhaps the most pragmatic and fast way to do that would be by merging representative democracy with some elements of direct democracy and thus creating a new type of democracy Consensual Presidential Democracy[1]. The effect might be a complete re-balancing of the power of governance.

How a Citizens’ Senate can rebalance the power of governance

[1] Tony Czarnecki, Vol. 2 of “Posthumans”, ‘Democracy for a Human Federation’, second edition, Amazon publications, July 2020