Democracy – how much do you have? (post 04)

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Democracy: how much do you actually have? – Just a few more measurements, to think about …

In post 01 to 03 (if your read those), you probably got a pretty good idea that what is sold to us as “democracies” via political propaganda, does not really rank very highly, when measured against criteria for true democracies.

Here are some more criteria to think about, when it comes to measuring the democraticness of a democracy …

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First some questions with regards to the services, your state provides:

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Who controls, which services (and at what cost) the state provides for its citicens?

  • The citizens decide (via majority vote), which services they jointly want to source via the state, and what they are willing/able to pay for them. (Democracy Score: 100%)
  • The government decides, which services it provides to the citzens and decides about the price the citizens have to pay for the provided services (via taxes / direct fees), but the citizens have a democratic right to veto these decisions. (Democracy Score: 50%)
  • The government decides, which services it provides to the citzens and decides about the price the citizens have to pay for the provided services (via taxes / direct fees). (Democracy Score: 0%)

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How satisfied are you with the services (and price you have to pay for them) in your state today?
Services might include: social framework / wellfare system, generation system (public education, public pension system),  public healthcare system, protection (security and safety), public services, …?

  • The services provides by my state are excellent, very service oriented for all citizens, ergonomic/easy to use, provided very cost effectively (= low/adequate taxes / fees compared to quality of the services) and the services are provided with minimal bureaucratic overhead. (Democracy Score: 100%)
  • The state provided servies are mostly okay (some are good, others are less good), the cost for the service is acceptable (taxes/fees), the bureaucratic overhead is big, not too huge. (Democracy Score: 66%)
  • Bureaucratic overhead is huge (and expensive), the benefits of the services for the citizens is often hard to fathom or intransparent, the cost for the service are intransparent / unknown to normal citizens. (Democracy Score: 33%)
  • The power elite does not tolerate interference from citizens when it comes to providing services or collecting taxes/fees. (Democracy Score: 0%)

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How satisfied are you with security services in your country (from a democratic perspective)?

  • The citizens control, what police, military, secret services and other security services do for them. (Democracy Score: 100%)
  • Direct/liquid democratically elected represenatitives control, what security forces do and whether they act in the best interest of the majority of the citizens. (Democracy Score: 66%)
  • Security forces and their tasks are controlled by the government. The security forces are used by the government to control the citizens, extort taxes, protect the govenment (an the ruling elite) from the majority of the citizens. A minor task of the security forces is also, to protect and serve normal citizens. (Democracy Score: 33%)
  • The power elite does not tolerate interference from citizens when it comes to providing services or collecting taxes/fees. (Democracy Score: 0%)

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And finally, what defines, how our communities work: laws and rules

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How does the legal system work in your state/nation?

  • direct/liquid democratic: the citizens create the rules (or individually delegate the job to a chosen representative). The rules are then democratically ratified by the people (and/or their delegates) (= made into laws). (Democracy Score: 100%)
  • An expert minority (lawyers) make the laws, but they ensure that all laws/rules are as lean and as few as possible, and are comprehensible for the majority of citizens. (Democracy Score: 66%)
  • Laws are made, ratified, and executed by an “Elite” (lawyers, politicians). They are often complex and convoluted and can not be fully understood without several years of specific legal training. The legal system effectively establishes an inequality between average citicens and “the law” (judiciary and executive branch of the government). (Democracy Score: 33%)
  • The ruling elite defines the rules. (Democracy Score: 0%)

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Are the existing laws comprehensible for the majority of the citizens?

  • Yes. In the (direct/liquid) democratic process, people are polled not only it they agree to a new law (acceptance), but also, if this law is comprehensible. (Democracy Score: 100%)
  • The lawyers, who formulate the laws, try to make them as comprehensible, as possible and that the law-base stays as lean as possible. They mostly succeed and a majority of the laws is comprehensible and well known by the public. (Democracy Score: 66%)
  • Laws and rules and regulations are complicated and convoluted (on purpose?), to ensure that the power (via control over the rules) remains concentrated in the hands of a minority (lawyers, politicians and the lobbies, which controll them). The laws/rules/regulations are not controlled by the people, but by the state/government. (Democracy Score: 33%)
  • The rulers don’t give a damn, whether their subjects understand the laws or not (as long as they can force them to conform to their laws). (Democracy Score: 0%)

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How convoluted is the legal system?

  • The legal system is as lean as possible, and as complex, as necessary. There are (almost) no outdated, contradictory, or unnecessary laws/rules/regulations. Every citizen of average intelligence has a good chance, to know and understand all laws pertinent to her/him. (Democracy Score: 100%)
  • The legal system is so complex and convoluted, that only a minority of citizens (after years of study) fully understands it and has a sound overview over all existing laws/rules/regulations. (Democracy Score: 33%)
  • The legal system is purely arbitrary – it serves a system of despotism: what the ruler (king, dictator, tyrant, president, religious leader, …) says is the the law. (Democracy Score: 0%)

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A constitution as the least common denominator defines the basic rules and principles of the cummunity of citizens. Is the constitution (set of fundamental rights) known to all citizens?

  • Yes, every child in school learns about her/his constitutional rights. Every (legal) immigrant is educated with regards to her/his constitutional rights. (Democracy Score: 100%)
  • Most (>90%) citizens know the constitution and their basic rights. (Democracy Score: 66%)
  • Only a minority of lawyers and constitutional experts know (and understand) the entire constitution. (Democracy Score: 33%)
  • There is no constitution. (Democracy Score: 0%)

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