First of all, I am not a politician. I am just a computer scientist. I asked this question because I do not think that I have adequate knowledge of various political systems.
Background: Over the recent months of observing different campaigns for presidential election in the U.S. and their one-sided views on everything, I got to the point of thinking that indirect vote by representatives of the people is not working any more. After checking the voting records in the U.S. Congress, I observed that when political party X proposes a bill, 99% of members of political party X agree with the bill and 99% of political party Y disagree without satisfactory debate to justify their opinion. This is a sign of a non-functional system.
Examples (based on my observations over the years): In countries like the U.S. that have two major political parties, almost no new idea (or bill) gets past Congress. In countries like the U.K. that have multiple major political parties, members of Parliament have to come up with a majority to be able to pass a bill and this itself is a very slow process. In middle eastern countries (e.g. Turkey), a single political party gets too powerful and silences opposition parties. Thus there is failure of political systems of various flavors.
Why do we have indirect voting: I believe indirect voting was made in the old days due to long distances and lack of communication. Thus a group of people was assigned a person to represent them. Then, representatives will echo the voice of their people in an attempt of greater unification. But nowadays thanks to the Internet, communication is instant. Therefore the primary reason that made us to create the indirect voting system no longer exists.
What I propose is a direct voting web platform which lets citizens of a country submit a idea (or bill), then citizens up-/down-vote the idea. If a proposed idea reaches a certain number of up-votes then all citizens of a country are able to directly cast their votes and if the majority of citizens agree with the proposed bill, then it becomes a law. To address the issue that citizens might not have time to vote, we could make the voting period weekly (i.e. every week there is a referendum online on various bills).
What are the benefits:
- Eliminates the concept of representatives and political parties
- Eliminates lobbyists and interest groups
- Creates a platform in which new ideas pass the barriers, and become laws more quickly than ever
- Eliminates the uncertainties in voting result (i.e. bipartisan support)
- No salaries to pay. Thus cheaper than having Parliament or senate and congress.
- Eliminates thirst for power (i.e. representative runs for office many times and multiple terms)
Question: I am wondering what are possible disadvantages of such a political system and has the idea of direct voting in every issue (referendum) ever been implemented or is it even possible to implement?