Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Opting Out

The following is adapted from comments to me, privately or in other forums, expressing concerns about the Active Democracy concept. One comment was to the effect that ...
"... I have no desire for (public office). Accordingly, I would dissuade the citizens with whom I am pooled in the first round from voting for me."

"In the proposed system, I would be denied the right to consider/select any person other than the two selected for my triplet in the first round."

(In addition, this person thinks)
"This form of governance (Active Democracy) is known as an oligarchy not a democracy, despite the illusory trappings of democracy during the first round."

The essence of this comment is the wish to opt out at the lowest level and still influence selections at higher levels. Since others (duly elevated on their merits) make the selections at the higher levels, this person feels the process is oligarchical. (I dealt with oligarchy in the previous post and will not expand on that, right now)

Reaching public office is not the only reason for participating in the process. Participation is how we do our utmost to improve the quality of our elected representatives.

When one wishes to disenfranchise oneself by opting out of the process, the obvious penalty for doing so is the inability to influence the result. This is as true in political action as it is in any other form of endeavor. It is important to remember that authority and responsibility are inseparable. If one wants the authority to influence a result, one has the responsibility to participate in the process.

We are free to opt out whenever we choose, but, by doing so, we renounce our right to further influence the proceedings. If we are concerned about the selections made at higher levels, the process gives us an opportunity to make our presence felt. If we participate to the best of our ability and reach a point where our participation ends, we have done as much as our talent and disposition allow.


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