Politics > Spiral of Political Maturation > Stage 5: Conventionalist > Referenda Issues

Referenda Issues in a Conventionalist Ethos

Avoid Misunderstandings

Q: Will referenda let people get what they want?

Q: Will referenda produce honest politics?

Discriminate Consensus Issues

Consensus is required on items that emerge from the self-mobilization of civil society. Communal leaders must initially orient these to standards of behaviour. But it will become evident that many issues of apparent or hoped for consensus are not useful. For example:

Consensus on policy or projects, domestic or foreign, may be an aspiration. However, such issues are usually too complicated for the populace to grasp. Simplifications become meaningless; and votes can be sabotaged and/or distorted by both politicians and the bureaucracy. However, as conventionalist mechanisms became more appreciated and entrenched, I would not rule out the possibility for policy guidance or specific demands subject to criteria to be developed.

At the outset, suitable issues for consensus will need to be simple in the extreme. Referendum items must be devoid of subtle judgement, deep learning, complex analysis or logical reasoning. Such «popular extremism» appears feasible.

Release of «Popular Extremism»

Those in senior positions within civic associations understand political dysfunction very clearly. They can see how the system is abused from personal observation and the tangle of regulations. Being unable to finance lobbying and campaign contributions like wealthy vested interests, they find the experience of dealing with government and politicians frustrating.

Using the strategy suggested, communal leaders could certainly propose, explain and support referenda on issues like:

ClosedClick here for more details and speculative examples of serious issues that the general public is capable of understanding, and which the current political classes have shown themselves to be unwilling to address.


ClosedTwo simple and previously used ideas:


ClosedTwo extremely simple solutions:


ClosedSome very simple notions:


ClosedHere are simple suggestions:


ClosedHere are two simple examples:


You probably know that the tax system Closed is used to support vested interests and inefficiently subsidize numerous other sectors. The most harmful effect is to rig or otherwise subvert markets. This nonsense also creates dependency on government, vast fees for an army of accountants and lawyers, unproductive diversion of business energy, and an intrusive and aggressive tax collection agency. Current systems generally benefit the ultra-wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

ClosedHere is a simple idea to cut through all the guff:


Ownership of Central Banks: Closed Central banks are creatures of their governments. The US Federal Reserve is a consortium of private banks created to serve those banks, but is wholly integrated into the US Government apparatus. The Swiss National Bank is listed on the stock exchange! However, it is majority owned by the Cantonal banks and integrated into government policy-making.

ClosedHere are some simple, if currently radical, ideas:


ClosedConsider these possible solutions:


Note that none of these items deal with the purposes or policies of governments; and none favour any particular organized interest group, vested or not. Rather they put constraints on the pursuit of purposes in regard to any issue of interest. It is not proposed that these are the best issues to deal with. My goal here is simply to show:

Existing politicians and bureaucrats will hate such popular votes: but that is the point. If the Conventionalist ethos is indeed emerging, I predict that the acceptance of public consensus will come to characterize governance, like it or not.


Originally posted: 1-Nov-2013. Last updated:  11-Apr-2014.




All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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