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“The right is very good at complaining and lamenting but we see no big vision. For sure, we need to purge wokery from government, scrap Net Zero and cut immigration (and all the rest of the tropes) but it's going to take more than that to build a coherent country in a country so bereft of democracy that we've forgotten what it even looks like.” - @FUDdaily
Well, here at Panocracy HQ, we have a big vision. It's called democracy and our proposal is to replace the current failed representational version with a Panocracy in which everyone represents their own interests. We continue to explore this proposal and today we're having a peek at localisation.
But first, let's have a good old moan about some of the reasons we're all pissed off with the current state of our once great nation. The following is UK specific but similar observations apply just as much to other nations.
If I might reword a recent remark from British rapper Zuby, “the demand for bad news has always exceeded its supply”.
The King's Shilling
“We all get bitched about, lads,
Whoever our vote elects,
We know we're up the spout, lads.
And that's what England expects.” - There Are Bad Times Just Around the Corner by Noel Coward
The UK medical regulator – the MHRA – which decides what medicines are safe to use in the UK received a £1m grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2017 (and top-up funds since)
This is the same Bill Gates who has a huge financial stake in drug company Pfizer and whose influence on a public medicines regulator might just be considered a conflict of interest. Grants and other funding from an organisation, even if it does claim to be charitable, can only result in subservience to its interests however indirect these might be.
Perhaps this related to the MHRA's Director June Raine who gave a talk on 5th March 2022 entitled "From watchdog to enabler – regulation in Covid and after". The title says it all, really! (Dame June’s talk starts at around 30 minutes in)
Dame June is kindly informing us plebs that we don’t need to be protected from the ravages of multinational drug corporations, we need instead to be reassured that whatever they push on us we don’t need to worry about it.
In other non-news the partygate-gate-gate pantomime appears to be finally over but the main result is that the nation's respect for its political classes has dropped into the region between disdain and revolution.
Fear not! I'm sure they can do much better than this.
The £200m+ UK Covid enquiry proceeds at a glacial pace (which will increase with Global Warming) but some of its early triumphs include tapestries for those affected by the 'pandemic'.
We're confident that this will be the best value for money product of this enquiry.
Skin in the Game
A guiding principle for a system of government should be:
the consequences of a decision should fall on the decider(s).
You will be far more circumspect about invading a foreign country if you're a tank commander.
A consequence of this principle is that:
local affairs are decided locally.
Exactly how this might be achieved is open to debate and we have a suggestion below.
Suppose 4000 new homes are proposed to be built just outside a beautiful small town in rural England. The townsfolk object strongly but new homes anywhere will affect everyone in the country to a greater or lesser extent.
We can say that the townsfolk of Dorchester, England are attached to their green and pleasant land. They have a large stake in its ambience and are wary of large and rapid property development, the social and environmental consequences of which have probably not been thought through. They have skin in the game.
We can list the main positives and negatives as seen by different parties:
Spoil the environment (---)
Antisocial behaviour (--)
Side effects like flooding or sewage problems (-)
Community benefits like new schools (+)
Loss of amenity (-)
Fewer homes need to be built elsewhere (+)
Work for builders and suppliers (++)
So how would a panocracy handle this?
Part of the specification of an RFC will be its scope: where (and maybe when or to whom) the RFC applies. Some RFCs will be national in scope – like which side of the road you drive on, but most will be more localised – region, city, village or even maybe an individual property.
We could make the restriction that only those who live 'locally' can vote on local issues but then we're faced with the problem of deciding what is meant by 'local'. And what about people outside the 'locality' who might have a valid interest in the issue?
I don't live anywhere near Dorchester but I've visited the water meadows and they are truly beautiful and quintessentially rural England. Their loss would indeed be a loss of amenity to the nation. So I have a small interest in this even though I live 400 miles away.
It's easy in the system we're proposing to have fractional votes. Your vote on each issue could be related to its effects on you – the more a decision will affect you, the more your vote should count. This is also consistent with the notion that you should have (almost) complete control over your own affairs – or 'freedom' as it's commonly known.
So in the case of the Dorchester homes, the people who live nearest to the proposed development and who would therefore be most affected would have votes which counted much more than mine. In mathematics this is called 'weighting': on this proposal my vote would have a low weight and those of the local people a high weight. In that way the townspeople have far more say in what happens to them.
We could in this case assign the weights by geographic distance from the epicentre of the dispute. If a local resident's vote had a weight of 1 then my vote might have a weight of 1 divided by how far away I live in miles – 1/400. So it would take 400 people like me to outvote a single local resident. Of course, this is a very simple weighting scheme just to illustrate the principle. An infinity of possibilities exists each with its own merits. Different choices will change the importance we assign to local opinion. We could, for example, have used 1 divided by the distance in miles squared instead which would bolster the effect of local votes by giving my vote a weight of just 1/160000.
But what about the outliers? The homeless, or itinerant workers moving from town to town; or people who commute a long way? If I live in Reading and commute to London, how much should my vote count on a new ULEZ scheme? I don't know but I'm sure that there are people out there who would have powerful arguments for different schemes. That's the power of panocracy – we can always bring the best and most astute minds to bear on a political problem.
If we do think it's a good idea to assign weights to votes then it has to be done consistently which means we can’t change the weighting system for each new case.
It also has to be simple and comprehensible – it's easy to come up with some Byzantine system which claims to take every possible effect into account and will be understood only by a few Maths professors. The complication inherent in such schemes leads to loopholes which will be exploited by the unscrupulous. You only have to look at Tax Law in any jurisdiction to see this.
As always, if you have queries, comments or suggestions, then we’ll be delighted to receive them and answer as best we can.