Proposed Society for Democracy or a Democratic Republic in Central North America

Version 0.1.1 (one author so far).

I propose the formation of a membership society with the purpose of ensuring that the choice of who holds office in any political division of the subject territory reflects the result of according the voters equal weight in the decision, and with a permissible additional purpose of working against any and all kinds of suppression of the votes.  Central North America is defined as the territory between Mexico and Canada but excluding Mexico and Canada, regardless of what regime of government happens to prevail there from time to time.

I propose the following as initial rules for the operation of the society.

The society cannot take a position on a governmental policy or law other than those connected with the communication of power from the people to the organs of government.  It can therefore take a position on for example voting rights and voting systems and the prevention of fraud in voting.  It can take a position on the structures of legislatures and the powers of executives and courts.  It cannot take a position on abortion, marriage, war and peace, drug prohibition, or any policy question other than those that can be connected with the structures whereby the people are accorded or denied power with respect to the government.  It can take a position on police repression of political expression.  It can take positions on education.  All those affect the political power of the people.  Officers of the society are forbidden, in speaking for the society, to speak of matters forbidden to the society by this paragraph.  However, the Society does not attempt to constrain what officers or members say when speaking for themselves.

Members may form subgroups among themselves to discuss or take positions on any political questions, and the Society may make its communication organs available for proposals for the formation of such subgroups and recruitment for them, and/or for use by the subgroups, in their own respective names, for their purposes, according to some content-neutral policy (except that it may restrict content in such ways as may seem necessary to protect the Society from trouble with the law), and a simple majority of the membership of the Society suffices to decide or change that policy.

The Society shall not attempt to register itself as a political party with the electoral authorities of any government.

Officers and/or functionaries of the society are to poll those members of the Society who live in each electoral district of their State of the United States or of whatever political structure may replace those States and/or the United States itself, as to their ratings of the candidates running in those districts.  The ballots in the polls are to allow each respondent to rate the candidates on a scale of zero up through and including 100 in increments of 1.  If a respondent does not mention a particular candidate on her ballot, that candidate receives a score of zero from that respondent.  The functionaries of the society are to tally the polls and announce the totals received by the candidates.  The members of the society, by joining, urge one another to vote in the official State or state elections for whoever ranks highest in the polling that happens under the auspices of the society, or rather to boycott the elections in case an option to boycott outpolls the human candidates.  Members commit themselves, however, to refrain from any attempts at coercion of votes or of boycotting.  In communicating among themselves or trying to recruit people to join, they undertake to respect the dignity of others in their capacities as thinking, autonomous human beings at all times.

The society may accord candidates channels of publication for informing the members of the society and the general public about the candidates’ positions regarding voting-system reform.  It may also relay information from the candidates regarding other policy positions, including even positions about which the society as a whole is forbidden to take.  The society may facilitate discussion of policy questions among members and candidates. However, in publishing papers or web pages reflecting the candidates’ statements, the society shall give prominence to the candidate’s positions on voting reform.

The society may facilitate discussion of voting systems and publish propaganda touting the advantages of one system over another.

The society may involve itself in coalitions with other groups for promoting debates among candidates.

The functionaries and officers of the society are to record the membership roll using techniques reasonably adequate to assure that no one can cast more than one vote in a poll conducted by the society.  This may require a network of in-person contacts and examining prospective members’ State-issued ID cards.  Officers and functionaries must undertake that in handling any data on behalf of the Society, to do so honestly and accurately.

Election of officers shall proceed by democratic means according the members equal power in the matter.

A change to these fundamental rules of the society requires approval of 3/4 of the membership, except as to the range for voting, which can be changed by a simple majority.

Approval of a simple majority of the members suffices to establish or change term limits on the officers, or to establish dues and to set rules for the handling of money.  Shorter term limits may apply to founders of the Society and to drafters of this constitution.

Any person eligible to vote in the subject territory, willing to pay the required dues (if any), and not having a reputation for dishonesty or for repeated and severe disruption of civil and reasonable communication, is eligible to join the Society and remain a member.  The rules related to dues, as may be voted on by the members and determined by a majority, may (and should) create exceptions for members and prospective members who live in poverty.

The offices within the Society, if any, are still to be defined in a future draft.  However, the terms “executive director”, “steering committee”, and “central committee” shall not be used.  No officer can be compensated for serving in office in the Society.  Drafters may find reason to establish a committee that could make rapid and short-term decisions and responses, in enumerated areas of concern, on behalf of the Society, under rules such that in due time, a majority of the membership could overrule those decisions.

— end of draft 0.1.1 —

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