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Old September 17th, 2016, 11:42 PM   #1
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Can Athenian Democracy Work in the Modern World?

The question is simple really: can a form of direct democracy work in a nation-state?

Let's set the scenario as such: The government is a three-branch Presidential system (Executive, Legislative, Judicial), but the Legislative body is replaced by the citizenry. Every citizen who wishes to vote on Legislation, National decisions, etc. must take a test regarding education levels to ensure that said citizen is qualified to be making such decisions. The test would basically be on things like basic history, Constitution of the Nation-State, etc. Not a comprehensive test that would basically create some new form of elite within the country, but just enough to ensure that, if you want your opinion to matter, you need to understand the issues, and have enough knowledge regarding history, politics, and the like to vote intelligently in referenda. Ideology, would, of course, play no role in said test, and it would be a simple measure of education, akin to the ACT, I suppose, in its level of difficulty. These qualified individuals would also vote for the Head of State.

Could this proposed government style work? Obviously, it's not the most traditional concept of direct democracy, but it's not like Athenian democracy actually gave the vote to all of the denizens of Athens.
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Old September 18th, 2016, 06:51 AM   #2
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Probably not.
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Old September 19th, 2016, 05:14 PM   #3
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i think the people would always vote to reduce taxes and increase spending. such a nation would go bankrupt pretty fast.
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Old September 19th, 2016, 05:19 PM   #4
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It could work in a small nation-state, but the US is not a stuctured as a nation-state. That is where all of our problems arise and the devisivness comes from: trying to force a nation-state out of states and a Constitution that is antithetical to a nation-state.
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Old September 19th, 2016, 05:26 PM   #5
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You could randomly select a couple of thousand registered voters to serve for a year as your legislative body, you'd get a broad cross section, no fund raising, no politicking, just people devoted to the process for a year, getting paid a sweet sum too.
As a group politicians have a greater percentage of their number incarcerated than any other profession. Whereas you rarely hear of a bad jury.
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Old September 19th, 2016, 05:46 PM   #6
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The constraints on who was allowed to vote in the Athenian Democracy effectively made it a rich man's club. I have problems with that.

But to tell you the truth, I have a worse problem with a true democracy where virtually all citizens, by our current definition of the word, would vote on everything.

Hot dragon was correct in post #3.
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Old September 19th, 2016, 06:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmyb View Post
It could work in a small nation-state, but the US is not a stuctured as a nation-state. That is where all of our problems arise and the devisivness comes from: trying to force a nation-state out of states and a Constitution that is antithetical to a nation-state.
You guys STILL miss the Articles of Confederation?'
Let it go, been dead for well over 200 years now.
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Old September 19th, 2016, 06:33 PM   #8
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It takes a special kind of stupid to reference the Articles of Confederation in this thread.
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Old September 19th, 2016, 06:46 PM   #9
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It takes a special kind of stupid to reference the Articles of Confederation in this thread.
I was thinking the same thing
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Old September 20th, 2016, 07:32 AM   #10
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I was thinking the same thing
Why exactly, be as specific as you care to.

Last edited by Hollywood; September 20th, 2016 at 07:33 AM. Reason: typo
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