Issuepedia:Governmental Brainstorming

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Modern government is hugely complex, and impossible for any one person to understand thoroughly. Clearly, some ideas are needed to help reduce this complexity, and keep it down in the future. This page is a repository of intriguing suggestions for governmental reform.


  • The total size of existing legislation shall have an upper limit, if someone wants to add a new law then if the limit is reached they will have to repeal or simplify an existing one.
  • The upper limit should be something that someone could read and understand within a few weeks.

--cryptochrome, Contrary Brin

  • Virtual voting districts. Instead of representation being based on the chunk of land you live on, it would be based on your own interests and concerns. I probably have much more in common with you than I do my next door neighbor.

--Mark, Contrary Brin

Suggestions summarized from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (ISBN: 0312863551):

  • A legislative body whose sole power, and duty, is to block legislation...which it can do with a one-third minority.
  • Legislators who get a number of votes in their legislative body in proportion to the number of votes that they received. (Logarithmic scale might be useful here.)
  • A requirement that a given piece of legislation cannot contain completely unrelated acts.

--Joshua O'Madadhain, Contrary Brin

I'm not clear on whether the following is a suggestion or an explanation of how the law is supposed to work now, but it seems a good guideline for legislation to follow. W.

  • The law has three main parts:
  1. a declaration of the law, which is a brief outline of the rule. This cannot be changed without a wholesale repeal of the law.
  2. a declaration of principle, describing for what purpose the law was written and what it is designed to achieve - its "spirit", explicitly stated. This not only cannot be changed, it means the law cannot be used in cases where it does not follow or violates the principle. If the law fails to satisfy its own principle, it will automatically become subject to review for repea.
  3. a declaration of implementation, the nuts and bolts as to how the law is implemented, funded, and enforced. This is readily amended, although perhaps their should be limits here too. Amendments are subject to repeal on principle. The details should perhaps be automatically organized by what aspects they control - a section on taxes leveed to fund the law, etc. Judicial interpretations should also be informally attached to this section, further clarifying implementation.

...people should only have to know the broad word and principle of the law to avoid breaking it in their day-to-day life, with the details readily accessible.

--cryptochrome, Contrary Brin