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The Inspiration of Tiered Democratic Governance

I'm going to digress a bit with the story of how TDG came to be.

For my early adult life, I was a non-partisan citizen, not really preferring one political party over the other. I recall one election in which I was extremely satisfied with the result and I thought this new leader would be like a messiah to effect the changes I thought needed to happen. I was rather disappointed a few months later as I saw this leader unable to make the changes he had promised.

A short while after my disappointment, the industry I was working in was effected negatively by a government program supposedly designed to help the industry. If the government had actually asked some people within the industry (and perhaps brushed up on their first-year economics courses), it could have easily predicted the faulty results. I then took to heart the famous quote by Edmund Burke:

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

So instead of just complaining about the ineptness of people of government, I thought I needed to get more involved in the process (and bring my much superior insights in how the world should work). So I joined a political party closest to my particular ideology at that time. And there I remained for about six years.

Initially, I had some ambitions about becoming at elected politician at some time. And getting involved at that point would help my quest by getting experience and developing contacts. But within my first year in a political party, I figured I really didn't want the lifestyle of politicians and I really didn't see myself as being all that electable. But I was comfortable in the back rooms, hoping that my presence would somehow bring more wisdom into the process of governance. I would say that I reached lower-level management with the party. But my occupation wouldn't really allow me to move any higher.

As the years passed, I began to realize a few more things about political parties. First, the political party really does not want to hear the opinion of average party workers: our purpose was to win elections, nothing more, nothing less. If we didn't like what our leaders were saying, we were free to leave the party or curtail our activity within the party. Second, life in a political party can be very dysfunctional at times (and I should admit that I contributed to some of the dysfunction I experienced). I questioned my sanity several times for remaining as an active party volunteer in those times.

Towards the end of my tenure, I came to the realization that the various election processes—both the internal party elections and general elections—were quite silly contests. What the candidates were proffering themselves to be (with help from the parties' propaganda machine and the media reports) really had little to do with how they could do their jobs as custodians of governance. I pondered quite hard over this particular issue for a long time.

Such pondering eventually produced a result. While on a long walk, I had a “eureka” moment you hear of scientists sometimes having when a new discovery occurs to them. Within a very short time, I saw the framework of the failings of western democracy (later to be the 12 limitations) and a replacement system (later to be the TDG). I also saw that the failings of western democracy would never allow it to evolve into a TDG: we needed to build this new system from the start. In essence, most of what you have read in this and the previous chapter came to me in a very short time frame, probably less than five minutes!

When I had my eureka, I was in the midst of an internal party election, which was becoming dysfunctional as three viable candidates wanted the job. I was working quite hard backing one of these candidates. We ended up losing that election—and afterward as we learned more about the winner, it became clear that the party members had made a very bad choice.

But being on the wrong side of that election meant the faction I was involved with was likely to be cast aside, which was what happened. Then shut out of attending many political meetings and activities, I had some time to think. Why did I become politically active in the first place? Answer: I wanted to get my insights and knowledge involved with public decisions! But after six years of positioning myself within the party, I never had such influence whatsoever!

I knew that if I was a good sport about our loss and hung around the fringes until someone needed the services I could offer, I could find my way back to the same position within the party again. But even regaining that position would not give me the influence I wanted. I decided to never get involved in politics again.

However, I never let go of my eureka moment. This book is the result.

 
 

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