Voting is a very complex topic. Voting System Theory involves high level math and logical analysis.
For the purpose of this model, we assume that local issues are voted upon by everyone within the affected or interested part of the world. It makes no difference what the sub-districts are if all that matters is the total vote for a particular issue, for example smoking in public places, or death with dignity. If the scope of the issue broadens, then the issue is taken to a higher (broader) vote.
The choice of who hauls garbage for a particular village shouldn't be decided by popular vote (or marketing campaign). It should be decided through an RFP process under full control of the village council.
Some kinds of issues need to be decided by elect officals rather than the populace. How would a city council vote, where the different towns on the council have varying populations? Proportion their vote by number of registered voters? Use the number voting from their town in the last city council election? (Not!) How about an equal vote with other council members? Small towns would have more say so they say -- but shouldn't we working toward consensus and not treading on the little towns anyway? Portland council members are elected at large anyway, so currently there is no wight to any vote taken.
Much of the politics for the nation could be distributed to regions. We could have a much more diverse nation. See Devolving Authority and Democratizing Decision Making.
Rather than having 500 representatives travel to Washington DC to be seduced by lobbyists, have a virtual congress of Area Representatives, using a secure govenment internet to conduct business. This would make our national capitol less vulnerable to nuts and terrorists.
I admit this concept needs a lot of work - more than I can even speculate on at this time. In lieu of a completely re-worked voting system, it should be possible to form equivalent voting districts for the current national government by using villages or neigborhoods as building blocks (precincts) to form senate and house districts. Before you flame me on this, at least take a look at the Center for Voting and Democracy. It has a web page full of links about redistricting.
Article on Voting Systems in Scientific American, month, year.
See Strong Democracy and Vermont Papers for ideas.
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