Legislative representatives are the agents of their electorate. Yet far too often they willfully vote against the known wishes of their constituents in deference to the special interest lobbyists who control their re-election hopes. A classic example is corporate bailouts. Not one in a hundred people approves of these embezzlements of public funds, yet over and over again, the lobbyists are able to blackmail legislators into breaching their trust. A representative override would prevent this type of abuse. Under this check, each legislator’s vote on every bill would be announced two weeks ahead of the tallying of votes. During this interval constituents could, by voting over the Internet, override or vote to support their representative’s vote. The electorate’s wishes would prevail if a quorum, say 20 percent of the electorate, voted.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove