Hello, and welcome to PublicOversight.org
The recent publication of the study by Gilens and Page offering hard evidence that America is no longer a democracy, the McCutcheon vs. FEC ruling that effectively legalizes bribery of U.S. elected officials, and the Snowden revelations showing that Western "Democracies" are now surveillance states, together confirm the public's longstanding suspicion that the erosion of public power is nearing a point of no return.
Our systems of Democracy have shown themselves to be vulnerable to infiltration by Big Money and other forces. The need for a "systems patch", or an update, has never been greater.
Nowadays, common ad-hoc methods of getting the government to listen to the public interest typically fail, and when they do succeed, it is not for long, as the government quickly returns to what they were doing before -- the only difference being that they now hide their activites better. Protests, marches, petitions, letter-writing campaigns, direct action ... none of these work anymore, or even survive the 24-hour news cycle. How many times has Parliament or Congress acquiesced to public outrage over proposed legislation, only to sneak the same legislation back in again, piecemeal, into other bills? Ad-hoc campaigns no longer work, so we need an embedded solution. A built-in solution.
Thus, we propose a Democracy Upgrade: a wide-ranging update that more actively applies the fundamental design principles of our current systems: checks on power, rule of law, public accountability, public information and a public voice.
The Centre for Public Oversight was created to advance this proposal. In particular, we aim to: