Photo – On May 16, armed police stand guard at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS-The New York Times
China is once again facing a major historical juncture. Restricting the power of the rulers and establishing a democratic system are the only way out to avoid China from falling into the abyss. Friends at home and abroad who are interested in this need to think of specific measures and create feasible measures. It is necessary to make full use of existing technologies and resources; there must be a spirit of innovation, not limited to European and American democratic mechanisms. These mechanisms were formed hundreds of years ago and were limited by the economic and technological conditions at that time.
For example, it is possible to use the Internet to establish a public database of all officials to record the achievements or bad deeds they have established in their own jurisdictions, allowing the public to score, for the ruling party and the public to refer to when promoting or selecting officials, and it can also facilitate sanctions by the international community Officials with a bad track record at least do not provide them and their families with travel, investment, study abroad and settlement facilities. This method can constrain officials in a lasting and convenient way, but it does not depend on the political system, and is very suitable for countries that do not have a democratic system or which are in name only.
The Internet and mobile phones can be used to establish a direct voting mechanism for the people. European and American countries established the representative system because the operating cost of direct democracy was too high hundreds of years ago. But now the mobile Internet is highly developed, and almost every person in China has one device (mobile phone, Internet terminal device), and direct democracy can already be achieved technically. are counted as abstentions. If the total number of voters reaches hundreds of thousands, millions, or even more, the influence and pressure will be far greater than that of dozens or hundreds of people taking to the streets to demonstrate. Large-scale online voting is equivalent to a referendum, but it is far less technically difficult than organizing and implementing a referendum or taking to the streets, and it can be held frequently. The percentage of approval and disapproval among voters, even if they only represent part of the public opinion, can have a huge influence on the government, and when games are played within the ruling group, the results of these votes can strengthen the power of those officials whose views are in line with public opinion. Technology is also sufficient to keep online polling event organizers and voters in secrecy from government crackdowns.
When designing China’s future political system, we should not only consider the establishment of a democratic decision-making mechanism, but also consider mechanisms to prevent populism, such as the mutual check mechanism between the two chambers. Members of the lower house are elected by popular vote, and members of the upper house are held by the largest local taxpayers. The former reflects public opinion, while the latter restricts populism. There is an essential difference between a big taxpayer and a wealthy being a parliamentarian. The wealth of the rich belongs to themselves, while the taxes paid by the big taxpayers belong to the country and the people. The formation of the House of Lords by big taxpayers can help prevent the government from spending money indiscriminately, and can avoid excessive welfare, which will lead to the country’s lack of food and high debt. Large taxpayers are not limited to natural persons, but also organizations. If a trade union pays a large amount of taxes, it can send a representative to serve as a member of the upper house and have a vote in the upper house.
All political parties, whether they are a century-old party or a new democratic party just established yesterday, whether they are the ruling party or the opposition party that does not hold political power, should establish a self-discipline and self-purification mechanism internally. There must be mutual supervision. One person abuses power, makes wrong decisions, is corrupt, and others are punished by party discipline, such as demerits, warnings, demotions, expulsion from the party, etc., depending on the severity of the circumstances. In this way, members of the political party are forced to supervise their comrades closely, fight against wrongful behavior, and report to their superiors in a timely manner, or make them public to the whole party or society.
Political parties can stipulate that the first person to report a conspiracy gets credit. This can make any cabal extremely unstable. The efficiency of internal supervision and control of political parties is much higher than that of public supervision and control from the outside, and it can prevent bad things before they happen, or cause huge losses and disasters. The self-purification mechanism of political parties can greatly reduce the possibility of political party degeneration, can greatly reduce the cost of external supervision of society, and reduce the cost of democratic system operation. Any political party should establish an impeachment mechanism to prevent party leaders from insisting on wrong decisions that damage the interests of the party and the people.
China should not only establish a democratic system, but also strive for a smooth transition in the specific transition process, to avoid the huge loss of people’s lives and property, the sharp drop in living standards, and the country’s turmoil and division. History has also proven that new regimes established through violent revolutions often repeat the mistakes of previous dictatorships, and leaders of revolutionary movements often become new dictators. Therefore, violent revolution should not be the best option.
Some practical work can begin now, such as establishing a database of officials’ merits and demerits, and establishing a system of direct popular voting. These things have already matured in technology and have a large number of practical applications, and the construction and operation costs are not high. These two things don’t have to be done in one step. You can start from local areas and a small number of people, and gradually expand the scope of application. A single spark can start a prairie fire and finally cover the whole country. People and organizations who are interested in promoting China’s progress can start from these small things. Friends with leadership skills can come forward, initiate action, and organize implementation. These two things alone can drive change and progress in existing governments. Heaven has a great responsibility, and the times create heroes. This is a once-in-a-century opportunity.
The above-mentioned thoughts and suggestions are just suggestions, and everyone is welcome to forward them. We welcome ridicule, criticism, and criticism. We hope that they can inspire everyone to explore democratic systems and transformation paths that are suitable for China’s situation and make full use of existing technologies.
Mainland anonymous netizens 2022-8-6
(This article only represents the author’s personal views and positions, please indicate the source for reprinting, thank you)