The House of Speakers

This idea for a state government has been kicking around in my head for a while. The concept is to replace the legislative bodies of a state with a single body: the House of Speakers.

Rather than periodic voting, the House would be chosen in the following manner:
Each county would have a number of Voting Buildings. Citizens would go to these places when it was convienent for them to register their choice for a representative. They may choose anyone who has registered to be a Representative. They may even register themselves as a Rep. At the end of every month the votes would be tallied and a new House would be seated. The Speakers would be the 100 people with the most votes. Every other person with votes, even the ones who only represent themselves, would become Representatives.

Decision Making:
On votes within the House, every Speaker’s vote would count for as many people who have registered under them. All Representatives would also be allowed to vote for the people who registered under them. The difference between Speakers and Reps. is that Speakers are allowed to raise and debate issues.
Reps. would be silent but would still vote on the measures. Voting would also take place at the Voting Buildings so that Reps. would not necessarily need to be at the capital. Perhaps voting could also be done at home via computer. The important issue here is that each voter’s vote would be counted as many times as s/he has people registered, rather than each vote counting the same no matter how many people are supporting that person. In this manner every person who cared would have an equal say in the running of the state.

I see this as sort of a combination of Direct and Representative Democracy.

I like this plan, actually. The only obvious flaw I see in it is that there isn’t any incentive for people to go vote if they’re just really apathetic, but that’s a flaw that exists in our current system, anyway.

And, of course, there’d be other flaws, too, but none that are staring me in the face. And besides, every system starts with flaws… you just gotta spackle ‘em up as you go along and hope that the fixin’ doesn’t do more harm than good.


I like that plan as well. I am something of an advocate for a true democracy, rather than a representative one…and your suggestion comes closer to that than the quagmire we have now. I believe that better representation at least, or even direct voting by the people on issues important to them, might cut through at least some of the government morass we have today. No taxation without representation! Someone hand me my musket.

I am surprised by the acclamation. That’s not how this usually works for me. But if no one disagrees then we can’t have a debate.

As to SPOOFE’s point about apathy I agree. That was not 1 of the issues that I was looking to solve. I think that the convenience of the system would allow more people to get represented, but if someone just does not care then this does nothing to help them do so. Unless a person’s lack of interest stems from an understandable feeling of the lack of responsiveness to his/her concerns and they felt more involved in this system.

Oh, who cares about apathy?

I thought this thread would be about big sound systems that thump.

I like your idea. I don’t really see the value of most state governments following the Feds in having a bicameral legislature. I think your system would work well, especially since with the communications technology we have sessions of the legislature no longer need to take place in one room.

As far as apathy, perhaps a solution would be to fine people who didn’t take the responsibility to vote? I may have heard that Australia does this, I don’t remember. But perhaps if we do that we should also only allow the vote to people who subscribe to some minimal level of news service so we have an informed voting populace, and not just a voting populace. On the other hand, maybe we’re better off just leaving those who don’t care not voting.

As far as apathy goes…do people think that the apathetic have a right to be represented if they do not excersize that right? I mean they are the only ones stopping themselves. In science we refer to this thing (jokingly) as Self-Initiated Darwinism.

Perhaps you all would like to help me work out some more of the details.

I am having difficulty coming up with ways to move the debate forward without breaking up the House into committees. This would ruin the voting system.

Any ideas?

1 small caveat, I want the Speakers all in 1 room. The location of the Reps is less important since they can not speak. But I want to confine the debate to 1 location, at least until VR becomes a reality. Too much of comunication is nonverbal. And I want it to be a public location. I don’t like having decisions made in “smoke-filled rooms”.


Sorry to disappoint. This isn’t MPSIMS you know.

I was thinking that teleconferencing would be sufficient, but I have no problem with the Speakers all being in one room (or stadium, depending on how many there are).

As far as committees, how about non-member advisory committees for the House? All the Speakers and Reps could be furnished with the reports of these committees, and the debate could move on from there. It would remove the power an individual Speaker or Rep could derive from being on certain committees. Of course, there’s still the highly problematic issue of who gets appointed to these advisory committees.

I had not thought of that. I’m thinking about it now.


Actually, I find this to be an interesting idea too.
It sounds almost like voting by the House would be like a stock holders meeting for a corporation. If you’re a stockholder in a corporation, you can vote your own shares (in the case of the House, the analogy would be that everyone would have one “share”), or you can use a proxy to allow someone you designate to cast your vote.