I have written a paper about an alternative form of government which I call Ikanocracy. I would invite people to read the paper HERE.

In this blog I will be commenting on events in politics, government and current affairs and discussing how things would be different (and hopefully better) in a Ikanocracy.

The goal of this blog is to disseminate the ideas of Ikanocracy to as many people as possible and to start a discussion about improving politics and government.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Obama gains vote share

Back in 2009, President Obama bailed out General Motors and Chrysler. Both companies have now recovered, paid back the money and are profitable and rehiring. Most experts say that Obama's actions saved the auto sector in North America. In Ikanocracy, if the proposition to bail out the auto sector had been put to a vote, we would now be able to have a hindsight vote with a reasonable confidence of the correctness of decision to bail out. Obama was clearly on the right side and his vote share would increase.

Presumptive Republican nominee for President, Mitt Romney, on the other hand is clearly on the record as saying "Let Detroit go bankrupt". His vote share would have took a hit on that one.

However, in American Representative Democracy, sometimes down is up and bankrupt is bailout as Romney is now claiming that "he takes a lot of credit" for the fact the auto industry has recovered.

It takes a lot of chutzpah to make claims so contrary to established fact. We will see if the American public gives him the credit he is taking.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Is everything OK?

Have you heard of folksinger Bob Snider? One of my favorite songs of his is Darn Folksinger. It begins with Bob saying how he was once asked "How come you never wrote any protest songs?" His response: "Since everything is OK." 

While Bob's tongue was firmly planted in cheek, there is a truth in his words. Most people just want to live their lives, and as long as everything is OK, they will let the politicians do what they want, even if they were given no mandate to do it.

Deregulate the banking industry? I don't have a lot of money in the bank anyway, so it doesn't really affect me, so OK.

Unlimited spending by political action groups during campaigns? I probably will be carpet bombed by negative political ads, but I know what's going on and those ads don't influence me, so OK.

Invade a foreign country? I'm not going to be fighting, our soldiers knew what they were signing up for, and they say those foreigners had it coming, so OK.

Mislead the public about the true cost of of some expensive program? The politicians complaining about it would probably do the same thing if they had power, so I can't do anything about it, so OK.

Cut taxes on the rich so that rich billionaires are paying a lower percentage of their earnings in taxes than their administrative assistants?  Hey, maybe I'll be rich someday, and they say those guys will use their tax savings to create jobs, so OK.

Enact a prohibition on recreational drugs (like alcohol or marijuana)?  Some people say it just drives up the prices, which causes addicts to commit petty crime to feed their addiction, and leads to powerful crime gangs who make money trafficking, but that's not in my neighbourhood, and we gotta get that crap off the streets, so OK.

Eventually, as the negative effects of bad decisions accumulate, and people notice that their lives are becoming less OK, there is a backlash. But it would be better if we had some way to not enact bad decisions in the first place. Maybe Ikanocracy?

Oh, and you may know someone who thinks all the above are great ideas. Well I think Bob would agree with me:  What an idiot he is! (and the last line of that song is particularly ironic.)

Friday, 13 April 2012

Good news, politicians aren't having fun!

I was driving in to work yesterday and was listening to the CBC. It was the political panel, a Liberal, a Conservative and a New Democrat, discussing ... and mostly spinning the current events.

It one point, when discussing some recent provincial government cutbacks, the Liberal had the following gem:

"It's not a fun time to be a politician. 
They have some tough choices to make."

I thought that was their job. Perhaps if they had made some tough choices when times were good and actually tried to balance the budget then, or even better, ran a surplus, we wouldn't be in this mess today.  This is one of the premises of Keynesian Economics.  

If politicians really were putting the good of society ahead of their own interests, prudent budgetting would be the norm. Instead, what we see is politicians who bribe voters with their own money, or worse, the money of future generations, with their main goal of perpetuating their rule or the rule of their party.

If anyone has ideas about how we can make our representatives actually represent us, we need these ideas now. If not, how about we move to a system where they are not needed. You know what system I am talking about.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

An Ikanocracy Infographic

It appears Ikanocracy is gaining some support. One of its supporters, Ryan, who is a friend of my son Zack, created the following awesome infographic about Ikanocracy.

You can see the full sized version here.  Thanks Ryan.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Bender vs the Board of Education

While I have been pointing out all the problems with our current representative democracy, and trying to convince you that a system based on Ikanocracy would be better, I have to admit there are still a few wrinkles to work out with Ikanocracy. One of the ideas of Ikanocracy is to take advantage of new information dissemination technology, namely the internet, to modernize our governmental structures.

However, there are still some problems with electronic voting, as was illustrated recently in a election for the Board of Education in Washington DC. They thought they had such a foolproof system, they dared hackers to hack it, and it turned out that it wasn't too hard to do, as Bender (the Robot from the TV show Futurama) won in a landslide.

Technological tampering is a serious concern with electronic voting, and we still have no clear solution. What about open source for all software running the electronic voting system, or multiple servers processing the raw data at distributed sites?

Just like "Brown vs the Board of Education" paved the way for integration of schools and the civil rights movement in the US, perhaps Bender vs the Board of Education can be a pivotal moment in the development of tamperproof electronic voting systems and in the Ikanocracy movement.

Too Stupid to Vote

I saw this article : "People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say" and I had to bring it to your attention. It certainly fits in with the narrative I have been describing about why Ikanocracy is better that Democracy. We shouldn't make assumptions about what demographic the people who are making stupid decisions belong to, but once a person has a track record of making stupid decisions, we should make their vote count for less.

Friday, 2 March 2012


I am really disgusted by the latest affront to Canadian democracy. Apparently, in the last Federal Election, there was a coordinated attempt to mislead voters by phoning them with recorded messages, claiming to be from Elections Canada, and giving them misinformation about location and times of polls. The persons receiving calls seem to have been supporters of either the NDP or Liberal Party. If even a small part of what is being claimed about this robo-calling scandal is true, we have reached a new low in Canadian democracy. A decade ago, the Liberal Party subverted democracy with the sponsorship scandal, and it has led to their near destruction. Now the Conservatives may have done the Liberals one better) or should I say "one worse".

We also had a local case of subversion of democracy closer to home last year. During municipal elections in a nearby small town, there were rumours that the mayor and council had squandered over a million dollars on a concert that wasn't going to happen. During the campaign, the mayor flatly denied these rumours. The mayor was re-elected, but a number of new councillors were also elected and after the election they refused to be part of a coverup and so it came out that the rumours were true. In my opinion, the mayor's deception during the election campaign was far worse than the actual wasting of the money, because it robbed citizens of something more important than money ... their franchise ( i.e. right to make an informed decision about who governs them.)

The Sponsorship scandal and the Robo-calling scandal similarly robbed citizens of their franchise.

Unfortunately there are many other similar cases of abuse. Remember Watergate? (OK maybe that was before your time... look it up.) What happens when politicians are elected under false pretences, or by employing unethical or illegal tactics? It is very hard to get these abuses exposed and addressed after the fact. As we've mentioned in previous posts, one of the problems of a representative democracy is that representatives often put their own interests ahead of the interests of the citizens who elected them, and nothing is more in a politician's own interest than covering their own posterior.  The elected politician often now has the power to delay, obfuscate or stifle investigations. Even if the abuse is able to be exposed and the perpetrators punished, it often takes so long that the politician gets to serve their term, and meanwhile, the business of governing suffers as the politician is diverted by their posterior protecting, and public confidence in the process is degraded.

These abuses keep happening, and no one seems to have a fix for our representative democracy to stop them. In Ikanocracy this wouldn't be a problem, as in general you are voting for ideas, not people, and ideas have no self-interest.