Technology now exists for Canadian voters to take control of the political system – an online “Democracy Operating System”

Quick Links – Democracy Operating System, People, Not Parties, Does This Sound Like Democracy?

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
– Buckminster Fuller

Democracy Operating System

Technology now exists for Canadian voters to take control of the political system – an online “Democracy Operating System”

A “Democracy Operating System” (DOS)  is an online software platform that allows ordinary Canadian citizens to discuss and vote on issues. It will ultimately take power from the political elite and put it into the hands of  voters.  Think of it as a “voting system of record” for voters in Canada. Right now our only input into our democratic system is to elect a new bunch of politicians every 4 or 5 years. A DOS system allows 24 hour, 7 day a week, 365 days of the year access to the democratic process if users wish.

The ultimate goal of a DOS is to give citizens in Canada an organizational tool to take control of an out of control political system. Our current “representative” model of democracy allows a political elite to control Canada. And Canada is the most centralized democracy in the world. A DOS is a participatory democratic system that operates on a real-time basis without reliance on a political class. It puts democracy squarely where it belongs – in the hands of the people.

With a DOS you can choose your level of participation. Once a year, once a month or every day of every year if you so choose. You can assign your vote to trusted third parties on specific issues if you so desire and cancel that assignment at any time. A DOS provides verifiable proof of what Canadians want done with their tax dollars. This is a significant departure from our current system of democracy and a DOS provides an eminently practical way of accomplishing this. Several software platforms are available for deployment. (see Software Descriptions here.)

In Canada, the power concentrated in the office of the Prime Minister has led to numerous comparisons to an elected dictatorship. And, coincidentally, the first exit survey of MPs in Canada points out the dysfunctional nature of Canadian democracy.  A parliament dominated by Cabinet and the Prime Minister are cited. It’s time to put an end to this nonsense. And it falls upon a citizen-led initiative to accomplish this.

A Canadian DOS provides a basis for actionable processes within the court of public opinion and within a court of law.

Because a DOS system provides a vote of record on issues and how Canadians want to direct their tax dollars, it is certainly capable of holding its own in the court of public opinion. As well, because taxes are a financial transaction with expectations of delivering services for taxpayers, it will also serve to provide a basis of legal arguments in a court of law if required. Ultimately, how successful a DOS will be in either of these arenas will depend on the participation and will of the people of Canada.

The simple fact is Canadians can no longer stand by and allow the political process and political power to continue unchecked. With a DOS the influence of money in the political process is essentially minimized if not completely eliminated. Every person in a riding has a vote so there is no centralized point of influence or interference. Lobbyists would have to influence every single voter in a riding and across Canada. And they would have to do it outside of the DOS as only verified voters have access to voting in the DOS system.

People, Not Parties

Political parties have taken effective control of Canada since Confederation with no real input from citizens and certainly no accountability. This has to stop not only for the sake of Canadians but for the sake of the planet. It’s time for a revolution in governance. No violence, no overthrows, no political coups.  A Democracy Operating System does not require political parties or affiliation with any groups or any ideology. It merely requires your support and participation.

With a Democracy Operating System there will no longer be any doubt about what it is that Canadians want done. The average Canadian pays about 43% of their income to governments. However, the average Canadian has no say in how how that money is actually spent. And there is no accountability by governments other than through pubic pressure and certainly not in a court of law. Case law in Canada has been quite clear about this. Call this a crime or simply reprehensible but it’s time to change the basic tenets of democracy. In other words, exchange political power in the hands of the elite for real democracy in the hands of people.

The difference between the “public” and the political elite is one of resources. They have the resources and money to shape the political system to their ends. The political elite have the power of unified action backed up by a legal system that is shaped towards their objectives. A DOS provides a basis for unified action by voters within a riding. The same unity that brought political power to the elites is now available to Canadian voters. It simply requires rolling out a DOS in a riding in Canada initially with eventual deployment in the rest of the country.

After this system is in place there will never be any doubt as to the true intentions of Canadians regarding the operation of Canada. And once this is in place it will become the authoritative voice of Canadians. It’s time to regain control of a system of governance that no longer reflects human values or serves our needs.

Does This Sound Like Democracy?


There’s a couple of widely divergent definitions of “democracy” that have been put forward.

“Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. (”

The other side of the spectrum is a little less flattering, contending that “democracy” only masks elite rule by an oligarchy. And this is no recent idea – the 20th Century Italian thinkers Vilfredo Pareto and Gaetano Mosca (independently) argued that:

“Democracy is illusory, and serves only to mask the reality of elite rule. Indeed, they argued that elite oligarchy is the unbendable law of human nature, due largely to the apathy and division of the masses (as opposed to the drive, initiative and unity of the elites) and that democratic institutions would do no more than shift the exercise of power from oppression to manipulation.”

In the US – the great promoter of democracy worldwide – a Princeton study says that the US is not a democracy and that it is indeed an oligarchy ruled by the elite. If this sounds like the Canadian experience, it would be difficult to argue with the results. See: Oligarchs Hijack Canadian Democracy, or If the U.S. is an Oligarchy, What Does that Make Canada?

Researchers concluded that US government policies rarely align with the preferences of the majority of Americans, but do favour special interests and lobbying organizations:

“When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it.”

In English: the wealthy few get what they want while average Americans have little influence on their government. The argument certainly seems valid in the Canadian experience as well.


Regardless of whether you subscribe to the idea of democracy as supreme power residing in the hands of the people or a mask for rule by the elite, a Democracy Operating system will either enhance people’s participation in our democratic processes or bring badly-needed reforms to an outdated system. Either way it’s a win-win situation for Canadian voters.


The objective of this initiative is to roll out a Democracy Operating System in at least one riding in Canada which will serve as a model for the rest of Canada.