Citizen Based Social Planning

The Next Step in the Evolution of Democracy

Citizen Based Social Planning is a new way of governing that allows voters to be directly involved in making decisions that affect their society and future well-being. The following is an overview of what this process involves so that we might begin working together to implement it globally.

First of all, welcome and thank you for visiting my website. My name is Roland Kriewaldt and what follows is an introduction to a new approach to governing that fulfills the promise of our actually participating in a genuine "democracy." I was inspired to create this alternative form of governing because I was fed up with seeing politicians failing to deliver on their promises — and I know that many of us feel the same. Moreover, I dread having my future security gambled away like a reckless sports bet between the wealthiest of society. And if you feel the same dread, then please do yourself a favor and read this introduction about a possible solution to these long-standing problems; one that can have us moving in the direction of a genuine form of democratic governance.

Also, everything presented here is the product of my creative imagination, as is the term "Citizen Based Social Planning." This also represents a work in progress and is not an established social "movement" as yet, nor a usable programme that we can begin to adopt.

However, with your active participation, this dream can also become as much a reality as any other we have already realized, from going to the moon to finding a way to rid our oceans of plastic debris, as was the dream of Boyan Slat before he formally began The Ocean Cleanup project. In short, it is possible for us to achieve almost anything when driven by a genuine desire for positive change and a willingness to change.

At the very least, I hope this will plant a seed in the minds of those looking to consciously evolve toward a world wherein we all might thrive and prosper rather than just a privileged few.

Before we begin, I would also ask you to sign up for my mailing list to keep up with new developments regarding the CBSP initiative.

This mailing list will only be used for CBSP-related topics.

In addition to the essays here, I have also created a two column panel for comparing our current systems of governing (representative democracy) with that of the evolved CBSP model. This not only shows us the benefits of adopting a more enlightened approach to voting but also gives us talking points for future discussions. Click here to view this chart (a new window will open; close it once you're finished).

Moving forward, what follows here is a brief explanation of the CBSP project and the reasons why it needs to be implemented ASAP. There are also essays that deal with specific and troubling aspects of our current world leadership, including the continued prevalence of patriarchy and its constant call to war and social domination. There may even be some repetition of ideas and editing errors along the way, so please forgive the lack of perfection as this project continues to take shape in my mind.

What is Citizen-Based Social Planning (CBSP)?

Citizen Based Social Planning is a new power sharing system for the purpose of creating a genuine Democracy within any nation. It is a blueprint for how citizens can engage in the process of governing themselves rather than allowing potentially corrupted or self-serving political leaders to make all decisions on their behalf.

CBSP also gives tax payers a voice in choosing how their money should be spent.  Case in point: should it be used to build weapons for fighting wars of conquest in foreign lands, or perhaps to finance a free university education or provide centers for higher learning? In short, CBSP allows the will of the people to determine the best use of their tax money. And rather than hiding such spending behind a wall of secretive bureaucratic book-keeping, all CBSP spending information will be transparent and openly accessible to all citizens.

Having done some research, I found a similiar system of governing that is referred to as a "Direct Democracy." Unfortunately, this system is only being implemented in three locations around the world: there are two towns in Switzerland that utilize it, and the people of the Crow nation, an indigenous tribe in the United States. And that's it; no one else wants to risk sharing power and probably for the most obvious reason — politicians can't be selfish and greedy if we all have an equal say in determining what happens in our society. Not exactly a great mystery to solve, is it now?

How does CBSP work?

Citizen Based Social Planning allows citizens to vote for ideas rather than people.

While this part of the process is still in the planning stages, we can assume that there is a collection of ideas submitted by ordinary citizens, followed by an assessment of their merit (by a revolving committee of community leaders) and then a final vote on those ideas; perhaps in order of priority so that more than one gets attention. In this way, ordinary citizens will have an equal say in what kind of social improvements can come to fruition, from the germination of those ideas to their final support by way of a democratic community or nationwide vote.

Why is CBSP needed?

The need for CBSP is self-evident. Currently, we are allowed only one vote for someone to represent all of us. And this person typically wins our vote by promising to make a number of positive changes on our behalf. Unfortunately, the kind of people who seek power over others usually have no intention of helping anyone but themselves to succeed. And so, we typically find ourselves voting for a charismatic politician or wealthy businessman who then fails — quite predictably — to make good on those promises to improve society for the rest of us. Instead, there will likely be more tax breaks and fewer growth restraints for the wealthiest among us.

And as we've also seen, once elected, our political leaders often waste precious years in office fending off challenges by rival political parties in that age old tribal battle between men for symbolic dominance and control over our societies. Subsequently, the job for which we hired them — to improve the quality of life for the rest of us — seems forever relegated to the bottom of their list of priorities. Instead, it appears that their main ambition is to take as much as they can for themselves. But don't just take my word for it; have a look at their deeds, which are often directly contradicted by the promising words of reassurance they offer during election campaigns.

Ultimately it's a question of: how much longer can we allow ourselves to be willingly duped?

As for honesty in politics, there is no downside for lying to voters when an elected official can't be fired from their post until the next election cycle. In the meantime, they can engage in countless destructive activities, from involving us in costly wars; encouraging the polluting of our ocean habitats with industrial waste or the cutting down of our forests and decimation of endangered wildlife habitats; closing down schools and hospitals; eliminating vital social programs, or even stealing our hard-fought rights and freedoms through anti-democratic legislation.

What also happens far too often is that newly-implemented social programs are shut down by the incoming political party. This is a typical behavior among conservative politicians running on their predictable "cost savings" platform. And yet, most will manage to increase our national debt before leaving office. In short, our social evolution becomes legislatively paralyzed wherein nothing can improve except the lives and incomes of politicians catering to the whims of their wealthy donors. In other words, "dirty business as usual."

History also shows us that entire nations can be ravaged by the crazed antics of a single deranged leader such as Hitler, or any other power hungry sociopath acting without empathy or remorse on behalf of their own selfish interests.

This is not mere hyperbole by a genuine problem that we witness each and every day. In many nations, government criminality and oppression are a way of life. But we can all do better, and surely we must, otherwise we, the remaining wild animals, and the ecology of our planet will not survive to see the future unfolding. All it takes is a few crazy people to ruin this world for the rest of us...and we have seen how easily that can be done with war, nuclear weapons, and industrial pollution.

Pardon the rant, but I do feel some resentment for what is going on here...

And so, rather than having voters merely choose from a list of potentially unfit candidates to lead them, they will now be asked to vote YES or NO to a list of ideas or social initiatives designed to improve the quality of life for the many instead of the privileged few, whether on a local or national scale.

In short, CBSP removes the "middleman" whose greed and self interest often stand in the way of progress for all. In this way, we can actually get things done, and also get them done faster by removing the self-serving incentives that undermine the political process of making important social decisions that affect us all.

What happens to politicians?

Under a CBSP system, the role of politicians will change dramatically. So much so that we may no longer require politicians but only qualified project facilitators who — with absolute transparency — will oversee and manage each project on a contractual and non-permanent basis. And funding will also be managed with a keen eye to discourage project overseers from engaging in criminal enterprises, so that our future democracies are not corrupted from within, as so many are today.

In light of this new "shared power" structure, politicians will no longer require, nor be granted, any form of absolute veto power over others. Instead, they will have the same level of power as any other citizen because that is the essence of democracy. As a positive side-effect, this eliminates the temptations that typically lead to political corruption and the misuse of political power for self-serving purposes.

Ironically, the kind of person who typically wants to run for government office will not be attracted to a CBSP system because it does not give them access to increased personal power, status and social privileges. Personal vanity and selfish gain will no longer play any role in governing society because they have no role in helping to improve our quality of life or organize our society in a peaceful, prosperous way.

Governing should not be a sport for the wealthy elite to play at the expense of the nation and its people. CBSP ensures that the competitive games of such men will remain in their rightful place — on the sporting field and not in our governments.

Eliminating the Male Seizure of Social Power

Currently, most so-called democratic governments are ”representative“ democracies wherein one leader is chosen to speak on behalf of everyone else. This also means that a single human being is allowed to make choices affecting millions of lives. In reality, this has more in common with dictatorship and monarchy than democracy, which is meant to be a government "by and for the people.”

Furthermore, choosing a leader currently requires only one day of political participation, after which voters are legally shut out from making further choices as to the fate of their society. Instead, all decisions are left in the hands of one politician who has been entrusted to do what is best for everyone else. And more often than not, they do well for themselves, but fail miserably on behalf of voters.

Under current voting systems, the risk of adversity to citizens is great. This is because if a designated political leader fails to deliver on their election promises, they still have plenty of time and power to make drastic system-wide changes to laws and social policies that could adversely affect the lives of literally billions of people for generations to come. Radiation from bombs and ill-kept nuclear generators are a prime example — when did we vote for those?

As it stands, one misguided political leader can single-handedly destroy an entire nation with a few devious acts of legislation, or the dropping of a single nuclear bomb. I know I'm repeating myself here, but so is humanity repeating history, year after year, by making the same political mistakes, over and over again.

Representative democracy has long been problematic for this reason. After all, we cannot know the true motives of the person we are voting for. Are they genuinely seeking to forward the will of the majority, or simply seeking to enrich themselves or those who control their political agenda like a puppet on a string with bribes, extortion or invitations to mingle with the rich and famous?

CBSP solves this problem by eliminating posts of absolute government power and replacing them with appointments of trusted, qualified and proven community representatives. Such individuals (or teams) will engage in a nationwide network to facilitate both large scale national and small scale regional projects in an open, accessible, independently-monitored way. In short, CBSP is a more trustworthy and transparent way of organizing society and spending the money of taxpayers than any current form of government.

What will happen to elections?

Under the current model, elections are treated like a sports event between rival gladiators battling in the arena of public opinion. This has long made a farce of democracy because it is too easy for contestants to lie their way into a top seat of power to rig the system in their favor, or that of their wealthy donors.

Likewise, our role as voters in current forms of democracy is also a farce in that we have the power to choose for only one day, after which we are sent home to live with the consequences of having made our one allotted selection of a leader; often for someone we may neither trust with our tax money or future. In short, after election day, we have no more power to decide our collective fate, barring a civil war or the overthrowing of our government. In short, the promise of a democracy is over.

Under a CBSP style of governing, this will all change for the better as citizens will now be required to think about and state their opinions on social issues and government policies by way of voting on them.

Not everyone will be up to this task intellectually, which gives us an incentive to also vote for improving our educational systems so that all children can grow up to be well-informed and socially-aware citizens who act responsibly in wielding power in a democratic society. Currently, many politicians take advantage of people's ignorance and gullibility, thereby tricking us into making them our leaders. Here again, conservative politicians are notorious for assailing us with a barrage of fear-inducing threats at election time so that we feel as though the end is near and only they can save us (by giving more money to the rich).

Also, given this dramatic increase in voting choices, election day will likely become “election year” or some extended period of time during which voter data is collected, analyzed and tallied. Given the importance of our decisions and their long term affect upon society, CBSP elections will also be triple-safe-guarded by oversights to ensure that voting is carried out with utmost honesty on both the local and national levels.

Without leaders, political term limits will become obsolete. Instead, term limits will refer to the period of time under which various social contracts are carried out, as determined by the majority of voters in choosing how their land resources and tax money are to be spent.

As an example, if voters decided to build a nationwide high speed rail system, or a prototype village of self-sustaining communities, those projects would have to be completed before another vote can be taken to fund further projects within that branch of social development, be it transportation, sustainable housing, environmental cleanups, manufacturing, etc. In short, projects and their funding will not be initiated by politicians but by the votes of citizens based on serving specific social needs and requirements — clean water, clean transportation, etc.

Under current models of democracy, it is common for us to hear endless empty promises being made by politicians in seeking our vote to seize governing power. Under a CBSP form of government, there will no longer be a need for campaign speeches full of lies and meaningless platitudes because the voters will be making all such decisions for their societies. And that is how it must be if we want to declare our way of life as a genuine "democracy" and not just some camouflaged form of top-down dictatorship.

The days of social parenting the citizenry will finally be over when we treat adults as adults and return their right to exercise power over their own lives and future.

Also, as an added benefit, there should be NO MORE PROTESTS! That's right. When you are the one making all the decisions, then you are not going to be storming the nation's capitol or its government buildings to protest bad decisions or the mismanaging of your society because it will now be your fault for making those decisions. Just imagine it: a world where citizens can vote for what they want and the majority is able to ensure that it actually gets done.

See the potential? Then sign up for my mailing list and I'll ONLY send you updates of my progress with this project — no sales pitches, I promise. Also, if you would like to lend me some financial support, you can do so at my Patreon page. Better yet, buy my new book, Clearing a Path to Joy. Every little bit helps to keep me invested in this project until it matures to a point where it can be handed off to those more adept at implementing something this ambitious. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.

To the future, 
Roland Kriewaldt, Global Citizen.