What should a representative government look like?

TL;DR: Representative governments should represent the people, not special interest groups.

We have representative government in the US at every level: town and city councils, county boards, state legislatures, and Congress. They are representative because each person elected to these legislatures represents some group of people. The question is, do they represent all the people they are supposed to represent?

Each person in the US House of Representatives represents a District, some artificial territory. When the districts are “jerrymandered”, they get some weird shapes, not always contiguous territories, often constructed that way to favor a particular party (so I am told). When elected, the representative from a particular district represents to some large extent those who voted for them. The rep’s values will probably align with most of those who voted him in. However, his values may be diametrically opposed to many who voted for his opponent, so it would be hard to say he represents them. Yet over the 435 districts throughout the 50 states, the values of almost all citizens have someone in the House that probably represents their values, even if it isn’t the representative of their district. So it could be said that every citizen is represented.

Except. Elections for members of the House can be costly, and even elections at the level of town councils can be beyond the means of the people running. When a person running for the House seeks financial help, it often comes from what are called “special interests”. These interests are called “special” because their interests may not align with the general interests of the people. This leads to laws that unfairly favor those groups or industries, paid for by the people, most of whom may not benefit in any way from those laws, but rather may be harmed in some way by them. Costly elections, then, pit special interests against the general interests of the people, and, since it is the special interests who are not at all shy about making it clear to the representatives what those interests are, their interests are usually the ones that win when they conflict with the interests of the people. So, who is really represented by “representative governments”? Probably not the people.

The whole purpose of Canton Nation is to ensure that it is the interests of the people, and ONLY their interests, that are served by their CHOSEN representatives. First of all, the representatives in Canton Forums are not from territorial districts, but from groups of people with common interests, principles, and values. With a large enough group of cantons, the range of interests can be fairly broad, so that every person can find a canton that is a good fit. Second, cantons are not elected but chosen by each person represented. The end of elections means that the costs go away, and with them, the biggest opening for special interests to get laws passed that unfairly favor them.