Check out this article in TIME Magazine. James Fishkin suggests a good model for governance: Choose a representative sample of the population, and have them serve as the government. This has been implemented in many localities in several countries...but the greatest success of this form of democracy comes from China, of all places. The coastal district Zeguo governs itself in precisely this manner, by picking a random sampling of its citizens, teaching them about the issues, allowing them to ask questions of experts, and then having them decide on their own.
I really like this idea. I think it would solve a lot of problems with gridlock, incumbency, and partisanship...while also preserving most of the reasons we have democracy in the first place: To accurately represent public opinion, and to prevent abuses of power and corruption.
What do you think of this idea? What flaws (if any) do you foresee in a system like this?
How Can a Democracy Solve Tough Problems? - TIME