Take No Prisoners

Parliament/Congress Guilty of Criminal Negligence

A while back, I tried to explain why the world was so screwed up. I explained that the ubiquitous societal problems we experience (bad transit infrastructure, dependence on fossil fuels, unnecessary wars, etc.) stem from a fundamental problems with governance:

    Laws imply the design of the systems that enact them
    Lawmakers don’t know sweet fuck all about the systems their designing
    Lawmakers know even less about how to design complex socio-technical systems

To this list, I would like to add a fourth indictment of lawmakers: they vote on bills without bothering to read them.

How many people have died because of stupid laws and the broken social systems they create? Everyone who ever died in a traffic accident, or in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Vietnam, the Falkland Islands, and dozens of other politically-motivated wars. Everyone who died because they didn’t have medical insurance, because a nurse or physician made an error, or due to an addiction to something they didn’t know was dangerous until it was too late. Millions.

How many have gone to prison for “crimes” that arguably never hurt anybody, like growing marijuana for medical use? How many have just been inconvenienced or screwed over by airport security, border guards, unemployment insurance, etc.

Every member of every Congress, Parliament, Senate, etc. in the world who has voted for a bill without reading it is CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT for the damage that bill has done. For the misery and suffering inflicted by a broken society. To prison with them – all of them. We must start over.

This must not be allowed to continue.

See also:
Why The World is So Screwed Up
A Seven Step Program for Democracy 2.0
How to Hold the Legal System Hostage Until the Laws Apply to Everyone


  • Posted August 27, 2009 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    ‘Twould imply that lawmakers are literate. But that’s a subject for another post, I’m sure. In Canada, they say that we have a 100% literacy rate among government workers. I assert that we don’t but that we also can’t count.

  • Rick
    Posted August 29, 2009 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    Hey, I like the new layout!

    I submit that many of the laws/bills that pass (or don’t) are more about money than about right or wrong. Thus, they don’t need to be read.

    Then we have the whole bundling issue. In order to pass a bill dealing with health care it has to include a 750k grant to study the effects of masturbation on global warming(exaggerating for effect):)

  • Kavan Wolfe
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    @Jeremy, I can tell you with absolute certainty that there are employees of the government of Canada who are functionally (if not wholly) illiterate because I have personally met some. But I think most of the mathematically inept work for the telecoms 😛

    @Rick, thanks. Luckily one of several of my friends are web designers. To your point, if you mean that the bills don’t have to be read because politicians vote primarily on factors other than the content of the law, I would say that is possible, and seriously problematic. Good point about bundling, but that’s a rant for another day.

  • Daniel Lefever
    Posted February 22, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Fucking amazing! I wish a system like this could be implemented.

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