“Ummm. That was a mouthful. Well, things are done very differently now. I think Robert would be best at explaining government. He is an economist and the EV rep. But I will try.”
“What is that? The EV rep?”
“Well, each ecovillage elects a representative, who is the EV’s leader. He represents the EV’s interests in the next level of governance, consisting of roughly ten EV’s, or 5000 people on average. And so on up. There are seven levels in all, each one roughly ten times larger in population than the lower level. The reps at each level choose one from their midst to represent them at the next level.”
“You mean individuals don’t vote for politicians?”
“Well, not for a political party. We don’t have them anymore. Individuals vote for their EV rep, and in the direct election of our Earth Councilor for our Earth region and in referendums and polls, which are frequent. The 7 Earth Councilors form what we call Earth Council, which is the supreme power now. We also vote in the sense that we can prioritize how money should be spent in our local community. The EV reps together form legislative and executive branches at the different levels, depending on their interests and abilities. A Prime Minister of the Gaian League is appointed by the Earth Council from among the EV reps, and he forms a cabinet.
“One of the things that has been most criticized about pre-crunch times was the one-man, one-vote party system. That system encouraged special interest political parties and egotistical voting patterns. It created division instead of unity. No one had a vested interest in protecting the commons. Today, the situation is the opposite. EV reps would never dream of supporting any law that would damage their own local community’s environment. If they did, they would be summarily kicked out of office. And so on, all the way up. All politicians have to be EV reps. Even the Gaian League Prime Minister represents an EV.”
“Who makes the laws then?”
“The fifth level is bioregions, there are several hundred of those of varying sizes. For example, Denmark is one. They have a lot of autonomy. Together their reps form a global legislature. But there are also regional legislatures, for example in Earth Regions, bioregions and nation states, with delegated areas of authority that are appropriate for the scale they represent.”
“And the EV system is the same all over the world.”
“There are a lot of variants, but the basic EV models are quite similar, with emphasis on a high degree of self-sufficiency and strong local communities. There is a high degree of agreement across all racial and cultural groups, because we nurture and respect our differences.”
“But surely not everybody can live in ecovillages?”, you say.
Anne laughs, “Of course they can. It is simply a question of definition. An EV today is defined as a local community of order of magnitude 500 persons, no matter where you live. They have special rights and obligations according to law, including funding to carry out their tasks. In fact, most are in the cities. This was probably the single most important reform post-crunch. We can thank Heidi High for that.”
“Who was this Heidi High?”
“She was the American president that took the USA into the Gaian League in a showdown with the TNC’s. The event of the century. She issued the blue dollar and “blue” them away.” Anne laughs. “Old joke. Jonathan can tell you more.”
“And you don’t have political parties anymore?”
“Nope. What is the point? Your parties were a sham, no longer representing the real interests of the people. They were mostly promoting cancerous economic growth and reflecting the interests of the TNC’s. But believe me, there is still plenty of room for debate. We don’t agree on everything. Besides, it is an easy matter to poll everybody electronically these days.”
“Are there still TNC’s, then?”
“Yes, some, but they are strictly regulated by the Gaian Trade Organization, which replaced the old WTO, and by the Gaian Charter, which all members states must adhere to. Jonathan can tell you more.