Citizens of the United States and the world need to think about what kind of representative democracy can work best at the global level. In 2007, the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) was launched as a global network, advocating citizens’ representation at the UN. Their ranks and influence, particularly in Europe have grown steadily, consisting mainly of parliamentarians and progressive non-governmental organizations. Precisely what form of parliamentary assembly UNPA advocates is left indistinct so that a variety of voices can be considered after a consensus on its need is established throughout the international community.
Like the experiment in representative democracy that is the United States, the European Union is a noble experiment in what works and what does not. In practice, the European Parliament, like the United States Congress is unnecessarily contentious. The people(s) of the world, including the people(s) of Europe might find a better model for world democracy in the United States Senate, consisting of 100 senators representing 50 states.
A global senate might consist of two representatives from various sizes of “cultural bio-regions” – existing natural and human divisions that are more different than alike in the context of our integrated world as a whole. These could include the Great Lakes of North America, delineated in a triangle from Ottawa to Louisville and across to Minneapolis; the Great Plains of North America, including but not limited to Nebraska and Saskatchewan; the Australian Outback (rural interior of Australia); the African Serengeti, the Steppes of Russia, and so on.
In a global senate, 72 delegates could represent 36 such transnational sub-regions as described above, two delegates from each transnational sub-region. These 36 units of representation could be composed of three sets of 12 transnational sub-regions from 1) Asia-Pacific, 2) The Americas, and 3) Africa-Europe; natural north/south oriented meta-divisions that could also help structure committee work in a global senate. Legislators of nation states in each of the 36 transnational sub-regions might elect/appoint one delegate with the other delegate being elected by transnational sub-regional populaces through internationally monitored elections. Such a governing structure could synergize rather than balance power among nations.