Like many people, he asked for the first time what representational democracy is, and whether there are other systems for selecting the government and parliament in a democracy.
He was also wondering how to best reform the system.
Me, personally, when I thought about it, well, I came to the conclusion that you can't really fix it how it stands, and that if you want real change, you need to go much deeper than that.
In fact, you need to go all the way to the very principles Western law and order is based on - namely, the adversarial system of getting to the truth.
This is the idea that you get two people with absolutely opposite opinions to fight against each other, and a third watches this and declares a winner.
Hm ... wonder how old that one is ...
This adversarial system for getting to the truth or the right thing to do, the right decision, lies on the idea that there is a easily defined left and right, good and evil, in fairly equal proportions, which again is a rather strange world view to be basing basically all of human workings and organisations on.
In a court of law we have one guy saying, "He did it, he's guilty!" and another guy saying, "OH NO HE DIDN'T!" just like in a pantomime and a jury or judge "weighing up the evidence" one way or t'other.
In recent times, this has caused problems because as people evolve, they get to say, "Ok so he is guilty BUT it might not be his fault because of his upbringing ..."
The true adversarial system has no room for ifs or buts, or extenuating circumstances - it's a clash of swords on black and white, all the way.
In the English parliament, you can actually still see this.
The benches are arranged so the "opponents" may face each other and shout at each other.
There's only two to do the facing and shouting; and that's the core of the adversarial system of anything.
So now, time's moved on.
Women have the vote.
People can read, write and blog.
The old democratic systems are creaking and breaking, delivering no solutions to the chaos in which most countries find themselves.
Up to now, a great war has always come to the rescue whenever it was apparent that the systems of governement and commerce that we have structurally don't actually work, and the longer they run their test cycles without interruption, the more apparent this becomes.
It doesn't matter if it's the black hats at the steering wheel, or the white hats, the ship always ends up on the rocks. And then the other hats take over again, to drive the ship onto another rock, at which point the first hats get to steer once more.
Toll, as they say in Germany ...
Which loosely translated means "great" with a raised eyebrow and a big sneer.
So I'm thinking, there must be another way.
Another way for banking, commerce, law and order, democracy.
One that isn't based on this aged adversarial system of black hats vs white hats producing a grey mess and you need a war approximately every 50 years to erase the evidence of this folly.
How about a system of logic, or of setting targets and then co-operating with everyone to get that done?
Like in a court of law, instead of, "He did it!" and "Oh no he didn't!" we ask, "WTF happend? And how can we make sure it won't happen again? What needs to be done?"
A system that is based on co-operation for the good of all and harm of none?
Is that possible?
I'm laughing here - of course it is.
I'm sure other people have thought of this.
If you want a real reform you need to not go back to square 1 - that's still on the same old game board and will produce the same old same old same old games over and over and over again, but you need to go before square 1, in this case the idea that justice may be served by putting two people in the ring and watch them fight it out.
That's a crazy idea in the first place - what on Earth could THAT ever accomplish?
So I think, really, don't bother trying to reform the British voting system. You're trying to patch up a sieve and you won't ever make it seaworthy. Cause it isn't really a ship, it's a sieve and will always be a sieve.
If you want to make progress with human civilisations across the board, you need to start from the beginning and challenge that ancient adversarial system upon which everything is based.
And build a new model for the 21st Century from the ground up.
Which might have the side effect that you don't need wars all the time to bail out the failing system and misdirect attention away from what's really wrong and rotten in the states of the world.
SFX May 2010