An interesting concept I have read up on is cellular democracy, a system which has as its main characteristic, a bottom up rather than the top down structure that exists in most representative democracies. It is an interesting alternative to our current dysfunctional system which is prone to rent seeking by vested interests, hence, the current system is effectively a breeding ground for political whores.
In such a system, revenue flows upwards with each level of government receiving its funding from the level below. Each level 1 government consisting of around 500 people would have discretion on how much taxation is raised and how
it is raised, with the most obvious choice being a land rent or property valuation tax, as advocated by the Austrian school economist who developed the system, Fred Foldvary. Obviously the taxation burden in such a system would be far less than what currently exists, especially since national government would have no powers to tax directly.
Cellular democracy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and for a more detailed outline of the system.In cellular democracy, a jurisdiction such as a county or city is divided into neighborhood districts with a population of about 500 people, with about 100 to 200 households. The voters in the district would elect a council. The small size of districts would allow for more informed voters at a smaller cost. Representatives, plus one alternate, would be elected to the council. This would be a "level-1 council"
A region containing 10 to 20 neighborhood districts would then vote for a "level-2 council". Each level-1 council elects a regular representative and an alternate to the level-2 council from its own regular membership.
A further region containing several level-2 councils would comprise a level-3 council, each level-2 council again electing a regular and an alternate representative to level 3. The level-2 representative sent up to the level-3 council would be replaced by his or her alternative.
The hierarchy would continue indefinitely, depending on the size of the state, or even going on to the top of the world.