I do not think that Government ownership or control is a good idea. I maybe be a Libertarian when I declare the less government, sometimes the better. During the banking crisis it could be determined that Nationalizing the banks would be a good idea. I agree on a short term basis. Government ownership takes control and democracy out of the lives of the people. It is like trading off one 1% for another.
Would should happen to the banks next is this, break them up into Worker owned Co-ops, Federal Credit Unions, Federally Controlled State Savings and Loans, and Community Banks.
But one of the best examples of Democratic Control is from the Viroqua Food Co-op. Economic democracy in action is The pioneers of the movement hoped their co-op would begin a restructuring of society, and that included the idea that each person should have a vote regardless of the amount of money a person controlled.
In 1966 the following wording was approved by the Congress of the International Co-operative Alliance: “Co-operative societies are democratic organizations. Their affairs should be administered by persons elected or appointed in a manner agreed by the members and accountable to them. Members of primary societies should enjoy equal rights of voting (one member, one vote) and participation in decisions affecting their societies.”
This principle is often abbreviated “one member, one vote”, and that is a most critical way to differentiate co-ops from other business forms, in which voting rights relate to investment (one stock, one vote). But the above statement is also a strong statement of the independence cooperatives have in choosing their form of governance.
A democratically selected body that protects the interests of the member-owners and ensures compliance with law, good business practice and cooperative principles, is legitimate regardless of the particulars of the selection process. However, as with all governments, a board is only as good as the people who run for it and only as representative as the proportion of voters who actually vote.
Social Enterprise should be considered in this manner. As governments, frequently local should Co-invest as a silent partner to draw an income into the Community.
Communities should be Direct Democracies. City Councils and Mayors have supreme control. People have no power in City Hall. I have been fighting for rent control and we have been shut down each time. Petitioning was suggested. Out of 36,000 registered voters, 4,000 to 6,000 signatures are needed.
Placing power into the hands of the people what should be done is that people should vote on what The Mayor or City Council initiatives. The people should sanction decisions. The people should approve or override what the government does by popular vote.
In example, rent control should be placed for citizen sponsorship at the clerks office. If enough citizen sign to sponsor a issue, like rent control, than with enough signers, the initiative comes to a public vote by City Citizens.
During special elections or electronic voting ballots are cast in to determine the issue. A clear vote allows the law or ordinance to become official and the City officials must comply in application. If the people choose rent control, than it passes whether City Council, the Mayor, or landlords approve or not. The politicians must work the will of the people. Regnant populi (“the peoples rule”).
Social Enterprise works the same way. Look at this as one example. A mutual savings bank is a financial institution chartered by a central or regional government, without capital stock, that is owned by its members who subscribe to a common fund. From this fund claims, loans, etc., are paid. Profits after deductions are shared between the members. The institution is intended to provide a safe place for individual members to save and to invest those savings in mortgages, loans, stocks, bonds and other securities and to share in any profits or losses that result. The members own the business.
Public Enterprise works the same way. The Green Bay Packers are the only community-owned franchise in American professional sports major leagues. Typically, a team is owned by one person, partnership, or corporate entity, i.e., a “team owner.” The lack of a dominant owner has been stated as one of the reasons the Packers have never been moved from the city of Green Bay. It has long been operated as a non-profit organization.
Green Bay is far and away the smallest media market not only in the NFL, but in all of North American professional sports. The city of Green Bay had only 104,057 people as of the 2010 census, and only 600,000 people live in the Green Bay television market. By comparison, the typical NFL city has a population in the millions or higher hundred-thousands. The Packers, however, have long had a large following throughout Wisconsin and parts of the Midwest; in fact, for decades.
Direct Democracy and Democratic Control has a proven track record that works.