I write here about the US government, but some of these ideas (which I will add to over time) will apply to other governments also.
1. CHANGE THE IDEA OF DEBATE.
In school, children are taught debate as follows: Team A and Team B are picked, sometimes at random, and then they are given a topic, and sometimes even a position to take on that topic, which they then defend using as many rhetorical tricks as possible. The goal is to win the game.
This system carries over into the US politics, where politicians, who often have no interests but retaining power, adopt one or another party, and then use rhetorical techniques (and other techniques that are less savory) to win their party’s position.
The problem of this approach is that debate in congress is meaningless; the only thing that matters is the vote count to decide the winner at the end, and that is predetermined by the results of the election. Party whips ensure that this is true. The result is that what we call “political debate” is merely a series of set talking points, rhetorical fighting, and feeding red meat to the party base.
So here is the ALTERNATIVE:
Instead of having debates between politicans in the house, have debates between people who have a vested interest in the issue at hand, together with facts provided by experts, both independent experts and experts picked by the debaters. So, for example, in a house debate on going to war with a country, you would have historians, army leaders, peace protesters, foreign leaders etc. debating on the house floor in front of the house of representatives.
At the end of the debate, the politicians would retire and could discuss the issue among themselves over a glass of brandy and a cigar if need be; they could also consult their constituents. After some time, maybe a week, they could come back and formally vote on the issue.
This alternative will not affect the nature of representative democracy; the politicians can still vote along party lines and probably will be inclined to do so.
What it will do is to end the meaningless college debating society level of meaningless posturing by the politicians and replace it with a space in which the stakeholders can present their positions to the politicians.