Here is a priceless article that supports some of the basic contentions of General Federalism.
While I have not argued that the citizenry are incompetent, generally speaking, I and most other General Federalists have argued that the proper role of the constituency is to delegate authority, not exercise it. In the “Madisonian” system we inherited here in the United States the Constitution was framed as one that both delegated authority and dually provided avenues for the citizenry to exercise authority through public pressure: politicians are hopelessly compromised by special interests (AKA popular faction) which are in turn supported and run by constituencies. This is the fatal flaw of the Madisonian formulation of federalism. It is playing a key role in the ongoing decline of the United States.
The second mechanism through which a Madisonian federal system allows the constituency to exercise authority is through elections of the Actors exercising powers. While seemingly a necessary component of representative governance, it is in fact only one solution, and a solution that is deeply flawed since it grants authority to exercise political power to the constituency itself.
But the durable and more sound way to check constituency exercise of power, that is, the General Federalist approach, is to separate the party of account for the exercise of political power from the party to account for the delegation of that authority. Under General Federalism an elected body is the body to account for delegating political power to political professionals who are *never* themselves elected, thus rendering them immune to the corrosive effect of the exercise of political power by the constituency through elections which the general constituency is simply incompetent to perform, just as the research cited indicates.
This is a clever solution to Hamilton’s more inclusive view of “separation of powers” in which he understood it as both an intra-governmental concept and a inter-governmental concept; the idea that in addition to balancing the influence of branches within government, the influence of constituencies should be balanced against the influence of political professionals. This last concept is totally lost on most Americans today who have never been taught and have never heard of this concept, despite its central role in Hamiltonian federalism.