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Election default.......
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Election default.......:

 1 del diablo, Wed, 25th May '11 1:27:53 AM from Somewher in mid Norway
Den harde nordmann
Lets say we have a indirect democracy.
And we have 5 parties to elect.
For each x% of votes a party gains a seat in a parlament, and whoever is the head of what party of coalition that wins the election gets to gain a fancy title(like prime minister).
But lets say 1 of the parties used to be the conservative workers party, meaning they gain 40-50% of votes regardless of their political stance. You know, the usual "Conservative Party" or "Ye old Labor Party", the ones who have a history. The one that get all the "I do not really care, but I ought to make worth of the vote"-votes that do not really care.
And the said party is more or less corrupt since they know they are the default, and they will actually hurt the country in the long run.

Ignoring motivation campaigns and banning all forms of political commercials, how do we stop this sin from happening?
Lets say we still must have a indirect democracy, just to avoid anybody pointing out that a beneficial dictatorship is still the best system.
A guy called dvorak is tired. Tired of humanity not wanting to change to improve itself. Quite the sad tale.
You can't stop this because most of people don't know anything about politics and vote for those who are popular (at time), look nice and promise a lot. To fix this, people should become less stupid and that's pretty impossible.
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
 3 del diablo, Wed, 25th May '11 2:29:56 AM from Somewher in mid Norway
Den harde nordmann
Possible solution:
But lets say instead of voting on a group, you vote for issues. The party that matches the most of it, gains 66% of the seats, and the party that is the complete opposite gets the last 33%, perhaps with some middleground over the rest.
Flaws?
A guy called dvorak is tired. Tired of humanity not wanting to change to improve itself. Quite the sad tale.
 4 annebeeche, Wed, 25th May '11 3:34:55 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
[up] People will only vote on their opinions on irrelevant stuff like abortion and gay marriage and fail to see the real picture (the fact that Republicans are more likely to help the agriculture monopolists shove around and exploit small-name farmers in the south), so the situation won't change much.

Politicians know that the extent the common folk get involved in politics and have most passionate opinions about is in issues like abortion and gay marriage, and they take advantage of that by exaggerating the relevance of these issues to distract away from the more important issues. In fact, the Republican party did exactly that at the Bush/Kerry election.

edited 25th May '11 3:37:59 AM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 5 Deboss, Wed, 25th May '11 4:05:15 AM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
There's also the idea that you have to either for or against a view. There's more complex views on most subjects than simply "for" or "against".
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Letting people vote to strike down laws they don't like directly, without possibility of legislators thwarting it, would enable people to focus on the big picture.
You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
Fully at-large proportional representation basically is voting on issues. Since it's so easy to form and break up parties, Single-Issue Wonk parties are actually politically viable.

^ Bread and Circuses. That said, I still think having referenda at each level of government is a good idea, even though it's not a panacea.

Eric,

[up][up][up][up][up]The list would be either too long or not detailed enough. Also, the most detailed 'list of long answers' would make it extremely easy to identify the parties behind them thus defeating the purpose. Your idea sounds good but isn't possible IMHO

edited 25th May '11 6:45:42 AM by nzm1536

"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
 9 del diablo, Wed, 25th May '11 7:15:46 AM from Somewher in mid Norway
Den harde nordmann
WOHO! Another flawed idea has fallen <3
Well, another idea:
In order for you vote to count, you also need to fill out 5-6 random questions takes directly from the parties list of promises. If you get all correct, your vote counts. If you do not get it correct, you would not know that, but the vote is invalid.
This system could potentially block out all uninformed people.
Paper or electronic is not much of a difference here. \
A guy called dvorak is tired. Tired of humanity not wanting to change to improve itself. Quite the sad tale.
 10 Major Tom, Wed, 25th May '11 7:19:19 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
^ Dude that's exactly like the illegal poll tax and literacy tests used to keep blacks from voting.

It's Been Done.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
 11 Fighteer, Wed, 25th May '11 7:24:52 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
And ironically, the Repubs have been trying to get very similar bars to voting in place, under the guise of combatting fraud.

As much as I would philosophically support a meritocracy of voting rights, it's anathema to the basic structure of our democracy.
Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
 12 del diablo, Wed, 25th May '11 7:28:55 AM from Somewher in mid Norway
Den harde nordmann
Major Tom: But if the people have actually no idea on what they are voting for, do they deserve to vote?
A guy called dvorak is tired. Tired of humanity not wanting to change to improve itself. Quite the sad tale.
 13 Fighteer, Wed, 25th May '11 7:35:18 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Congratulations, you are now having the same debate the Founding Fathers had!

For the record, I don't have a good answer. From a purely personal point of view, I would absolutely love to have voting rights be conditional on an intelligence/education test of some sort, but then you no longer have "democracy". Also, you run into the problem of who gets to decide the criteria, and who enforces it. The historical problem with meritocracies of any sort is that they have a natural self-interest in voting themselves more power.

For example, I would make fundamentalist religious beliefs an automatic disqualifier from being allowed to vote. Creationist? Sorry, learn some real science. Next! But you can clearly see that this stems from my personal philosophical beliefs and would disenfranchise a whole lot of people for no other reason than that I don't like them.

Lastly, meritocracies have a very poor track record for longevity. One of the simplest and easiest ways to keep the populace happy is to give them the right to vote. Make them feel like what they have to say matters in some small way. Completely disenfranchise large groups of people and you have a recipe for revolt.

edited 25th May '11 7:40:37 AM by Fighteer

Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
 14 Major Tom, Wed, 25th May '11 7:40:08 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
^^ Yes. That's the principle behind representative democracy. For better or worse you let everyone vote even if the voters are stupid, ill-informed or what have you.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
 15 del diablo, Wed, 25th May '11 8:00:09 AM from Somewher in mid Norway
Den harde nordmann
Major Tom: Well, I can safely ignore your point if my said hypotetical system did not block people from acquirering needed knowledge to get their vote valid.
Besides, everyone has the chance, so it is still a indirect democracy with full representation.

Figthar: I am not sure if your historical quoting is correct, did there ever exist a state where everybody had a right to vote, and had a test to get their votes valid, and yet at the same time had a right to acquire that knowledge?
Did those states collapse due stagnation, ignorance or something else?
Besides, todays system is also a Meritocracy, it is just a bit less discriminating.
Also: The hypotetical system does not block anything else than people who have no idea on what they are voting on.

A guy called dvorak is tired. Tired of humanity not wanting to change to improve itself. Quite the sad tale.
 16 Fighteer, Wed, 25th May '11 8:16:19 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
I have only one thing specifically to add here:
Besides, todays system is also a Meritocracy, it is just a bit less discriminating.

Yes, it is a meritocracy in the sense that the people with money have a far greater ability to influence the outcome of elections than those without. There's also a meritocracy of political insidership, aided and abetted by the entrenched bureaucracy. However, such factors apply equally to Reps and Dems so it's not really a question of which side is more beholden to big financial interests as it is which side can get more voters stoked up about the hot button topic of the day and thereby ignore the real, pressing issues. That's the only explanation for why abortion and gay marriage are litmus tests for candidacy, instead of or in addition to serious problems like fiscal policy and the environment.

[down] Related to Madrugada's post, I suspect one of the quickest ways to get a revolt would be to abruptly disenfranchise large segments of the population.

edited 25th May '11 8:37:32 AM by Fighteer

Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
 17 Madrugada, Wed, 25th May '11 8:30:29 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
I am not sure if your historical quoting is correct, did there ever exist a state where everybody had a right to vote, and had a test to get their votes valid, and yet at the same time had a right to acquire that knowledge?

No, because two of your criteria are mutually exclusive in effect.

"The right to vote" doesn't simply mean "the right to physically cast a ballot". It means "The right to have your vote counted".

As soon as you say "You have to pass this test in order for your vote to count", you no longer have a case where everyone has the right to have their vote counted.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 18 del diablo, Wed, 25th May '11 9:10:36 AM from Somewher in mid Norway
Den harde nordmann
Madrugada: That would be a minor technical issue, IF one has the right of acquirering the needed information, and the bar is not set too high.
Besides, what do you propose to deal with the people who do not vote for whatever reason and the people that mindlessy support their default because it is their default?
A guy called dvorak is tired. Tired of humanity not wanting to change to improve itself. Quite the sad tale.
 19 Major Tom, Wed, 25th May '11 10:19:27 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
You leave them be. If people want to run a default voting stance and be blind to all else that is their right to do so.

edited 25th May '11 10:19:42 AM by MajorTom

"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
 20 del diablo, Wed, 25th May '11 11:17:00 AM from Somewher in mid Norway
Den harde nordmann
Tom: Why? I can leave the food industry alone, and then we get crap food back again. Or unsafe GMO food into the marked.
That does not mean it is sane to leave them alone, nor that it is a good option.
Besides, the entire bloody idea behind a indirect democracy is that it represents the people in some way. If the people in power DO NOT represent the people, then frankly it is all moot.
Default voting means that the people are not voting for who they want, or who they want to represent them, but rather at the default choice. It means that they are also blocking the rest of the population from a fair vote.
Or do you have a bloody good reason for why it should be allowed to exist like today?
A guy called dvorak is tired. Tired of humanity not wanting to change to improve itself. Quite the sad tale.
 21 Caissas Death Angel, Wed, 25th May '11 11:30:36 AM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
^^ Yes. That's the principle behind representative democracy. For better or worse you let everyone vote even if the voters are stupid, ill-informed or what have you.

Tom, I may never have said this before or say it again, but I agree with you entirely.

None of us have (or should ever have, at any rate) the right to say that certain people can't vote. And yes, I support prisoners being allowed to vote, since with successful enough rehabilitation most of them will one day reenter society anyway. That may require a different thread to discuss though.

Stupidity is not a crime, and we don't discriminate against people based on that. Nor, within reason, their beliefs. Yes, I abhor the existence of support for parties like the BNP. Yes, I abhor the beliefs and attitudes of those who support them. But it's their right to do so, and as long as the parties exist people have the right to vote for them. Each to their own, no matter how, pathetic, stupid or inept.

Madrugada: That would be a minor technical issue, IF one has the right of acquirering the needed information, and the bar is not set too high. Besides, what do you propose to deal with the people who do not vote for whatever reason and the people that mindlessy support their default because it is their default?

No such thing as "not set too high" for someone or other. What about the elderly, infirm, those who are sensory impaired, or mentally challenged? None of these are things against which we discriminate where possible, but all of them are some of the large barriers to any test.

Do people often vote for the default? Obviously. But that means it's their opponents job to change their minds, not ours to rig the voting system to prevent the default winning. Some people genuinely think the "default" is the best candidate/party after all - and sometimes they're right.

Default voting means that the people are not voting for who they want, or who they want to represent them, but rather at the default choice. It means that they are also blocking the rest of the population from a fair vote.

If they're not impairing anyone else from voting then they're not blocking the fairness of the vote. "They're voting for a candidate I dislike in large numbers DOES NOT equate to "They're ruining the legitimacy of the vote itself"

edited 25th May '11 11:32:12 AM by CaissasDeathAngel

My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 22 del diablo, Wed, 25th May '11 12:04:08 PM from Somewher in mid Norway
Den harde nordmann
Caissas Death Angel: What about the proposed system? Same as now, except you must be able to answer 4-5 easy bulletins on what your party stands for.
Everybody can vote, and everybody can acquire that information.
The only difference is that the "default" party loses a lot of votes since it is after all the "default".
But the people would in most cases not know what they voted for anyhow, so the system is more fair to the rest of us who cares.
A guy called dvorak is tired. Tired of humanity not wanting to change to improve itself. Quite the sad tale.
 23 Fighteer, Wed, 25th May '11 12:13:03 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
An ideological test before you can vote for a party's candidate? Seems very dicey. Besides, most voters understand at least the superficial elements of their party's platform. Hardly conclusive of whether they've put any thought into their vote.

edited 25th May '11 12:13:50 PM by Fighteer

Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
 24 Jinren, Wed, 25th May '11 12:15:52 PM from beyond the Wall
If you're going to put a list of issues onto the ballot anyway, why bother with representation? You could go to more or less the same amount of effort and have referendums on important issues instead (i.e. do nothing to the system for choosing representatives, but give them less power. Not suggesting you get rid of representation altogether - that would obviously be much more impractical).

edited 25th May '11 12:17:11 PM by Jinren

 25 Fighteer, Wed, 25th May '11 12:22:54 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Deciding referendums by popular vote... great idea on paper, but in practice it leads to even more of people deciding things on kneejerk rather than considered reactions.

For example, how about making a federal ballot issue to lower personal income taxes by 10 percent across the board? I guarantee it would pass. It would also wreck our finances. There's a reason we have a representative form of government, not direct democracy.

edited 25th May '11 12:23:13 PM by Fighteer

Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
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