Notices
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: New form of democracy

  1. #1 New form of democracy 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    In another thread, the problem is elucidated of corporate financial sponsorship helping candidates to get voted in. Essentially, the corporations buy the candidate of their choice. This is clearly a form of democratic corruption.

    In a similar way, ordinary people do not necessarily vote for the best candidate, because they really do not know the candidates. Instead they vote for the person with most television charisma. Voting becomes trial by television.

    Once in power, an enormous amount of energy is wasted in arguing party politics. Instead of working to improve the nation, politicians work to make sure their party thrives.

    Could we get a better system?

    What do you guys think of the following?

    We set up a democracy of 3 levels - village, provincial and national.
    Ordinary people get to vote at village level. The whole nation is divided into a large number of 'villages' - each of which is made up of (say) 1000 households. This might be a few city blocks, a small town, or a rural area.

    The people living in that village who have some kind of political ambition have to persuade the others in their village to vote for them, as village representative. To do this, obviously, they have to make sure the people get to know them. So they visit each household and talk to the people about their policies. This also makes sure they get to hear what the people actually think. Keeping finger on the pulse.

    Those voted in form a political group like a regional council. They get involved in local events. In time, each council votes a representative to go and serve on national government. That person represents about 500,000 voters.

    Central government is made up of those representatives, and they vote in their president or prime minister, and the executive.

    Since all voting is done by people who actually know the candidates very well, trial by television is a dead duck. Corporate funding is also a dead duck, as is party politics.

    Each member of government has to be voted in by his/her village, and his/her regional council. At each level, voting is done only by those who know them on a personal basis, and know their policies. Hopefully, this means that people will get voted in because they are competent.

    Anyone who fails to perform can get dumped at the next election at village level, or provincial level, or national level. Keeps them on their toes.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,590
    Well the first thing that would happen would be the people with political ambitions at the village level would realize that with fifteen or twenty candidates running, no one will get a majority, or even a convincing plurality, so no one who is elected simply by having the most votes will have a mandate. This will leave a majority of voters dissatisfied with the result.

    So potential candidates would group together along ideological lines and pick one of their number to be their only candidate and trust that when elected he or she will represent their wishes and beliefs.

    Voila - political parties.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    A political party of one person?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,822
    People are lazy. Most won't go to the town hall meetings. They will vote for their village representative based on what they read in the local newspaper, the political ads they see on television, or perhaps they will vote for the candidate who is endorsed by a party, union or certain special interest group they trust.

    I don't think your system will get the money out of politics. Special interest groups, whether it be corporations, unions, the Sierra Club, PETA, or whatever, will spend money on elections. They can hire people to do push polls. They can provide transportation to the polls, they can put up billboards and signs, and so forth. Not much will have changed.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    I suggested a village of up to 1000 households. An ambitious would-be politician would make damn sure he visited all 1000 homes. That's a lot of cups of tea or coffee. I hope he has a good bladder!

    I know from my time as a salesman that nothing beats one on one contact. Our potential politico would also know that. The key to my suggested system is getting to know people one on one.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1,444
    I'm not sure how the voting works according to this new system. Is it like the soviet system?
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,590
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    A political party of one person?
    No, as I wrote: So potential candidates would group together along ideological lines and pick one of their number to be their only candidate and trust that when elected he or she will represent their wishes and beliefs.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    2,256
    It also seems like a perfect system to silence minority voices. Such small groupings would either concentrate minority constituents into marginalized ghettos, removing their ability to be swing voters, or would dilute their numbers until they don't exist at all.

    It's a particular problem for minority groups which tend not to live in concentrated communities, like the elderly, homosexuals, and the disabled.

    Edit: I'm obviously a supporter of proportional representation.
    "I almost went to bed
    without remembering
    the four white violets
    I put in the button-hole
    of your green sweater

    and how i kissed you then
    and you kissed me
    shy as though I'd
    never been your lover "
    - Leonard Cohen
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    To jr

    The soviet system involves election of candidates by the communist party. The peoples vote either does not happen or is a farce. I am talking of a true democracy, with regular elections. At those elections, a member of the government has to received 3 successes. Village level. Regional level, and the vote of the government itself to hold a particular office. They can be tossed out at the next election by any of those 3 levels.

    To Bunbury
    Grouping together along ideological lines could happen at higher levels, but not at village level. At village level the candidates are self selected, but have to gain support of the village voters - probably by visiting and persuading the members of the village.

    tiredandsleepy

    I do not know any way in democracy to give full power to minorities. In fact, democracy is geared to providing for the majority voice. The system I suggest is probably neither better or worse than the existing one for looking after minorities.

    The main advantage of this system that I see is that everyone who votes is voting for people they know personally. There is no requirement to vote for people who they have never met. Thus, the distortions that happen due to voting according to television personality cannot happen. If you get the wrong guy in power, it is because you chose the wrong guy, even though you knew him well.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10 Re: New form of democracy 
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1,444
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The people living in that village who have some kind of political ambition have to persuade the others in their village to vote for them, as village representative. ... Those voted in form a political group like a regional council. ...

    each council votes a representative to go and serve on national government. ... Central government is made up of those representatives,

    and they vote in their president or prime minister, and the executive.
    This is the "soviet" form of government certain citizens voting for one among them to represent the group in the next higher group. "Soviets" are the councils/groups thus elected. It's not necessarily "communistic" in nature. The lowest round of elections are by popular vote, but the rest of the votes are restricted to those in each of the soviets. It's recursive in a sense.

    This is my understanding.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    416
    this is not a particularly bad form of democracy, but it's far from perfect. contrary to your original claim it would not rid us of corporate funding for campaigns. a corporation could still put up thousands of channel-hours of television advertising of the candidate in exchange for political favors. and at higher levels they could still purchase thousands of man-hours of lobbyists and even purchase a few politicians after they're in office.

    as was suggested above, television politics would not die, it would just have to become localized or else result in advertising to people not voting in the election it is advertising a candidate for.

    but by far my greatest objection to this system is that it allows mistakes like the bush presidency to occur. Al Gore recieved the public majority, and should have been the democratically elected representative of the United States, but thanks to an american state-by-state voting system in federal elections, george bush won the electoral votes required.

    consider for a moment a nation made up of three of your villages(each of 1000 households, about 2000 voting people). in two of the vilages 51% vote for their candidates with right-wing policies. in the other village 80% elected their liberal representative.

    now there are two right-wing leaders and one left wing leader. in the federal election a fascist ruler can recieve a majority vote from the representatives although in reality 3560 of the voters would have voted for liberal local representatives and thus would have voted for a liberal federal leader, while the 2440 right wing voters won the federal election despite being a federal minority.

    do you see where problems may arrise?
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,843
    saul

    Nothing is perfect. People can be bribed. That is a reality we all live with, and it means that political corruption is always possible.

    However, the point is that everyone votes for someone they actually know - have met - have discussed policy with over a cup of coffee or a beer. This seems to me a truer form of democracy than trial by television.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    15
    In the United Kingdom, a system similar to what you have suggested is in place known as constituencies. You, me and the rest of the proleteriats vote for a representative of our constituency. There are many representatives for each party (Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems...) and therefore, the competition compels each candidate to truly strive for the good of the community in order to be voted in. The party which holds the majority of the number of constituencies form the government.

    Although, yes, I agree with you upon the fact that corporate sponsorship plays a huge part in advertising and therefore increasing the chance of being voted in. This means that the system is flawed whilst yours would decrease the issue. However, it is somewhat more complicated and layers of bureaucracy is not favoured.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •