Notices
Results 1 to 32 of 32
Like Tree3Likes
  • 1 Post By Lynx_Fox
  • 1 Post By adelady
  • 1 Post By adelady

Thread: Will technical progress make democracy impossible?

  1. #1 Will technical progress make democracy impossible? 
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    .


    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 07:43 PM.
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    God Bless Google!


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    282
    One thing the OP has not mentioned is intervention by foreign powers. For lightly armed rebels to succeed against government armies with tanks and aircraft and nerve gas, it generally takes foreign powers providing arms and assistance. Witness the the recent success of the revolution in Libya, where considerable foreign support was provided, and compare with the ongoing Syrian insurrection, where little support has been given.

    However, foreign support has been a factor in the past as well. The OP mentions the American war for independence. While it is true that the rebels had infantry weapons as good as the British (better in some cases, the Kentucky rifles have become legendary), there were other arms involved besides infantry. The American rebels had no counter to the British fleet, which could strike anywhere on the coast with impunity, landing ground forces anywhere and withdrawing them again when they got in trouble. The American revolution drug on for 5 years in various inconclusive campaigns until the French fleet successfully intervened at the Battle of the Chesapeake, driving the British fleet away from Yorktown. When Cornwallis could not escape by sea and was forced to surrender his army, British support for the war collapsed. In addition to the crucial naval support, the French provided the Americans with large quantities of arms, ammunition, and other supplies. It is unlikely the revolution would have succeeded without this support.

    The title of this thread talks about Democracy, not revolution. While the prospects of revolution may be a bit dimmer than they have been in the past due to technology, I feel technology is actually improving the prospects for Democracy. True direct democracy has only been practiced by a handful of small city-states in the distant past. Larger states found democracy too cumbersome for day to day decision making, and direct democracy evolved into the republic, a form of government where citizens elect representatives to make decisions on their behalf. I feel we are on the verge of a return to direct democracy, and technology is the reason. Direct democracy via the Internet is very nearly within out current capability, and in my view has only failed to happen yet because those controlling current governments are terrified of the notion of giving up their power and privileges to ordinary people.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,416
    Direct democracy doesn't work about the town level. In the past mostly because of lack of communication and transportation technology. Now because technology has allowed complexity and improved efficiency to climb above what any one person can understand even for a small city.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    282
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Direct democracy doesn't work about the town level. In the past mostly because of lack of communication and transportation technology. Now because technology has allowed complexity and improved efficiency to climb above what any one person can understand even for a small city.
    I don't buy this argument. What you same to be saying is that voters can't be trusted to make their own decisions, because they aren't smart enough. Now I fully agree that there are hordes of voters that seem quite clueless. But where I differ is in the notion that elected officials are in any way wiser than voters. Winning elections demonstrates competency at exactly one activity: the ability to win elections. The average elected official, in the United States at least, demonstrates all the mental acuity of a hog at the trough when it comes to actually understanding how government should be run.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,416
    I don't buy this argument. What you same to be saying is that voters can't be trusted to make their own decisions, because they aren't smart enough.


    None of us are smart enough...period. Even our best representative, with the additional staffs to collect information, get expert opinions, run simulations and anticipate problems struggles to keep up and manage complex systems involved in running even smaller government agencies--but we elect them to do exactly that because non of us as individuals have the same resources to do what we pay them to do.

    People who aren't' considering representative's leadership to run large staffs and management skills to sort through masses of complex and often conflicting information along with their other characteristics such as just winning the election, than they are making the wrong choices.

    Probably the best example of direct democracy catastrophe is California's chronic budget deficits stemming from an electorate that stands on no-new tax principles but is completely unable to understand the cost of programs they think government should be doing and unwilling to pay to resource them. Representatives get paid and generally are much better at setting priorities and making tough choices than direct vote. And when you look at the list of overturned referendums in the applicable states because direct voters lacked the capacity to recognize constitutional problems or understand complex issues it adds up a whole lot of wasted time and energy that could have been spent deciding on competent people to push through laws that would actually stand constitution challenges.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; May 24th, 2013 at 09:39 PM.
    adelady likes this.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    My suspicion is that politics and organisational decision-making are even more subject to people's desire for things to be simpler than they really are than in other areas. We see it all the time with science and medicine - people saying that science should be understandable by everyone or that we live in our bodies so we know the most about them. Neither of these things is true.

    Same thing for politics. So much rubbish is talked about unnecessary "red tape" or regulations. Then the gradually dawning realisation on horrified faces when you start talking about the US Army having regulations stipulating the maximum allowable proportions of rat faeces and rat hair in food supplied for troops. There are good reasons for practically all health and safety regulations everywhere - the few exceptions are those that are now obsolete simply by the process or product being no longer used.

    A Side of Rat Feces? (A History Lesson) | Global Warming: Man or Myth?
    Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People - Linda Civitello - Google Books

    Then when you get to city and suburban life, you look to managing clean water and sewage, rubbish disposal, permitted and prohibited activities in particular places - do you really want an abattoir or a tannery or a heavy metals processor/waste disposal beside your kids' school, over your back fence a few yards from your well or on the banks of the river supplying your water?

    Do you want the local kids on a school bus that has to travel over a shaky bridge? Do you want to be uncertain whether the medication your pharmacy supplies is or isn't laced with contaminants or poisons? Should the soil in your back garden be suitable or unsuitable for growing your own herbs or is it OK that you'll get sick if you eat the parsley from beside the back door? The list is literally neverending.

    No legislator can be an expert on all of these things. No citizen can be expert in all of these things. No scientist can be expert in all of these things.

    What we want from our representatives is a capacity, above all else, to recognise their own limitations along with the capacity to judge how to get reliable information and then to judge how best to communicate the results to electors and other legislators. A friend of mine is a member of parliament and her area has a lot of people who want to establish a safe track for hoon drivers to legally drive at high speed and try out their ridiculous maneouvres away from the rest of us on shared roads. So she followed it up with all the various places around the world which have done this, she didn't just say yes or no because she did or didn't agree. And then she acted as an adviser / resource for other interested members of parliament on this issue. A few years on, we still don't have such a facility but the knowledge is there - reports filed in the parliamentary library, people who now know what they wouldn't have known had she not done this. When the issue becomes more widely known and discussed or, more likely, the police recommend such a solution to their traffic regulation problems, it's all ready to go. Because even if no government funds are required laws permitting and setting limits to such activities have to be enacted. (Like safety barriers and other protections for spectators for starters.) And there must be dozens if not hundreds of similar cases just in our parliament alone.

    Technology? Will make such processes more streamlined and disseminating background information much easier and quicker.
    danhanegan likes this.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    .
    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 07:43 PM.
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    At least in the 18th century you could be certain of some things - that you had to sieve out rat faeces from your flour and that your drinking water had to be boiled to cut down the cholera.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    .
    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 07:43 PM.
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    at least there was no AIDS back then.
    Who needs AIDS when you've got syphilis and gonorrhoea and no antibiotics? Fun for everyone.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,035
    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    One thing the OP has not mentioned is intervention by foreign powers. For lightly armed rebels to succeed against government armies with tanks and aircraft and nerve gas, it generally takes foreign powers providing arms and assistance. Witness the the recent success of the revolution in Libya, where considerable foreign support was provided, and compare with the ongoing Syrian insurrection, where little support has been given.

    .

    That's a double edged sword.

    The most likely form of tyranny would be where the government doesn't oppress the people directly. They'd start a war with a foreign power, and then use that as justification to impose tighter and tighter rules. Since large numbers of the nation's children end up in the army, the government has thousands of "hostages". The degree to which the government decides to be cautious or reckless with their lives is the degree to which they survive.

    If private citizens owned their own military grade weapons, then the government isn't the only force capable of repelling a foreign attack. Private citizens fighting on an "at will" basis aren't as good as hostages.



    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Direct democracy doesn't work about the town level. In the past mostly because of lack of communication and transportation technology. Now because technology has allowed complexity and improved efficiency to climb above what any one person can understand even for a small city.
    I don't buy this argument. What you same to be saying is that voters can't be trusted to make their own decisions, because they aren't smart enough. Now I fully agree that there are hordes of voters that seem quite clueless. But where I differ is in the notion that elected officials are in any way wiser than voters. Winning elections demonstrates competency at exactly one activity: the ability to win elections. The average elected official, in the United States at least, demonstrates all the mental acuity of a hog at the trough when it comes to actually understanding how government should be run.
    More accurate would be to say voters don't have time to make their own decisions. They don't have time to do hours upon hours of research every day on every issue. They might have time to research 5 or 6 issues a year.

    A Congressman usually has a staff of Harvard graduates doing that stuff for him/her. That's a whole staff just to decide how one Congressman ought to vote. Do you think the citizenry would all have the resources to match that?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    .
    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 07:43 PM.
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    I think only answer: it was established by force and revolutions.
    What about Australia, Canada, New Zealand? We certainly had plenty of violence against our indigenous people but no revolutions or civil wars among the general populace as in America or France. We just implemented democratic operations fairly smoothly as we told Britain thanks but no thanks. (We might have the USA and the War of Independence to thank for not needing a war to expel them. But we didn't have anything remotely like the civil war to follow.)
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    .
    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 07:44 PM.
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    .
    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 07:44 PM.
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    -
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    282
    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    The title of this thread talks about Democracy, not revolution. While the prospects of revolution may be a bit dimmer than they have been in the past due to technology, I feel technology is actually improving the prospects for Democracy. True direct democracy has only been practiced by a handful of small city-states in the distant past.
    I didn't claim that democracy should be direct or indirect.Under democracy I meant situation when vast majority of population could resonably influence political system or politician's decision making throug election system.And political system resonably reacts on changing situation,real problems which arise before country and listens to peoples needs and demands.
    History already knew cases when industrially developed and officially democratic country changed to dictatorship.The best known example is Nazi Germany.Italy,Hungary and others as well.Hitler was defeated by external invasion only.But nobody predetermined he would loose the war.
    My apologies for derailing your intended thrust for this thread. In my perhaps rude and probably unclear way, I was simply trying to advocate direct democracy over indirect. I have lived in a system of indirect democracy all my life and don't much care for the results. I would like to see the system of government I live under be modernized to something rather more responsive to the will of the electorate than the current system which largely amounts to the rich preselecting the candidates they want and the rest of us going through the ridiculous ritual of pretending it matters which of the plutocrat lackeys actually get elected.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,035
    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    The most likely form of tyranny would be where the government doesn't oppress the people directly.
    Why not?
    Admittedly what I was describing was probably how it would start. Later on maybe the whole facade of democracy would disappear.

    However, at first, the citizens need to believe there is a good reason they're surrendering their civil liberties and allowing their taxes to rise.

    "America was no different from a third world nation. With the arrival of robots, tens of millions of people lost their minimum wage jobs and the wealth concentrated so quickly. The rich controlled America's bureaucracy, military, businesses and natural resources, and the unemployed masses lived in terrafoam, cut off from any opportunity to change their situation. There was the facade of "free elections," but only candidates supported by the rich could ever get on the ballot. The government was completely controlled by the rich, as were the robotic security forces, the military and the intelligence organizations. American democracy had morphed into a third world dictatorship ruled by the wealthy elite."
    Manna, Chapter 4, by Marshall Brain
    Yeah. I see how there's a problem here.

    Robots replace labor, but aren't as good at replacing natural resources. So, in a robot-driven economy, ownership of natural resources is what really counts. If you're not born owning them, you can't acquire them unless you have something valuable enough to trade. The only thing a person is guaranteed to be born owning is their own labor. So you have to born able to perform a kind of labor that, once augmented by education, is valuable enough to trade for natural resources.

    That's becoming increasingly rare.


    It not necessarly should be open tyranny.Also it could be complete ignorance toward needs of vast people majority and zero reaction to their demands.But the question is: what is a basis for democracy to exist?How was it established at all?I think only answer: it was established by force and revolutions.If governments realize they have no more reason to count with uprisings and angry crowd what is any sense to maintain even official face of democracy?
    Suppressing the population always requires man power. Having cameras everywhere is useless unless you've also got an army of people to watch the camera footage. It's somewhat difficult to write computer software that can understand what it is seeing through so many eyes.

    You can make it filter for key words, recognize faces of known people, maybe even recognize certain kinds of attire or body language (big *maybe* on that last item, but not impossible.) That will give your human video footage watchers a narrowed list of video clips to watch. But you'll always need a large security force.

    The immigration service in the USA, trying to reduce the number of illegal immigrants from Mexico, started a program of putting lots of video cameras up along the Southern border, and allowing private citizens to volunteer to watch them on the web. It was a really good idea, but I don't think it has stopped some illegal immigrants from still managing to walk right by cameras that were set up and looking straight at them - simply because there wasn't anyone watching that camera at just that moment.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    .
    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 07:44 PM.
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,771
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I think only answer: it was established by force and revolutions.
    What about Australia, Canada, New Zealand? We certainly had plenty of violence against our indigenous people but no revolutions or civil wars among the general populace as in America or France. We just implemented democratic operations fairly smoothly as we told Britain thanks but no thanks. (We might have the USA and the War of Independence to thank for not needing a war to expel them. But we didn't have anything remotely like the civil war to follow.)
    Democracy meant to me, from day one of understanding, as a child, freedom. Freedom is a difficult to define, concisely, term, IMO. What "freedoms", then, do you (Australia, Canada, New Zealand) NOT possess? Property ownership free from taxation? Freedom to individually own firearms? Freedom from obediance to a revered (or despised, as the case may be), group of "Public Servants", who largely remain happily in enjoyment of many "freedoms" they deny to you? If you grudgingly, or otherwise, admit to lacking these basic freedoms, what "freedoms" are you then allowed to enjoy, under your Democracy?

    My definition of democracy is either incorrectly understood or interpreted, or the various "democracies" claimed to exist today are shams. jocular
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    .
    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 07:44 PM.
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    Freedom to individually own firearms?
    This is not a fundamental freedom for us - the USA is an outlier among modern industrialised countries on this issue. Japan, Australia, Britain, Germany, Canada all have much more restrictive laws about gun use and ownership than Americans do. Doesn't mean they're wrong, it means they're different and, as a bonus, they all have much lower murder rates than the USA along with many fewer accidental deaths by gunshot. We see that as a win.

    Property ownership free from taxation?
    If we want government and the courts to maintain and enforce our property rights, we have to make a contribution to those costs one way or another. Property taxes are as good a way as any.

    "Obedience" to public servants? I know some people in various administrations are not very people friendly (or the policies and practices they're supposed to administer are like that which looks much the same to the client) - but obedience? By and large, public service is there to advise people about their rights and obligations under whatever statute they're involved with. If people overlook or refuse to meet those obligations, then enforcement comes into the picture. And that's what people want! People don't want factories "getting away with" putting dangerous stuff into the air or soil or water. They don't want contaminated food or fake pharmaceuticals. They don't like it when others violate road rules or refuse to pay their taxes.

    Most adults don't want freedom from any rules at all. They want freedom within the same rules as everyone else. Different people have different ideas about which laws, rights and obligations are more important for themselves than for other people. Different countries and cultures have different priorities in legislation and enforcement. That doesn't necessarily mean they're more oppressed or less free.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Doesn't mean they're wrong, it means they're different and, as a bonus, they all have much lower murder rates than the USA along with many fewer accidental deaths by gunshot. We see that as a win.
    Padded with 90-95% suicide figures to make it appear higher...
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,035
    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    Swarms of flying microrobots unseen to your eyes which swarm everyone's apartment, house, building or street. Constantly monitoring what somebody says, reads, writes or even thinks. The same robots could perform punitive functions in the same time by stinging wrong-thinker with electrical jolts or tear gas molecules release.
    They would need to be very smart robots to be able to understand a human thought and identify what it means.

    Ultimately, you can put up all the cameras, sensors, listening devices.... etc that you want. Without a human to sift through it all that data is just gobblely gook.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    Robots replace labor, but aren't as good at replacing natural resources.
    Even if there would be unlimited supply of natural resources what difference does it make for those people who will loose their jobs to robots?
    If there were an unlimited supply of natural resources it would be impossible not to have a job. If nothing else, anyone who wanted to could be a farmer.

    The USA's dirty secret to how we became so wealthy is called "The Louisiana Purchase". It created a situation where, for a time, farm land was so plentiful that the government started giving it out for free to anyone who was willing to travel out into the western territories and lay claim to it. You have to figure that under those conditions there would be virtually zero long term unemployment. Everyone had a job waiting for them if they wanted it. Everyone could be their own boss.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    .
    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 07:45 PM.
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,771
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Freedom to individually own firearms?
    This is not a fundamental freedom for us - the USA is an outlier among modern industrialised countries on this issue. Japan, Australia, Britain, Germany, Canada all have much more restrictive laws about gun use and ownership than Americans do. Doesn't mean they're wrong, it means they're different and, as a bonus, they all have much lower murder rates than the USA along with many fewer accidental deaths by gunshot. We see that as a win.

    Property ownership free from taxation?
    If we want government and the courts to maintain and enforce our property rights, we have to make a contribution to those costs one way or another. Property taxes are as good a way as any.

    "Obedience" to public servants? I know some people in various administrations are not very people friendly (or the policies and practices they're supposed to administer are like that which looks much the same to the client) - but obedience? By and large, public service is there to advise people about their rights and obligations under whatever statute they're involved with. If people overlook or refuse to meet those obligations, then enforcement comes into the picture. And that's what people want! People don't want factories "getting away with" putting dangerous stuff into the air or soil or water. They don't want contaminated food or fake pharmaceuticals. They don't like it when others violate road rules or refuse to pay their taxes.

    Most adults don't want freedom from any rules at all. They want freedom within the same rules as everyone else. Different people have different ideas about which laws, rights and obligations are more important for themselves than for other people. Different countries and cultures have different priorities in legislation and enforcement. That doesn't necessarily mean they're more oppressed or less free.
    Bold 1: Double negative, no? Most want freedom within same rules as everyone else? What about the reasonable freedoms stifled by the rules? What about disregard for rules written by the rules-makers? What about when the rules shackle any possibility of majority-disapproved rules being changed?
    Bold 2: Obviously, and they always will, but what's the point?
    Bold 3: Thus, then, countries and cultures having self-imposed freedoms constraints are NOT more oppressed or less free than others not having them? Balderdash!
    jocular
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    What about when the rules shackle any possibility of majority-disapproved rules being changed?
    Well, that's about democracy itself and the institutions and mechanisms in each country or jurisdiction.

    Personally I find the politics dominated electoral systems of the USA extremely distasteful. The idea that an Australian citizen could, let alone should, register as a voter of a particular party is absolute anathema - when we say secret ballot we mean secret ballot. No-one, ever, gets any idea about how we vote unless we tell them and we could lie about it if we wanted to and there is no way, no possibility at all, for anyone to know otherwise.

    Here, political parties get to make submissions (and even appeals against decisions) for consideration by the electoral commission when electoral boundaries are revised to accommodate population shifts. But that's an independent body which makes its decisions according to strictly defined rules. Political parties also hand out voter registration stuff, but that's just back up for the standard work of the electoral commission.

    "Majority-disapproved rules?" I can think of a few within the US considering what's been happening to electoral districts and rules in a few places. That sort of thing can't happen here, and other 'rules' are subject to parties getting elected and putting their programs through. If a majority wants something enough and only one party is offering it, they should get elected and implement it. If they're not elected, apparently not enough people wanted that particular change enough to vote for the party offering it - they weren't the majority when the chips were down.
    danhanegan likes this.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    282
    Gee, Adelady, you really make me want to move to Australia. What sort of citizenship requirements do you have?

    The U.S. system seems purpose designed to generate divisiveness. The two party system means each office is contested by two people, each backed by a large organization of the party faithful, in a contest that bears a striking resemblance to a medieval joust. Trying to say anything positive about what action he will take if elected does a candidate little good, the party faithful who care about the policies he supports,which are predetermined by party politics, are already behind him with their votes. Elections are won by swaying the undecided "moderate" voters, who by and large are trying to pick the lesser of two evils. The winner is typically the fellow who finds some real dirt about his opponent and makes it public in a well timed manner, metaphorically planting his lance the in the other guy's chest and knocking him off his horse.

    Finding that dirt and getting the word widespread is to a slight degree a matter of being more upstanding than your opponent, which is to say having less nasty dirt in your past to be found. To some degree it is a matter of luck, sometimes random chance just brings odd bits to light at crucial times in an election campaign. But overwhelmingly, the "your candidate stinks worse than mine" contest is won by money. The side who can pay for more ads, more opinion polls, more private detectives digging through every detail of an opponent candidate's personal history, has a huge advantage.

    The striking thing, to me, about party politics in the United States, is how little the positions have changed in decades. I voted in my first election more than thirty years ago, and the Republicans and Democrats advocated almost exactly the same policies they advocate now. Both parties have held power several times in that period, why have they not in fact enacted the policies they claim to support?

    To me, the answer is simple. The candidates elected as members of those parties don't actually care a fig about their official party positions. These positions are simply convenient talking points to assemble into speeches and sound bites. The public thinks they understand these people when they hear the stock phrases they are familiar with. But in actual fact, the candidates are only worried about pleasing those people who are most responsible for getting them elected--the ones that write big checks contributing to the warchest the candidates need to buy the weapons they must have to knock their opponent off the horse at election time.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,150
    Gee, Adelady, you really make me want to move to Australia. What sort of citizenship requirements do you have?
    Is there a region in Australia that is considered more Progressive (social-democratic, pro-environment, renewable energy, etc) and less Conservative?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    344
    OP...

    -riots are always possible, technology isn't going to stop it.

    -We vote people into office and that makes us a Democracy...also,if one branch of government goes too far, another branch will check them (eventually), usually preventing abuses of power

    -In 1798, the Alien and Sedition Acts were signed by Adams during wartime to prevent people from voicing opposition to the "Quasi War" against France; Woodrow Wilson discriminated against the Germans by allowing German books to be banned and burned during WWI...see a trend? The problem is a war time mentality, which has gone on too long this time...the issue is that we won't leave the Middle East and officials feel that the War on Terror is a permanent war...War , in my opinion, is what often kills Democracy...
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    The U.S. system seems purpose designed to generate divisiveness.
    Don't know about that. As I see it, the US system was designed to exactly imitate government by a king and cabinet with a separate parliament highly circumscribed in power as it existed in Britain at the time - just changing the qualifications to election rather than inheritance/personal status - and crystallised that moment in history in a prescriptive constitution. It also captured in amber the colonies' claims to individual history and culture and created "states' rights". Those founding fathers couldn't foresee that in countries with that Westminster system, the power of the monarchy/aristocracy would be steadily whittled away as the powers and scope of action of parliaments increased nor that other colonies and possessions of the crown would gain their independence by other means.

    I think the divisiveness you so dislike is partly an inheritance of the bitter legacies of the Civil War. If you now look at the now Republican southern states, you have to remember that they were uniformly Democrat until LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 - that legislation is only 50 years old next year. (Which means it's 50 years this year since Kennedy's assassination. Oh dear.)

    Is there a region in Australia that is considered more Progressive (social-democratic, pro-environment, renewable energy, etc) and less Conservative?
    Not consistently. South Australia was a stick-in-the-mud, old fashioned, conservative state (we still had 6 o'clock closing in our pubs in the 60s) with a very long-standing premier. Then some new blood in his party voted in favour of a one vote, one value system for the state - which promptly led to SA becoming the leading non-conservative state government in the country. We had a woman Supreme Court judge! In 1965! The sky fell, dogs and cats were living together, life as we know it came to an end .... oh, wait, that didn't happen. But these sorts of things vary from decade to decade, election to election.

    Renewable energy? SA is well ahead on that score. We get 25% of our power from wind and about a quarter of SA houses have solar panels. For open interest and commitment to the environment, I'd probably say Tasmania could be the front runner on that score. They've certainly had some of the biggest stoushes over the environment - banning the Franklin River dam in the 70s, the fight over the paper mill in the north of the state and the current furore over the Tarkine region are all significant environmental issues. None of the eastern states have covered themselves in glory over the issue of too much water being extracted from the Murray river and its food producing basin, which is probably the biggest environmental problem for Australia. The issue is sort of on the backburner now while the river's running pretty well - but the next el Nino dominated drought will see that fight re-emerge in al its ugliness.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. It is impossible!
    By precious in forum Personal Theories & Alternative Ideas
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: December 19th, 2011, 10:17 AM
  2. What to do about an impossible teacher...
    By gottspieler in forum Biology
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: July 13th, 2010, 04:34 PM
  3. Nothing is Impossible
    By korben in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 46
    Last Post: June 20th, 2010, 01:27 AM
  4. Which Way is Progress?
    By Golkarian in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: November 27th, 2008, 06:17 AM
  5. Is it possible something can be impossible?
    By Quantime in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: February 17th, 2008, 08:45 PM
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
  •