We should experiment with group debates and
requirements for near-unanimous votes. We could vote
for political outcomes similar to how we vote in a jury.
Like a jury, a group of people would have to agree, or
there would be a mistrial.
We could find suitable ways of picking individuals
participate in group votes.
A suitable solution would be to only use volunteers.
Those who volunteer to debate the issues, and defend
their positions with logic should be given slightly more of
a vote (eg 1.1 or 1.2).
We must stop pretending that ignorance, misinformation,
fake news, popular opinion, anecdotes, and intuition are
just as good as valid reasoning.
Education, validated data, the scientific method, and
unbiased analysis are better than popular opinion,
anecdote, and intuition.
It has been said that everyone is entitled to their own
opinion but not their individual facts. However,
conclusions should be built from facts, in a system that
automatically weakens the strength of the findings, when
their assumptions are weakened.
Volunteers could be given a number, and a random
number generator could assign groups.
We could find ways to assign neighbors to debate the
issues and try to come to a consensus.
The post-office could divide up neighborhoods so that
every 3, 5, or 10 households are assigned one vote.
Neighborhood debates and consensus voting would force
you to get to know your neighbors and interact with
people you disagreed with.
If we can't even discuss important issues with our
neighbors, we don't deserve to be a country.
Politics is divisive, and neighborhood group debates and
consensus voting could cause fights.
We can't just keep making important decisions and
thinking it is impolite to talk about them.
We have to start getting some things right, and it is
better to have a crucial conversation with our neighbors
than to blindly drive our country off a cliff, without any
We could have rules to keep things calm and have police
in the neighborhood for the debate.
Volunteers could use phones to anonymously debate
issues and use their keypad to vote. Telephone
conferences could be assigned based on volunteer
availability. Users could be grouped by how long they are
willing to devote to each issue and schedule availability.
The rules that apply to juries, of how they separate into
different camps and argue until everyone agrees or they
give up could be used over the phone. People could vote
yes or no, or for various candidates, anonymously with
their keypad. Each time someone speaks, it could ask the
group to push the pound key to provide a rebuttal. An
automated system could give priority to those who
haven't talked as much. Each person could be given 4
minutes to speak, and they could push the pound key to
yield their remaining time.
Anonymous telephone conversations could be designed to
provide much less social pressure or fear than criminal
Juries are not entirely anonymous in the criminal justice
system. The jury selection process reveals many
compromising details about individuals. The criminal,
their family, and anyone who comes to the proceedings
can see the juries, and follow them when they leave the
courthouse. Jury members, criminals, and their families
can learn to recognize each other by sight in ways that
would not happen on a telephone conference.
Small experiments can't hurt anything.
If it works for the criminal justice system, it could work
for our political decisions.
Our political decisions are as important as criminal
justice jury decisions. Our political decisions affect our
future as a species and the fate of millions, trillions of
dollars, our health, safety, and freedom.
In a war of ideas, the best ideas will only win, if those
ideas are given forums in which they contend against
Group consensus debates would help because they would
force republicans and democrats to talk to each other
instead of just talking trash about each other.
Debating topics shouldn't just be for students on debate
teams. The complete lack of public discourse on
important issues is a problem. People are discouraged
from talking about politics. Families and friends often
avoid talking about politics because they don't want to
harm the relationship. Workers usually can't discuss
politics openly, for fear it will hurt their career.
We can't make good decisions as a society without
encouraging healthy public debate.
Its a problem that we can alter the future of our planet,
alone in a private voting booth without having to defend
any of our invalid arguments or faulty data.
If rational people can't come to a consensus, then their
vote shouldn't count. If there is a better path, it should
be identified with analysis, debate, and discussion.
We should reward people who are willing to try to
defend their beliefs.
Encouraging debate would result in a better-informed
society. People don't want to look foolish when
expressing their beliefs, and so they would probably do
some research into why they believe what they do.
Items remaining to be experimented with:
1. How large should the groups be?
2. How long should the group be given to come to a
3. What issues would they vote on? Probably just the
propositions that politicians don't want to address. (I
know some states don't have propositions. California has
tons of them).
The best way to make decisions is to follow the
evidence, and unanimous decision-making requirements
encourage evidence sharing and analysis.
When people have to be unanimous for their vote to
count, it will force people to explain why they want to
vote a particular way.
Angry Men is a reference to a movie by the same name,
about a jury that could not decide. I do not mean to be a