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12 Angry Voters

Every 12 people should get 1 vote
  (+8, -12)
(+8, -12)
  [vote for,

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 to 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 fights.

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 justice juries.

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 each other.

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 consensus?

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 sexist.

myclob, Mar 10 2005

Personal Government http://www.ornery.o...h/2005-02-13-1.html
This article explains why my idea is a good one [myclob, Apr 01 2005]


       erm.. who selects the jury ?

is it "Every 12 people should get 1 vote"

       or "Every 5 people should get 1 vote" ?
neilp, Mar 10 2005

       //people rarely have to make an argument for their position//
Why is that a problem? Why should I have to justify my opinion?
angel, Mar 10 2005

       I can honestly say that at this time I don't get it?
skinflaps, Mar 10 2005

       Yes, that's why there is a chat room, to talk about the current climatic conditions - the Brits'll love it.
Or maybe there'll be a chatroom to talk about castrated rams.
This is in the HB [general] category - is it a proposal to change the HB's voting scheme?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 10 2005

       Wasn't that the problem in the last 2 USA elections - that 50 percent of people thought one way, and 50 percent of people thought exactly the opposite. So, how would this system help situations where the population is basically evenly divided?
submitinkmonkey, Mar 10 2005

       That means that 5 people voted for, but 30 voted against. Hmmmmm....
DesertFox, Mar 10 2005

       monkey, probably because 75 percent of either side didn't do much thinking at all. This might force them to. Completely unworkable though as nothing would get done. -
RayfordSteele, Mar 10 2005

       I'm new at this and got some people mad for deleting their annotations. Do you mind if I delete the one's about spelling and the use of the word weather? I was in a hurry, am a terrible speller, not as fast as the rest of the kids, and these items combined to result in the perfect storm that was my post. However, I think I have fixed spelling errors.   

       Re: "Completely unworkable, though, as nothing would get done."   

       We had millions of individuals vote in the last election in America. In 2001 India had 1,027,015,247 persons. If you made groups of 3 and they only half of the came to a consensus, then that would still be 171,169,208 votes. Enough votes to determine what the will of the people is.   

       re: "We should not question the secrete ballot and one person one vote because they are sacred, and their benefits are self-evident."   

       We can question Dogma if we are careful, do small experiments, and follow the data. We have achieved a lot of human progress by carefully questioning Dogma. It is better to have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.   

       Rewarding debate doesn't have to harm the secretive nature of someone's vote. We can have anonymous debates on the telephone.   

       A transparent voting system with people only voting for things they were willing to admit to their family and neighbors doesn't sound so bad.
myclob, Mar 12 2005

       [DrBob] The Simpsons did that too - Homer disagreed with the rest of the jury so he could get to stay in a hotel.
hippo, Mar 14 2005

       I like this. It is of course totally unworkable, but it's actually a good idea at heart addressing some of the fundamental problems of democracy. Putting a vote into a box every four years isn't enough to make a democracy work, people need to consider carefully why they are voting the way they are and be able to back that up with some sort of reasoning. That won't happen unless you engage people in some sort of political debate.   

       Right now we (US/UK/most of Europe) do politics from the top down. The parties disseminate their policies via the media, and the electorate mostly lets the media do the thinking and debate for them - to a large extent our voting decisions are made for us by the media. Forcing us into political debate (especially with those of other persuasions) would shift some power away from the media and back to the electorate.   

       Of course most people wouldn't bother, they'd just cede their 1/12th of a vote and hope that everything would be ok. All the same I'm going to bun you because I like the approach and no one else seems to get it. [+]
wagster, Mar 14 2005

       [hippo] Malcolm in the Middle did that too - Malcolm's mother disagreed with the rest of the jury so they would take the time to think through the case.
FarmerJohn, Mar 14 2005

       Re: "Twelve Angry Men was also parodied by Tony Hancock and Sid James in a way which tells you exactly why this idea will not work."   

       I don't get it. You go to a fictional story to say that juries don't work, when they seem to work in real life all the time.   

       Sure, maybe juries shouldn't be used to vote for our elected officials, but don't say that juries never work.   

       We already live in a political system often described as “winner takes all”. It doesn’t matter that Ross Perot had thousands of people vote for him, unless he gets a majority of the votes, he is not going to win even a proportional amount of power.
myclob, Mar 14 2005

       //I’ll assume you don’t have anything of substance to contribute //

I shan't waste my time on you then.
DrBob, Mar 16 2005

       Good film, great play, bad idea. [-]
etherman, Mar 16 2005

       //...to say that juries don't work, when they seem to work in real life all the time. //
I can surmise from this statement that you are neither a member of the legal profession nor David Jacobs.
calum, Mar 16 2005

       Re: "I can surmise from this statement that you are neither a member of the legal profession nor David Jacobs."   

       I'm not sure who David Jacobs it. Google gives me a book, and a singer.   

       So members of the legal profession do not have faith in jury systems?
myclob, Mar 16 2005

       I'm puzzled by the reference to David Jacobs too. The one I know is/was a BBC Radio 2 "DJ", and a Michael Howard sound/lookalike. The fact that Michael Howard was a former UK Home Secretary may be relevant. Dunno - care to elucidate [calum]?
TolpuddleSartre, Mar 16 2005

       I thought about adding the word "legal" to the search.
Among the immediate answers I found this (linky). I think it looks like I have found the relevant Mr. Jacobs.
Jinbish, Mar 16 2005

       [Jinbish] - Thankyou very much for your link to Dr Batty's research on the way herring communicate by farting from their swim bladders. It left me none the wiser about David Jacobs but thoroughly amused.
wagster, Mar 16 2005

       DrBob, eh? he kept that research quiet. didn't know his last name was Batty.
po, Mar 16 2005

       It's not a name [po], it's a description. Dr Bob - batty.
wagster, Mar 16 2005

       I truly had to check the date when I read that article - dragging herrings into it just made it seem more like April 1st.
po, Mar 16 2005

       <hand up>
Ok, I made an arse of cutting and pasting a link and didn't even have the wherewithall to bother checking.
</hand down>
Quite clearly, if I want something done properly -I'd better get someone with at least some vague semblence competence... I don't even know if that's the guy in question.
Jinbish, Mar 16 2005

       I posted a link to an article by Orson Scott Card where he argues for local government. I thought some of his points apply to my idea. I like the thought of a towns citizens having to argue out their decision, instead of just going into a dark private place, and voting for people with D's or R's by their name.
myclob, Apr 01 2005

       Orson Scott Card.. writes pretty good books, too.   

       I just love the idea of writing someone's name on the ballot paper, and getting him into office.   

       As for the idea: don't see the point. And [myclob], I hate to be a Whinging Morris, but can we get rid of the 'reasons to agree' thing? It just gets my back up for some reason. How about 'on the one hand', or 'Advantages of this idea' or something? I may have reasons why I think this is a good idea which have nothing to do with yours, and I feel bad about bunning an idea for reasons which may be subversive or counter-revolutionary or something.   

       My God. It's Friday night and I'm sitting in front of a computer, typing rubbish.
moomintroll, Apr 01 2005

       //My God. It's Friday night and I'm sitting in front of a computer, typing rubbish.// Hey, that's reason #7 in the list of ways to tell if you're a halfbaker.
Worldgineer, Apr 01 2005

       I'm reassured. Still, might change my name - 'moom' has a nice palyndromic feel to it...
moomintroll, Apr 01 2005

       Your real name or your 'baker name? If the latter, send an e-mail to bakesperson (click the "report a problem" link) - she might help you out. If the former, then perhaps it's time to turn the computer off for a while.
Worldgineer, Apr 01 2005

       Yes, the username can be changed and all posts will be changed to reflect that. "chown"
bristolz, Apr 01 2005

Worldgineer, Apr 01 2005

       change owner
bristolz, Apr 01 2005

       Ah. My unix/linux days were few and long ago.
Worldgineer, Apr 01 2005

       If I'm doing something wrong, then I can delete my "copy paste", but I thought if I gave his name, and said, "Copyright" that it was OK.
myclob, Apr 01 2005

       Thx, [myclob]! I appreciate it.
bristolz, Apr 02 2005

       Good idea, but the problem with this is that it would favour large parties over small ones. This would almost certainly lead to a two-party system. Also, smaller emerging parties would find it impossible to get their foot into the door. The ruling parties would become complacent as they have nothing to fear.
kinemojo, Mar 17 2006

       I like this, on grounds of 'trying to make people listen/think', so [+], even though it will never happen.
pertinax, May 24 2006

Voice, Aug 17 2006


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