Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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It might be better to just get another gerbil.

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Like a republic but without the representatives
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(+6, -5)
  [vote for,

The Internet could allow us to have a good-old-fashioned Greek-style democracy without the mess of a Roman-style republic. I'd rather spend an hour on the computer every night reading bills and casting my votes if my only other choice is to put up with this sore lack of good choices and constant flood of campaign lies in the media. (I'm speaking from my experiences as an American, anyway.)
kevinthenerd, Sep 10 2012

List of the world's high tech companies http://en.wikipedia...f_Hi-tech_companies
If you look very carefully, you can find which ones are in the U.S. [doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2012]

It mustelid my mind. http://upload.wikim...illing_a_rabbit.jpg
[rcarty, Sep 15 2012]


       "I'd rather spend an hour on the computer every night reading bills and casting my votes"   

       but most other people wouldn't, which is why almost half of the population doesn't even bother to take an hour once a year to go and vote.
WcW, Sep 10 2012

       also "the internet" is not something that every citizen can/will use and thus cannot be considered a truly democratic medium.
WcW, Sep 10 2012

       "How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will." (Albert Einstein)
Inyuki, Sep 10 2012

       Pure democracy is a bad form of government. Didn't work then, won't work now, never will work. Even with the internet to make finding information and voting easy. Since this idea is basically "voting" and 21 hasn't gotten here yet - [marked-for-deletion] WKTE.
DIYMatt, Sep 10 2012

       [kevinthenerd] could have a point not articulated in this idea: there is no reason why people should not have direct voting power over parliamentary decisions. They should have such rights, and the participation should be free for everyone. The difference of voting powers should then be set by the voting power distribution (which may be non-trivial). The votes then would be counted as weighted sums.
Inyuki, Sep 10 2012

       Even if not to directly influence law making, this sort of shadow voting could be opened up in an offical government capacity in the way described now that it is close to possible to achieve direct democracy. Of course there are specific issues about accessibility, but arn't there also about representatives, perhaps even much greater ones. There's also the structuring effect of political representation whereby the people are disproportionately influenced by party, if you can appreciate the dynamic between a closed caucus with corporate organization and a largely unorganized and diffuse mass. However, one problem that may arise is the issue of online privacy, whereby the government could be seen to be collecting information on the political views of each of its constituents. Is there any possible way voting could be done anonymously with considerations of online security? Isn't there a protection of rights in dropping a ballot into a box of hundreds of other people, watched only by aged volunteers? On the other hand, politically active people are by no means anonymous, although not necessarily easy to watch in their entirety. Maybe there is a compromise made in the protection of the individual, and production of some sort of general will of the collective that should be maintained despite the discontentment of the individual. Ironically, maybe its important that there should be some discrepancy between the will of the individual and the collective, to foster a sense of individuality which is the basis of modern democracy. Maybe if pure direct democracy was achieved a peace would be created between the individual will and the collective will and western liberalism would end.
rcarty, Sep 10 2012

       It would be a monumental waste of time for everyone to fully research every issue. Theoretically, that's what we pay our representatives to do.   

       It seems tempting though to have the ability to let the representative handle most things, but retain the right to change my small share of the vote on particular issues I have researched and don't agree with my representative on. Or maybe even have the ability to take my voting power away from my representative and give it to someone else.   

       Question: Why are representatives geographically assigned? That made perfect sense 200 years ago since how else would you get good representation, but distance doesn't really matter anymore. What if I could just assign my vote to any representative I choose. What if at election time I could vote for anyone I want? The 435 with the most votes go to the house of representatives. If the person I selected doesn't make it, I can give my vote to any of the 435 I choose. Have the elections every X years, but let people switch between the 435 at any time. Maybe even have the ability to have one representative for one bill and another representative on another. No need to impeach or recall someone. They just loose all voting power. I doubt it's a good idea because it might tend to concentrate power in the top few representatives. It might also break up the deadlock which is good to some extent because it reduces how much bad that can get done in a short amount of time. But if each representative was directly accountable to their constituents and could loose them at a moments notice, it seems like they would take the time to communicate why they voted as they did on issues. Food for though anyway...
scad mientist, Sep 10 2012

       This would degenerate into voting whether or not Honey Boo Boo should change her go-go juice formula or not.
RayfordSteele, Sep 10 2012

       I've always figured what we need in America is an easy referendum system. Easy in the sense that it doesn't take too many signatures to get your bill placed on the ballot
EdwinBakery, Sep 11 2012

       Democracy distilled is mob rule.
cudgel, Sep 11 2012

       Mobs are ruled how?
rcarty, Sep 12 2012

       Well, they're usually an anarcho-syndicalist commune where they take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the duration of the mobbing.   

       It also gives everyone a chance to see the violence inherent in the system.
8th of 7, Sep 12 2012

       I was thinking in a more general sense. Technically a mob is a crowd or a mass. So [cudgel]s statement is not incorrect. The question of what rules a mob should be a big one for sociology, and is no doubt one that has been explored before. Mobs appear far more frequently than anarchist demonstrations. A busy downtown sidewalk can be considered a mob. So too can boxing day shoppers. I suppose there is some difference between a ruly mob and an unruly mob. If Democracy is a ruly mob, that sort of defeats the rhetorical power of the statement. If an idea rules a mob then that can be seen in most cases, as people in mobs will act in accordance with that idea, on a busy downtown street the idea might be simply "don't bump into anyone" and beyond that everyone exists with autonomy. On boxing day the idea might be "get things before other people get them", and the rest of the behaviour is somewhat autonomous. However, people are not entirely autonomous and their solidarity with society as a whole or with the mob itself will also determine their behaviour, and the aggregate of that the behaviour of the mob. It's possible that social breakdown can occur in a mob as the mob comes to represent society "is this what the world is coming to". Election days are sort of like organized flash mobs, all converging at the same place to do the same thing. If democracy rules a mob, or some sort of utilitarian belief, then people will act in accordance with what they percieve to be the will or the interests of the greatest number. If liberalism "all for one and one for all?, conservatism "all for jesus/ law and jesus/ law for all" and socialism "some for me and some for you" are also important structuring ideas of the mob then a level of predictability is being built in.
rcarty, Sep 12 2012

       A 'crowd' of shoppers has a consensus purpose and observes social rules (deaths are rare). The same is largely true of an audience at a rock concert. The members of the crowd do not exhibit unmanageable levels of hostility either internally or externally.   

       A 'mob' is quite different- football supporters are a prime example. They express directed hostility and agression towards 'them' - those that are 'not us'.   

       The shoppers are behaving on an agreed agends for their own individual benefit. The footbal supporters behave to promote the 'success' of the team (=tribe,clan,pack). An act against one member is percieved as a threat against the whole.   

       When this is scaled up to the level of nation states, it can all be a bit loud and unfortunate.
8th of 7, Sep 12 2012

       People are pretty insignificant to squabble over whether they are in a crowd or a mob. I think the criteria used to seperate them is confounding. Consensus purpose and social rules can be observed in both mobs and crowds, to varying degrees. Think about a crowd of people standing outside past a state enforced curfew, are they a crowd on one side of the curfew then a mob on the other?
rcarty, Sep 12 2012

       // "the internet" is not something that every citizen can/will use //   

       But it is something that many people can, will, and do misuse.   

       // there is no reason why people should not have direct voting power over parliamentary decisions. //   

       Yes, there is: a large portion of the American public is dumber than a bag of hammers. Even many who do possess a modicum of intelligence will not take the time to fully research ballot issues that have been cleverly presented in obfuscatory politicalese, but instead will instead make snap decisions informed primarily by how well the issue is sold by its proponents. Going to a physical poll location on a predetermined date and standing in the booth at least prompts people to spend a little while thinking about their vote. This consideration is further tempered by the caucus system andor the primary round, and, for better or worse, by the electoral college. Putting a little bit of space between the voting public and the final outcome is not necessarily a bad thing.
Alterother, Sep 12 2012

       // large portion //   

       Sp. "nearly all"   

       // American //   

       Sp. "general"
8th of 7, Sep 12 2012

       // "general" // I didn't want to speak for you limeys. I'm reasonably certain that the UK has roughly the same dumb shit : responsible brain owner ratio as the USA, but not certain enough to risk insult by actually saying so.
Alterother, Sep 12 2012

       // large portion //   

       //Sp. "nearly all"//   

       For a country of dummies we sure do have quite a few high tech companies. And by quite a few I mean pretty much all of them. (link)   

       By the way, been to England a couple of times. Love the people, at least the ones I met and did business with. Have you ever actually been to the States 8?
doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2012

       That is not disputed. The point is that in any country, no matter how socially and technically advanced, 50% of the population will be of below average intelligence …   

       Actually, it can be much worse than that. Consider a small island with a population of 100. 99 people have an IQ of 100. One person has an IQ of 120. The average IQ is therefore 100.2, and therefore 99% of the population are of below average intelligence.   

       Blah, blah, bell curve, normal distribution. But it does show how one smart individual can skew the results.
8th of 7, Sep 12 2012

       Well, if you ever come to visit, I'll buy you a beer and show you around. We're not so bad.   

       Please don't judge us by our reality tv shows. You get ratings by showing foaming at the mouth idiots. A reality show based on cutting edge aerospace or biotech scientists wouldn't do very well in the ratings.   

doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2012

       // A reality show based on cutting edge aerospace or biotech scientists wouldn't do very well in the ratings. //   

       Star Trek ?
8th of 7, Sep 12 2012

       Hey man, you're preaching to the choir, but I don't make the rules. The people who put on shows like "Honey BooBoo" are at the helm.   

       I think TV producers should be reminded "Hey guys, these programs are being transmitted out into space at the speed of light. Do you really want other civilizations to think the Kardashians represent Earth?"
doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2012

       // We're not so bad //   

       Yeah, we know.   

       // You get ratings by showing foaming at the mouth idiots. //   

       The Republican convention has finished now, hasn't it ?   

       Beer would be nice, but only real beer - not a sort of anaemic, fizzy lemonade, so highly refrigerated that all the flavour and alcohol has been neutralised, and served in miniscule measures rather than pints - which, incidentally, are 20 ounces, not 16.
8th of 7, Sep 12 2012

       Don't worry, we've got the drinking thing down. Most places even have the warm stuff you guys like.   

       And most cities have their "British" pubs with pictures of Englishy stuff on the walls. They tend to sing a lot in those.
doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2012

       Must be why I'm not terribly familiar with the inside of them.
RayfordSteele, Sep 13 2012

       I'm not getting into one of those snipe wars on here but have to ask - who on earth provides the positive ratings for reality TV shows? They are uniformly unforgivable whatever country you hold your remote in... so who is making TV companies decide that trash TV like that is what brings in the bucks? Watching it must be one of those guilty pleasures.
Phrontistery, Sep 14 2012

       //who on earth provides the positive ratings for reality TV shows?//   

       Stupid people.   

       And they're really cheap to make so there's a lot of profit. I heard that for a movie, you see about 20% of the footage shot, for a reality tv show it's like 85% or something.   

       They also don't require any creativity. There are writers for these shows (watch the credits at the end if you can get that far) but it doesn't take Shakespeare to tell Billy Bob to stare at the camera with a stupid look on his face for "Hillbilly Butt Rustlers".   

       So in other words, it's more of a supply-side-is- easy than a demand-side-is-big thing. That being said however, the first reality show was what killed MTV because it was so popular. Interesting trivia fact: MTV stands for Music Television. It was originally a music channel but the ratings it got from a show called "The Real World" where a bunch of kids sat around a house asking who stole the shampoo were so high it became more expensive to play music than that show. The reality genre has ruled tv ever since.   

       I don't miss any sleep over it though. I grew up watching tv shows like "Gilligan's Island" simply because it had things moving around on the screen. It was so bad somebody came up with the idea of playing recordings of people laughing so you'd feel like you were watching something funny. The up side is, with cable tv now you have shows that are actually worth watching. History Channel, Science Channel, Comedy Central has South Park. I've never liked TV drama but cable created the Sopranos and Breaking Bad which are great in my opinion.   

       So bottom like, TV has always sucked, now it just costs less to make those sucky shows and you actually have some good stuff out there with all the choices cable provides. So you take the good with the bad, and the remote is the ultimate tool of democracy. If we don't like it, we get to change the channel. (lame attempt to get back to the original subject)
doctorremulac3, Sep 14 2012

       // "Hillbilly Butt Rustlers" //   

       I thought Billy Clinton was overrated in that
4and20, Sep 14 2012

       //Stupid people.//   

       This is why Democracy is shit. The vast majority of humans have the collective brainpower of a dead weasel. Who failed its little weasel GCSEs.   

       This is also why "celebrity culture" is so rife. Only stupid people become engaged with it. Stupid people and weasels.
theleopard, Sep 14 2012

       Think of the ratings for a show about weasels.
4and20, Sep 14 2012

       //Democracy is shit//   

       You're absolutely right. The only thing worse is the other alternatives.
doctorremulac3, Sep 14 2012

       What otter nonsense.
theleopard, Sep 14 2012

       Watch it, mustelid puns are a pet peeve ermine.
Alterother, Sep 14 2012

       You'll have to ferret out the chief offenders then.
DrBob, Sep 14 2012

       And badger them til they stop.
theleopard, Sep 14 2012

       Beaver careful not to cause squirrels.
rcarty, Sep 14 2012

       We need to think about that one, we'll get back to you in a marmot …
8th of 7, Sep 14 2012

       WOLVERINE! Ha ha ha. (sorry, I don't really get the concept I guess)
AusCan531, Sep 14 2012

       And at least I know what mustelids are. Yes, I'm looking at you [rcarty].
AusCan531, Sep 14 2012

       It mustelid my mind.
rcarty, Sep 14 2012

       That last one is civet of a stretch.
Alterother, Sep 15 2012

       Is a tit ?[link]
rcarty, Sep 15 2012

       Hmm! It seems like some of us are martin to the sound of a different drum.
DrBob, Sep 17 2012

       Yes, I mink you're right
hippo, Sep 17 2012


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