Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Get half a life.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Make political parties illegal

  (+1, -2)
(+1, -2)
  [vote for,

After several recent unexpected results (Brexit, Trump, the latest UK election), politicians have still not got their heads around one basic idea: the electorate is, in large part, sick of the lot of them.

Individual politicians are sometimes fairly reasonable people. Corbyn, for instance, made his way in life by inventing his famous trouser press and is now quite a reasonable bloke, as far as I can tell. May is also probably quite a reasonable person (though not as nice as her brother James), although lacking the common touch. Either of them would probably make a half-decentish job of running a large enterprise, such as the UK. Or rather, neither of them would be much worse than the other.

The problem, though, is parties. Each party is entrenched in the position that whatever the opposition says is wrong, and that in any case it's all their fault in the first place. If Labour voted to make puppy-burning illegal, all the other parties would immediately have to expostulate about how the puppy-burning industry provides much-needed jobs and supports British exports.

So. We should simply make political parties illegal. MPs can still stand as independents and be elected. Collectively they can elect a PM (or president, or whatever), and then they can all just shut the fuck up and get on with trying to run the country.

And yes this was a rant.

MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 29 2017

RICO https://en.wikipedi...t_Organizations_Act
[doctorremulac3, Jun 29 2017]


MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 29 2017

       Love it. Break 'em up under RICO. (see link)
doctorremulac3, Jun 29 2017

       George Washington was right.
RayfordSteele, Jun 29 2017

       gerrymandering which the Supreme Court has finally started to tackle is definitely a big problem. But mostly the voters are the problem.
theircompetitor, Jun 29 2017

       Just as a thought experiment, I wonder if a particular country had a average IQ of say... 160, nobody below 130, and they had no government... how exactly would the country fall apart? What systems would fail? What problems would go unsolved?   

       I'm asking. I haven't even speculated about it. Who knows, maybe if we didn't have our glorious ruling class the Sun wouldn't come up in the morning.
doctorremulac3, Jun 29 2017

       I don't think you need to make political parties illegal. Far simpler, & less intrusive on the principle of freedom of association, is to just not allow candidates to include any party references on the ballot sheet & electoral junk mail. That way people actually have to read & listen to stuff before deciding who to vote for, rather than just mindlessly putting their X in the same box as last time.

It also empowers the elected person because they have a personal constituency rather than being beholden to the party for their position.
DrBob, Jun 30 2017

       Just stop voting like me. I now represent myself, and have considered running as a candidate for the 'Don't Vote For Me' party. If the majority of the electorate don't vote for me, then I will claim that as a win.
xenzag, Jun 30 2017

       // running as a candidate for the 'Don't Vote For Me' party// that gets my vote.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 30 2017

       Either way, I win. If everyone votes for me, then I get elected. If no one votes for me, then I can claim all of those non-votes as supporting me, so I still win. My election slogan: "Don't vote for The Don't Vote For Me Party"
xenzag, Jun 30 2017

       [bigsleep] the entire US political situation is Obama's fault, as follows :)   

       1. He passes Obamacare with Democrats only 2. He loses 2010 Congressional election 3. The 2010 Census is run by Republicans 4. They "adjust" Congressional districts based on the Census (this happens every 10 years). 5. As a result, the debacle that's been not just Republicans winning and Trump winning, but over 1,000 legislative seats across all levels of government.   

       Gerrymandered districts are designed to maximize party differences -- of course I jest about Obama's fault, this has always been going on, but in recent decades this has gotten to a level that the Supreme Court has been asked to intervene that certain districts are plainly not designed for any other reason than to do that, and has overturned some gerrymandered districts.   

       If for instance the Dems take the House in 2020, then the entire cycle starts going the other way as you can imagine.   

       As to the voters fault, well of course we get the government we deserve.
theircompetitor, Jun 30 2017

       Yeah, gerrymandering bad. The districts should be laid out like an Excel spreadsheet, and if you want power go live in a given cell.   

       IQ is no reassurance. I know PHDs who can't order a pizza unassisted, and think that manufacturing process errors can be prevented by surveillance cameras   

       Party politics bad, yes. The pols should have to vote on each issue individually, no grouping. Think of how little would get done. They'd have to prioritize and only work on the important stuff.
normzone, Jun 30 2017

       //IQ is no reassurance. I know PHDs who can't order a pizza unassisted//   

       Oh I'm in absolute agreement. I judge a person by their, for lack of a better term "intellectual shaft horsepower". So if they've got lots of IQ horsepower but are still wrong about everything, that turbocharged brain of theirs is essentially useless. Worse because they're coming off as a smart person and being trusted to do stuff they have no business doing.   

       But on average, I think a very high IQ society would to better than a lower average society.   

       It's not politically correct to do so, but this experiment has already been done. Look at a map of the world by IQ and see how they're doing in terms of poverty, crime, freedom etc. Then there's the fascinating case of China, a high IQ country that until recently has been a total shithole.   

       The variable there? The most controlled people on Earth, ruled over for millennia by the dynastic emperors then their little experiment with totalitarian communism. Once they had the yoke of oppression lifted from their backs they rocketed from a struggling agrarian society to one of the most powerful industrial nations on Earth in a few decades.   

       And yea, gerrymandering bad. Nobody but the politicians support that nonsense.
doctorremulac3, Jun 30 2017

       even the most intelligent are unable -- at scale -- to bypass their own selfish impulses. They simply substitute one set of selfish impulses for another -- e.g. the enlightened meteorologist thinks that it's better that 2 billion people never get a car or an air-conditioner because he is really worried about melting glaciers affecting his great grand-children, where's the unenlightened coal miner just wants to have enough to get drunk on Saturday.   

       Either way, either one is perfectly happy to dictate to others as to how they have to live, the one wants to put in harsh carbon taxes, the other can't give a fuck if you lose a few blocks of Miami beach front.   

       To get better politicians, we should probably align their incentives better to our own. But it's probably a losing battle until the AIs come in and fix everything.
theircompetitor, Jun 30 2017

       Don't blame you for ranting, [MB], but this one fails on the anarchist's paradox - namely, that if you get rid of formal power structures, then they are replaced by informal power structures, which are less accountable and harder to change. [-]
pertinax, Jul 01 2017

       But “formal power structures” aren’t without their disasters too, nazism and communism being two glaring examples.I think there's a sweet spot between fascism and anarchy where culture dictates to the individual how to run things, but you've got to have a lot of functionally intelligent people for this to work.   

       Cultural laws are incredibly strong, the idea that without them there would be no law isn't entirely true. People almost never walk down the street naked and it's not because they’re afraid of the $200 fine they might receive.   

       I'm a big fan of the, hate to use the word, "empowered", responsible individual. Lots of these folks would take getting along and making a working society seriously if they're "functionally intelligent". I say functionally intelligent vs some foaming at the mouth intellectual who is wrong about everything but good at debating. There are a lot of high IQ morons out there and remember, Nazism and Communism were intellectual philosophies supported by beard stroking “wise men” from the highest towers of academia.   

       On the other hand, it’s smart, free individuals who gave us, oh, everything. Every cherished development of modern civilization comes from these people, so societies where they are allowed to thrive have been, and will continue to be a good thing.   

       Putting a lot of power in the hands of an overarching powerful government carries the risk of the assholes taking over and wrecking all the good stuff that the smart, empowered individuals gave us.
doctorremulac3, Jul 01 2017

       // if you get rid of formal power structures// I don't want to get rid of formal power structure. I want the best (or least bad) people to run the country as best they can.   

       What I want to end is this stupid party division. It just leads to knee-jerk reactions against any ideas proposed by the opposition.   

       As far as I can tell, no other organization or institution apart from government is run on a party system. Why do we need it for government? If Corbyn is a better PM than May, then he should be PM. And if Boris is a more entertaining or effective foreign minister then give him the job.   

       Party politics has become a thing in and of itself, and I think it is stupid and wrong.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 01 2017

       so we just elected a lifelong Democrat as a Republican President, beholden to no one, with the goal of disrupting the whole structure. He's fabulously wealthy and therefore incorruptible, he's seventy so he has the wisdom of a lifetime of experience, and he's been able to make friends with everyone, fashion hereto impossible compromises and focus on the country's problems like never before. It's working out great.   

       [MB] fighting parties is like fighting the concepts of fans of competitive sports -- or fighting the stripes on a zebra. Tribalism is a biological phenomenon that cannot be factored out. The goal is simply to redefine the tribe in a wider way. Nothing that won't be fixed by the next alien invasion
theircompetitor, Jul 01 2017

       //fighting parties is like fighting the concepts of fans of competitive sports//   

       No, it's not. The present situation is as if all the football clubs organized themselves into three consortia, and you had to support all the clubs in one consortium whilst loathing all the clubs in the other two. All the clubs in one consortium would work together most of the time, throwing matches against other consortium members if that was to the good of that consortium. It's a stupid system.   

       Like I said, no other big institutions are run this way. In a multinational corporation, every man plays for himself, forming fluid allegiances and alliances that change with circumstance.   

       Yes, of course there will be clusters of politicians who are more leftish or more rightish, and there will be alliances and fights - that's all fine. But it is simply stupid to say that (for instance) everything Corbyn says is wrong but everything May says is right, or vice versa.   

       OK, look at it another way. Suppose we divided politicians up into men and women. You can support the men, or the women. The men will always oppose anything the women say, and vice versa. The country will be ruled by either all men, or all women, for several years, then there's a chance to switch. If you like a male economist but a female foreign minister, that's tough.   

       My main rant is that, in every, every, every single debate between politicians from different parties, they devote all their energies into saying why it's all the other party's fault and why the other party's policies are, without exception, bad. I would for once like a debate in which things are actually debated.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 01 2017


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle