h a l f b a k e r y
Like a magnifying lens, only with rocks.
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
Democracy generally seems to be working okay, compared to its alternatives at least, until a crack-head, a real crack-head, takes over (while the oppositions claim that every time). What I mean are democracies that started okay but turned into, you know, hitler, Syria, Egypt, Star Wars, etc. Not worried
about minor conflicts, whinings, head butts etc. There is a chance in democracies that the majority will elect a true meathead, someone who will drive the country to war, instigate major screw-ups in economy, or create a theological hell for sane people. That last one is especially a concern with radical moronism on the rise.
Yes there are safety nets, pressure valves, and redlines that are supposed to protect the constitution, but what if the ruling flock intruded them at their wish? It is happening as we post. Yes, there is no perfect system and cannot be since perfect is only when things are "your" way. Then again, here is my suggestion:
Current voting system is a binary system with two options, YES and NO. As far as I know you cannot vote for more than one candidate in any country. In some countries there are only two candidates any way (and it is interesting that the caucusses do not get any where the attention of the main election). These systems do (supposedly) prevent a minority from dominating the majority, but not vice versa, such as how the upper middle class got their @sses kicked in Venezuella. The 60% electing a president that is loathed by the 40% is quite dangerous (although it is likely that the 40% is the sissy portion of the country, so they will not revolt).
So, instead of a binary election system, I suggest a 1 to 5 rated election system. The winner will be the one that gets most of the points. That way, even if 60% gives a guy 5, if the 40% really hates him and gives 1 he might not get elected.
Of course, in practice most voters cannot even get the binary right. And the winner is going to be the one with the stronger marketing team anyway. Plus most elections are cheated and a rated system may be more prone to that. Plus most people have no idea about even what a dolphin is. Plus I do not even vote coz I think it is all BS. And afterall smaller the government, better the economy I thinks.
But then again, a rated system could prevent a tyrant to take over in countries where idiocity and ignorance are abundant as rocks. Maybe you don't care anyway, or better yet would rather sit back and enjoy the action. Then I will say, you know what, I don't care either.
The French system achieves this:
In this case, a mainstream conservative was elected by the second-choice votes of socialists, who preferred him to the fascist candidate. [pertinax, Dec 23 2013]
Tha Australian system also achieves this:
In this case, voters were able to protest effectively against both major parties without wasting their votes; they sent off to Canberra a random mix of Greens, Libertarians, Christians, Sexocrats, Nationalists, monster truck lovers and a fat bloke with a dinosaur park. I think the sexocrats lost out on a recount, but the overall effect was, without making the country ungovernable, to remind the insiders that there's life outside their party machines. [pertinax, Dec 23 2013]
[MechE, Dec 23 2013]
Bureau of Sabotage
[theircompetitor, Dec 24 2013]
||Mathematically, if 60% hand out the maximum rating,
nothing that the other 40% can do would be able to
total a higher number of points.
||//As far as I know you cannot vote for more than one candidate in any country//
||There's more than one mechanism for this.
||With a presidential consitution, you may have a two-round election (as they have in France), where the second round is restricted to the top two candidates from the first round. So, you vote for candidate A in the first round, but only B and C make it through to the second round, so you pick the lesser of two evils in that round.
||Also, or instead, you can have "alternative voting" (as in Australia), where you can assign an order of preference to each of several candidates - hence, your ballot paper can say "A is my favourite but, if I can't have A, I'd rather have C than B".
||Subject to the usual caveats about voter apathy and short-sightedness, both of these systems do actually work.
||The Australian system sounds like the closest to what I was describing. However, I wanted to have some kind of mechanism to prevent any party from being the only government even if they won over 50%. If, for instance, 20% strongly disliked it, the winning party would not be allowed to govern. That could, however, have the pitfall of a never ending election.
||Either way, it was good to learn more about the Australian and French systems. They are much more reasonable than the US system where the majority of the public is left with two options.
||Read the linked Wikipedia article, and tell me which
is an exact match.
||I can almost guarantee that one is, and that there
are problems with it. I think, from your description
it would be subject to tactical voting, if nothing
else. (That is, you love A, prefer B to C, but rank C
higher so there's a greater differential between A
||It seems to me the preferences of one block or another
need to be weighed against the interests of a state as laid
out in the constitution. If the state's constitution
emphasizes equality, and 60% of the population opposes a
redistributive policy, their preference should be run
through the filter of constitutional imperatives. Thusly, a
vote against a redistributive policy would be reinterpreted
as a vote 'for'. The process would be completely
transparent, that is, the totals would alway be broken
down by 'for' and 'constitutionally corrected for'.
||In the US, where rule by property owners is what is laid out
by the constitution, we follow this filtering pretty strictly.
||I think the misguided notion of all of these ideas is
that it is somehow better if voting worked better, or
if voters had better choices. Is there any evidence
that this makes for better government?
||The major notion behind these is that it allows
people to vote for their primary choice without
throwing their vote away because that choice is
clearly in the minority. This (slightly) increases
the chance of alternate viewpoints coming in to
power, and (greatly) increases the need for the
major parties to shift their platform in directions
that the populace favors, rather than just being
able to get away with being the lesser of two
||If you assume (as most democracy advocates do,
correctly or incorrectly) that a government which
reflects the will of the people is a good thing,
then this is a desirable result.
||If, on the other hand, you understand that
appointing me supreme ruler of the earth is the
only good solution, then you probably don't care as
||//If, on the other hand, you understand that
appointing me supreme ruler of the earth is the
||We definitely want a government that governs
with the consent of the governed. To the extent
however, that the government is not sufficiently
representative, we have to remind ourselves that:
||1. Representative government (i.e. republics) only
came about because of the impracticality of
casting lots on
every issue. In the moden age, we could certainly
have referendums on a much larger scope of
issues, as has been discussed here
and elsewhere ad nauseum, and as happens
routinely with referendums in a variety of
||2. We have election cycles (to a varying degree) to
slow down the pace of change, i.e. to reduce
majority rule in the moment. The US system puts
more sticks in the wheels, parliamentary systems
allow more of a
temporary dictatorship. Either way though, I've
seen no evidence for overwhelming happiness
with either system.
I think it's fairly obvious, though that the more
responsive a government would be to population
moods, the less
likely it is to attempt to solve hard problems.
||3. Simultaneously, of course, the less aware a
government is of the population's mood, the more
likely it is to get
its head cut off.
||My feeling is that so long as the government can
act on a citizen (a sad state of affairs that is likely
indefinitely), one benefits more from slowing the
government down, then from speeding it up. The
here would be the presumption of innocence.
Few would argue that most of those that are
charged with crimes
tend to be guilty. And yet, we all understand that
putting the burden of proof on the system makes
us safer. This
philosophy should extend to anything and
everything the government touches.
||Some of my favorite readings on the subject
belong to Frank Herbert's Whipping Star and The
and the infamous Bureau of Sabotage, which I
would recommend highly. Brazil, of course, comes
to mind too.
||We don't really want better government. Nor am I
really sure we want a much more efficient
government. What we want is lots of nooks and
crannies, where we can hide and be left alone
||I agree that the Borda Count is a system almost identical to
the one I had in mind. However, it still does not prevent
the temporary dictatorship as [theircompetitor] put it. Is it
possible to have a referendum during the election to
impeach a party even before it is elected ? It could ask,
for instance, do you think this party is against the
constitution? If sufficient (and that is also ambiguous)
percentage says yes then this party cannot be elected. I
guess a supreme court will have to make the final decision.
In Egypt, it was the army that called out. So, do you
support what the Egyptian army did or not?
||Welcome to Chicago. Vote early and vote often.
||I've decided my favorite for the legislature is a
proxy system. You can assign your proxy to any
person. Any person who holds more than a
threshold number of votes (say 10 000 or 100 000)
can be seated in the legislature. (I haven't quite
decided if proxies can be transferred as a group by
the receiver or not, I tend to think not). You can
or re-assign your proxy at any time, or even for
specific votes. This can be done by phone or
internet as well as by mail. However, rescinding a
proxy does not remove someone from their seat
for a reasonable period (2 weeks to a month) even
if they drop below the threshold
(preventing/limiting) tactical assignments of
||Any person seated votes the total number of
votes they hold, with a simple majority being half
of the total votes seated plus one.