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UN voting power: population x democracy

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Votes at the UN are currently one nation to one vote. Instead, I propose a weighted vote determined by multiplying the nation's population by a democratic representation multiplier.

The multiplier would be a number between 0 and 1 to represent the degree to which governmental policy reflects the will of the people. I realise this is a flawed and subjective measure, but it is one that has a history of measurement, for example the Freedom House index.

An inpedendant jury would determine the rating for each country in annual hearings, with representation from government, opposition, human rights and other NGOs associated with each country.

Thus each seat at the UN would have voting power relative to its population, but also relative to its representivity.

This would give member states a powerful incentive to move towards more democracy and human rights, so that they can have a greater say in world affairs.

BunsenHoneydew, Aug 14 2007

Democracy Index http://www.economis...fm?story_id=8908438
From The Economist [BunsenHoneydew, Sep 03 2007]


       It should be the population x land area x net worth.
ldischler, Aug 14 2007

       With severe penalties for nations whose people (and congress) sit idly by while their leaders lie their way into an illegal war to accomplish a decades-old oil grab goal that could not otherwise have been realized.
globaltourniquet, Aug 14 2007

       What defines sitting idly by?   

       "Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason"
normzone, Aug 14 2007

       A tired topic. What exactly is an illegal war? Actually, what's a legal war?
theircompetitor, Aug 15 2007

       [theircompetitor] The invasion of Iraq was a violation of international law.   

       The subject is tired. But if we tire of it, the terrorists win.
globaltourniquet, Aug 15 2007

       How would one calculate the democracy multiplier? The U.S. is a corptocracy, not a democracy.
nuclear hobo, Aug 15 2007

       [nuclear], I think you mean plutocracy, perhaps?   

       In one annotation once I called the U.S. a Mediacracy - government by the media, and enjoyed the resulting phonetic association.
globaltourniquet, Aug 15 2007

       don't hate us because we do what no one else wanted to do. everyone bleived the same thing at the beginning .
F_R_O_G, Aug 15 2007

       I'm purposefully not joining in with the politics.   


       No seriously, I'm not.   

       Except to say that the metric "the will of the people" might not generate the results you desire.   

       For example, in the last few U.S. Presidential elections, the country has been split pretty much 50/50 - meaning that the U.S. would at best, get a score of 0.51.   

       Meanwhile, recent polls of the citizenship of North Korea all showed that more than 112% of the ecstatic population believed that, on a scale of 11, their glorious leader is not just an altogether great guy, but that his greatness is quite likely more great than anything conceivable. Ever.
zen_tom, Aug 15 2007

       This implies that a country is less important if it has less people. with China and India having roughly a third of the world population do you really think this is a good idea?
miasere, Aug 15 2007

       "This would give member states a powerful incentive to move towards more democracy and human rights"   

       This would also give corrupt African states a disincentive to invest in badly needed birth control programmes.
kinemojo, Aug 15 2007

       So perhaps more points should be awarded for countries with smaller 'defence forces', no nuclear weapons, and a bonus for not having being involved in any war/civil insurrection/foreign occupation for the past decade ? Would any country qualify for the latter ? Tonga ?
Hairy Sock, Aug 15 2007

       this is the debate the colonials went through when establishing a House and Senate. It is unfair for smaller states to have one rep and California have 4 etc. So you get two houses, and a "process" for passing legislations that bogs down, gets political, sways with the $.
dentworth, Aug 15 2007

       //Would any country qualify for the latter?//   

theleopard, Aug 15 2007

       //An inpedendant jury //

Ain't no such thing, especially when giving judgement on matters political.

//a democratic representation multiplier//

The point of the UN is that it is (allegedly) a forum for countries to discuss & negotiate their problems. In order to do that they need to be treated as equals, in regard to process at least. If you start eroding a country's "rights" in the UN because you think that their system of government is bad then a) they will just terminate their membership of the organisation and b) you will be in the hypocritical situation of curtailing a members right to vote because you don't like their politics whilst simultaneously condemning them for doing exactly the same thing in their own country.
DrBob, Aug 15 2007

       Just responding to your question, sir. Thanks for playing.
globaltourniquet, Aug 15 2007

       What kind of fair voting system can be achieved while there are SO VERY FEW countries able to veto AND to vote, and SO MANY, MANY countries unable to veto, no matter how many 'yea' votes any proposal gets? The UN is useless as far as evenness is concerned. It is but a puppet stitched by its master, powerful countries... There are so many leaks throughout the international legal system... As for terrorism, I am sorry but there are terrorists on BOTH sides. The USA, the UK, Spain, etcetera behave exactly by book of terrorism, precisely the same as Al-Qaeda members, only the forces on each side compare like this: When asked about numbers, Madrid's March the 11th attack caused xxx victims. Every day in Iraq yields xxx victims. One March the 11th a day. That adds up to >100,000 civilian victims. So, the Empire is a Fear'o'cracy fighting a Mirrorism.
mayihave, Aug 19 2007

       A simpler way to 'fix' the UN and make it more democratic would be to disolve the permanent security council and replace it with an elected one. Of course the US would ignore any election that resulted in a win for a party it did not support, as it has in Palestine, Lebanon, etc.
nuclear hobo, Aug 19 2007

       Wow! Minus 11 - a new personal best (worst). Hooray!
BunsenHoneydew, Aug 29 2007

       It's hard to get buns for political ideas, [bunsen]; unlike most fields of engineering, politics has thousands of years of well-documented failures, many of them quite ugly and distressing. So compared to, say, terraforming, there are far more likely to be known reasons (rather than unknown reasons) why things in politics won't work.
pertinax, Aug 29 2007

       There may be parts of this that I don't understand as per what BunsenHoneydew intended, but as I currently understand it this is basically a way to make it easier to rig the vote. I love the concept of an inpedendant jury though, because I'm sure that it would consist of a lot of bipedal pendant wearing pedants with sweet pudendae who are quite willing to take the 'fe' out of the defendant.
monk, Aug 30 2007

       But taking the 'fe' out of defendant would give you a 'dendant' and some iron. Maybe you're using the iron in some way to rotate the first 'd' to make one of those pendants you postulate (perhaps prejudicing its impedance), but I still don't credit those pudenda (plural - singular is 'pudendum'); hypothetically, bipeds with well-attended-to pudenda would be less predisposed to pedantry.   

       <passes a spittoon>
pertinax, Aug 30 2007

       *Hock* I stand corrected.
monk, Aug 31 2007

       [nuclear hobo] and [zen_tom] might like to read the [link]ed article. You'll note that the US doesn't make the top 15.
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 03 2007

       The US is at #17, still one of the 28 systems evaluated to be "full democracies".   

       On the subject of negative votes on ideas about politics in general (and without taking a shot at this one in particular) - it's not just that many readers have strong feelings about politics; it's also that *writers* have strong feelings that cause their imagination to falter when it comes to large groups of people.
jutta, Sep 03 2007

       The idea is that the United Nations as it stands does not represent the world's people; it represents the world's governments.   

       Tonga and Lichtenstein have the same power as China and Malaysia.   

       In reply to [miasere]'s //This implies that a country is less important if it has less people. with China and India having roughly a third of the world population do you really think this is a good idea?//   

       My answer is an unqualified YES. Anything less is somewhat tainted with racism. It implies that Chinese individuals, and their voices, are worth less than those of North Americans or Europeans. There ARE more of them: deal with it.   

       But of course the problem is that the seat at the UN marked "China" has very little connection to the voice of Chinese (Han, Mandarin, Tibetan etc etc etc) people.   

       The idea as posted is a first attempt to address this problem, and create a somewhat more representative UN.   

       [ldischler]//It should be the population x land area x net worth.//   

       Um, what?   

       [zen_tom]//in the last few U.S. Presidential elections, the country has been split pretty much 50/50 - meaning that the U.S. would at best, get a score of 0.51.//   

       There's the germ of a better/improved idea in there somewhere. Maybe the US's score -should- be 0.51. But in the absence of any real democracy, North Korea's should be 0.00 - and not, as it is NOW, 1.00.
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 15 2007


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