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 Post subject: Re: Meanwhile somewhere in my country
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 4:14 pm 
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One idea I'd like to see tried out is real democracy. We are only allowed to vote for one of a number of mixed packages of good and bad policies once every few years, and we usually have to vote for the one that will do the least damage rather than the one that would do the most good. That gives us insufficient control - indeed, it's hardly any control at all.

We need to be able to vote on individual issues. We could easily do this with today's technology, because there's no cost to having votes on everything open all the time. We wouldn't need elections or political parties any more, but would simply change our votes on any issues whenever we see a reason to do so. If something in the news leads to enough people changing their vote on a specific issue, the government would then be required to act on that change, though only after a delay long enough for the change in vote to be reversed after further discussion if that discussion reveals it to have been a bad idea. This would give us dynamic control and lead to rapid evolution towards the best set of policies instead of bouncing between two or three old traditions in the way we do now.

This could actually be set up as a prototype system right now, if only the money could be found to host it and build the right software to support it. It would show what the public actually want in each country and make it absolutely clear how much their government is out of touch - it would strip bad governments of their mandate. It would also eliminate the need for all those unreliable opinion polls - we would have one reliable poll in place 100% of the time. All benign governments would then have all their actions dictated by that poll, while any others would be shown up as dictators.

But how would you identify people to know that they aren't voting as more than one person? Easy: you make them play a little game every time they log in and the way they play it serves as a distinct signature. You don't need to know their actual identity - it is sufficient to be able to identify them as a specific individual, although you couldn't use it as the actual system for running counties until you have checks in place to make sure that people claiming to live in a particular country actually have a right to vote there.

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 Post subject: Re: Meanwhile somewhere in my country
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:07 pm 
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DavidCooper wrote:
One idea I'd like to see tried out is real democracy. We are only allowed to vote for one of a number of mixed packages of good and bad policies once every few years, and we usually have to vote for the one that will do the least damage rather than the one that would do the most good. That gives us insufficient control - indeed, it's hardly any control at all.
I know exactly what you mean.

DavidCooper wrote:
We need to be able to vote on individual issues. We could easily do this with today's technology, because there's no cost to having votes on everything open all the time. We wouldn't need elections or political parties any more, but would simply change our votes on any issues whenever we see a reason to do so. If something in the news leads to enough people changing their vote on a specific issue, the government would then be required to act on that change, though only after a delay long enough for the change in vote to be reversed after further discussion if that discussion reveals it to have been a bad idea. This would give us dynamic control and lead to rapid evolution towards the best set of policies instead of bouncing between two or three old traditions in the way we do now.
The German Pirate Party tried something like that. They called it Liquid Democracy and it sounded good. Didn't work, tho. Since everything was to be decided by holding a vote all the time, the party never had a firm stance on anything. Therefore they failed to convince many voters and sank into obscurity. And, doing it this way left them open to attacks from the outside. Radical feminists (not the usual kind, more like the "Newton's Principia is a rape manual" kind) would just show up with all their friends. Since the party was small, this tactic guaranteed them a local majority, and then they would vote for the most crazy policies it was possible to vote for. Thereby solidifying the image of the party as a lunatic fringe party in the eyes of many voters, further pushing the party into obscurity.

So yeah, the idea is nice but exploitable.

Also, don't underestimate the time investment: Switzerland has direct democracy on the federal level. And it is a huge burden on the average Swiss, since they have to inform themselves on the matters that are to be voted on. Most people don't have time for that. I can't be knowledgeable about economics, medicine, sociology, whatever other matters may affect public policy, and do my job at the same time. I would rather have an economist handle the economy. Mind you, these days I get an economist handling public medicine, and an MD that never practised a day in her life managing the army. OK, she's managing the EU now. As if she had any ability for that, either.

Though I do see one possibility to get the government back on track: Make people interested in politics again. There is one place (was it in Switzerland?) where voting is mandatory (i.e. not voting nets you a symbolic fine), and they regularly have the highest voter turnout. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, so having the people constantly look over your shoulder might make the more conscientious politicians reconsider immoral actions.

bzt wrote:
I don't see how that would help. Knowing that they have only a limited time to make a fortune, I believe if anything, this would make politicians even greedier and more willing to accept bribe.
Possibly. It is a trade-off. My system would have the world's rulers constantly inexperienced, which is also not a good thing. I think we need to do a better job selecting our leaders. But often, before the people get involved, there is already a filtering process going on that ensures that only the most brain-dead zombies show up on the ballot. And then you have to choose the one that does the least amount of damage, as DavidCooper just described. Here in Germany, if you want to be a Chancellor, the only chance you have is to become leader of the conservatives or the social democrats. No other person has ever been Chancellor. And you get into those positions only after decades of sycophancy, So in the end, the people have to vote for which old sycophant they find the least distasteful. Is it any wonder that all positions even close to getting there are filled with spineless worms? Never express anything so racy as a political opinion; people might disagree with you. Just keep your mouth shut and the people will at least not have reason to dislike you.

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 Post subject: Re: Meanwhile somewhere in my country
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:10 pm 
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Also, in the spirit of intellectual honesty, I have to correct something I said a while ago:
nullplan wrote:
Meanwhile, Russia simply closed their borders in the early days of the outbreak, and they barely have a problem to speak of. Makes you question open-borders-policies, doesn't it?
Well, hush my mouth, i guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Meanwhile somewhere in my country
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:14 am 
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nullplan wrote:
The German Pirate Party tried something like that. They called it Liquid Democracy and it sounded good. Didn't work, tho. Since everything was to be decided by holding a vote all the time, the party never had a firm stance on anything.

But there's the problem - they were trying to be a party while pushing for a system that eliminates the need for parties. The way to build this is to set it up and let it show the will of the people. Google could set something like this up for the whole world without it denting their accounts. In fact, it would likely generate even more income for them.

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Also, don't underestimate the time investment: Switzerland has direct democracy on the federal level. And it is a huge burden on the average Swiss, since they have to inform themselves on the matters that are to be voted on. Most people don't have time for that.

There's an easy fix for that: default packages of policies which you can select with a single click, just like voting for a political party. But having made that choice, you could then go into any of the specific policies to change them away from the defaults in order to fix the faults with whatever that party calls for. (These parties would no longer be voted into power, but would serve as pressure groups.) This means you could select the package offered by the party or pressure group that comes closest to your own set of beliefs about how things should be done, and that would minimise the number of things you'd then have to override. Media campaigns could then draw attention to bad policies which you may inadvertently have signed up to through the defaults and failed to override so that you can be motivated to go back to the site and fix that. (You can't do that with the current system: you simply get all the defaults and have no option to override any of them.)

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 Post subject: Re: Meanwhile somewhere in my country
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:39 pm 
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This is an interesting idea, Liquid Democarcy!

I believe we should use something like how microfundation works: a politician should present a project. Not just some wage promises, but well-worked out projects with budget plans. Then the taxpayers should vote on those projects. The ones with the most votes would be "elected" to make those projects happen, and they would be kept accountable on their promises. If the project fails, the politician behind it should be punished somehow and would be forced to pay back the founding. This is a simple system which also avoids the issue of voting all the time, because politicians would have the right to decide how to go on with the project.

For example: such a project would be building more schools for 10 million dollars. Let's assume it gets enough vote to be "elected". Then the politician gets that money from the taxpayers, but would be given free hand how to spend it. There's only one restriction, by the end of the deadline he/she must deliver the promised schools.

Cheers,
bzt


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 Post subject: Re: Meanwhile somewhere in my country
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:22 am 
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iansjack wrote:
The problem here in the UK is not that the Government are being too Draconian, but the very opposite. They have *****-footed about, taking unclear, confused action far too late. There is plenty of food available here, but rationing should have been imposed immediately when the idiots started panic buying.

This imposes real problems on over-70s, like myself, who can't afford to expose ourselves to the risk of catching the virus but find it impossible to get on-line deliveries. I am fortunate enough to live in a caring neighbourhood; neighbours, in particular a very kind girl home from university, are shopping for us and picking up prescriptions. But I'm only too aware that there are those in city centres who have never even spoken to their neighbours.

It's all very well for the government to impose restrictions on us, and I'm glad that they have, but they're doing bugger all else to help those in need.

I'm sorry to hear that. :( I have some problems myself, life is harder now, but I've somehow always had just enough, even to keep taking the high dosage of zinc I need for my immune system not to go crazy. I didn't even quite have to take the very last bottle off the shelf at any point. I'm very thankful for that.

DavidCooper wrote:
One idea I'd like to see tried out is real democracy. We are only allowed to vote for one of a number of mixed packages of good and bad policies once every few years, and we usually have to vote for the one that will do the least damage rather than the one that would do the most good. That gives us insufficient control - indeed, it's hardly any control at all.

It's a popular concept, but to quote Benjamin Franklin, "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb sitting down to decide what's for dinner." I'm not going to describe my horrifying personal experiences with majority support for abusers, but I have to agree with his words. We're seeing the failure of representational democracy as you concisely explain, and I think we've all been taught in school how every other governmental system has failed. But I'm not feeling negative about it...

Personally, I believe only God can create a suitable government, that the last 6,000 years (approximately) have been a test to see whether humans can govern themselves and be better off without God, that the test is completed, and that God will soon step in to fix the resulting mess we live in. Under God's Kingdom, all the harm which has occurred will be undone—not something humans can imagine being able to promise! I don't want to discuss the subject here, it seems to be impossible to handle the sensitive parts of the subject well enough on an online forum, and my health issues are making me very grumpy at present; not a Christ-like attitude! Instead, feel free to watch this introductory video, What Is God’s Kingdom? For more information, see the surrounding links or turn to the JW.org home page, a portal to many topics. Headlined right now is How to Deal With Isolation. One of my favourite videos is featured, Massimo Tistarelli: A Roboticist Explains His Faith.


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