[Election-Methods] RE : Re: Primary Elections using a "Top 2/Single Transferable Voting Method"
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
abd at lomaxdesign.com
Mon Dec 17 09:28:06 PST 2007
At 09:33 AM 12/17/2007, Kevin Venzke wrote:
>--- Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd at lomaxdesign.com> a écrit :
> > My own opinion is that state parties should directly elect delegates,
> > not Presidential candidates. Then the delegates make the choice, at
> > the convention. They can actually .... *deliberate*. What a concept!
>I'm skeptical that it would be feasible to be elected as delegate without
>being willing to commit to voting for a specific presidential candidate.
Indeed, that is the problem. However, without
something like this, the public will continue to
be at the mercy of sophisticated marketing
campaigns designed to influence the opinions of
people who don't have the time to actually
research and understand the issues. At some
point, as Bob Dylan wrote, "You gotta serve
somebody," which, in this context means "You gotta trust somebody."
Voting for pledged electors is technically
trusting them to vote as promised, it is not
generally legally binding that they vote a
particular way (I think this varies from state to
state). However, "faithless electors" are rare.
But, more to the point, it is trusting the named
candidate to appropriately function in the office.
However, a critical trait for a good President is
the ability to make good choices in delegating
power. Voting for a free elector is equivalent to
voting for someone to hold and apply one's own
power. The principles behind the choice are the
same. In the original Asset, one is voting for
candidates, and, presumably, one is voting for
the candidate whom one thinks will make the best
President. This same opinion should translate to
being the best one to exercises one's vote to choose the President.
We don't trust politicians, generally, because we
know that they will (*they must*) engage in these
marketing campaigns; out of despair, we may vote
for the candidate whose lies we like the most,
hoping that he or she will then act in accordance
with those lies, which we think better than if
the opponent, with lies (or sincere claims) we
don't like so much, is elected. Obviously, this can break down!
Yes, Virginia, there are (relatively) honest
politicians, but we tend not to like them,
because they tell us stuff we don't want to hear.
I don't see any resolution to this problem except
breaking down the scale, so that people can
choose representatives in the process whom they
could know well enough to make an intelligent
decision to trust them. As readers may know, I
favor breaking it down to a very small scale,
through delegable proxy. However, as to the
electoral college, the *original* concept was
that electors would be chosen *not* pledged to
candidates, but to represent the interests of
their states. They were to be chosen by the
legislature of each state, which is, an indirect
election; ultimately, the people would control it
through electing trustworthy legislators.
However, the Constitution did not specify any
method of choosing electors, leaving it entirely
to the various state legislators. (The convention
could not come to an agreement, so they punted.)
When political parties arose in the U.S. it did
not take the parties long to notice that if they
controlled the state legislature, simple
majority, they could set up a system whereby all
the electors from a state would be pledged to a
particular slate of candidates, and, naturally, this would be their candidates.
*The people did not originate this change, they
did not demand the right, at that point, to vote
directly.* It is still a fact that state
legislatures could decide to appoint electors, no
vote at all is required. This would have been,
for example, a solution to the Florida impass in
2000, and is a reason why the Supreme Court
intervention in that case was bogus, for the
precedents were clear. But, of course, that is another story.
How do we get from here to there? I find the
solution obvious: implement delegable proxy in
small peer associations (or large ones, if one
can get past the power structures that will
typically have arisen in them, which militate
against change in power balance). If the theory
of DP is correct, these associations will be
stronger and more unified, and thus the
technology will be perceived as successful, and will spread.
Asset Voting is, of course, another approach. If
there is an Asset election for electors, people
still ahve the option of voting for pledged
electors, but votes for other electors are no
longer wasted. Thus the argument that people will
want to be able to vote for pledged electors is
finessed. They still can. This principle, in
general, that increasing the freedom of voters is
an improvement (provided that the votes are also
reasonably interpreted!), is of general
application. The voting system that give maximum
freedom is high-resolution Range, but Asset
Voting is another approach, since, with it, one
may vote for *any* candidate -- including, as I
would have it, oneself -- without wasting the
vote. In that form of Asset, the succeeding
stages take place in public, not secret ballot,
so voting for oneself (presumably this would take
some form of registration, or the ensuing chaos
would be a problem) is equivalent to becoming a
public voter or public elector, who can then
participate in subsequent process deliberatively
(through various systems that could manage
large-scale deliberative process, of which
delegable proxy is probably the most practical
and least vulnerable to corruption.
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