[EM] it's pleocracy, not democracy

raphfrk at netscape.net raphfrk at netscape.net
Fri Mar 2 11:32:32 PST 2007

 > From: heitzig-j at web.de
 > [sorry if this comes twice, but it didn't seem to get thru the first time]
 > Dear folks,
 > some clarification because in recent posts democracy and majority rule
 > were confused quite often...
 > In a dictatorial system, almost all people have no power.
 > In a majoritarian system, up to half of the people have no power.
 > In a democratic system, ALL people HAVE some power, that is, "the people rul
 > Hence, majoritarian systems in which a majority of 50% + 1 voter can
 > make all decisions are NOT democratic. The greeks called them "pleocratic".
 > Can a system be democratic?
 > Can it even be democratic without using significant randomization?
 <snip detail of system>
 I had some proposals for a legislature that was targetted to achieve the
 same kind of thing.
 One option is to split all taxes collected by the government between
 all the legislators. A bill that spends money (creating tax breaks is harder
 to define) must be supported by enough legislators to cover the cost.
 The total is then subtracted from the 'bank' of each legislator which
 supported the bill. Each legislator who supports the bill pays the same, 
 except that none can pay more than they have. Alternatively, it is like 
 an auction, each legislator bids how much they would spend to support
 the bill. If enough bids are received, then the bill is passed and funded.
 Also, there could be a rule that money can be spent with only the support
 of say 1/3 of the legislature. This allows minorities get stuff done, without
 extreme minorities spending money.
 Something like the above would be best with a constitutionally defined
 method of tax collection, or perhaps having the people vote on the tax
 Another system was to allocate each legislator a fixed number of votes 
 per term. If the bill passes those who voted lose the votes that 
 they voted.
 (The actual rule is that those opposed lose their voted votes and those in
 favor lose the same number, split in proportion to how many each voter
 voted). If a bill is passed 120 to 80, those in favor lose 2 votes for
 every 3 cast (with some rounding rule).
 In fact under this system, there is no problem with legislators voting
 more than once, they would just be burning votes that they could
 have used later.
 I actually prefer a 2-1 majority being required to pass something. The
 reason is that otherwise, the majority can just blow the minority out
 of the water. Also, under this system, those in favor would lose twice
 the number of votes in total than those against. This is a little fairer
 as those against didn't get what they wanted.
 If party A has 51 legislators and party B has 49 and each gets 100
 votes. Party A can propose something and if party B votes against it
 party A can just out-vote them by 1 vote.
 Eventually, party B will run out of votes and then party A can pass
 anything as there is no opposition.
 It gets complex when repealing laws comes into effect. If only those
 in favor lost votes, then a large party could let a law be passed and
 then reverse it since the other side would have 'spent' all its votes.
 With 2-1 and both sides losing votes when a bill is passed but not
 when one fails, it is possible to have a bill passed and then use
 your remaining votes to block it being repealed.
 Also, I would suggest that under that system that multiple bills be
 passed at once. This allows compromises to be proposed.
 Interesting site
 "what if anyone could modify the laws"
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