[EM] Trees and single-winner methods

Juho juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Mar 20 23:02:34 PDT 2007

On Mar 21, 2007, at 5:18 , Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

>> > Solve the decision-making problem *outside of government*
>> Careful with this :-). In a working democratic society the current
>> decision making practices should ideally be seen as the rules that
>> *we* set :-).
> What I'm saying is that free people have the right to make their  
> own decisions, governing themselves.

My words were intended to (lightly) refer to the fact that the  
perception of the government and the people/groups in power differs  
quite a lot in different countries, and also between individuals.  
Some see the "machinery" as us or representing us (as agreed in the  
elections). For some the "machinery" is a burden to the people and  
even an enemy and something to fight against and to be free from.

> The problem, indeed, is that we think of "how we make decisions" as  
> being the official and legal machinery that produces law and order,  
> largely through coercion.

We may also agree that when the presence of a policeman makes me stay  
below the speed limit, that's a form of positive coercion. We have  
thus democratically decided that sometimes coercion is what we want.

> My discovery has been that separating intelligence from power,  
> separating *voluntary decision-making process* from the legally  
> binding process, frees intelligence. It becomes purely advice.

How do you link this to Montesquieu and separation of powers? (free  
citizens => advice => rules/laws => governance => coercion =>  
citizens as subjects of the government ??) In some sense and/or to  
some extent the "official machinery" may already provide this  
(separation of powers to a "free intelligence"/legislative and  
governing parts).

>> > Solve that problem and apply it to, say, a political party. If the
>> > theory of the solution is correct, this party will be more
>> > successful than competitors, and thus it will be more able to
>> > mobilize votes and resources more effectively. And thus win
>> > elections or change laws. If necessary.
>> I agree that all established systems have the risk of stagnation and
>> maintaining current power positions. Good generic ways needed to
>> avoid and fix such phenomena to grow too strong.
> And that is exactly what I'm suggesting.

> It isn't necessary in a Free Association that proxies have legal  
> power, just that they function as links between the individual and  
> the organization when needed.

I'm a bit confused of the name "Free Association". What does the  
freedom refer to? Free of what? Is it free of the democratically  
elected government and other decision makers? That's maybe one aspect  
of the proposed system, one possible stepping stone towards it and  
even a possible benefit but maybe not the target. Is it still "free"  
if it is part of the "official machinery"?

Note that a typical citizen maybe seeks safety and stability, not a  
revolution :-).


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