[EM] language/framing quibble
fredgohlke at verizon.net
Wed Mar 25 09:21:31 PDT 2009
Good Morning, Juho
re: "(Btw, I think there are interesting prospects also in the
Given the extraordinary morass our political system has bestowed upon us
... to the extreme disadvantage of our progeny ... it would be well to
select the most practical parts of those interesting prospects and hone
them to our use. Beyond that, they distract us from the serious
concerns we must face.
If you think I overstate the case, I urge you to review
It describes how the financial sector bribed our representatives to
produce the monstrosity that now engulfs us. The article provides a
link to the full report (a 3MB document). Possibly the greater horror
is how that bribery is now protecting the guilty and preventing
imposition of the controls the situation so urgently demands.
re: "Yes, the Practical Democracy adds some randomness in the
process, cutting the usual paths that "the oligarchs" use to
climb and stay at the top. Of course the process must always
be in balance. We must also guarantee that the best
expertise is available at the top (one way or another),
there is some continuity in the system etc. Appropriate
length of terms is one way to seek the balance..
The only guarantee that 'the best expertise is available at the top' is
empowering the entire electorate. There is no other way to avoid
bypassing potential leaders.
When we replace one-third of the elected officials annually, the
remaining two-thirds provide continuity while the new one-third provides
freshness and responsiveness.
If there are other ways of achieving balance (other than length of
terms), please share them. We don't need endorsement, we need improvement.
re: "In the end it is us who think that money and good position
in the current hierarchical system are more important than
other values, i.e. it is not those few at the top of the
hierarchy but the whole pack that sets the targets and
rewards and appreciates the current value system and model
Well, in order not to be too pessimistic I note that I do
believe that people are quite fast in adopting new habits
when they are explained well enough so that they can see the
benefits and that the proposed new model indeed works."
You're right. That's why my most fervent hope is that a few young
people will consider the concepts we discuss here and mold them into a
better political system. I anticipate the process will take 200 years,
but the period could be shortened considerably by people adept at
illuminating the flaws of partisan politics. A student with the
perception to understand the causes of our political failures and the
talent to publicize a more democratic method in a compelling manner will
achieve a breakthrough ... not in my lifetime, certainly, but it will
re: "The world of electoral reforms is an interesting one.
People try to promote complex mechanical systems, to be used
by all, to influence the roots of our political systems, to
reduce the number and seriousness of political conflict
situations, and quite often at the same time fight against
the other reform proposals"
Some of this may be pride of authorship, but some of it is also a matter
of immediacy. In my case, I'm more concerned about finding ways to
harness our own nature than I am with more immediately pressing
political concerns. As I told a strong advocate of proportional
representation (which, by definition, implies a partisan system), I
heartily applaud his efforts. He is directing his attention to
correcting a serious flaw in partisan systems, the tendency toward
two-party dominance. While I agree with what he is doing, there are
others who share his goals to help him. So, rather than dilute my own
efforts, I focus on the more fundamental question of "Why humans shoot
themselves in the foot, politically, and how can we harness the
tendencies that produce that result?"
re: "PD seems to be a peaceful initiative. Thanks for that."
It is certainly a peaceful concept. There may be some question, though,
as to whether it can be peacefully attained. Those in power have
enormous resources and will not yield their advantage easily. The key
to wresting power from them will be in the efficacy with which the
advantages of a more democratic system can be explained to a majority of
An important consideration in this regard is that any attempt to achieve
this goal by force dooms it. Achieving goals by force requires forceful
leaders. Forceful leaders, when they achieve success (with very rare
exceptions, like George Washington), impose their own will on the
More information about the Election-Methods