[EM] Conceiving a Democratic Electoral Process
fredgohlke at verizon.net
Mon Jul 9 12:45:16 PDT 2012
Good Afternoon, Juho
re: "A party represents some set of political ideals and targets.
There may be limitations on how many candidates each party
can nominate. This party might be interested in nominating
candidates that represent those values as well as possible.
They may plan to have candidates from every age group, from
every geographical area, from many professions, and both
male and female candidates. In order to achieve this, they
(party leaders or an election committee) want to decide
which individuals will be nominated as their candidates."
"Also in this democracy voters are allowed to decide who will
represent them. The idea is that the number of parties is
not limited. If people want some other type of candidates,
that the above mentioned party sets, they are free to form a
new party that will represent voters better."
You described why parties want to control the selection of candidates
for public office, but you have not explained why allowing them to
control the selection process is in the public interest.
You say non-partisans are free to form a new party, but that ignores the
fact the non-partisans are not organized along party lines. They do not
seek the ascendance of one group of citizens over another, they seek
good government. In conceiving a democratic electoral process, ought we
not make sure that all people, including those who do not adhere to
party lines, can participate in the selection of candidates for public
re: With regard to the question of whether or not "we should
set a goal requiring that candidates for public office must
be examined, face-to-face, by people with a vital interest
in ascertaining their character, and the examiners must have
enough time to investigate their subject thoroughly", you
said you'd "add that as one possible path - probably not as
a requirement that all working political systems must meet."
I'm not sure why you want to leave this open. We have broad experience
with the duplicity of politicians selected by political parties. Should
we not learn from our experience and protect ourselves from this evil
when we conceive a democratic electoral method?
re: "There may be limitations in candidate nomiation since
democracy might not work well if we had 10000 candidates
to choose from."
Why should there be a limitation. Democracies can consist of millions
of people, some of whom are the best advocates of the common interest at
any given time. To exclude these people by setting arbitrary
limitations is self-defeating. We don't want to exclude these people -
we want to find them and elevate them to public office. If we are to
find them, we must conceive a search mechanism. So far, I've been
unable to come up with a better mechanism than peer evaluation but I'll
welcome the outline of a better method.
re: "If you plan to finetune your list, I think you should decide
if the list is a list of criteria that all decent methods
should meet, or if the list describes one useful approach,
or if the list describes 'the ideal method'."
Alas, Juho, that you should disassociate yourself from our noble effort.
Your posts would be more meaningful if you could bring yourself to
refer to "our" list - thereby including all those who choose to participate.
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