[EM] Conceiving a Democratic Electoral Process

Fred Gohlke 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.


More information about the Election-Methods mailing list