[EM] Conceiving a Democratic Electoral Process

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Jul 13 11:31:21 PDT 2012

On 13.7.2012, at 18.35, Fred Gohlke wrote:

> re: "(Here's btw one possible approach that allows anyone to run.
>     There will be a primary elecion at every municipality or
>     other small area (common to all voters of that area). Anyone
>     can nominate himself as a candiate. The winners will be
>     candidates at the next election of a wider area. And the
>     winners of those electons will be candiates of the final
>     national election. Voters are the same at all levels, just
>     grouped into smaller or larger groups. There will be few
>     weeks time between the different level elections to reserve
>     time for the voters to learn the candidates and their
>     opinions.)
> The voters can only learn what the candidates tell them, they have no means of independent verification.  They cannot examine each of the candidates carefully to determine their integrity and suitability for public office.  However, if the candidates, advancing as you describe, must seek election by persuading the other candidates to elect them, we can be sure each of them will do two things:
> 1) They'll make sure no-one can challenge their integrity. and
> 2) they'll examine the other candidates, their competitors,
>   carefully, looking for ways to "shoot-'em-down".  They will
>   not be easily deceived.

In typical national elections the number of representatives is much smaller than the number of voters you will have the problem that candidates are distant to the voters, one way or another. It may be that the voters have to vote for candidates that they have never met, or maybe they are allowed to elect only representatives that later elect some higher level representatives, and again, they will never meet the candidates that will be the top level representatives.

Note that in the model that I presented in all elections the voters were the bottom level voters, i.e. never the candidates.

If we want each candidate to be forced to answer to some key questions that their fellow candidates might ask them (good idea), one solution would be to simply force them to do so. I mean that other candidates (maybe from second level up) (and maybe also media) would be entitled to ask some questions from them, and all candidates would have to present written answers to these questions publicly. (We may have to limit the number of questions, but that's another story.) Voters would still be the bottom level voters. I kept that approach in the described approach to keep the link between the bottom level voters and the top level representatives direct (and to provide an alternative to the chained hierarchical evaluation model (where the elected elect the next level etc.)). My target was to empower the bottom level voters as much as possible.

> re: "I find many different kind of systems useful and potential
>     good solutions for some societies."
> How about sticking with the leading societies, the ones that have, so far, set the pace for democracy (however imperfectly)?

Also here I think no two countries are alike. This means that what is a credible proposal and an accepted way forward for one, may not be the same for any other country. In long term countries could have more similarity in their goals, but the steps will very probably be different.


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