[EM] Conceiving a Democratic Electoral Process

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Jul 17 14:16:26 PDT 2012

On 17.7.2012, at 23.05, Fred Gohlke wrote:

> re: "... being able to influence through the chain of electors
>     offers a useful communication / influence channel between
>     the bottom level voters and their representatives."
> It also gives the people meaningful participation in the political process, way beyond voting for candidates controlled by political parties.

Yes, voters could be interested in participating this way. But I note that quite similar chains of influence could be used in more party controlled systems too.

> re: "We should have some practical experiments with different
>     rules and in different societies to see how people feel
>     about this kind of indirect representation."
> My guess is that the best way to test the process will come when a small community adopts it.  One of my sons suggested the Little League - a league for children's baseball in communities throughout the U. S. - would be an excellent proving ground.
> Little League organizations are a hotbed of political intrigue.  Parents fight hard for their children, trying to influence the choice of team managers, which children will play and for how long in each game, which children will get to play in the All-Star games, and so forth.  In addition, there's no shortage of potential for chicanery in the disposal of funds.  Frankly, I think it would be a great test; the relationships are up-close, personal and intense.

Maybe this is a community where the opinions do not follow the borderlines of the current political parties, and therefore people don't want to act and present themselves as members of the current political parties. If so, some completely different approach might be welcome.

> re: "One possible simpler model would be to allow different
>     interest groups each set one or two questions."
> What would you think of letting interest groups (or parties) select their most effective advocates to compete with other candidates for public office?  The party candidates can proclaim their ideas and encourage discussion of their concepts.  Some of their ideas will be accepted, in whole or in part, as they are shown to be in the common interest of the community.

I'm not sure if I got the full picture, i.e. how the system would work. But I think new technical means could well be used to find out which formulations of the ideas are best (e.g. using some good single winner methods). And one could use experts that are good at formulating ideas, and then let some larger group decide which formulations are good (instead of allowing the closed club to do the horse-trading and present others just one solution that alrady has the horse-trading results embedded in it).


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