[EM] Conceiving a Democratic Electoral Process
fredgohlke at verizon.net
Thu Jul 19 09:43:46 PDT 2012
Good Morning, Juho
Juho: "... being able to influence through the chain of electors
offers a useful communication / influence channel between
the bottom level voters and their representatives."
Fred: "It also gives the people meaningful participation in the
political process, way beyond voting for candidates
controlled by political parties."
Juho: "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."
That's incorrect. As a matter of fact, it's a contradiction. As
Michael Allan pointed out, parties do not allow party members to change
their leaders' dictates. That's why he's seeking a 'public' party,
where the leaders cannot control the members.
When raising funds, parties commit to enact laws sought by the 'donors'
who underwrite the party's operation. Party leadership cannot let the
members invalidate those commitments. Hence, control is mandatory and
meaningful participation by the party members is impossible.
re: "I'm not sure if I got the full picture, i.e. how the system
I'm not sure if I can give you a picture you'll understand, but let's
try this: Imagine three candidates with these sets of convictions (and
effective persuasiveness) on ten issues:
(M m M C c C m M L L) (C M m c l C M l l C) (M L c l C c L c L l)
------------------- ------------------- -------------------
C = strongly conservative
c = moderately conservative
L = strongly liberal
l = moderately liberal
M = strongly moderate
m = moderately moderate
and where, for estimating the candidate's bias, a value of 1 is assigned
to the lower case letters and a value of 2 is assigned to the capital
The first candidate: MmMCcCmMLL
a conservative rating of 5 on 3 issues
a liberal rating of 4 on 2 issues
a moderate rating of 8 on 5 issues
17 Intensity rating
The second candidate: CMmclCMllC
a conservative rating of 7 on 4 issues
a liberal rating of 3 on 3 issues
a moderate rating of 5 on 3 issues
15 Intensity rating
The third candidate: MLclCcLcLl
a conservative rating of 5 on 4 issues
a liberal rating of 8 on 5 issues
a moderate rating of 2 on 1 issues
15 Intensity rating
As a group, the attitude bias is slightly conservative
Conservative 5 + 7 + 5 = 17
Liberal 4 + 3 + 8 = 15
Moderate 8 + 5 + 2 = 15
and the first candidate is slightly more intense (persuasive) than the
other two, who are approximately equal: 17 to 15 and 15
If these three individuals were to compete with each other to select one
of the three as a representative of the group, and given an extended
period of time to familiarize themselves with each other and their
points of view, each of them will modify (however slightly) their views
on some issues, depending on the force of the arguments presented by
their peers (that's called 'learning').
For example (and with absolutely no justification except as an
illustration), in the course of examining the issues, it is possible the
soundness of some or all of the third candidate's position on the second
issue (where the first candidate is moderately moderate, the second
candidate is strongly moderate and the third candidate is strongly
liberal), will cause the first candidate's attitude to change from
modestly moderate to modestly liberal - in spite of the slight
conservative bias of the group.
In other words, the candidates (whether party candidates, or not) will
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.
Note that we cannot predict, from the information given, which candidate
will be chosen by the group. Although we rated the first person as
slightly more persuasive than the other two, we don't know what defects
the others may find in that individual during an extended period of
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