[EM] Conceiving a Democratic Electoral Process

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Jul 19 14:40:24 PDT 2012

On 19.7.2012, at 19.43, Fred Gohlke wrote:

> 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.

Maybe party leadership would be forced to change party opinions if there was such a direct channel (that could e.g. cancel support to politicians that do not react to the wishes of the voters).

> 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.

Donation driven politics is another possible style that might or might not be part of the system (with the influence channel).

> re: "I'm not sure if I got the full picture, i.e. how the system
>     would work."
> I'm not sure if I can give you a picture you'll understand, but let's try this: ... ...

Ok, maybe your question "What would you think of letting interest groups (or parties) select their most effective advocates to compete with other candidates for public office?" refers to the triad approach, but using candidates that have been nominated by a party.

Those people might not be negotiation ortiented but winning and strategy oriented. The negotiation process might be for them just negotiation tactics without any intention to change opinions or learn from others. Maybe triads work best when the participants are not political persons.

If we start from low/local level and parties set the candidates, I might try giving the decision power on who will go to the next levels to the regular voters, and not to the candidates that may already be professional politicians. One could thus separate the decision makers from the candidates, but still keep both rather local.


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