[EM] Conceiving a Democratic Electoral Process

Fred Gohlke fredgohlke at verizon.net
Sat Jul 21 10:19:35 PDT 2012

Good Morning, Kristofer

The dangers in two-party rule are clear enough.  What is unclear to me 
is the obsession with devising a party-based system in the first place. 
  The abject failure of partisan politics screams at us from all corners 
of the world.  Can we not learn that parties must be subject to the 
oversight of those free of commitment to the single-minded, indeed 
simple-minded, approach of partisans?  Why are we unable to seriously 
consider finding an alternative to the obvious flaws of party politics?

In your first post on this thread, you mentioned how a sortition-based 
system would weaken the role of parties.  Dr. Lyn Carson of the 
University of Sydney, Australia reports success using sortition to 
settle community and regional difficulties.  Should we not examine such 
a concept in greater detail?

The bell-shaped curve of leadership qualities is not reserved for 
politicians.  It's quite easy to see that outstanding leaders are 
sprinkled throughout society.  Why do we not devise a method of seeking 
them out so they can represent us in our government?

re: "There's nothing inherent in the concept of parties that
      limits the voters to choosing between only two options.
      The system does that."

The concept of parties may not inherently limit voters to only two 
options, but it does limit voters to options the parties define.  The 
people can only vote (effectively) for a party's perspective.

What happens after they cast that vote is (or, at least, should be) a 
matter of grave concern.  You mentioned in passing (and I think in jest) 
that oligopoly isn't operating in Norway, but a cynic might say the 
coalitions that have arisen lately constitute "multiparty two-'party' 
rule".  You may have meant it as a joke, but I believe it to be a rule 
of partisan politics that multiple parties always form ruling coalitions.

This raises a vital point:  Even in a party-free environment, 
legislators will align themselves with other legislators to enact laws 
they support.  The difference is that the alignments are not 'en bloc', 
they are fluid.  Such groupings combine and disperse dynamically, 
depending on the legislation under consideration.  They are inspired by 
the judgment of the people's individual representatives, not by the 
pre-judgment of parties seeking to increase their power.

I agree that the system limits the voters.  Can't we come up with a 
better system?


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