[EM] Conceiving a Democratic Electoral Process

Fred Gohlke fredgohlke at verizon.net
Fri Jul 27 13:52:26 PDT 2012

Good Afternoon, Juho

re: "Ok, two phases then. One to elect the party candidates (by
      voters, by party members, or by nominees?) and then the
      final election."

Although we've approached this idea from a party perspective, there's no 
reason we can't have nominees who don't identify with any of the 
existing parties.  They will form a separate group.  In terms of phases, 
we may have:

1) Nominations.

2) A filtering period of some length so the nominees can decide
    which of their number are the best able to proclaim the
    group's position and the best able to engage the other groups
    during the candidate selection phase.  In short, those the
    nominees think the best advocates for their groups.

3) An open competition between the advocates of the various
    groups spanning several weeks during which the nominees for
    the groups advance their perspective and respond to challenges
    from the public, the media, and the other groups, while
    contending with each other for selection as candidates for
    specific public offices.

4) The public election.

re: "The proportions may be manageable if there are e.g.
      1,000,000 voters, 10 parties, 1000 nominees per party, that
      elect 10 candidates per party. I wonder if you want some
      proportionality (e.g. betwee two wings of a party) or not.
      That would influence also the first phase."

The number of parties and the number of nominees will depend on the 
public sentiment at the time of the election and the rules (if any) set 
by those who implement the process.  Proportionality will occur 
naturally, depending on each party's ability to attract supporters, 
nominees, and, ultimately, candidates.

The decision to form 'wings' rather than separate parties depends on the 
dynamics perceived by those who share the separate view. If they feel 
they can be more effective trying to influence the party, they'll form a 
wing; if they think they'll be more effective trying to influence the 
public, they'll form a party.

re: "If the second phase is a traditional election, traditional
      financing practices may apply."

That is one of several reasons for having the election on the day after 
the candidates are announced - it will limit the deception and 
obfuscations of campaigning.

The concept we are discussing assumes a public election in which the 
people vote for their choices among the candidates.  The competition 
between the nominees will give the people the most accurate information 
possible about each of the candidates because it is developed by their 
adversaries.  On the day following the selection of candidates, the 
information is fresh in the public's mind.  The people gain nothing if 
the election is delayed to allow the candidates to campaign.

The parties may campaign during the competition phase, primarily for 
platform issues because the candidates are not yet known, but possibly 
in an effort to influence the choice of candidates, too.  If so, their 
efforts will be less fruitful than at present because the party's 
adversaries can refute the campaign rhetoric during the open 
competition, when the public is most apt to be attentive.


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