[EM] Conceiving a Democratic Electoral Process
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
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:
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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