[EM] Helping the Pirate Party to vanish

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sun Mar 17 18:12:40 PDT 2013

At 11:54 AM 3/17/2013, Richard Fobes wrote:
>On 3/15/2013 1:27 PM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
>>Kristofer is asseting as a serious problem something on which there is
>>zero experience. It's not clear that "vote-buying" is *ever* a serious
>Vote-buying would become quite serious if "liquid democracy" (direct 
>voting on issues) were adopted.

I've seen the argument before. Derelicts would sell their votes. 
There was an election in Florida, I think it was Miami, where the 
election was voided because of alleged vote-buying. However ... I 
reviewed that case, years back, and it really looked like that Mayor 
legitimately won that election, a campaign worker had done something 
foolish, and the Mayor got crucified for it.

Not exactly a poster child for how easy it is to buy votes. Really, 
what was bought was voters being given favors in order to vote. If 
there was actual supervised voting, that is an entirely different crime.

The argument made applies to *any* direct democratic measure. Richard 
hasn't thought this through. He believes that the existence of some 
percentage of the population, likely less than 1%, who would do 
anything for $20, means that there would be a serious problem.

Really, get serious!

>Many years ago I lived in a neighborhood that the police often had 
>to visit, and I saw that the illegal behavior that the police 
>responded to was just the tip of the iceberg.  Just making 
>vote-buying and vote-selling illegal would not stop low-income 
>people from selling their vote.  An underground ("black") market 
>would develop.  Trying to stop it would have the same non-success as 
>trying to stop the use of illegal drugs.

*I don't mind if people sell their vote.* Richard is talking about 
public systems, and not in advisory organizations. If people sell 
their vote in an advisory organization, it will have no effect, and 
I'm not going to bother to detail why. Figure it out.

The concern in public systems, where power is assigned through 
voting, or binding decisions are made, is also misplaced, though, 
because the systems we have advocated use a secret ballot front end. 
If it is truly feared that people would sell their votes, and that 
this should be inhibited, there are two simple measures, one very 
simple. If it's illegal, and to gain substantial power this way, the 
vote buyer is taking enormous risks. All it takes is one person 
betraying the "confidence."

Fobes was trying to think of *stopping* it by making it illegal to 
sell your vote. He would be right. But that's not what would be done. 
It would be illegal to *buy* a vote. And those who would buy votes 
would have a great deal to lose.... The seller? Let them keep the 
money. Make a contract to sell a vote be unenforceable. Etc. (It 
already is, in common law, contracts to engage in any illegal 
activity are void.)

>Also consider that the reason elections require people to appear in 
>person to cast their votes is that it greatly reduces voter fraud, 
>which is common without that requirement.  Of course there are 
>exceptions. Here in Oregon everyone votes by mail, but that approach 
>would not work in most other states because they are noticeably more corrupt.

There is little difference between mail voting and in-person voting. 
A great deal depends on the specific rules. Voters are not required 
to present ID, if they are on the roll of registered voters. You just 
walk in, tell them your name and where you live, and they look you up 
in the street list, and hand you your ballot. No signature was checked.

With a mail ballot, you have to sign the outer ballot envelope, so 
there is a signature that can be verified, with the voter registration card.

No, the *real* problems with voting have been occurring on a massive 
scale with corruption of computerized systems. I have no doubt that 
lots of problems have occurred historically, but mostly they occurred 
where massive corruption was tolerated. Warren just put up a great 
article in the filespace for the range voting mailing list, about 
election corruption.

But some people are terrified of those derelicts who might sell their 
votes. How about all those illegal aliens who vote?

Yeah, right! They probably elected Obama, the usurper, who was born 
in Kenya, not Hawaii. If we don't rise up and defeat these aliens, 
tHey will soon be herding us into concentration camps, because they 
are also COMMUNISTS!!!!

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