[EM] Sociological issues of elections

Fred Gohlke fredgohlke at verizon.net
Wed Oct 16 08:37:00 PDT 2013

On October 13th, Michael Allan said:

"I like to keep the two types of issue (law makers and law) separate."

That's an interesting thought.  On the one hand is the question of where 
a law 'should' originate, on the other is the fact that the law makers 
are empowered to write the laws.

While it is reasonable to think laws should spring from the people, the 
present reality is not even close to that.  Instead, laws passed in the 
U. S. are inspired by (1) political parties attracting huge 'donations' 
by selling obscure (in terms of public understanding) laws that benefit 
big business, and (2) laws that buy votes for the party in power by 
pandering to special interest groups.  The only constant is that the 
people lose; they endure deadly inflation that sucks their economic 
blood, lose their freedoms and suffer outrageous invasions of their 
privacy while lawmakers put their nation on a course for bankruptcy.

Clearly, if laws are to spring from the people, the people must find a 
way to select the best advocates of the common interest as their lawmakers.

re: "... if Pivato's method yields legislative directions
      that are valid, then we can expect those directions
      to be followed by any competent legislative body, even
      if it wasn't elected by a Pivato method."

That doesn't necessarily follow.  The competence of a legislative body 
is dependent on the method by which its members are selected and 
elected.  Pivato's method is a bottom-up - pyramidal - process that lets 
the people elevate their most meritorious citizens.  It lets the people 
channel political leadership toward those deemed most committed and 
competent by their peers, thereby ensuring a competent legislative body.

This is not to say elements of Pivato's method can't be improved.  The 
part of his method that must be preserved, and the beauty of his 
insight, is the concept of a dynamic political structure that embraces 
the entire electorate and gradually ebbs and flows in concert with the 
changing circumstances of the people.

re: "... the problem of "who are the law makers" already
      has an electoral solution that's difficult to change,
      being cast in constitutional stone."

It is accurate to say the existing electoral solution is difficult to 
change.  However, in the United States, the existing electoral solution 
is not 'cast in constitutional stone'.  Nothing in our Constitution 
expresses or implies the right of political parties to control the 
political infrastructure.  They are, as George Washington predicted in 
his Farewell Address, potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and 
unprincipled men have subverted the power of the people and usurped for 
themselves the reins of government.

re: "When the electors fail to make good decisions, the
      only available space in which to implement a solution
      is the gap between elections."

When the electors fail to make good decisions, we must ask why.  In an 
era dominated by mass communications and scientific manipulation of 
public response, the answer is obvious.  Under such circumstances, the 
first question must be, "How can the people be encouraged to discuss 
their concerns at some remove from the influence of these deceptive 
influences?"  Plainly, that requires a political infrastructure that 
allows and encourages thoughtful deliberation *before* decisions are 

re: "Or coming back to Kristofer's thermostat analogy, it's
      important to know what the temperature ought to be.  That's
      one thing.  Then to tell the landlord, because he alone has
      access to the controls. Sometimes you need to change
      landlords, but not often."

In a democracy, determination of "what the temperature ought to be" is 
the right of the people - all the people.  The only way the people have 
to 'tell the landlord' is by controlling the choice and election of the 
'landlords'.  The rapidity with which landlords are changed must be a 
function of their ability to maintain the desired 'temperature'.

Fred Gohlke

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