[EM] Sociological issues of elections

Fred Gohlke fredgohlke at verizon.net
Sun Sep 1 09:05:44 PDT 2013

Good Morning, Vidar Wahlberg

I, for one, am very glad to see your post.  What you wrote is, indeed, 
"a bit outside what is usually discussed here", but that's what makes 
your comment so welcome.

Like you, I follow this list but rarely post here because, although the 
list is entitled, "Election Methods", the only methods ever discussed 
are party-based systems.  The "sociological issues" are ignored.

To me, the challenge of representative democracy is not to divide the 
public into competitive blocs of power-seekers, but to find the best 
advocates of the common interest and raise them to leadership positions 
as the people's representatives.  To meet that challenge, given the 
range of public issues and the way each individual's interest in 
political matters varies over time, an effective electoral process must 
examine the entire electorate during each election cycle, seeking the 
people's best advocates.  It must let every voter influence the outcome 
of each election to the best of their desire and ability, and it must 
ensure that those selected as representatives are disposed to serve the 
public interest.

The question you pose, "... how would you design a form of government 
that is elected by the people, but is (responsive) to sociological 
issues ..." is vital and worthy of open-minded consideration.  I, for 
one, would like to examine it in detail, whether here or in private 
correspondence.  My email address is in the heading to this post.

Incidentally, I have a paper written by a countryman of yours, Sverre 
Bugge Midthjell of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 
that bears on these issues.  It is entitled, "Deliberating or 
Quarreling? - An Enquiry into Theory and Research Methods for the 
Relationship between Political Parties and Deliberation".  It is written 
in English and is in .PDF format.  I'll be happy to forward it to you, 
if you wish.

Best wishes,

Fred Gohlke

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