[EM] Sociological issues of elections

Vidar Wahlberg canidae at exent.net
Sun Sep 1 12:21:21 PDT 2013

On Sun, Sep 01, 2013 at 12:05:44PM -0400, Fred Gohlke wrote:
> 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.

This sums up my interest too. Well written.

> 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.

I would not mind keeping such a discussion to this list, unless other
readers of this list find that this is outside the scope of the mailing
So far my interest in election methods have been mostly the mathematical
properties, and less on the psychology/sociology issues. Until I've read
more up on the subject I can't add the most valuable input, hence I'm
asking the list of their insight.

> 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.

I came across the paper myself, it can be found here for anyone else who
may be interested:

Vidar Wahlberg

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