[EM] Sociological issues of elections

Vidar Wahlberg canidae at exent.net
Mon Sep 2 12:23:36 PDT 2013

On Mon, Sep 02, 2013 at 09:41:50AM +0200, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:
>>If it is within the scope of this list, what are your thoughts on the
>>Assuming the perfect election system where voting any different than
>>your real preference would only hurt your preference, how would you
>>design a form of government that is elected by the people, but is
>>resistant to sociological issues that can't be prevented by the election
>>method (such as the examples mentioned above)?
> It's possible that the best democracy might not have voting at all.
> Gohlke's initial idea did not have much voting in it: groups of
> three people would meet, agree upon which to represent all three,
> and then the "winner" would join two other "winners", and so on up
> until you had a council, no voting method needed.

I'm currently reading a bit up on this. I believe this is a fairly
common practice, notably in organzations with several subgroups, where
each group pick one person to talk on behalf of the group in the entire
My initial thought is that while this works well for organizations,
where the represant of each group is likely to be among those who make
the decisions, I am not entirely convinced that such a system will work
well when you need several layers.
Where as I'm quite familiar with the practice, I've never really thought
about it as a viable option for selecting a government of a nation. I
need to read more on the subject, though.

> I once considered a hybrid system that *would* use elections, but in
> a quite different way: first you'd select a significant number of
> people at random, and then these would elect from among their
> number. It does away with continuity both for ill (problem with
> consistency of plans) and good (no monolithic party machines).

This reminds me a bit about how comments on slashdot.org are rated by
the readers. Perhaps you're familiar with this system?
They claim it works fairly well for their needs, but will it work for
electing a government? Even if you select a subset of the population,
those are susceptible to fearmongering, glorifying and generally create
a distorted image of the various candidates/parties to influence the
voter in a certain direction.

Vidar Wahlberg

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