[EM] Sociological issues of elections

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Mon Sep 2 19:30:01 PDT 2013

Welcome Vidar,

> You're not off track [Juho], the basis of my question was that given
> a democratic election, how should the government/election be formed
> to reduce the incentive for candidates/parties to talk down other
> candidates/parties, and encourage people to vote for candidates/
> parties based on the their ability for the task and not their less
> relevant traits?

Enable people to do their own talking.  I mean enable the electors to
discuss the matter amongst themselves in advance of the election.
That would be my preferred solution.

And earlier:
> For instance, when voting for persons then candidates with high
> popularity and charisma are likely to win more votes than less
> charismatic candidates, despite the less charismatic candidates
> being far more suited for the task (more knowledge, experience,
> talent, etc.).  In the Norwegian system where we got multiple
> parties, but two blocks (left and right), we also see that some
> people vote for their second preference rather than the first,
> because the first is in the wrong block or intend to cooperate with
> another party which the voter dislike the most.

I agree with Juho, the problem is a lack of information.  I would add
that a rational decision can only be made by first learning what the
decision *ought* to be, then by making it so in fact.  Therefore the
rational decider will always know the decision in advance.

We have empirical evidence (so to speak) that modern electors never
make rational electoral decisions.  Every election night finds them
glued to their TV screens waiting to learn who they just elected.
Again, I think it would be better if the electors discussed the matter
in advance of the election and agreed amongst themselves who to elect.
Then they could throw away their TVs. ;-)

Do you have a preferred solution of your own?

Michael Allan

Toronto, +1 416-699-9528

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