[EM] (2&3) Steve's 2nd and 3rd dialogue with Fred Gohlke

Fred Gohlke fredgohlke at verizon.net
Mon Jul 20 07:43:04 PDT 2015

Good Morning, Steve

Thank you for the description of the method you suggest.  It seems 

You asked what I think.  I hope you find my comments thoughtful and 
worth your effort to consider.

You presuppose a "Paper (or computer) ballot counting method".  I take 
issue with that presupposition and will explain why later in the discussion.

re: "Imagine that you are a citizen of this village and 15
      of your fellow citizens want to be elected."

That's reasonable.

What do I know about the people who seek public office?  For any of them 
that I do not know personally, the only knowledge I have is the stand 
they profess and the fact that they seek public office.  From that, I 
must try to figure out their suitability for election.  Here are a 
couple of thoughts that come to mind:

a) They see themselves as politicians.  I share the public perception 
that politicians are deceitful individuals.  Anyone who, of their own 
volition, casts themselves as a politician raises a question in my mind 
as to their integrity.  That fact, by itself, does not close the door on 
them.  It is simply one factor that must be considered.

b) They see themselves as worthy of public office.  That may be an 
indication that their ego exceeds their intellect.  It raises the 
question of whether they have the humility to serve the public interest. 
  Without humility, public servants will not learn from their peers.

c) They are assertive.  That's a double-edged sword:  If their 
assertiveness is exercised in the public interest it will be a good 
thing.  If it is exercised in pursuit of their personal advantage, it 
will be destructive.

re: "To discover which 7 of the 15 are to be elected, each
      candidate initially stands at a different place in the
      Village Hall surrounded by the citizens who most favor
      him or her."

How are we to decide which is the best candidate?  The description 
implies that citizens must make their decision based on where a 
candidate stands.  How does the fact that a candidate takes a stance 
help me determine the candidate's character?

It doesn't, and a candidate's character is infinitely more important 
than where he or she stands.

Does the process you suggest expect citizens to take candidates' 
character on faith?  That is inadequate, as is demonstrated so clearly 
by the degradation of modern so-called democracies into oligarchies.

I intended to continue these comments, but a personal matter has 
intervened.  I will try to continue my remarks in a day or so, but, for 
the present, I will simply post what I've completed.  I'm sorry.  This 
was unexpected.

I said I would have additional comments on a "Paper (or computer) ballot 
counting method".  This, too, must be brief.  I just want to point out 
that there are many ways for people to vote. Casting a ballot is the 
least democratic of them.

The way we currently elect politicians to public office is why modern 
governments are undemocratic.  In the party-based political systems that 
dominate modern governments, the right to vote is not evidence of 
democracy, it shows that the people are subjects of the parties that 
decide the options available to the voters.  This subjugates the people 


If we are ever to achieve democracy, we must devise a political process 
that lets the people select the candidates and choose the issues on 
which they must decide.

Fred Gohlke

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