[EM] (4) Steve's 4th dialogue with Fred Gohlke

steve bosworth stevebosworth at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 21 11:46:54 PDT 2015

  > From:
election-methods-request at lists.electorama.com
> Subject:
Election-Methods Digest, Vol 133, Issue 18
> To:
election-methods at lists.electorama.com
> Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2015
12:01:42 -0700
> 1. Re: (2&3) Steve's 2nd and 3rd
dialogue with Fred Gohlke
> (Fred Gohlke)

> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2015 10:43:04 -0400
From: Fred Gohlke <fredgohlke at verizon.net>
> To:
election-methods at lists.electorama.com
> Subject: Re: [EM] (2&3)
Steve's 2nd and 3rd dialogue with Fred Gohlke
> Message-ID:
<55AD08F8.8000300 at verizon.net>
> Content-Type:
text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> F: Thank you for the description of the
method you suggest. It seems 
> straightforward.
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
> 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
> 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.

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

>>S:  In the
Village, you might already know a lot about the candidates.  In APR
for electing your nation's legislative assembly, you might already
know a lot about some the candidates seeking to represent the
'associations' that you already have had many dealings even before
APR's primary.  However, all each citizen can and should do is also
to spend as much additional time as they can to research the
abilities, history, and scale of values of as many of all the
candidates as they can so as to be able to rank as many as possible
during the general election on the basis of evidence.
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? 

>>S: No

That is inadequate, as
is demonstrated so clearly 
> by the degradation of modern
so-called democracies into oligarchies.
> [….]
> >

> 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

>>S: Please both
explain what you see as the most democratic 'way' and try to give me
your definition of 'democracy'.

>F: The way
we currently elect politicians to public office is why modern 
governments are undemocratic. In the party-based political systems
> 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 
> because:
If we are ever to achieve democracy, we must devise a political
> that lets the people select the candidates and
choose the issues on 
> which they must decide.

>>S:  When you
have the time, I hope you let me know the extent to which APR's
concept of 'democracy' matches yours.  So far, I see APR as an
essential part of the 'political process 
> that [would let]
the people select the candidates and choose the issues on 
which they must decide.'   It would maximally help to solve the
problems you have mentioned.

I look forward to your

Fred Gohlke

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