[EM] Practical Democracy

Fred Gohlke fredgohlke at verizon.net
Tue Feb 2 09:05:34 PST 2016

Good Morning, Frank

re: "In re intensity: it is not obvious how
      this is necessarily true."

Everyone who participates in the PD process is as much a candidate for 
public office as they want to be.  At the lowest level, when everyone in 
the community is participating, a large percentage of the participants 
will have no desire for public office.  Such individuals will drop from 
the process quickly.  Those who advance to the upper levels will do so, 
in part, because they have a desire to do so.

As a result, at the higher levels, the triads will be made up of 
individuals who want to keep advancing.  They will be anxious to do two 
things, persuade the others in their triad of their own suitability for 
advancement, and to uncover any weaknesses in the two people they are 
competing with for selection.  They will thoroughly 'vet' their 
opponents because it is in their own best interest to do so.  That will 
be intense.

re: "In re press: this does nothing to alter the fact Voters
      in earlier steps will have already chosen Representatives
      far from ideal once all the information is available."

PD is a filtering process.  From the perspective of the members of each 
triad, the people who are doing the actual choosing, the individuals 
they select to represent their interest are as ideal as they can make 
them.  Will some of those chosen at the lowest level be poor choices for 
public office?  Almost certainly.  And some of them will be, just as 
certainly, excellent choices for public office.  During the 
re-iterations of the process the less qualified individuals will be 
filtered out, in part because, as the process advances and the field of 
candidates narrows, the press will publicize details about the remaining 

re: "The fact advancing Representatives are matched with
      Strangers suggests vetting will be harder than the
      current system.  If I don't know the Others in the
      triad, I don't know how to investigate Them as
      thoroughly nor would necessarily have sufficient time.

It doesn't take most of us very long to decide the value of those we 
meet.  Face-to-face meetings allow us to observe the non-verbal clues 
people emit and they give us insight into the attitudes of our 
acquaintances.  All-in-all, we're pretty good at evaluating people.  It 
is possible the PD process will raise an unprincipled individual to 
public office, but it will be the exception rather than the rule.  The 
important thing is that the process raises individuals to public office, 
not parties.  Even the most cunning individual, if elected, can't do 
much damage because (s)he stands alone.

re: "Having several weeks in the average stage, however,
      suggests decisions about whether to replace the current
      Representative will begin long before the current One
      has had sufficient opportunity to demonstrate Their
      decisions have been good on balance, suggesting further
      a trivialization of the notion of representation.

The triads are not deciding to replace their representative.  They are 
deciding which member of their triad best represents the interests of 
the group.  If it happens that one of the members of a triad is a 
current representative, that individual may be called upon to justify 
decisions made during their term in office, but the primary purpose of 
the process is to select the individuals best equipped to address and 
resolve current problems.  Prior decisions are only important to the 
extent they show the candidate's 'gyroscope'.

re: "I will not be making any such decision unless I can
      ensure I will advance to the next level."

It is unlikely you can guarantee your own advancement.  You could, I 
suppose, bribe the other two members of your triad to select you, but 
that's a losing proposition.  If you advance, you will have to bribe two 
new people.  The problem is that it's possible the attempt to do so will 
cause one of them (who is looking for character weaknesses in you so 
they can improve their chances of advancing) to cry "Foul!", revealing 
you as an unprincipled cheat.

The only way you can be reasonably sure of advancing is if you have a 
clear understanding of the community's concerns and are able to persuade 
your peers that you are the best equipped person to represent their 
interests.  If you don't, others will.

re: "Do You have probabilistic analysis showing the odds of
      a Voter in PD altering the outcome of an election versus
      simple majority of the community?"

Nope.  I'm the layest of laymen, a former truck-driver; a profession 
that gave me a lot of time to think carefully about the world we live 
in.  You may denigrate thought, if you wish, but I find it rewarding.

re: "If the Peers are chosen at random, how is
      there accountability?"

The people who advance are accountable to those who select them.  Each 
elected official sits atop a pyramid of known electors, Those who 
implement the process can provide a mechanism so the electors can recall 
an elected representative.  That is the essence of accountability.

Fred Gohlke

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