[EM] Practical Democracy

Fred Gohlke fredgohlke at verizon.net
Thu Feb 4 11:32:32 PST 2016

Hi, Frank

Thank you, very much, for your comments.  It seems to me we are getting 
closer to the heart of the differences in our views.

re: "I'm not sure You are appreciating or accounting for
      just how long it takes to vet Candidates and how hard
      it is to uncover information both relevant to Voters
      and detrimental to the Candidates' aspirations."

I think the difference in our views on this point is in our assessment 
of those who become candidates.  At present, we know candidates for 
public office are committed to serve their party, not the people.  Once 
these unprincipled people achieve leadership positions, they infect our 
society because morality is a top-down phenomenon.  This distorts our 
view of the kind of people who seek public office.

The problem is not the people; it is a political system that rewards 
politicians who are willing to sacrifice their integrity to attract 
party backing; a system that renounces virtue and is ruled by cynicism. 
  It leads us to believe that everyone is as deceitful as our political 
leaders.  We are misled by the high visibility of deceit and corruption 
in our culture.  The idea that it is inescapable leads to the 
self-defeating notion that trying to correct it is futile.

That's a shame because the vast majority of our peers are decent people. 
  They have to be, for society could not exist otherwise.  When we 
include everyone in the political process, the upright people, 
uncommitted to anything except those who advance them to public office, 
will swamp the deceitful individuals who presently dominate our 
political system.

My guess is that this is a core difference in our views which we may be 
unable to resolve.

re: "I think You also overestimate People's ability to
      read body language and underestimate People's ability
      to fake such language."

I can't say you're wrong since I can't document my faith in people.  But 
I can ask you a question that bears on the topic:  Do you play bridge?

If you do, I'd guess that you get a lot of insight into the nature of 
the people you play with.  You can tell which ones are risk-takers, 
which are methodical, which do not enjoy the game, which you'll be happy 
to have as a partner.  Obviously, if you don't play, this will mean 
nothing to you, but those who do will understand how it relates to this 
discussion.  We 'read' our acquaintances, constantly.

re: "By "replace the Representative", I mean in the subsequent
      election cycle, if out of sheer coincidence an identical
      triad from last time is formed, deciding whether the Person
      selected to represent at the next stage is chosen again."

This is not the only concern.  Another, even more threatening, is that 
personal antipathy between between members of the triad prevents one or 
more people advancing.  To prevent this, Paragraph (1a) of the 
description says, in part:

   "The random grouping mechanism must insure that no two
    people are assigned to a triad if they served together
    in a triad in any of the five most recent elections."

This ensures that, at the lowest level, advancement will neither be 
aided or hindered by grouping the same people in a triad.

re: "Your "bribe" response doesn't disprove My premise
      or the associated conclusion."

You said you would "not be making any such decision unless I can ensure 
I will advance to the next level" and I only commented on the difficulty 
of ensuring your own advancement.

I had already pointed out that "The triads are not deciding to replace 
their representative.", which seemed to me to be the focus of your 
premise.  It now seems clear that I didn't understand your premise or 

re: "In re recall: I have never been impressed with recalls;
      in My estimation, using recalls for reasons other than
      criminal activity tends to give too much weight to the
      passions of the public and too little weight deliberative
      contemplation and patience."

I'm not sure I agree, but recall is not the only option available to 
those who implement the process.  As mentioned in the description, the 
bi-directionality of the process "offers those who implement the process 
a broad scope, ranging from simple polling of constituents to referenda 
on selected issues and recall of an elected representative."  It really 
depends on how the process is implemented.

Fred Gohlke

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