[EM] Practical Democracy

Frank Martinez frankdmartinez at gmail.com
Fri Feb 5 09:34:11 PST 2016

I think I may have found a more fundamental point of divergence in Our
perspectives. You say, "At present, we know candidates for public office
are committed to serve their party, not the people." I disagree. People
have all sorts of commitments. In general, They tend to seek like-minded
Individuals sharing similar goals and attempt to enlist Their support. The
premise You describe seems cynical and not based in reality due to the fact
come election time if a Candidate has not served the People adequately and
enough of a consensus about Who should replace the Incumbent exists, no
amount of loyalty to party will prevent Voters from replacing said

Reading Acquaintances /accurately/ requires time, energy, and a certain
degree of familiarity. The system You propose does not make clear such
requirements are met.

I don't see how Your discussion of (1a) addresses My concern.

I find polling and referenda have the same flaws of recalls.

On Thursday, February 4, 2016, Fred Gohlke <fredgohlke at verizon.net> wrote:

> 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
> conclusion.
> 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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