[EM] Practical Democracy

Fred Gohlke fredgohlke at verizon.net
Tue Feb 9 12:20:55 PST 2016

Good Afternoon, Frank

re: "'When we are motivated to evaluate people and have a week
      or more to do so, we are quite effective at it.' -- Even
      if true in some cases, a tendency for the statement to
      be true in the typical case has not been established.
      Some Individuals are far better at doing so than Others
      which means Some are far worse at doing so."

Of course, but there is no need for us to establish which have the 
talent and which don't.  The people will make that decision, themselves. 
  PD is a sifting process that lets the people advance those with the 
greatest desire and ability.  The less able individuals will not advance.

re: "Even if this premise were granted, in a country the
      size of the US, if We presume an average stage of, say,
      2.5 weeks in length, the process would take almost 11
      months; in a term length of 24 months for Representatives,
      PD would result in a system where Incumbents spend almost
      half of Their time focused not on doing Their jobs well
      enough to ensure re-election but on whether the mathematics
      of random shuffling have done Them out of a job altogether,
      giving Them no reason to perform in the interest of the

Representatives are elected from districts.  Currently, the average 
population size of the districts is nearly 700,000.  If we assume the 
process is carried out to a single selection, and using the arbitrary 
triad lives I used in the outline, it will take 12 levels and 228 days. 
  However, we should note that the outline provided, "The final phase of 
the Practical Democracy (PD) process, electing candidates to specific 
public offices, is omitted from this outline because that task is 
implementation- dependent.", so specific implementations might be a bit 
different.  In any case, you raise a point worthy of discussion, even if 
I consider the problem more apparent than real.

Each of the last 6 levels are just a bit less than a month each.  At 
each level, the Representative must evaluate 2 other candidates while 
they are being evaluated by them.  It is unlikely they will spend the 
entire 26 days together.  They will meet and engage in such activities 
as they deem appropriate, playing golf, talking, playing cards or any of 
the abundant ways people work and play together.  I think it will work 
just fine.  You don't.  That's not a bad thing, it's what makes the 
world go around.

If the process is adopted in a relatively small community, like, for 
example, Frome in the U.K., it will provide an opportunity to uncover 
the kinds of glitches that we cannot anticipate until it is tried out in 

re: "Suppose the ideal Representative (IR) of the Voters is
      joined with 2 hostile Voters in a triad. IR is widely
      recognized by a sizable majority of the Voters as being
      the IR, not these 2.  They vote for 1 of Themselves to
      advance while IR vote for IR to advance.  Net result, IR
      does not advance."

That is precisely why paragraph 1a was added to the process.  It is 
possible that a candidate will be eliminated because of the antipathy of 
another member of the triad.  Paragraph 1a guarantees the person will 
have a fresh opportunity in the next election.

re: "While One might argue the formation of parties (or
      their equivalent in PD) where groups seek to have
      triads consisting solely of their own Members could
      help prevent this scenario ..."

Paragraph 1b, the provision for interest groups and parties, is to help 
people align themselves with those of similar interests.  It is not 
concerned with the kind of antipathy that results in the exclusion of a 
candidate.  Such exclusion need not be ideological.  It can be a 
personal dislike, inspired by any of the many emotions that lead to love 
and hate.

re: "... a robust election system should be independent of the
      number and size of parties."


re: "In re PEC (post-election control), why would PEC be
      considered a good thing?  The average Voter has only
      an average Voter's knowledge and understanding of how
      best to address the issues, by definition.  Having
      Someone to specialize in such address helps to avoid
      unnecessary detriments ..."

In a representative democracy, representatives are not required to have 
any special knowledge or training.  They are selected because they are 
believed to have the intellect and disposition to assimilate the 
information necessary to make sound decisions in the best interests of 
the people.

re: "... just as having Someone specialize in heart surgery
      does likewise."

The two cases are not comparable.  Heart surgeons go through years of 
training to address and resolve a very specific problem.  People's 
representatives, as stated above, are not required to have any special 
knowledge or training.  They are expected to have the intellect and 
disposition to address and resolve any of the myriad problems that may 
arise during their term in office.

re: "... We not want Voters directing the actions of Their
      Representatives.  The very name, "Representative", mean
      Someone and Their interests are to be represented by
      Someone Else, as opposed to a "Delegate".

PD lets the people select and elect individuals whose gyroscopes are 
aligned with the gyroscopes of those who elected them.  In general, the 
Representatives can be expected to act as their constituents would wish. 
  Even so, circumstances are conceivable in which an elected 
representative may want guidance before making a particularly momentous 
decision.  PD provides the means by which the guidance can be sought, if 
the implementers want to provide such an option.

re: "Allowing PEC, except in the cases I have previously
      mentioned makes Representatives in name only.  My
      preference, therefore, is to allow Representatives
      to do Their jobs while the People discuss the
      issues/performanceOfTheRepresentative and decide on
      Election Day if the Representatives are performing
      adequately or whether sufficient consensus exists
      for choosing a replacement Representative."

PEC is a concept you added.  I don't have a good enough understanding of 
what you have in mind to have an opinion on it.

Participants in the PD process are not concerned with sanctioning 
elected officials.  They are concerned with contemporary issues, not 
historical ones.  While discussion of a Representative's performance may 
come up, particularly if a Representative is in a triad, the triad's 
primary concern is not approving or sanctioning the incumbent; it is 
with the issues that currently concern the participants, and with 
finding the person best equipped to address those concerns.

Fred Gohlke

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