[EM] Democratic Electoral Methods
fredgohlke at verizon.net
Mon Jan 9 08:40:31 PST 2017
Good Morning, Jack Santucci
Have you had an opportunity to read the 2014 study by Martin Gilens at
Princeton University and Benjamin I. Page at Northwestern University?
They concluded that "America's claims to being a democratic society
are seriously threatened." They point out:
"... the nearly total failure of 'median voter' and other
Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories. When the
preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized
interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the
average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero,
statistically non-significant impact upon public policy."
Is that not a natural and inevitable result of party politics?
It certainly bears out Robert Michels finding, described in his 1911
book, Political Parties, that "... the oligarchical and bureaucratic
tendency of party organization ... serves to conceal from the mass a
danger which really threatens democracy."
You note on your site that you care about all levels of American
government and are broadly interested in party and institutional change.
Would your interests include consideration of non-partisan
alternatives to party-based systems? Ought not the discussion on an
Electoral Methods site include thoughts on a democratic bottom-up
political process that lets the people actively participate in the
conduct of, and impress their moral sense on, their government? Should
we consider the rejection of the established political parties in the
2015 elections in Frome in the U.K. an indication that non-partisans
need the ability to limit the excesses of party-based systems?
 Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest
Groups, and Average Citizens. Martin Gilens and Benjamin
 Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical
Tendencies of Modern Democracy
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