Is it time for direct vote by the people?

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Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby scottchat on December 4th, 2015, 2:55 pm 

We have reached a technological stage where direct vote by the people (probably on their home computer or library if they don’t own a computer) is possible. We can devise ways to limit each person to one vote. Preregistration and some form of ID (retina scan?) could be required. Congresses role would be similar to the League of Women Voters to put up arguments pro and con on each bill and let the people decide with the one exception that congress could write bills (the people could have line item veto). There would be no reason for anyone to travel to Washington DC as it could all be done electronically. Consequently the pay and perks of congress could be brought back onto line. Lobbyist would dry up without anyone in backroom power to influence. Term limits would probably take care of itself with the loss of power, prestige and influence associated with being in congress. Making sure people were well informed enough to make decisions would be the responsibility of congress, the executive, the local parties and news agencies. The Electoral College would lose any reason to exist (if it hasn’t already). The results of elections could be known immediately with little chance of tampering. Experts could protect against hacking. Elections could be held frequently to decide on bills proposed by congress and/or by national referendum (the people could propose bills). Petitions could be done electronically by registered voters with assurance that the signatures were valid. What do you think?
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby Serpent on December 4th, 2015, 4:53 pm 

I think they would farm out the software design to the favourite corporate shark of the moment. The bid would be 3 billion dollars on a 3-year deadline. After six years and $8B, they would say they're just ironing out a few bugs, but in fact would have only a rickety skeleton. Seven years in, when a new administration threatened to cut off their funds if they didn't show results pds, they would rush the project to completion, flush away another billion or so, have a grand unveiling, with confetti and trumpets. First month in use, it would crash four times.

I've been inside a US government contract.

In theory, there is no reason it shouldn't work.
You just listed all the people with a vested interest in making sure it doesn't happen in practice.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby scottchat on December 4th, 2015, 5:48 pm 

In practice the above is what happens with govt contracts, look at Obama Care. But, eventually we'll get it working. The second point about the amount of opposition is the killer. Trying to take power and money away from the congress and lobbyist would be almost impossible. It would take a real will of the people and a champion (retired general) outside the current structure. The direct vote could and should be done but that's not enough in view of the incredible opposition. But, I think the people are sick and tired of the current situation and the right person or group could have a chance. Maybe we could start with those communities that currently have strictly mail in elections and replace them with a combination of both electronic and mail in as a start. Starting at the community level and working out the kinks as we go. Include voter electronic IDs and protocols as part of voter registration.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby Dave_Oblad on December 4th, 2015, 5:57 pm 

I would add one more aspect, which is to require each voter to pass a short test on the specific subject they are voting on. Based on the results of such a test, the weight of their vote can vary. Experts on a given issue should have greater say than idiots that vote simply because the handsome baby kisser said it was the right vote to make.

There needs to be a method to separate voters that are well informed from those that just vote based on propaganda issued by the media, neighbors and special interest groups. Giving the power to vote to the ignorant is almost as bad as having no vote at all.

Regards,

Dave :^)
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby Serpent on December 4th, 2015, 6:24 pm 

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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby scottchat on December 5th, 2015, 12:19 am 

I like the idea of informed voters but am concerned that those with the most opportunity to become informed may be disproportionately in the higher social economic classes. The opportunity for someone to hack or tamper with the result is a real threat. But that has always been true and all we can do is fight it.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby Serpent on December 5th, 2015, 1:18 am 

scottchat » December 4th, 2015, 11:19 pm wrote:I like the idea of informed voters but am concerned that those with the most opportunity to become informed may be disproportionately in the higher social economic classes. The opportunity for someone to hack or tamper with the result is a real threat. But that has always been true and all we can do is fight it.


It might be worth your while to read the book. Fighting this is quite different from fighting previous forms of voter fraud: there is no paper trail. Direct internet voting is extremely tamper-prone, hacking-prone and difficult to patrol.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby scottchat on December 5th, 2015, 1:25 am 

I am not the one to make it secure but I think there may be people who can. Maybe some of these experts can create a digital trail.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby zetreque on February 22nd, 2016, 7:41 pm 

Yes we need to terminate the electoral college system ASAP. It's horrible.
At the caucus recently I noticed just how unbalanced the precincts were! AND when you convert single voters into representative delegates at the caucus one party clearly gets an advantage. Popular majority vote does not equal electoral college vote! And in the whole process of delegates and representatives it leaves room for manipulation and corruption all the way up with these unbalanced precincts and counties containing different demographics and wealth.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby wolfhnd on February 23rd, 2016, 2:10 am 

The original system of representative government and an electoral college was designed to protect the interest of minorities. History shows that direct elections are as hostile to the interest of minorities and individual rights as oligarchies. Individual rights can only be protected by a dispassionate representative body and a independent judiciary. Populist didn't become a dirty word by accident.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 23rd, 2016, 2:48 am 

People are too stupid and ill educated for such a system to work. Just lobby hard to improve education and then leave it for future generations to sort out :) haha
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby zetreque on February 23rd, 2016, 8:09 am 

What is the evidence for direct elections being "hostile"?
It looks like four presidents have been elected that did NOT represent popular vote. I'd say that's pretty bad and would have to disagree with direct voting being bad. How can representative government not be bad when we have precincts of ONE household where a person can get a whole delegate to themselves?

Here is an example.

You have 58 people voting one side, and 26 voting for the other.
Translate that into 6 delegates.
One side gets 4 delegates and the other side gets 2 when in reality 4.143% voted for one side and 1.875% the other. How about if it ends up being 4.45% one side and 1.55 the other? That's not true democracy and it's no wonder people don't feel their vote counts!! Then add in the fact that precincts have been carefully planned to swing in favor of certain parties and are not evenly distributed.

"dispassionate representative" is a fantasy. We need randomized double blind placebo :)
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby mtbturtle on February 23rd, 2016, 8:28 am 

wolfhnd » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:10 am wrote:The original system of representative government and an electoral college was designed to protect the interest of minorities.


No it wasn't. It was to protect the interest of small states and the elites.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby zetreque on February 23rd, 2016, 11:25 am 

wolfhnd » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:10 pm wrote: Populist didn't become a dirty word by accident.


Populist = "a member or adherent of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people."
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby TheVat on February 23rd, 2016, 12:35 pm 

Wasn't aware that populist was "a dirty word." Sanders is the populist candidate this year. I remember becoming politically aware back when "prairie populists" were getting attention, like Humphrey and McGovern. Sanders is very much in that lineage even though he's a bit east of the prairies.

Electoral college gave us George W. Bush. I'll take my chances with direct elections.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby zetreque on February 23rd, 2016, 3:20 pm 

Here is another example. Hillary 3 and Bernie 5, but in reality at 18 to 39 it was over 2 to 1 in support for Bernie. So I am wondering also. Is it because of low turnout.... why does their precinct who had fewer people than mine get more delegates? I already know that there are single households in my town who get an entire delegate. Looking at their precinct on a map (unless I'm looking at the wrong one somehow) looks a heck of a lot smaller than mine!!

Image
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby Eclogite on February 24th, 2016, 6:49 am 

It rather seems to me that most, if not all of you think that
a) democracy is a good thing, and
b) we live in democratic societies.

I am not convinced of either point. That would render most of your arguments moot, would it not?
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby zetreque on February 25th, 2016, 4:17 pm 

Eclogite » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:49 am wrote:It rather seems to me that most, if not all of you think that
a) democracy is a good thing, and
b) we live in democratic societies.

I am not convinced of either point. That would render most of your arguments moot, would it not?


a) I don't think anyone wants to be controlled or told what to do unless they are some twisted full time "submissive". You seem to be really reaching with this point that would be a debate deserving of another thread/conversation.
b) I don't think anyone said that and I think most people don't think we do which is probably a primary reason for this thread.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby zetreque on February 25th, 2016, 4:18 pm 

scottchat » Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:55 am wrote: The results of elections could be known immediately with little chance of tampering.?


How about vote transparency?

People shouldn't be hiding behind "masks" (like the KKK) when it comes to important issues. And culture shouldn't shun people for making human mistakes seeing everything black and white. We should look at our similarities as a species and not our differences.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby Eclogite on February 26th, 2016, 7:01 am 

zetreque » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:17 pm wrote:a) I don't think anyone wants to be controlled or told what to do unless they are some twisted full time "submissive". You seem to be really reaching with this point that would be a debate deserving of another thread/conversation.
b) I don't think anyone said that and I think most people don't think we do which is probably a primary reason for this thread.

I don't equate being controlled with living in a non-democratic society. There are alternatives. And we are told what to do in almost every facet of our existence within democracies. The "control" in a non-democratic society need not be any more intrusive, or demanding. Perhaps I shall initiate a thread on the subject, though I doubt it would evoke much interest.

No one said that, but it seemed implicit in many of the posts. Perhaps you are correct.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby TheVat on October 24th, 2020, 12:29 pm 

Perhaps a good time to reactivate this thread.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby TheVat on October 24th, 2020, 12:30 pm 

https://theweek.com/speedreads/945527/h ... al-college

A quick introduction to current issues, with a dollop of history.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby charon on October 24th, 2020, 1:53 pm 

The framers of the Constitution set up the Electoral College because they had to invent a way to "pick the leader of a self-governing republic" and were worried "most people wouldn't know national political candidates"


Doesn't apply any more, so yes, definitely. I've never been fond of the Electoral College idea.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby Serpent on October 24th, 2020, 2:11 pm 

Sadly, "three Southern segregationist senators" filibustered it to death in 1970, killing "the best effort we've ever had in American history to abolish the Electoral College."

There is a lot more wrong with the rules of this game than just the electoral college!
The whole system needs an overhaul.
Proportional Representation
The rationale underpinning all PR systems is to consciously reduce the disparity between a party's share of the national vote and its share of the parliamentary seats; if a major party wins 40 per cent of the votes, it should win approximately 40 per cent of the seats, and a minor party with 10 per cent of the votes should also gain 10 per cent of the legislative seats. This congruity between a party’s share of the vote and its share of the seats provides an incentive for all parties to support and participate in the system.http://aceproject.org/ace-en/topics/es/esd/esd02/default

would make a good start - but not if it's administered by any for-profit organization.
There is plenty wrong with the party system, the delineation of voting districts, the registration of voters, the way campaigns are run, the role of money in politics and even the offices which are politically elected, or appointed.

.... So, you just bought a 250 year old mansion full of squatters, dry-rot and raccoons....
What happens next?
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby edy420 on October 24th, 2020, 3:28 pm 

No.

The odd referendum, yes. But not all aspects of our democracy.

Some people aren't built to be NBA players, as hard as they train. Some aren't built to be rocket scientists, as hard as they study. And some have no idea how to run a country, nor should they have any influence.

One of my work mates voting strategy, was to vote for the party that raised the minimum wage. Little does he know about profit margins, or how that is going to affect his wage, since he's a top earner in the company. With the type of education in place today, I have little confidence that societies members know what's best for everyone.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby BadgerJelly on October 25th, 2020, 1:07 am 

Edy -

I agree in terms of education. That has to be the focus - the educational system needs a HUGE rethink.

There are a number if positives and negatives involved here.

For starters the job of focusing on politics is primarily the job politicians are hired to do. I don’t see how putting up items for people to vote on more regularly will help anyone as the extreme ends will be given more of a voice - because they’ll push hard for certain laws to suit their needs. More voting means more apathy and more opportunity for mischief.

As for people coming up with bills, isn’t that already the case in the US? If a certain number of people petition the government son’t they have to respond (like in the UK)?
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby Serpent on October 25th, 2020, 10:35 am 

Why is it so often assumed that career politicians are more competent to run a country than other citizens? Somebody can get elected to public office with no education in political science, sociology, philosophy, history or mathematics; there's no entrance exam. They can be crooked lawyers, faded-away generals or bankrupt real estate developers. Somebody can get appointed to head a major government agency, simply by being a loyal toady for 20 years. They can be total failures at their previous job - it doesn't matter.

The actual administration and implementation is done by trained civil servants anyway. If it were up to the elected officials, nothing would ever get done. All the elected officials do is elaborate policy -- whether it's practicable or not, whether it's beneficial or not, whether it's adequately funded or not -- and the civil service is expected to "make it so."

The difference between electing professional politicians and ordinary citizens is not a question of competence but of perception - and how politicians are perceived is pretty much the invention of their professional PR departments.

I should add, too, that the longer a politician practices the profession, the more debts he accrues, the more beholden he is to invisible interests behind the legal scene and highly visible interests on the economic scene; the more backs he's expected to scratch and other hands he's promised to wash - and you can't count on his doing it in that order before he shakes your hand and reaches into your pocket.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby edy420 on October 25th, 2020, 4:28 pm 

We do have petitions here in New Zealand. But they aren't enough to legalize cannabis or euthanasia, which were the two referendums in our voting booths, earlier this month. We get the results mid November, fingers crossed.

Parties have said they would legalise in the past... But politian being politian, it don't happen. As a referendum, they would have to be implemented regardless of who comes to power.

That kind of power is scary. I don't like the idea of corrupt politian parties, but it's better tha mob rule. Especially if that mob is under mind control from the media. Politians are the lesser evil.

At the same time, questions like euthanasia and cannabis reform, are too important to be made by a small group of people. Ironically, these referendums brought out the silent majority, and our leader had landslide victory.

I created a similar thread, and I was all for a direct democracy. But if we implement it before we properly educate, then we are putting he cart before the horse. It won't work.

I do like the idea of having a couple referendums every election. A mix of political democracy and direct democracy. Perhaps two or three should compulsory..
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby Serpent on October 25th, 2020, 5:04 pm 

I don't see how public education makes a difference to the relative efficiency and fairness of various electoral systems. The voters get to vote in all of them. In one, their vote may be cancelled out by corruption; in another, by district allocation, in another by party rule, super-delegates or an electoral college. In any case, all current disproportional systems insure that governance of the people never falls into the hands of the people it conscripts, taxes and jails.
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Re: Is it time for direct vote by the people?

Postby charon on November 7th, 2020, 11:26 am 

https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/will-trum ... l-n1246755

'At this rate, we’re on a course for an election soon in which one candidate wins the popular vote by a staggering margin — 8, 9 or perhaps 10 million votes — but is denied the presidency due to the archaic mechanisms of the Electoral College.'
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