View Poll Results: Which system would you prefer?

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  • Demarchy

    5 27.78%
  • Representative Democracy

    9 50.00%
  • Other

    4 22.22%
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Thread: Demarchy?

  1. #1
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    Demarchy?

    Demarchy ([ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demarchy]Demarchy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]) is a system of governance by a randomly selected group of people. The term was coined by Australian philosopher John Burnheim in 1985. The system has been used by the ancient Athenians and the Amish. Basically, the idea is that people in charge would still represent the views of the population, but without the problems of corruption for political gain, the influence of lobbyists and special interests, career politicians, and voter ignorance and disinterest; people in charge would make decisions solely based on what they believe.

    According to Rasmussen, 45% of American voters think that a group randomly selected from the phone book would do better than the current Congress, while 36% disagree.


    Just read about this today. An interesting idea, though I'm not sure how well it would work out in practice.

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    Re: Demarchy?

    Imagine a odd coincedence where retards get selected. Look what happend to McCain when he tried that.


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    Re: Demarchy?

    Ehhh...no. If such assignments were random instead of elected, the group would have NO accountability to the American people. At least with Congress there is SOME way to hold them accountable, as flawed and ineffective as it may be.

    Besides, congresspeople at least know something about law, politics, and negotiation (in most cases). I don't think the average American does. Does the average person REALLY have an opinion on unsexy-but-important issues like free trade, deficit spending, and infrastructure projects? I think the answer is no, regardless of what they tell pollsters.

    To answer the poll question: I'd prefer representative democracy, with some modifications to the current system.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 02-05-10 at 11:27 PM.
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    Re: Demarchy?

    While the idea that this entices, that people commoners who aren't worried about re-election will be in charge, there is a fundamental problem--- most people just don't give a ****. Jury duty is already one of those "do I HAVE to" ordeals and that is a shorter less critical stint.

    Running the Government based on a lottery would also have to ensure that the selection system is not corrupt.
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: Demarchy?

    To be fair to the idea, and address the people above, it would probably select only people who have signed up to be on the list of possibilities, who would probably be more informed and less apathetic than the rest of the population. Plus, as with most modern juries, a larger number than necessary would probably be selected and then whittled down to only the most informed. Though how to keep corruption out of that process, I don't know.

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    Re: Demarchy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    To be fair to the idea, and address the people above, it would probably select only people who have signed up to be on the list of possibilities, who would probably be more informed and less apathetic than the rest of the population. Plus, as with most modern juries, a larger number than necessary would probably be selected and then whittled down to only the most informed. Though how to keep corruption out of that process, I don't know.
    Vote for representatives who decide who is the best informed...



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    Re: Demarchy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    To be fair to the idea, and address the people above, it would probably select only people who have signed up to be on the list of possibilities, who would probably be more informed and less apathetic than the rest of the population. Plus, as with most modern juries, a larger number than necessary would probably be selected and then whittled down to only the most informed. Though how to keep corruption out of that process, I don't know.
    You'd have to have certain minimal standards.

    Me, I'd go with:
    - College degree, or self-made millionaire. (education or practical achievement)
    - Military service, or some other kind of formal service involving hardships (medical missionaries to the Congo or somesuch) (service to others).
    - No history of substance abuse or mental illness, clean criminal record.
    - Fiscally sound, no bankruptcies, decent credit rating.
    - Not divorced more than once; never denied bond; never successfully sued for fraud or negligence.

    I think a random selection from that group couldn't be any worse than what we've got, and would probably be far better.

    The fact that a person desires political power is often the surest indicator that he isn't worthy of it.

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  8. #8
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    Re: Demarchy?

    It's bad enough that the uninformed and apathetic populace is allowed to choose their representative government on the basis of who makes the most unreasonable promises. Allowing them to actually govern would be a nightmare.

    I would prefer government by professional bureaucracy.

  9. #9
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    Re: Demarchy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Korimyr the Rat View Post
    It's bad enough that the uninformed and apathetic populace is allowed to choose their representative government on the basis of who makes the most unreasonable promises. Allowing them to actually govern would be a nightmare.

    I would prefer government by professional bureaucracy.

    A favorite speculative writer postulated that any type of governmental system can work, IF power/authority and responsibility are equal and coordinate. That is, that there is some mechanism by which the corrupt or incompetent rulers are held to account for their actions... and the more immediately-reactive (quicker) the better.

    By his theory, you could have a King, or a board of oligarchs (think Central Committee), whose word was law... but if they were subject to being deposed or impeached and replaced quickly for acts of corruption or incompetence, that such a government would work reasonably well.

    My person opinion is that, like a lot of theories, it has some merit but could easily break down in the details. There would have to be transparency, and there would have to be some kind of professional "watchdog group" that kept track of the autarch's actions. (What if the "Watchmen" were themselves corrupted and suborned to the ruler's side?)

    Then there would be the mechanism for impeachment. Presumably one would require some percentage of the voting public, a simple majority perhaps. Who initiates/calls for the vote? If just anyone can initate a no-confidence vote, you'd be having one every other day. If OTOH it is difficult to initiate impeachement (ie you need a petition with 10 million sigs) it might be too hard and take too long to vote the corrupt ruler out.

    In a sense, the US government was founded with something like this in mind. You have the three branches, which are supposed to have checks and balances against each other, preventing any one branch from becoming too powerful (works OK sometimes). You have the States as a counterbalance against the Fedgov (hasn't worked too well for about 140 years). Politicians can be charged with malfeasance and impeached (sometimes). Finally voters can vote out a politician that isn't doing what they want (this isn't so easy when there are many incentives to keep your Senator in office for the seniority, and when so many people are swayed by the perponderence of advertising.) So our system works this way after a fashion, and with ponderous inefficiency...but it does work tolerably well most of the time, which puts it several steps ahead of most governmental structures.

    Pardon my digression.

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  10. #10
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    Re: Demarchy?

    Goshin,

    The issue that arises in your post is probably the oldest citizen to state dispute; how does one stop an official from being corrupt?

    The only cures for corruptibility is eliminating humans from being leaders, or changing your perspective of what corruption is. In one mindset corruption by the masses where the actions of the Federal Government becomes populist in nature is still corruption.

    If you are on the receiving end of corruption, as we always find corruption in terms of a payoff for someone, then you might see the Federal Government as not corrupt, but generous. Does not mean that they are, but it's a bi-directional perspective.
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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