View Poll Results: What do you think of allowing a random sample of citizens to govern?

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  • I like it

    6 17.65%
  • I don't like it

    19 55.88%
  • I'm neutral

    9 26.47%
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Thread: Deliberative Democracy

  1. #21
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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    How's Alvin Greene, the poster child for the uneducated everyman, doing for South Carolina?

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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    How's Alvin Greene, the poster child for the uneducated everyman, doing for South Carolina?
    While it's true that (in general) members of Congress are more intelligent than the voting public as a whole, I'm not sure that necessarily translates into better results. There are a number of features of our current system that actually favor WORSE results: Politicians worrying about reelection instead of doing what's right, political parties with agendas that preclude compromise, entrenched incumbents who are completely out of touch with most people, corruption that comes from spending years in a political culture that tells politicians it's OK as long as you don't go overboard, etc.

    While most people aren't as smart as their congressman, I think most people are motivated to do well when called upon for service. As long as you give them access to experts on the issues to ask questions (especially experts who disagree with one another), they'll be able to come to a reasonable decision most of the time.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    I proposed that idea 15 years ago, except I required the candidates meet minimum requirements of education, productivity, maturity, and loyalty.

    Given that American high schools excel at producing unskilled labor, clearly the candidate pool has to have more than a high school education.

    The candidate should have some experience living, which means a minimum age requirement of 30 years old. Damn stupid of this country to have children who've never held a job they couldn't afford to lose voting in elections.

    A productive person has either held a job long term or run his own business. Thus candidates would have a minimum of five of the seven years prior to his candidacy employed.

    The candidate can't be living in his mommy's basement, or attic, or othewise have failed to exit the nest.

    The candidate must have proven a sacrifice to the nation to qualify. That means, cop, fireman, military veteran. Americorps weenies need not apply.
    I like these ideas, they are worthy of being weighed and entertained....
    We must or should know that China has had its ups and downs, but has been around longer than Europe/America. So, an innovative ide from China should be no surprise.
    My vote was neutral..
    There are too many non-thinkers around here with all those "NOs".

  4. #24
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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
    This is more or less how our government was ran in the first place. The founders didn't intend for the elite/career politicians to only hold office. Public service was meant for you and me and our neighbors. One of the best known examples is George Washington. Granted he was a war hero and wealthy land owner but he served his time the went back to his plantation.

    The guy working at a warehouse and living a humble life in his small apartment should have the same chance as the Harvard grad.
    The founders did make many mistakes, one must remember that they were new to this game....to an extent much as President Obama is.
    I feel that either the worker or the grad should be able to serve in govenrment is they have the qualities necessary..
    And who does the selection?
    Neutral vote.

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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    While most people aren't as smart as their congressman, I think most people are motivated to do well when called upon for service. As long as you give them access to experts on the issues to ask questions (especially experts who disagree with one another), they'll be able to come to a reasonable decision most of the time.
    I don't buy for a second that most people aren't as smart as their congressman. Most, and perhaps virtually all congressmen and women are corrupt. The office requires it. Most of them think they are somehow entitled to the power that they've gotten and anything they're doing, they deserve to get away with because they're somehow special. If you remove the concept of lifetime politicians, you remove any impetus for that kind of thinking.

    I think that most people who actually would want the job could do a reasonable job, so long as they are surrounded by experts, as you say, to help them make decisions. Those experts ought to be rotated regularly as well, to stop them from getting a big head and using their influence to push a personal agenda.
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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Love this idea! I been saying for years we could pluck random folks off our streets, stick em in office and they could do a much better job than what we get/have now. Til they get corrupted. Then we just toss em out and put some new blood in.
    ~Following My Own Flow~

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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    I proposed that idea 15 years ago, except I required the candidates meet minimum requirements of education, productivity, maturity, and loyalty.

    Given that American high schools excel at producing unskilled labor, clearly the candidate pool has to have more than a high school education.

    The candidate should have some experience living, which means a minimum age requirement of 30 years old. Damn stupid of this country to have children who've never held a job they couldn't afford to lose voting in elections.

    A productive person has either held a job long term or run his own business. Thus candidates would have a minimum of five of the seven years prior to his candidacy employed.

    The candidate can't be living in his mommy's basement, or attic, or othewise have failed to exit the nest.

    The candidate must have proven a sacrifice to the nation to qualify. That means, cop, fireman, military veteran. Americorps weenies need not apply.
    Too much age discrimination with your thoughts. I happen to think maybe we need the younger generation in office as they are not as jaded, bitter and sour as their elders.
    ~Following My Own Flow~

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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Put term limits on Supreme Court Justices.
    “The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home."
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  9. #29
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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    As I understand the idea (or as I would suggest), the random sample of the population only serves for a certain length of time, just like Congress. Once their two years (or however long) was up, there would be a new random sample of the population that took office.
    It still doesnt take long for someone to get powerhungry.

    I suppose that's always a possibility. However, there are a lot of egocentric jackasses in our legislatures that currently do it. I bet that the amount of that would be severely reduced, since the people who were holding power wouldn't come in (in most cases) with any partisan animosity, worries about reelection, or grudges against their colleagues.
    Either that or you'd get MORE power hungry jackasses in because you're constantly putting new people in.

    I dont see what benefit having average citizens act as the government.

    [quote[Nothing...but we currently have cliques in most legislatures around the country (i.e. political parties) that certainly impair their members' independent judgment. Now I'm sure that people would group with other like-minded people. They won't always choose right. The idea isn't that they would do everything perfectly; just better than the current system.[/quote] Yes but HOW would they do things better?

    I'm not sure what you mean. Why would this be more likely to happen in America than anywhere else?
    Most of America falls into two rough political categories.

    If you take a random sample of the population, you should get an accurate idea of the public's views. This is the premise on which polling is based and there is a lot of statistical support for this argument. The bigger the sample you took, the more likely it would be to accurately represent the public.
    A sound theory, but I dont see how you will be able to balance getting a representative sample of the American public with a group that isnt going to start a food fight at the first disagreement.

    I don't think this would happen unless you didn't change groups very often (i.e. every two years). The next group that comes into power will probably be very similar to the previous one, since they were both random samplings from the same population. Unless the voters have drastically changed their opinion on something while the officials have not (which would probably only happen if the officials implement something that becomes a disaster), I don't see any circumstances where this would happen. And under those circumstances, it's probably a good thing that the new group would try to undo the work of the previous group.
    If they're similar, why bother changing them at all?


    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    I understand perfectly that the Democrats have done every possible thing they can imagine to corrupt the process.
    Translation= You dont.

    What group? Under the scenario I presented, the office holders are chosen from the candidate pool randomly, for a fixed term. Then they get to go back to their civillian life and live under the laws they passed.
    Again, what prevents someone who is sociopathic or mentally unstable from getting in?

    Naturally, there will still be a written constitution with specifcally enumerated powers and a specifc bill of rights. I mean, the US Constitution, when followed, provides the most secure guarantees of individual liberty in human history.
    Son, patriotism does not mean treating the laws of the land like a religion.

    If you're referring to the nonsense we have today, it's becoming increasingly clear that the brick and stone walls in Washington could be put to better use with firing squads in front of them.
    So you're a Fascist...gotcha.

    You mean like when Patrick Leahy deliberately stonewalled Bush judicial appointees simply because Bush was a Republican and might nominate judges that believe the Constitution is a limit on goverment?
    Ok, dont be pulling the Creationist crap with me. You dont get to defend your idea by saying "Well your system sucks so mine is better!"

    What's to stop government office holders from developing an us vs them attitude?

    Term limits.
    How can you demonstrate that.

    And, frankly, I WANT the Republican to not only demolish the edifice of socialism built in this nation by the evil Progressives, but I demand they bury the corpse of socialism in the world's deepest salt bed.
    **Sigh** Forget it. You are far too partisan to even hope for any form of communication.
    I'm Done

    See my last post

  10. #30
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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite View Post
    It still doesnt take long for someone to get powerhungry.
    I disagree. I don't think very many people would become corrupted after only two years...especially if everyone else in the legislature came in as a fresh face at the same time. I'm sure there are some exceptions to this, but generally when I hear about congressional scandals, it's some guy who has represented his district for 20+ years, not a freshman congressman. Furthermore, since everyone in the legislature would begin and end at the same time under this system, you wouldn't have any oldtimers ingraining a culture of corruption into the newbies. In fact, you wouldn't have much of a congressional culture at all because there wouldn't be enough time to establish one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Either that or you'd get MORE power hungry jackasses in because you're constantly putting new people in.
    I'm confused as to why you think this. Do you think that most people are, by nature, power-hungry jackasses and that electing our representatives enables us to choose people who aren't? Or are you saying that there is something about government itself that brings out the worst tendencies in its officials?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    I dont see what benefit having average citizens act as the government.
    They would have no partisan animosity that would prevent them from compromising with others of different ideologies; they would have no worries about reelection and would be able to focus on doing what they felt was right; they would not be in office long enough to establish a culture of corruption; and they would accurately represent the voters moreso than winner-take-all elections do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Yes but HOW would they do things better?
    See above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Most of America falls into two rough political categories.
    Well that's OK. If those two political categories are broad enough that they encompass most Americans, then a random sampling of the people SHOULD mostly draw from those two categories. So for example, if you had a Senate of 100 random people, you might get 48 Democrats, 48 Republicans, 3 true independents, and 1 Libertarian or Green.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    A sound theory, but I dont see how you will be able to balance getting a representative sample of the American public with a group that isnt going to start a food fight at the first disagreement.
    Are you saying that the American public wants to start a food fight at the first disagreement? I disagree. Rabble-rousers like Glenn Beck or Michael Moore do not represent most Americans. Even the people on this message board do not represent most Americans. Most people don't really know or care that much about politics, and have (at most) mild feelings about politics based on what they see in the news.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    If they're similar, why bother changing them at all?
    For precisely that reason: Suppose that the voters of a certain state want Policy X to become a law. A random sample of people is chosen from that state, and sure enough, they implement Policy X immediately, to the applause of the public. Two years go by, and it becomes clear that Policy X has been a complete disaster for the state. Most people have changed their minds...but the random sample that implemented it has not, perhaps because they are personally attached to the work, or because they don't want to admit that they were wrong. Mercifully, a new random sample of the people is chosen, and repeals Policy X to the applause of the public.

    Furthermore, switching it up every couple years ensures that people aren't in office long enough to become corrupt, form grudges against their colleagues, become out of touch with their constituents, or establish any political culture to speak of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Again, what prevents someone who is sociopathic or mentally unstable from getting in?
    Nothing...but neither does our current system. See: Jim Bunning, Daniel Akaka, Ted Stevens, Conrad Burns. As long as such people are only a small proportion of the governing body, they won't be able to inflict any damage.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 09-06-10 at 02:56 AM.
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