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Thread: Deliberative Democracy

  1. #31
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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    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.
    How do you plan to keep them safe from corruption? If you get anyone and everyone up there, there are plenty of people who would happily take a small bribe for something they didnt see as very important. $50,000 means a lot to someone making $20,000 a year. As a business, if I want to bribe someone, I dont have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a campaign contribution that could be traced back to me. I only have to fork over a couple thousand or some free stuff every now and then to people who are gullible and unfamiliar with how politics is done.

    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?
    Im saying out SOCIETY brings out the worst in individuals and all you're proposing is shuffling the cards a bit faster, I dont see a benefit.

    They would have no partisan animosity that would prevent them from compromising with others of different ideologies
    Im sorry, have you taken a look around here recently?

    they would have no worries about reelection and would be able to focus on doing what they felt was right
    Except what one person feels is right and what is the best choice is not always the same thing.

    What do you do if you get a Neo-Nazi in this committee or a radical Communist?

    The entire track would be the group infighting with everyone struggling to do what they thought was right in spite of what others thought. Most everyone thinks THEY are right and everyone else "just doesnt get it".

    they would not be in office long enough to establish a culture of corruption
    But just long enough to be bought. And I submit it would be MUCH easier to buy them.

    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.
    Except then you run into problems with partisan drawing of lines within the group on ideological grounds AND you push other people from other ideologies out who might have good ideas.

    Are you saying that the American public wants to start a food fight at the first disagreement?
    Im saying people will scream at another person over the wrong flavor of coffee, tolerance and patience is not a trait humanity is renowned for.

    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.
    Even more of a reason NOT to give them the reins. Do you want the pilot of your aircraft to be ambivalent towards landing safely or operating the plane?

    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.
    Except the problem is that the chances of your random sample being complete idiots goes up the bigger your sample is. I dont go to the cute girl at the grocery store for foreign policy tips and I dont talk to my Congressman about his thoughts regarding the viability of PC gaming into the future. I dont do this because these people are not equipped to handle that sort of discussion.

    People who are un-educated or under-educated should not be making decisions regarding policy. The Socialist in me cringes to think that I would advocate that certain people be kept away from the political process...but this is not a video game where anyone can pick it up after a few minutes of screwing around with it and if you completely suck, it's ok, you still had fun.

    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.
    Again, someone can become corrupt in the time it takes to write a check and people will still form grudges based on ideological differences. It happens on here all the time, we ALL engage in it.

    Nothing...but neither does our current system. See: Jim Bunning, Daniel Akaka, Ted Stevens. As long as such people are only a small proportion of the governing body, they won't be able to inflict any damage.
    Isnt this supposed to be an IMPROVEMENT over our current system, not just replacing one broke with another?
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  2. #32
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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite View Post
    How do you plan to keep them safe from corruption? If you get anyone and everyone up there, there are plenty of people who would happily take a small bribe for something they didnt see as very important. $50,000 means a lot to someone making $20,000 a year. As a business, if I want to bribe someone, I dont have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a campaign contribution that could be traced back to me. I only have to fork over a couple thousand or some free stuff every now and then to people who are gullible and unfamiliar with how politics is done.
    If I'm hearing you correctly, this argument basically boils down to "We need to be governed by wealthy people, because it will be more expensive to bribe them." I don't think that corruption has much correlation to income. There are poor people who pass bad checks and wealthy CEOs who steal from their shareholders. There are also poor people who volunteer at their churches and wealthy philanthropists who give millions to charity.

    At any rate, I'm not suggesting that we only pay these people $20,000 per year. We can pay them as much or more than we currently pay our officials, if you're worried about corruption.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Im saying out SOCIETY brings out the worst in individuals and all you're proposing is shuffling the cards a bit faster, I dont see a benefit.
    I really don't understand what you mean by "society brings out the worst in individuals." That's too vague for me to respond to. As for shuffling the cards a bit faster, as I've stated the benefits are: 1) No entrenched incumbents, 2) No politicians worrying about reelection instead of the future of their constituents, 3) No time to form a culture of corruption.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Im sorry, have you taken a look around here recently?
    Where is here? This message board? I'm suggesting a random sampling of the voters, not of the people who frequent a political message board. Or do you mean the United States as a whole? If so, I'm not seeing this partisan animosity anywhere aside from political pundits on television or radio, and of course our current Congress.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Except what one person feels is right and what is the best choice is not always the same thing.
    No system of governance can get people to always choose the best choice. This would at least eliminate one prime obstacle to that goal: Doing what will get them reelected instead of what they believe is correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    What do you do if you get a Neo-Nazi in this committee or a radical Communist?
    You outvote them every time they propose a silly law, 99-1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    The entire track would be the group infighting with everyone struggling to do what they thought was right in spite of what others thought. Most everyone thinks THEY are right and everyone else "just doesnt get it".
    I disagree. The average person is NOT a political pundit. Most people don't have rigid political principles to which they strictly adhere and will not compromise under any circumstances. As for group infighting...there SHOULD be some of that. In a random sample, you'd have some liberals and some conservatives. That's OK. The point is that whatever the majority of the population wanted would probably be pretty close to what the majority of the random sample wanted too. Or more accurately, whatever the majority of the population WOULD want if they were well-informed about the issues, would be pretty close to what the majority of the random sample wanted too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    But just long enough to be bought. And I submit it would be MUCH easier to buy them.
    Again, I don't see any evidence that the poor are more corrupt than the rich. They're more likely to go to prison, for sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're more corrupt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Except then you run into problems with partisan drawing of lines within the group on ideological grounds
    I'm not sure what you're referring to here. Are you saying that the majority of average Democrats wouldn't compromise with the majority of average Republicans, or vice versa? I strongly disagree. For most people (even those of different political parties), there are a LOT of issues where they agree or at least can find some common ground.

    What you are describing is actually what happens under the CURRENT system, where you have a partisan drawing of lines. In the US Senate, for example, the most liberal Republicans are far to the right of the most conservative Democrats. That is simply not the case for average people, where you have a lot of middle ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    AND you push other people from other ideologies out who might have good ideas.
    You mean minor parties? Well, they shouldn't have much of a say until they can convince more people that they are correct. When they convince more people that their policy prescriptions are good ideas, that would be reflected in the random sampling.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Im saying people will scream at another person over the wrong flavor of coffee, tolerance and patience is not a trait humanity is renowned for.
    Do people called upon for jury duty routinely vote to convict people who they think are innocent, just to **** with them? If an average person saw someone having a heart attack, would they try to help or would they just point and laugh? There are things that people do well, and things that they don't. I completely disagree with your assessment. Most people want to do things well when the situation calls for it. If they can help others in the process, they feel good about it. Most people have no desire to scream at others and stonewall a process to help other people, just because they can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Even more of a reason NOT to give them the reins. Do you want the pilot of your aircraft to be ambivalent towards landing safely or operating the plane?
    The people called upon for this service would still have access to experts, of whom they could ask questions. Furthermore, I wouldn't be opposed to allowing people NOT to serve if they really didn't want to, similar to jury duty in some places.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Except the problem is that the chances of your random sample being complete idiots goes up the bigger your sample is.
    Huh? Why? The chance would be exactly the same as long as you're still drawing from the same population.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    I dont go to the cute girl at the grocery store for foreign policy tips and I dont talk to my Congressman about his thoughts regarding the viability of PC gaming into the future. I dont do this because these people are not equipped to handle that sort of discussion.
    What if the girl at the grocery store had several months to study foreign policy with access to any experts she wanted? Or what if your congressman was briefed by his staff on a daily basis about the PC gaming industry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    People who are un-educated or under-educated should not be making decisions regarding policy. The Socialist in me cringes to think that I would advocate that certain people be kept away from the political process...but this is not a video game where anyone can pick it up after a few minutes of screwing around with it and if you completely suck, it's ok, you still had fun.
    Hey I'm as elitist as they come, but this is a far separate matter than a direct democracy, where the average voter votes for some random stupid policy that cripples their state (like requiring a supermajority to raise taxes in California). This isn't at all the same thing. If you educated them about the issues and allowed them to ask questions, they'd be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Again, someone can become corrupt in the time it takes to write a check and people will still form grudges based on ideological differences. It happens on here all the time, we ALL engage in it.
    Corruption has nothing to do with your level of income (which, in any case, I am not proposing we change for public offices). There might be some ideological grudges, but they wouldn't be long-lasting since people would be gone after two years, and they wouldn't be common since most people simply don't care as much about politics as people on this message board do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Isnt this supposed to be an IMPROVEMENT over our current system, not just replacing one broke with another?
    If it improves some aspects of our current system while making other aspects no worse, that IS an improvement. It doesn't make any sense to criticize this system for a flaw that also applies to the current system, when the goal of this new system is not to solve that particular problem anyway. No system of governance is perfect; the point is that this one is a lot better.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 09-06-10 at 04:09 AM.
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  3. #33
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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    If I'm hearing you correctly, this argument basically boils down to "We need to be governed by wealthy people, because it will be more expensive to bribe them." I don't think that corruption has much correlation to income. There are poor people who pass bad checks and wealthy CEOs who steal from their shareholders. There are also poor people who volunteer at their churches and wealthy philanthropists who give millions to charity.
    I'm simply saying your contention that these people will be harder to corrupt is false and that they are in fact far easier to corrupt than your average politician.

    I really don't understand what you mean by "society brings out the worst in individuals." That's too vague for me to respond to.
    We have a society that rewards the sort of behavior you want to stop.

    As for shuffling the cards a bit faster, as I've stated the benefits are: 1) No entrenched incumbents, 2) No politicians worrying about reelection instead of the future of their constituents, 3) No time to form a culture of corruption.
    1 and 2 can be accomplished by simply putting term limits on existing offices, except them you get officials who look at their job as just "putting in their time" and they arent around long enough to actually do anything they care about.

    Number 3 has already been shown to be false.

    Where is here? This message board? I'm suggesting a random sampling of the voters, not of the people who frequent a political message board. Or do you mean the United States as a whole? If so, I'm not seeing this partisan animosity anywhere aside from political pundits on television or radio, and of course our current Congress.
    Go take a walk and grab a random stranger and ask them political questions. The vast majority of PEOPLE are usually partisan one direction or another.

    No system of governance can get people to always choose the best choice. This would at least eliminate one prime obstacle to that goal: Doing what will get them reelected instead of what they believe is correct.
    What gets people re-elected is results and stability. Throwing ten ideologues in a room and expecting anything other than bloodshed is wishful thinking.

    You outvote them every time they propose a silly law, 99-1.
    So it's majority rule? What do you do if the majority wants to do something wrong, say, start a system of concentration camps for Muslims? What power can over-ride them in that instance?

    I disagree. The average person is NOT a political pundit. Most people don't have rigid political principles to which they strictly adhere and will not compromise under any circumstances. As for group infighting...there SHOULD be some of that. In a random sample, you'd have some liberals and some conservatives. That's OK. The point is that whatever the majority of the population wanted would probably be pretty close to what the majority of the random sample wanted too. Or more accurately, whatever the majority of the population WOULD want if they were well-informed about the issues, would be pretty close to what the majority of the random sample wanted too.
    Bull, say Socialism to anyone on the street and try to convince them that Socialism really isnt what they probably think it is and see how far you get. People DO NOT like their ideas of the world screwed with, it's a fact of human psychology.

    Humans tend to ignore answers they dont like or just make up alternative explanations. See anti-vaccination idiots and the ACLJ.

    Again, I don't see any evidence that the poor are more corrupt than the rich. They're more likely to go to prison, for sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're more corrupt.
    I never said they were more corrupt. I said it's easier to bribe someone making minimum wage as opposed to someone who forgets how many houses they own.

    I'm not sure what you're referring to here. Are you saying that the majority of average Democrats wouldn't compromise with the majority of average Republicans, or vice versa? I strongly disagree. For most people (even those of different political parties), there are a LOT of issues where they agree or at least can find some common ground.
    Finding common ground in a discussion and agreeing on legislation for the entire country is quite a bit different.

    What you are describing is actually what happens under the CURRENT system, where you have a partisan drawing of lines. In the US Senate, for example, the most liberal Republicans are far to the right of the most conservative Democrats. That is simply not the case for average people, where you have a lot of middle ground.
    People are not this magically benevolent force in politics. Why do you seem to think that this entire system can be dragged back to center by people who can probably count the number of times they've voted in a lifetime on two hands?


    You mean minor parties? Well, they shouldn't have much of a say until they can convince more people that they are correct. When they convince more people that their policy prescriptions are good ideas, that would be reflected in the random sampling.
    It doesnt matter if you have the cure for cancer. If you are an outsider, you will probably be bullied into sitting down and shutting up. Try it, stick a Socialist in a room full of free-market people and have them all try to come up with solutions to fix the economy. Even if the Socialist comes up with a truly good idea, he will most likely be ignored simply because of the source of the idea.

    Do people called upon for jury duty routinely vote to convict people who they think are innocent, just to **** with them?
    Most people treat jury duty as a free pass off of work or a massive irritation. I think involuntary jury service is a BAD idea for that reason.

    There are things that people do well, and things that they don't. I completely disagree with your assessment. Most people want to do things well when the situation calls for it. If they can help others in the process, they feel good about it. Most people have no desire to scream at others and stonewall a process to help other people, just because they can.
    I'm not saying people have a desire for conflict, I'm saying people see themselves as right and dont really stop to consider other people's points of view. Why do you think people watch FOX? They WANT to see people that agree with them, they dont want to compromise, they dont want to negotiate. They see their solutions as the best, period.

    Maybe not everyone is this way, but enough are to cause serious problems for your system.

    The people called upon for this service would still have access to experts, of whom they could ask questions. Furthermore, I wouldn't be opposed to allowing people NOT to serve if they really didn't want to, similar to jury duty in some places.
    Then how do you ensure that the experts arent misleading the panel? And if experts are the key, why not make experts available to politicians today?

    Huh? Why? The chance would be exactly the same as long as you're still drawing from the same population.
    My point is that the vast majority of people are idiots.

    What if the girl at the grocery store had several months to study foreign policy with access to any experts she wanted? Or what if your congressman was briefed by his staff on a daily basis about the PC gaming industry?
    Then my view would be different, but that isnt what you're talking about. You're talking about picking random people who may or may not give a crap about what they're doing and who, more likely than not, haven't the faintest clue where to start. On top of many of them probably being partisan enough to cause headaches for everyone else.

    Hey I'm as elitist as they come, but this is a far separate matter than a direct democracy, where the average voter votes for some random stupid policy that cripples their state (like requiring a supermajority to raise taxes in California). This isn't at all the same thing. If you educated them about the issues and allowed them to ask questions, they'd be fine.
    I agree, but this is not a society where that is encouraged. Confirmation biases get handed to you almost when you're born like door prizes. Cooperation and teamwork are only buzzwords when they make someone with a bigger office than you piles of money. We are NOT socially conditioned to work together and expecting twenty or fifty or a hundred random strangers to do so, even with access to any information they want, while giving them control over a country of 30+ million people is a step short of insane.

    Corruption has nothing to do with your level of income (which, in any case, I am not proposing we change for public offices).
    Yes! Yes it does! When money doesn't mean as much to you then you're a lot less likely to take it when someone waves it in your face.

    There might be some ideological grudges, but they wouldn't be long-lasting since people would be gone after two years, and they wouldn't be common since most people simply don't care as much about politics as people on this message board do.
    So you'll end up with people who are either too disinterested in politics to care about the choices they make or with people who will let partisan politics get in the way.

    If it improves some aspects of our current system while making other aspects no worse, that IS an improvement. It doesn't make any sense to criticize this system for a flaw that also applies to the current system, when the goal of this new system is not to solve that particular problem anyway. No system of governance is perfect; the point is that this one is a lot better.
    No it isnt better, it's handing power off to people who generally dont care or cant see the big picture past their own politics.


    If you're really fired up to have this kind of democracy, then why not select from people who ARE the experts. Have a pool of volunteers and form groups that include a cross section of experts from as many disciplines as you can get. Skip the middle-burger-flipper-man and use the experts themselves.
    I'm Done

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  4. #34
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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite View Post
    I'm simply saying your contention that these people will be harder to corrupt is false and that they are in fact far easier to corrupt than your average politician.
    I have absolutely no idea what makes you believe that. There isn't any evidence that suggests regular people are more likely to take bribes than wealthy people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    1 and 2 can be accomplished by simply putting term limits on existing offices, except them you get officials who look at their job as just "putting in their time" and they arent around long enough to actually do anything they care about.
    Term limits would be an improvement as well. However, this would be better because with term limits you'd still have professional politicians with partisan grudges. It would be better than we have now, but still not as good as a deliberative democracy ruled by a random sample of people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Number 3 has already been shown to be false.
    Just saying it and offering no substantiation doesn't mean you've "shown it to be false."

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Go take a walk and grab a random stranger and ask them political questions. The vast majority of PEOPLE are usually partisan one direction or another.
    No. They aren't. Most people (if they have any political opinions at all) have opinions like these: "I'm pro-choice" or "Obama should do more to help the economy." That is FAR more common than "I'm opposed to cap-and-trade because of X, Y, and Z."

    If you really think that the average person is a rabid partisan that would preclude compromise (or even has firm preexisting political convictions), I suggest you spend more time off this message board.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    What gets people re-elected is results and stability. Throwing ten ideologues in a room and expecting anything other than bloodshed is wishful thinking.
    The idea that a random sample of the population would produce mostly bloodthirsty ideologues is, frankly, ridiculous. It would be representative of a population which is not particularly ideological. There are far more ideologues in Congress today. See: Demint, Jim. Franken, Al.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    So it's majority rule? What do you do if the majority wants to do something wrong, say, start a system of concentration camps for Muslims? What power can over-ride them in that instance?
    The Constitution.

    Do you think that the majority of people want something like that? Because if they do, they can elect representatives who favor that. If you'd care to critique this system of governance, I suggest you limit yourself to criticisms that don't ALSO apply just as much or more to the current system of governance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Bull, say Socialism to anyone on the street and try to convince them that Socialism really isnt what they probably think it is and see how far you get. People DO NOT like their ideas of the world screwed with, it's a fact of human psychology.
    Legislation isn't "We hereby vote to implement socialism." There are actual POLICIES that go into legislation. If the majority of the people favor a particular policy, so will a random sample of the population (assuming the experts don't talk them out of it).

    Your rant about socialism sounds to me like what you actually dislike is that this system won't make everyone suddenly agree with you on the issues. No system of government (other than a dictatorship) can fix that problem. You have to convince people that your views are correct just like everyone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Humans tend to ignore answers they dont like or just make up alternative explanations. See anti-vaccination idiots and the ACLJ.
    They aren't anywhere close to a majority of the population.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    I never said they were more corrupt. I said it's easier to bribe someone making minimum wage as opposed to someone who forgets how many houses they own.
    And I said that there isn't a shred of empirical evidence to support that. Every social experiment I've ever seen on corruption has concluded that there is either no relationship between dishonesty and income, or that wealthy people are actually MORE likely to be dishonest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Finding common ground in a discussion and agreeing on legislation for the entire country is quite a bit different.
    Only if you have "professional" politicians who are deeply entrenched and want to make sure they get their own. Furthermore, this system need not be applied nationwide. It would be better to start it out at a state or local level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    People are not this magically benevolent force in politics.

    And career politicians are not Jesus incarnate. Now did you actually want to discuss the topic, or shall we just make asinine straw men comments henceforth? I already explained to you the ways in which a random sampling of the population would be better than the current system, and none of them had anything to do with people being a magically benevolent force.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Why do you seem to think that this entire system can be dragged back to center by people who can probably count the number of times they've voted in a lifetime on two hands?
    You are the only one who keeps bringing up specific political ideologies. I have no idea if a random sampling of the population would produce anything that we would describe as "center" under the current political system. What I do know is that it would produce something that was well-informed, nonpartisan, and representative of the population as a whole. You can't ask for much more than that from a governing system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    It doesnt matter if you have the cure for cancer. If you are an outsider, you will probably be bullied into sitting down and shutting up. Try it, stick a Socialist in a room full of free-market people and have them all try to come up with solutions to fix the economy. Even if the Socialist comes up with a truly good idea, he will most likely be ignored simply because of the source of the idea.
    And there is that veiled criticism again: "This system of governance is bad because it won't make everyone agree with MY political ideology." If you're the only socialist in a random sample of the population, it's probably because socialism isn't a very prevalent ideology amongst the population. That doesn't mean you're right or wrong, it just means that your ideas have to endure the same scrutiny as everyone else's. Convince others to adopt your ideas and they will be reflected in the random sample of the population.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    I'm not saying people have a desire for conflict, I'm saying people see themselves as right and dont really stop to consider other people's points of view. Why do you think people watch FOX? They WANT to see people that agree with them, they dont want to compromise, they dont want to negotiate. They see their solutions as the best, period.
    I'm looking at last Thursday's television ratings. All of the shows on FOX combined had about 13 million views (and that's assuming that there aren't any repeat viewers), or about 4% of the US population at most. When you factor in the repeat viewers, it's probably more like 4 or 5 million. And a lot of them are probably just casual viewers watching "the news," not rabid ideologues. So your example applies to maybe 1% of the population.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Maybe not everyone is this way, but enough are to cause serious problems for your system.
    How many people do you think fall into this category? Let's look at the numbers. Only 57% even turned out for the last presidential election. Now let's estimate that two-thirds of them knew which party they'd be voting for regardless of the candidates/issues (roughly 40% of the population). Now let's assume that of those partisans, fully HALF of them are rabid nutcases unwilling to compromise with the opposing party on anything. Even with these incredibly dim assumptions of humanity, that's still only 20% of the population. The sane 80% of the random sample could just ignore them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Then how do you ensure that the experts arent misleading the panel?
    By giving them access to any experts they wanted, especially experts with opposing points of view.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    And if experts are the key, why not make experts available to politicians today?
    We already do. Politicians just ignore them, because they either think they know better, or they just want to get reelected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    My point is that the vast majority of people are idiots.
    You'll get no argument from me there; most people are horribly uninformed and shouldn't be voting. But that's just because they haven't been educated on political issues. This is understandable; most political issues don't affect their day-to-day lives and their individual vote counts for very little, so for many people it simply isn't worth the time investment to learn about politics and form in-depth opinions. But if you take 100 of those same people and give them the power to actually make decisions, suddenly it's worth their time to learn about it. If you give them access to the experts, they'll be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Then my view would be different, but that isnt what you're talking about. You're talking about picking random people who may or may not give a crap about what they're doing and who, more likely than not, haven't the faintest clue where to start.
    No. I'm not. As I've already mentioned, I'm talking about giving them access to experts on the issues, and making it very clear to them how the legislative process works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    On top of many of them probably being partisan enough to cause headaches for everyone else.
    Your view that the average American is more partisan than the average elected official is ridiculous. Do you really believe that the average voters are clamoring for more partisanship from Congress?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    I agree, but this is not a society where that is encouraged. Confirmation biases get handed to you almost when you're born like door prizes. Cooperation and teamwork are only buzzwords when they make someone with a bigger office than you piles of money. We are NOT socially conditioned to work together and expecting twenty or fifty or a hundred random strangers to do so, even with access to any information they want, while giving them control over a country of 30+ million people is a step short of insane.
    Sounds to me like you are projecting your own flaws onto everyone else. Most people, when thrown into a room together and told to solve a problem, will give it their best shot and WILL work together. And if they can help others, they'll feel very proud.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    Yes! Yes it does! When money doesn't mean as much to you then you're a lot less likely to take it when someone waves it in your face.
    That's a wonderful theory, but there is no empirical evidence to support it. The poor and middle-class are no more likely to be dishonest than the rich. In any case, I'm not talking about paying our officials minimum wage or anything close to it, so this whole line of thought is a moot point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    So you'll end up with people who are either too disinterested in politics to care about the choices they make
    Most people are disinterested only because they don't have any power, so there isn't really any benefit to caring. If they were actually in charge, they'd suddenly care a lot more. And if they really just didn't give a damn, they wouldn't be under any obligation to serve.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    or with people who will let partisan politics get in the way.
    Your contention that the average person is a foaming-at-the-mouth partisan (but the average member of our current Congress is not) is silly, no matter how many times you repeat it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    No it isnt better, it's handing power off to people who generally dont care or cant see the big picture past their own politics.
    That's a fairly accurate description of our current Congress, and is pretty much exactly the opposite of this system. You'd get people who were motivated to do a good deed for the public rather than motivated by reelection, who came in with few ideological bones to pick, and had access to all the information they needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplite
    If you're really fired up to have this kind of democracy, then why not select from people who ARE the experts. Have a pool of volunteers and form groups that include a cross section of experts from as many disciplines as you can get. Skip the middle-burger-flipper-man and use the experts themselves.
    I have no problem with a technocracy other than it isn't representative of the public and has no checks to prevent corruption. Experts can become well-entrenched and corrupt just like our incumbent Congress.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 09-06-10 at 07:18 AM.
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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
    Put term limits on Supreme Court Justices.
    I'm very much against term limits on the Supreme Court. I like that the Justices has the autonomy to make their rulings. If you put a term on the tenure of the Supreme Court, Justices will be more likely to make biased rulings that they can then profit from after their term is over. By having a lifetime term, there is less of a chance for corruption.

    However, I would agree that we need much more scrutiny when it comes to their appointments.

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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Check out this article in TIME Magazine. James Fishkin suggests a good model for governance: Choose a representative sample of the population, and have them serve as the government. This has been implemented in many localities in several countries...but the greatest success of this form of democracy comes from China, of all places. The coastal district Zeguo governs itself in precisely this manner, by picking a random sampling of its citizens, teaching them about the issues, allowing them to ask questions of experts, and then having them decide on their own.

    I really like this idea. I think it would solve a lot of problems with gridlock, incumbency, and partisanship...while also preserving most of the reasons we have democracy in the first place: To accurately represent public opinion, and to prevent abuses of power and corruption.

    What do you think of this idea? What flaws (if any) do you foresee in a system like this?

    How Can a Democracy Solve Tough Problems? - TIME
    I really like that idea.

    I can liken it to jury duty. I think most attorneys/judges/the public-at-large have great respect for juries. Something happens to most people when they serve on a jury. They become elevated, if you will...determined to make the right decision...somber in their deliberations. I think the same thing would happen to people selected at random to serve on a Democratic Governing Board.

    One could keep everything just as it is -- just have the Senate and House of Representatives filled by random selection. Let's start right away.
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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    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.

    Early voting.
    Universal absentee voting
    Motor voter registration.
    Opposing any and all efforts to demand verification of citizenship of prospective registered voters.
    Opposing any and all efforts to demand the presentation of lawful ID at the polls.
    Opposition to basic literacy requirements.

    ANYTHING and EVERYTHING the Democrats can do to corrupt elections, they've been doing.

    Yes, I'm FULLY aware of the problems with the American electoral process.
    The best part is that, thanks to the Help Americans Vote Act (brought to you by Bush), all of that is completely irrelevant.

    Now our elections can be hacked, with zero traceability.

    Who needs voter fraud when you can invent results out of whole cloth?
    I'm already gearing up for Finger Vote 2014.

    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    What do you think of this idea? What flaws (if any) do you foresee in a system like this?
    I think it's a great idea. I forsee two fundamental difficulties:

    1) The selection process -- how do you select a representative sample that is both accurate and tamper-resistant?

    2) Level of education -- Let's face it, our educational system sucks, if we randomly pick our representatives those chickens will be coming home to roost in a big big way.
    I'm already gearing up for Finger Vote 2014.

    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalEvilDan View Post
    I think it's a great idea. I forsee two fundamental difficulties:

    1) The selection process -- how do you select a representative sample that is both accurate and tamper-resistant?

    2) Level of education -- Let's face it, our educational system sucks, if we randomly pick our representatives those chickens will be coming home to roost in a big big way.
    #1 -- A representative sample, by its very nature, is going to take care of #2. No educational requirements needed.

    As to Tamper-resistant, we don't have that now. It could only be better if the selection process is arbitrary like the jury system.
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    Re: Deliberative Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    #1 -- A representative sample, by its very nature, is going to take care of #2. No educational requirements needed.
    I'm not saying we need to have an educational requirement, I'm saying that a representative sample will, by definition, have an awful lot of people with a sub-par education in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    As to Tamper-resistant, we don't have that now. It could only be better if the selection process is arbitrary like the jury system.
    I agree. My concern is that if we're going to replace our current system, which is vulnerable to remote automated hacks, with a system which relies on random selection, we'd need a random selection process that we could be reasonably certain would be more secure than what we have now.
    I'm already gearing up for Finger Vote 2014.

    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

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