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Old 3rd-October-2016, 02:07 PM   #1
Cognisant
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Default How to fix a Democracy

I've not been following the "2016 Presidential Race" so excuse me if I'm repeating a point that someone's already made but I've had an epiphany, I think I've figured out what we need to do to fix the electoral process, not just in the US but for democracies around the world.

Shoot Rupert Murdoch,
Well ok that's not exactly the epiphany I've had but it would help.

No the problem is the media, specifically opinion polling, the key to a successful electoral process is that it is anonymous. This isn't just to protect you from a potentially fascist regime it's also vital for ensuring that all candidates start on a level playing field, when the media release their opinion polls they are directly affecting the outcome of the election.

This is why democracies around the world have been reduced to two major parties, of which we often support neither, and yet we feel compelled to choose the lesser evil because voting for a third party is seen to be a wasted vote.
But why is this?

It's because our votes are being affected by the hypothetical knowledge of the other votes, if everyone kept their vote secret then as far as anyone knows any party could win and in that situation that is the case, any party could actually win. Politicians could no longer say "vote for me because I'm the lesser evil" rather they would be forced to campaign own merits & policies and do so HONESTLY because there's no opinion polls to appease.

The whole problem is like the Prisoner's Dilemma or the Tragedy of the Commons in that by trying to outsmart each other (make the most of our vote to get the policies we want) we're ending up with a result that benefits nobody, but we can't help ourselves because in the current meta voting third party really is a wasted vote.
Because the media have hijacked the electoral system.

NEVER tell anyone who you're going to vote for, if you want to discuss politics discuss policies and let each person decide their vote for themselves.

If anyone asks you who you're going to vote for explain this to them, or if they're from the media...
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Old 3rd-October-2016, 02:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

So true, that and unequal media exposure for certain candidates.
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Old 3rd-October-2016, 02:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

The media isn't the problem. If candidates are strong enough they should be able to transcend the media.

The Chinese are critical about democracy in the way that it's a 'circus of showmanship'. They aren't wrong, but democracy lets out the steam unlike any other political structure ever envisioned.

I would surmise Australian politics is vastly different from American politics in that it's enduring a blessed reign of uninterrupted economic prosperity. Once that prosperity fades, the multiparty system will be a hindrance, not an aid.

America doesn't have that sort of convenience at the moment.
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Old 3rd-October-2016, 04:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

I personally believe that the media should not be allowed to be share their fucking biased opinion on the news and such, if the media brings up politics; they would have to have both sides of the situation/debate instead of one side, typically the side the reporter supports. (for example: if Hillary brings up 'Ban guns!' the media would have to say Trumps view too.)
Sorry if its not a logical response.
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Old 3rd-October-2016, 05:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

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So true, that and unequal media exposure for certain candidates.
And the type of media exposure is different too.
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Old 3rd-October-2016, 09:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

Quote:
The media isn't the problem. If candidates are strong enough they should be able to transcend the media.
That's so stupid I don't know how to refute it, it's like if someone slapped me with a fish and declared the sky is purple with green stripes, it's so far gone from reality I don't know where to begin.

Quote:
I would surmise Australian politics is vastly different from American politics in that it's enduring a blessed reign of uninterrupted economic prosperity. Once that prosperity fades, the multiparty system will be a hindrance, not an aid.

America doesn't have that sort of convenience at the moment.
First of all we have two major parties so we have the same problem and it is a problem, second prosperity has nothing to do with it, third even if it did matter the USA is the world's wealthiest nation so you're wrong and finally what do you mean by convenience.

...

Am I being trolled? I feel like I've been baited.
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Old 3rd-October-2016, 09:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

I would argue that we Americans are experiencing in slow motion and less severity what China went through during the Cultural Revolution, onesteptwostep. There is spiritual loss in our hearts, and we are turning against our neighbors.

I consider the more spiritual aspects of the Alt Right to be analogous to the Tuidang Movement in China.
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Old 4th-October-2016, 01:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

The media plays a role but not quite in that way. Rupert Murdoch created Fox News because at the time the left had a stranglehold on all media and news. There was an enormous, untapped market of people who hate the left and their stranglehold on the news.

I know this as I grew up in a dump from the late 70s to the early 90s. The media was and remains absolutely silent about the atrocities that go on in their incubator social projects. They refuse to even acknowledge the problem while riots go on, gang assaults continue, murders rampant and drug abuse skyrockets. To admit the problem means to own it and they'll never own their failures until we force them to own it. They'll turn the narrative of a violent animal attacking a cop on its head. Why? Because to acknowledge the problem is to own it.

The left still controls too big a market share on news and that is why I love seeing Fox News do so well. Fuck the left and the left-leaning media. The internet has played as big a role as Fox in giving the unheard a voice.

tl;dr: There is nothing wrong with having more media choice. If you don't like Fox watch something else.
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Old 4th-October-2016, 02:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cognisant View Post
I've not been following the "2016 Presidential Race" so excuse me if I'm repeating a point that someone's already made but I've had an epiphany, I think I've figured out what we need to do to fix the electoral process, not just in the US but for democracies around the world.

Shoot Rupert Murdoch
Lol, when I opened this thread I was simultaneously thinking what I would do, guess what my first thought was?!


Quote:
Well ok that's not exactly the epiphany I've had but it would help.

No the problem is the media, specifically opinion polling, the key to a successful electoral process is that it is anonymous. This isn't just to protect you from a potentially fascist regime it's also vital for ensuring that all candidates start on a level playing field, when the media release their opinion polls they are directly affecting the outcome of the election.

This is why democracies around the world have been reduced to two major parties, of which we often support neither, and yet we feel compelled to choose the lesser evil because voting for a third party is seen to be a wasted vote.
But why is this?

It's because our votes are being affected by the hypothetical knowledge of the other votes, if everyone kept their vote secret then as far as anyone knows any party could win and in that situation that is the case, any party could actually win. Politicians could no longer say "vote for me because I'm the lesser evil" rather they would be forced to campaign own merits & policies and do so HONESTLY because there's no opinion polls to appease.

The whole problem is like the Prisoner's Dilemma or the Tragedy of the Commons in that by trying to outsmart each other (make the most of our vote to get the policies we want) we're ending up with a result that benefits nobody, but we can't help ourselves because in the current meta voting third party really is a wasted vote.
Because the media have hijacked the electoral system.

NEVER tell anyone who you're going to vote for, if you want to discuss politics discuss policies and let each person decide their vote for themselves.

If anyone asks you who you're going to vote for explain this to them, or if they're from the media...
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Old 4th-October-2016, 02:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

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Originally Posted by Cognisant View Post
That's so stupid I don't know how to refute it, it's like if someone slapped me with a fish and declared the sky is purple with green stripes, it's so far gone from reality I don't know where to begin.
The complexity of media is just a natural consequence of democracy. If you have free speech, there will be rules on speech many ways to usurp speech within that sort of parameter. Australia has a population two third of California- the issues and the media landscape isn't as complex.

Quote:
First of all we have two major parties so we have the same problem and it is a problem, second prosperity has nothing to do with it, third even if it did matter the USA is the world's wealthiest nation so you're wrong and finally what do you mean by convenience.
Two major parties and around a dozen minor ones iirc. It's much different than American politics. From what I know, the cities in Australia are too far apart to have a cohesive political unity within the major parties, hence the growth of minor ones.

Prosperity has lot to do with it. If the economy starts to feel a pinch and as a result society takes a bad turn, and if the majority parties aren't able to exert power due to the minor parties which have already entrenched themselves, legislation as a consequence would be harder to pass. As time passes the minor parties would consolidate into one of the major parties, but during that phase a lot of damage and frustration would be felt.

The US is wealthy but there's a huge income disparity. People aren't marginally well off like in Australia where they have that sort of leisure of picking a pointless third party presidential candidate.
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Old 4th-October-2016, 10:10 AM   #11
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

Quote:
Australia has a population two third of California- the issues and the media landscape isn't as complex.
I could illustrate the principles of my argument with a few dozen people, stop trying to dismiss me.

Quote:
Prosperity has lot to do with it. If the economy starts to feel a pinch and as a result society takes a bad turn, and if the majority parties aren't able to exert power due to the minor parties which have already entrenched themselves, legislation as a consequence would be harder to pass. As time passes the minor parties would consolidate into one of the major parties, but during that phase a lot of damage and frustration would be felt.
Well this is a step in the right direction, thank you for trying to reason with me.

However there's been plenty of occasions where two major parties have come to a stalemate and blocked each others legislation, often out of sheer obstinance. In fact I'd argue that having two major parties results in far more legislation blocking than would occur between a number of smaller parties. Because to block legislation these smaller parties would have to cooperate which in effect means they're acting as one major party.

Furthermore when there are many smaller parties who by their nature of being separate parties are not always going to align being obstinate just makes enemies and alienates potential allies. The party that succeeds in such an environment isn't the one with the best smear campaign or who best blocks opposed legislation but rather the party that is most capable of cooperating with other political parties.

Quote:
The US is wealthy but there's a huge income disparity. People aren't marginally well off like in Australia where they have that sort of leisure of picking a pointless third party presidential candidate.
Your polarized political system is to blame for your wealth disparity, you're incapable of voting in politicians that can rectify this disparity because the two candidates your media has forced you to choose from are both wealthy snobs who couldn't care less about the average American.
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Old 4th-October-2016, 10:37 AM   #12
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by onesteptwostep View Post
The media isn't the problem. If candidates are strong enough they should be able to transcend the media.

The Chinese are critical about democracy in the way that it's a 'circus of showmanship'. They aren't wrong, but democracy lets out the steam unlike any other political structure ever envisioned.

I would surmise Australian politics is vastly different from American politics in that it's enduring a blessed reign of uninterrupted economic prosperity. Once that prosperity fades, the multiparty system will be a hindrance, not an aid.

America doesn't have that sort of convenience at the moment.
How do you even breathe?

Ontopic: good points actually Cog. I would have said that the problem is more that majority of media outlets are owned by the same person (Murdoch) and that a variety of independent outlets would work just fine, but that's even more infeasible than expecting to ban opinion polls.
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Old 4th-October-2016, 10:50 AM   #13
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

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Originally Posted by Cognisant View Post
I could illustrate the principles of my argument with a few dozen people, stop trying to dismiss me.
Yes, and like I said the formula is different as populations rise- as with other factors, like the complexity of the media, that are related to population. You could explain the principle, but sometimes principles break down when you apply them to different natures. Physics is a good example of this, you have different physical laws for smaller masses and have a different set of laws for bigger ones, like for stars. Same with political philosophies.

Quote:
Well this is a step in the right direction, thank you for trying to reason with me.

However there's been plenty of occasions where two major parties have come to a stalemate and blocked each others legislation, often out of sheer obstinance. In fact I'd argue that having two major parties results in far more legislation blocking than would occur between a number of smaller parties. Because to block legislation these smaller parties would have to cooperate which in effect means they're acting as one major party.

Furthermore when there are many smaller parties who by their nature of being separate parties are not always going to align being obstinate just makes enemies and alienates potential allies. The party that succeeds in such an environment isn't the one with the best smear campaign or who best blocks opposed legislation but rather the party that is most capable of cooperating with other political parties.
You just proved my point. They cooperate to block legislation, not to pass them. When you have one party have control of the legislature, the easier it is to pass a bill.

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Your polarized political system is to blame for your wealth disparity, you're incapable of voting in politicians that can rectify this disparity because the two candidates your media has forced you to choose from are both wealthy snobs who couldn't care less about the average American.
First off I'm not American. Secondly I do agree that polarization did play a part in it, but I'd argue that the disparity is mainly due to the removing of certain legislations. The damage has been done, so therefore now, it is NOT in the interest of the people to vote third party- one needs to elect someone who espouses to level the playing field and rewind that. Both parties in the US seems to say they'll do this, (but they seem to have different methods at the moment).

You really can't blame the media- they're just a natural consequence. You could crack down on the ones that are explicitly wrong or hateful, but I think that's as far as you can go.

Going back to the OP I don't think lessening the propagation of polls is possible by any means. I mean what kind of legal argument can you make against it that would make that feasible? Is asking 1,000 people for an opinion a wrong thing to do?
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Old 4th-October-2016, 01:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

Quote:
Yes, and like I said the formula is different as populations rise- as with other factors, like the complexity of the media, that are related to population. You could explain the principle, but sometimes principles break down when you apply them to different natures.
By all means if you have a better theory then educate me, skepticism is all well and good but with nothing to back it up it's only so much posturing.

Quote:
You just proved my point. They cooperate to block legislation, not to pass them. When you have one party have control of the legislature, the easier it is to pass a bill.
You're still assuming smaller parties will coordinate to block each other, such alliances are by their nature unstable. They only form when the majority agree that legislation must be stopped and for good reason. They will not coordinate to spite each other because in the long run to do so is just spiting themselves. If a majority of small parties band together to stop legislation being passed by a minority then what you have is the very definition of democracy, but what you're arguing for is fascism in the guise of democracy, or rather two fascist parties trying to trip each other up.

Quote:
First off I'm not American. Secondly I do agree that polarization did play a part in it, but I'd argue that the disparity is mainly due to the removing of certain legislations. The damage has been done, so therefore now, it is NOT in the interest of the people to vote third party- one needs to elect someone who espouses to level the playing field and rewind that. Both parties in the US seems to say they'll do this, (but they seem to have different methods at the moment).
What are these "certain legislations" you speak of?

Quote:
You really can't blame the media- they're just a natural consequence. You could crack down on the ones that are explicitly wrong or hateful, but I think that's as far as you can go.
I don't blame mold for growing in my shower but I don't tolerate it either.

Quote:
Going back to the OP I don't think lessening the propagation of polls is possible by any means. I mean what kind of legal argument can you make against it that would make that feasible? Is asking 1,000 people for an opinion a wrong thing to do?
I'd make it a cultural matter, declare opinion polling undemocratic and any media outlet that practices it an enemy of the public's best interests, getting small party politicians to support this shouldn't be difficult. Eventually the weight of public opinion will lean against the politicians and media outlets that defend opinion polling, both of whom are inherently interested in staying on the right side of public opinion, y'see we don't need a complete victory outright we just need to surpass that threshold and public opinion will swing the other way.
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Old 4th-October-2016, 02:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

There isn't a better theory, but it's theoretically the best theory. It's much better than what the PRC has where one coup can result in millions of deaths. And uh, others (can't really think up atm). That mold is something one has to endure because it's the only recourse one could take given all the historical results of other forms of governments.

but what you're arguing for is fascism in the guise of democracy, or rather two fascist parties trying to trip each other up.

Nope, fascism has a visible cult of personality. This reality which you've just outlined is exactly what the nature of democracy is.

What are these "certain legislations" you speak of?

Glass Steagall.

I'd make it a cultural matter, declare opinion polling undemocratic and any media outlet that practices it an enemy of the public's best interests, getting small party politicians to support this shouldn't be difficult. Eventually the weight of public opinion will lean against the politicians and media outlets that defend opinion polling, both of whom are inherently interested in staying on the right side of public opinion, y'see we don't need a complete victory outright we just need to surpass that threshold and public opinion will swing the other way.

So make polling an issue in itself? I'm not sure how we're going to get to that process without polls.

I agree with the sentiment but like I said, it's something you just have to endure. There are limits to humanity but I don't think the issue of polling is one of them.
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Old 4th-October-2016, 10:01 PM   #16
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

The media is only a fragment of the problem, though a major one for sure. The truly fundamental problem of contemporary democracies is the economic system. It is what allows the media to wield such power; money counts more than votes, those who have enough money can amplify their political messaging by many orders of magnitude than the average person. And the average person has generally few tools at his disposal to find out the truth on his own; a majority of their time must be spent working to survive the artificial dangers of homelessness, starvation and debt. Economic instability makes the average person focus most of their energy on their personal survival and with little desire, time, and energy to consider social-scale issues, fact check the media, to be creators rather than consumers, or cooperate in political organizations.

Because of the nature of the economic system, the media's focus is not the truth, merely selling views. Coupled with broken education systems, people are fed stupidity and they buy it up.

"Independent" media has had a resurgence with the internet because of the massive drop in the costs of mass information distribution, but the problem of economic disparities continues to exist: Big Media can basically spam the internet indefinitely (besides its presence in non-digital media) and drown out everyone else in their noise. Regurgitating garbage is also far less time intensive than investigative journalism; "independent" media is in perpetual economic struggle unlike Big Media.

Polls are pretty irrelevant; it is the idiocy of people believing in polls that is the issue.

Of course because of the fundamental issue of an economically unfair field is why there are normally campaign finance rules, but of course the justice systems meant to enforce such laws are subject to the same corrupting influence of money as anything else.

If you can control resources you can control knowledge, and thus people. Democracies are thus perpetually degrading into oligarchies.
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Old 4th-October-2016, 10:15 PM   #17
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And the average person has generally few tools at his disposal to find out the truth on his own; a majority of their time must be spent working to survive the artificial dangers of homelessness, starvation and debt.
I think there are the tools, people are just lazy. They don't want to research and the amount of information is staggering. I tried looking for a particular political speech line today and it was a nightmare... so... much... sorting... There's a lot of BS to weed through along with all of the information.



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If you can control resources you can control knowledge, and thus people. Democracies are thus perpetually degrading into oligarchies.
This.
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Old 5th-October-2016, 12:07 PM   #18
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

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Is asking 1,000 people for an opinion a wrong thing to do?
Asking 1,000 people for the same answer to a question, makes their answers somewhat random. People only know 150 people at the most. With so many people, no-one knows enough of the majority to know how they would vote.

So it's very much like if you tossed a coin 1,000 times. You'd expect that the heads and the tails would cancel each other out, leading to a 50/50 result, except for any biases in the coins and the way the coin is tossed.

In the same way, when we ask 1,000 people for their opinion, we are trying to make their answers random, so that their differences will cancel each other out, leaving only the biases. The truth that might be available to people will obviously affect their answers. So we expect that the truth would act like a bias, which is the basis of opinion polls and voting. Likewise, the best answer for the people as a whole, would also be a bias.

But the fact that the truth, and the best answer would act as biases, is the problem. This in turn means that the value of democracy rests in its ability to be pulled off track by bias.

So what happens when the voters are biased by the media, or by accusations of wrong-doing by their rivals? That too becomes a bias.

The issue is thus that we need biases in the system, but only those that will benefit our aims.

So it all depends on what your aims are.
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Old 5th-October-2016, 01:11 PM   #19
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

Give people more information.

All people 1) are anarchists at core 2) make choices based on available information. The issue is simply that the people have chosen to form a society with its current structure based on the information that was available to them.
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Old 6th-October-2016, 08:51 AM   #20
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

Instant runoff voting is a structural method for solving the "waste your vote" problem. One that the Democrats and Republicans have no reason to want. They prefer a duopoly.

Asking people to make pacts of secrecy isn't going to work and is naive. Many people wish to communicate their views. Also, people's ballots are already secret. Anybody who reveals how they vote, is doing so by choice.

Without media, people would be much worse informed than they already are. A climate of at least having news but apathy towards it, would be replaced by a climate of not even knowing what news is. Would you wait for town gossip to get to you? A war starts on the other side of the planet... how long do you think it would take you to find out, and what do you think the information would look like by the time it had passed orally through thousands of people? You wouldn't have any idea what's going on unless something happened in very close proximity to you.

Movements like Black Lives Matter wouldn't even exist. Anybody who profits from hiding information, would make out like a bandit.
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Old 6th-October-2016, 09:01 AM   #21
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

Hellow Stawman I'm Tinman how do you do?

I'm against political polling specifically as I think speculating upon the outcome of an election, particularly when that speculation comes from the nightly news, affects the outcome.

Quote:
Instant runoff voting is a structural method for solving the "waste your vote" problem.
A good suggestion.

Quote:
Asking people to make pacts of secrecy isn't going to work and is naive. Many people wish to communicate their views. Also, people's ballots are already secret. Anybody who reveals how they vote, is doing so by choice.
That's why this needs to be enforced by culture rather than law, and I agree there will always be those who declare who they're voting for but if the majority didn't I think that would make a difference.
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Old 6th-October-2016, 09:06 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Cognisant View Post
That's why this needs to be enforced by culture rather than law,
"Enforcing by culture" is merely attempting to persuade someone of your own opinion, vs. someone else doing the same with a different opinion. There is nothing special about what you propose, that would give it any kind of advantage in the marketplace of ideas. All you've really said so far is you don't like how people communicate. Here's an idea for you: get over it.

Wow, I've made 1k of posts! How odd to have noticed this.
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Old 6th-October-2016, 10:33 AM   #23
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

Oooh the apathy argument wow that's a rare one

So I shouldn't care, sharing my ideas is pointless, I should just give up accept things as they are... but hold on what's your stake in all this, why do you care?

Could it perhaps be that you like things the way the are, conceivably because you suspect that an electoral process unaffected by media induced biases would allow your preferred candidate and/or policies a chance?

Or you're just here because you're bored and wish to share your misery with the world in which case why don't you get over it?
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Old 6th-October-2016, 10:35 AM   #24
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

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Originally Posted by bvanevery View Post
"Enforcing by culture" is merely attempting to persuade someone of your own opinion, vs. someone else doing the same with a different opinion. There is nothing special about what you propose, that would give it any kind of advantage in the marketplace of ideas. All you've really said so far is you don't like how people communicate. Here's an idea for you: get over it.

Wow, I've made 1k of posts! How odd to have noticed this.
Yes because wanting people to communicate more openly and in ways that encourage more honest and open thinking and interaction is just shit and people should, "get over it".

Lmao so fucking stupid. Just wallow in worthless resignation and don't make any kind of effort to have some kind of improvement because, "get over it."
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Old 6th-October-2016, 04:54 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Cognisant View Post
Oooh the apathy argument wow that's a rare one
Let's back this truck up. I'm not making an apathy argument, I'm making a reality argument. You want people to agree to not communicate about their political views. But, people want to do it and are gonna do it. That's not apathy, that's people being involved in the political process. You aren't threatening to make it illegal for them to speak. You aren't holding a gun to their head. So, they're going to do what they want and ignore you. That's reality.

Get over it.

In the marketplace of ideas, lots of people think free speech is a good idea. What you're asking is for people to self-censor their speech. You've offered precious little in the way of tangible reason why they should. Only your own pet idea that things are going to be 'better' somehow if they do that. Well, people don't believe you! They think that expressing their own political views is beneficial to them. You want your voice in society to prevail, but they want their voice to prevail.

Really, the political strategy of expecting people to not speak is quite bizarre. You ask for people to have a taboo about uttering their political opinions. Why should they? And when have taboos actually made a better society anyways?
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Old 6th-October-2016, 11:35 PM   #26
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

I think they should discuss policies, the whole point of this is to take the discussion back to discussing what we're voting for rather than who. But I concede that simply explaining to people that discusing who they're going to vote for is not in their best interests isn’t going to motivate them to actually not do it.

Still preventing media outlets from specifically speculating on election outcomes is an achievable goal and that's more of a problem than people confiding in each other, though this would have to be enforced by law.
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Old 6th-October-2016, 11:42 PM   #27
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

It may not fix everything but at least it's a step in the right direction. People need to know who they're voting for and what their policies are but they do not need to know who everyone is voting for.

Indeed the media is hardly unbiased these days, what's to say speculating on the outcome of an election isn't a direct attempt to influence the outcome? What if Trump never really stood a chance but we've been sold the narrative that the election was between him and Hillary and perception created the reality...
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Old 7th-October-2016, 12:14 AM   #28
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But does it really make any difference if you think you know who you're voting for? I mean, once elected Prez, you don't really answer to anyone and can pull a 180, so it's still a game of playing for an audience.

On the other hand, if a majority of the population thought a President needed to go and they were all willing to put in the votes for it, maybe that could keep a President not only to their word, but keep them from making outlandish claims to get elected.
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Old 7th-October-2016, 12:42 AM   #29
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

I think OP is right about the game-theoretical idea that as we become aware of other people's choices, we become forced to consider alternatives that are bad simply to counteract out opposition.

The problem though, is that you would probably have to not only remove polls but in general silence all talk between people about politics. Polling is probably only a symptom of a more general phenomenon – the fact that everyone has an incentive to try to convince everyone else to join their vote. People then form bigger and bigger groups until there are only two large groups remaining.

So ultimately, how do you fix a democracy? You have to make everyone extremely independent thinkers and make them averse to group-mentality even if it means paying a price.

In other words, we are fucked.
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Old 7th-October-2016, 02:26 AM   #30
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

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But does it really make any difference if you think you know who you're voting for? I mean, once elected Prez, you don't really answer to anyone and can pull a 180, so it's still a game of playing for an audience
Contrary to popular ignorance the president does not have absolute power.
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Old 7th-October-2016, 06:30 AM   #31
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Contrary to popular ignorance the president does not have absolute power.
Yeah I know three branches of power. check and balances. you obviously don't care what I meant.
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Old 7th-October-2016, 07:37 AM   #32
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

Ok so you're saying a polarized voting public is required to vote a president out of power... has that ever happened?
Will that ever happen?
Who is the opposition in this scenario?
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Old 7th-October-2016, 08:52 AM   #33
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

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Originally Posted by Tannhauser View Post
I think OP is right about the game-theoretical idea that as we become aware of other people's choices, we become forced to consider alternatives that are bad simply to counteract out opposition.

The problem though, is that you would probably have to not only remove polls but in general silence all talk between people about politics. Polling is probably only a symptom of a more general phenomenon – the fact that everyone has an incentive to try to convince everyone else to join their vote. People then form bigger and bigger groups until there are only two large groups remaining.

So ultimately, how do you fix a democracy? You have to make everyone extremely independent thinkers and make them averse to group-mentality even if it means paying a price.

In other words, we are fucked.
If everyone kept their position to themselves and voted in silence, the winning candidates and ballots would be already decided before people even reach the polls. That's not democracy, that's a roll call.

Democracy is about convincing people, it's about the dialectical process towards compromise.

Instead of categorically rejecting political discussion there should be a demarcation of what's unacceptable, for example costly television advertisements that are practically only available to wealthy corporations.
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Old 7th-October-2016, 08:56 AM   #34
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If everyone kept their position to themselves and voted in silence, the winning candidates and ballots would be already decided before people even reach the polls. That's not democracy, that's a roll call.

Democracy is about convincing people, it's about the dialectical process towards compromise.

Instead of categorically rejecting political discussion there should be a demarcation of what's unacceptable, for example costly television advertisements that are practically only available to wealthy corporations.
Yes, and the way it currently works makes it more of a contest of who has the better marketing, not the better product.
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Old 7th-October-2016, 10:48 AM   #35
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Yes, and the way it currently works makes it more of a contest of who has the better marketing, not the better product.
It goes hand in hand with the anti intellectualism of American culture. I think for all the policies and practices that would need to be changed to fix our democracy it would effectively be a revolution.

But even then, what politics comes down to is working to improve/maintain your station. If the people are more concerned with "getting theirs" than working together, there is little hope of fixing anything.


Awhile ago I came acroos this amusing public access advertisement for a Canadian political party:

Spoiler:
" title="YouTube" target="_blank">YouTube


Although TV is on the decline a gov't run website that provides info on the various parties would be a good idea. Just need to get rid of first past the past the post system...
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Old 7th-October-2016, 11:01 AM   #36
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"Anti Intellectualism culture"

They got to the kids, are getting to the kids. That's how you subvert an entire nation.

What are they teaching in the schools near you?

Academia is being replaced by utter codswallop.

They don't want a society of thinkers, they want a society of worker drones & consumers.
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Old 8th-October-2016, 12:12 AM   #37
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Still preventing media outlets from specifically speculating on election outcomes is an achievable goal
Not in the USA. Seriously, if you were actually managing to implement such goals, we'd have to kill you. We've got this pesky thing called the Constitution. The First Amendment protects our speech and doesn't allow interference from the government. The Second Amendment is how we're going to protect ourselves from people who don't think the Constitution as it stands is a good idea.

You might consider exporting yourself as a mercenary to some Third World shithole to implement your experiment. I'll stick to the USA.

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Academia is being replaced by utter codswallop.
'Codswallop' is such a great word! I'm going to endeavor to find a use for it more often.

Anyways the non-codswallop version of this thread's chain of reasoning, would be to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
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Old 8th-October-2016, 12:34 AM   #38
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

So who are you voting for?
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Old 8th-October-2016, 01:21 AM   #39
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I am voting against Trump. He is an anti-Muslim bigot, doesn't have skills of diplomacy or self-restraint in how he speaks, and has no experience in foreign relations. This combo of negative traits, makes me think he will precipitate a serious catastrophe in the Middle East somehow. Something new, something more than just ISIS giving us problems. I'm not happy with what Obama, Hillary, and Kerry have been up to in the Middle East, but Trump is not the answer, he will make things substantially worse.
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Old 8th-October-2016, 08:47 PM   #40
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

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"Anti Intellectualism culture"

They got to the kids, are getting to the kids. That's how you subvert an entire nation.

What are they teaching in the schools near you?

Academia is being replaced by utter codswallop.

They don't want a society of thinkers, they want a society of worker drones & consumers.
Close. They want a society of pseudo-intellectuals, people who like to believe that they are thinkers, but are in truth little more than worker drones and consumers.

If they BELIEVE they think for themselves, but don't, they are more likely to accept the choices that they BELIEVE they are making for themselves, and so are more likely to accept what they are told. Makes them more docile and easier to control.
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Old 8th-October-2016, 09:00 PM   #41
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How do people verify that they "think for themselves?"
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Old 9th-October-2016, 10:52 AM   #42
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How do people verify that they "think for themselves?"
Trickily, because it's a self-recursive phenomenon.

But you can put it to the test, by starting to assume that you don't, and then looking for each case and trying to find a way to justify that you don't.

If you find a scenario where your views cannot be shoehorned into not thinking for yourself no matter how you try to do it without ending up with a contradiction somewhere, then on those points, you can't be not thinking for yourself.
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Old 10th-October-2016, 05:48 AM   #43
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Can you give a specific example of something where you discovered that you yourself, were not thinking for yourself? How did you prove it?
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Old 10th-October-2016, 05:58 AM   #44
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Can you give a specific example of something where you discovered that you yourself, were not thinking for yourself? How did you prove it?
The most profound for myself was with Ufology and thinking/ believing in the nuts and bolts extraterrestrial hypothesis.

I genuinely has a close encounter... It took me a few years, but I eventually discovered - for myself, that all that alien nonsense was just that, nonsense.

The truth was and is far more enigmatic... The alien line, was just somebody else's line .

And you can pooh pooh over the fact I believed that in the first place, but it's not like the natural sciences offered me any better conclusions...
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Old 10th-October-2016, 06:03 AM   #45
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I'm a little confused. What is a "close encounter", if you ultimately conclude it did not involve aliens? The terminology implies aliens. Wouldn't you need to call it something else? What would you call it now?
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Old 10th-October-2016, 06:30 AM   #46
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

I know Rome Republic wasn't a Democracy but Julius and Octavian had it right. We don't need more voices to white wash problems. We need one clear voice.
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Old 10th-October-2016, 06:38 AM   #47
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We need one clear voice.
Why?

Since I'm not currently electable, you're implying that The Leader won't be my voice. So why would I want his / her / its voice, as opposed to my own?

When considering 320 million people in the USA, it's clear that a good number of them think similarly to myself. That they're most interested in vocalizing their issues.

As we don't all agree, that implies plurality of political process. And thus, it won't be nice and neat.

What's so valuable about having a dictator who makes things more orderly? I don't see any inherent value to 'orderly' discourse. In fact, right now I'm reading a book about a Chinese woman who survived the purges of Mao's Cultural Revolution. She was imprisoned for 6.5 years on trumped up charges. Is that the kind of orderliness you're looking for? Why? And are you ok with being one of the ones imprisoned, to serve the 'need' for greater order?

I'm 'P'. I don't inherently need things to be orderly. What about you?
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Old 22nd-October-2016, 04:11 PM   #48
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Default Re: How to fix a Democracy

Well, let's take Capitalism. Capitalism wins and holds its market by free competition, at home and abroad. If Capitalism or elections are controlled, they have no value.
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Old 22nd-October-2016, 06:24 PM   #49
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History lesson for anyone who didn't know what I'm about to say (if the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it).

Freedom of speech and of the press was not spelled out in U.S. and other constitutions to insure fair and balanced news coverage. It was spelled out to protect political statements and manifestoes and weighted analysis of current events. It was done to avoid suppressing any particular opinions, and at the time it was done there were virtually no information-only periodicals, only partisan publications advocating for Whiggery, Federalism, etc.

"Fair and balanced" is a product of modern times, with two sources.

First, when newspapers began getting profitable for their own sake rather than for their value to partisans, they began growing and offering more than the ship arrivals and new merchandise of the early broadsheets. Merchants who wanted their goods publicized could pay to make sure it happened. People made money. Newspapers grew. Im the late 1800s and to this day, newspapers outgrew their markets - a small town could not support three dailies, one for Republicans, one for Democrats, one for free soil/free labor, whatever. Newspapers began consolidating and buying each other out, and the successful owners retooled the newspapers to have one section dedicated to opinions, partisan as they may be, while promising the news columns would be free of bias.

Second, airwaves in the United States have been deemed public property, and anyone using them is still required to provide equal time to political candidates. They are not required to adhere to the Fairness Doctrine, which was in effect from 1949 to 1987; that was done away with by Reagan appointees to the Federal Communications Commission. The Fairness Doctrine required broadcasters first, to deal with public issues and, second, to do so "honestly, fairly and equitably." They were not required to equalize time, but were required to air opposing views on public issues. The FCC revoked this, using the fig leaf that when we only had a few broadcast frequencies available, it was important, but with the huge number of cable and other outlets available at relatively low cost to start up, opposing voices could find their own venues.

Within a short time single-view "news" outlets like Fox started up and thrived, all the while pretending they are still within the "fair and balanced" paradigm. It's largely a con job, and has greatly confused a lot of people who never twigged to the emasculation and finally revocation of the Fairness Doctrine.


Fox is proof some ideologues can successfully control their own media, where they pay the salaries and insist on both content and tone in support of their ideology. However, these should be obvious.

In some ways, we are back at the beginning of the free speech/free press era, where we again have a great many biased "broadsheets" circulating and competing for our minds and our money. However, we still have a great many outlets that are trying to get your attention and your money by providing useful information. It is a mistake to lump them all together, throw up your hands and say "throw them all out." It may not be a mistake to reconstitute the Fairness Doctrine, though, since we've seen what happens when it is not in play, and it's neither pretty nor utilitarian.
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Old 22nd-October-2016, 09:36 PM   #50
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They were not required to equalize time, but were required to air opposing views on public issues. The FCC revoked this, using the fig leaf that when we only had a few broadcast frequencies available, it was important, but with the huge number of cable and other outlets available at relatively low cost to start up, opposing voices could find their own venues.
I became very irritated at a government run Rest Stop in North Carolina the other week. The building's intercom system had the radio going through it, and it was playing political ads. Moreover, I think it was some kind of conservative station playing only 1 kind of ad, because I also heard gospel music afterwards. I didn't mind the gospel music as much, but I was definitely thinking about the violation of the separation of Church and State going on here. I wondered how much work I'd have to do to get the Rest Area radio broadcasts done "properly" ? I also wondered whether it was actually as simple as some worker hot wiring the radio to the intercom and they were just playing whatever fool music they happened to like (the gospel stuff wasn't bad music, honestly) and it's just election season so one gets a crappy ad in the mix.

At least it will all be over soon. The electioneering part.
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