The main tank, brimful with ideas. Enjoy them, discuss them, take them. - Of course, this is also the #1 place for new submissions!
By A_Guy_Outta_Ideas
#8518
I have to disagree about the USA being a christian country, think about it, our money: In God We Trust, even in our constitution, pledge of alligence declaration of independence. and yes our constitution is flexable but some of the things that are happening today would (I believe) make our forefathers turn over in their graves! *beep* marriage?! That was inconceivable back then! Homosexuality was probably a 1% or 2% occurance back then. Basically, in my opinion, this country was founded under God and we are leaving him and once that happens then this country will collapse.
This is all my opinion, so there you have it.
P.S. Forgive my spelling
By A_Guy_Outta_Ideas
#8519
Oops, 8-o I meant that America is a christian country. :-°
By DFARules
#9108
I'm sorry to be blunt, but I think that this is a pretty dumb idea. I'm all for improving democracy, but a math question or a geography question to test if one is "educated" enough to participate in an election? Please! There are many people in the world who might be illiterate, or not able to do basic multiplication in their head, but that has nothing to do with their intellect or their ability to judge the competence of politicians. Some people just didn't have the same opportunities as others, or didn't have teachers willing to spend enough time on them to ensure that they knew what the capital of Cambodia is. Education does not necessarily=intelligence. Thank you.
User avatar
By Steve
#9110
DFARules wrote:I'm sorry to be blunt, but I think that this is a pretty dumb idea. I'm all for improving democracy, but a math question or a geography question to test if one is "educated" enough to participate in an election? Please! There are many people in the world who might be illiterate, or not able to do basic multiplication in their head, but that has nothing to do with their intellect or their ability to judge the competence of politicians. Some people just didn't have the same opportunities as others, or didn't have teachers willing to spend enough time on them to ensure that they knew what the capital of Cambodia is. Education does not necessarily=intelligence. Thank you.

Fine. ;-D

But if your government tells you frightening stories about some distant country and tells you it needs to be attacked, how can you judge their competence when you don't even have a clue where that country is? If they tell you that tax breaks for the rich will ultimately benefit the poor, how can you tell if it's true when you don't even have the faintest clue of economics? Or if politicians blatantly lie to you in order to gain power (which most politicians, regardless of their political colors, do), how can you tell if you don't know the facts. To me, the main flaw of democracy these days is about knowledge and education, not about intellect. And I'm not saying that education would make all people hold the same opinions - thank god not. But it would certainly make them more resistant to propaganda, because more people would already have an opinion of their own, instead of being an empty container ready to be filled with what the next guy tells them.

Anyway -what are your own suggestions to improve democracy? :-?
By Rishi
#9122
Steve wrote:
Pan wrote:What you're suggesting is, in a slightly facisticely selective way, a method of determining who gets to vote, but it's certainly not a 'better' version of democracy.

I am not saying that my suggestions are objectively better, but that the concept of democracy as we understand it is severely flawed and after some serious discussion could definitely be improved. Imho the reason it doesn't happen is because the concept of "democracy" has sadly turned into an ideology, something which it shouldn't be by definition. Politicians won't change the system, because the only reason they are in power is because they have learned to manipulate it, so why should they harm the breast that feeds them?

By the way, my 12 year old cousin can't vote, nor can my Turkish neighbor - so the concept of excluding certain citizens from the vote is nothing new, it's just that there is a political dogma not to discuss it. Voting always comes with certain rules and restrictions - the rules we make today always have a chance to be abused tomorrow, but I don't quite see that as a good argument against making them as good as we humanly can.

Personally I think the fear of non-voters is just a nightmare that politicians have that there are a lot of people out there that may be beyond the control of the system they believe in. Imho the right to NOT vote is just as important as the right to vote, and if there is just 30 percent voter turnout, then the results are just as legitimate, providing that everyone who wanted to had a chance to do so.

All in all I a serious with my concerns about our future. In the present, the main prerequisites of becoming a "leader" are already controlling the media and/or having a lot of money. In the future, it will only get worse. We are heading for a defacto-Plutocracy which really has less and less to do with true Democracy like you and I understand it. Personally I would like to take a sharp bend here. :-?


Edward deBono once suggested a kind of proportional representation. In most elections where more than two candidates contest the winner might have got ahead by a very slender margin often getting less than 25% of the total votes polled(which itself is usually much less than the total vote bank), yet will represent the whole constituency. EDB's suggestion was that all contestants should be allowed to get into the house. Each one's vote will have a value in proportion to the votes he/she polled. EDB also mentioned that this may lead to unwieldy sizes houses of representatives.

I feel that the idea has its merits.

rishi
User avatar
By Steve
#9125
Rishi wrote:Edward deBono once suggested a kind of proportional representation. In most elections where more than two candidates contest the winner might have got ahead by a very slender margin often getting less than 25% of the total votes polled(which itself is usually much less than the total vote bank), yet will represent the whole constituency. EDB's suggestion was that all contestants should be allowed to get into the house. Each one's vote will have a value in proportion to the votes he/she polled. EDB also mentioned that this may lead to unwieldy sizes houses of representatives.

I feel that the idea has its merits.

rishi

Isn't that what most European style elections basically look like? :-? You cast your vote in a multi-party system, and there's no second ballot - the parties need to find a majority by forming a coalition, which in theory means that at least 51% of voters are represented. But the parties that didn't make it to government still get to go to parliament, where their vote does have a value in proportion to the votes they polled.
By Rishi
#9128
Isn't that what most European style elections basically look like? :-? You cast your vote in a multi-party system, and there's no second ballot - the parties need to find a majority by forming a coalition, which in theory means that at least 51% of voters are represented. But the parties that didn't make it to government still get to go to parliament, where their vote does have a value in proportion to the votes they polled.[/quote]

There is one difference. In any particular constituency only one candidate, who polls more votes than any other candiate, is declared elected, even if he polls, say, 25% of the total votes polled in that constituency. The other candidates do not get to the house. This is what was attempted to be changed. I agree that within all elected what you described happens. It is the same in India too. Our system is based on the British one.

rishi
User avatar
By Steve
#9130
Rishi wrote:It is the same in India too. Our system is based on the British one.

I was wondering - because to my knowledge, the system in most of continental Europe is different. Very roughly, if your party gets 20% of the votes in the country, you get to fill 20% of parliament with your people. Of course there are many regional differences. The only situation where your vote doesn't count is when you vote for a very small party, because there are percentage hurdles for parties to get into parliament at all (usally 3-5% of cast ballots). However, it's certainly not like in the UK (or the US) where your vote is basically worthless if you didn't vote for the local winner.
User avatar
By BrokenClock
#9310
I remeber I've read somewhere Isaac Asimov telling a little story. He was contacted by a *newpaper* to write a paper about some *scientific* discoveries about the intellectual - I suppose - superiority of white people on blacks. He told to the editor that it should be better for both that he tried to resume what he should write on this topic, as he was sure his paper will be refused. He suppose that the editor expected something supporting the segregation - what implied that he did not know much about Isaac. So he began to explain what should have been his paper if any. First, he would have write that he was very surprised by such discoveries, as his scientific and philosophical culture, as his personal opinion and observations, do not make he think that there is something like a superiority of white people. Second, well, if it is a real fact, as some more studies may prove it, so we may do what it implies: make separate and better restrooms for whites, better seats everywhere for whites and so on. Isaac will regret that, but what can he do against facts? He is not God. Third, if there is a real superiority of whites, why shouldn't we look if, in the white people, we cannot found another group of people that are superior -genetically, I suppose, and make for them even best restrooms, seats and so on. Then the redactor stoped him, and say that, yes, Isaac was right and that he will never published such story in his newspaper.
So, why boring you with this story. Because I think that, following Isaac's idear, you may improve your improved democraty. Why just 4 questions? You could use many, and make each vote weigh as heavy as the reponses correct. So smart people will count more that silly ones. But is that right?
And do you really think that intellegent cannot be stupid? Many educated people do not vote with their brains, but with their hearth or worst, their stomach...
By xanado
#9339
Maybe I´m a bit late to enter this discussion, but here goes nothing:

1 - In principle, I agree with Steve, (what a wonderfully fascistic idea!) there are some people who shouldn't be allowed to vote. I have no doubt in my mind in this regard, but I don't think that a test of education or culture is the answer. Formal education is not and never will be a proof of intellegence. I.Q. tests are not the answer either because most of them are culturaly and educationaly biased. Maybe the answer is that peolpe should have to justify their vote for it to count, but then you can say - who's to be the judge of what is a good and what is a bad justification? This is an extremely complicated matter and I don't think that there is anyway it can be done without being unfair to some people. In fact, I believe that if we went the way Steve suggests, we would only be prepetuating the problem because all of a sudden only the upper echelons of society would be allowed to vote, and all the poor (uneducated) people would stay poor and so would their childen, and so on...

2 - In response to Rishi and when it comes to my country (Portugal) you are not entirely correct about the way elections go. We have what you call electoral circles but we do not operate in the "winner takes all" system that I beleive the USA does. Each circle elects a number of representatives (never just one) in direct proportion to the number of registred voters in that circle (whether they show up to vote or not) and that is a direct reflection of the percentages of votes that each party got (this means that any given circle can have representatives from ALL parties in the Parliament and the only way a circle would have ALL its representatives from just one party is if the got ALL the votes).

Hope my explaination wasn't too confusing.

Sandro
User avatar
By Steve
#9342
xanado wrote:1 - In principle, I agree with Steve, (what a wonderfully fascistic idea!) there are some people who shouldn't be allowed to vote. I have no doubt in my mind in this regard, but I don't think that a test of education or culture is the answer. Formal education is not and never will be a proof of intellegence. I.Q. tests are not the answer either because most of them are culturaly and educationaly biased. Maybe the answer is that peolpe should have to justify their vote for it to count, but then you can say - who's to be the judge of what is a good and what is a bad justification? This is an extremely complicated matter and I don't think that there is anyway it can be done without being unfair to some people. In fact, I believe that if we went the way Steve suggests, we would only be prepetuating the problem because all of a sudden only the upper echelons of society would be allowed to vote, and all the poor (uneducated) people would stay poor and so would their childen, and so on...

Thanks for picking up on the general idea itself and not so much on the proposed method, which was only meant as an example to get the discussion going, and by no means as something that should be employed "as is". Let me point out however that my idea was never about measuring IQ and excluding people from voting based on that data (that would create quite an ugly oligarchy!).

Part of the idea is that you can forfeit your right to have your vote counted - but on the other hand, everyone should have a chance to actually participate if they want to. The need of politicians to manipulate people plays an important role in the idea, because it may be possible to use it for the benefit of those same people. I assure you that if you have a large pool of voters whose votes don't count due to lack of education, politicians will go a long way to access those votes (and if it means educating them, they might even do that ;-) ). That would make a huge difference to the current system where politicians actually have an incentive to *cut* education budgets. Education however will make people a bit less gullible, so if played right you might have a balanced system that creates a win-win situation for everyone.

That was the idea. Intelligence and education are two completely differnt pair of shoes, let's not mix them up.
By DirtpatchSmacky
#10408
your exactlly wrong. if theres a large base of uneducated people, the politicians will keep it that way, they are allready elected, they know they have the votes to get them there. a smaller base is easier to cater to, so the people in power would keep the stupid people stupid, so they cant vote. now if they allready got voted in ,, and they controll who can "learn" why would they educate these people? they allready have the votes they need, if they educate new people, thats more of a chance for someone else to get elected next time.
in america, there where instances of this idea put into effect in southern states a while back,, they were called the jim crow laws,, it was en effort by racist to keep the blacks from voting. hey they were black so they didnt have schools at the time, how are they supposed to pass a test? these were intelligent human beings, they just werent schooled because they didnt have the means. to equate some ones geographical, mathmatical, etc. knowledge to thier mental apptitude is mind staggeringly shallow.
do you think it was a bunch of illiterates who "voted" gw.bush into office? hell no, it was "educated" religious folks, and rich people.
User avatar
By Steve
#10411
DirtpatchSmacky wrote:do you think it was a bunch of illiterates who "voted" gw.bush into office? hell no, it was "educated" religious folks, and rich people.

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/30774

If you happen to be Republican, please skip any anti-Bush rhetoric in the article above (just took if off Google to avoid having to elaborate myself).

Do you seriously believe 51% of people in today's America are rich and "educated"? 8-o Elections are always decided by the masses, that's what the concept of democracy is all about.
Last edited by Steve on Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By DirtpatchSmacky
#10414
youve congealed my types into one, i said educated , then rich. trust me, the people who cant read and who are poor,, did not vote for bush, poor people rabidlly vote democrat. plus i really rather not get into a disscusion about the last two elections, and vote count numbers.
User avatar
By Steve
#10415
DirtpatchSmacky wrote:youve congealed my types into one, i said educated , then rich.

Point taken. Let me correct myself then...

Do you seriously believe 51% of people in today's America are rich OR "educated"? 8-o

Doesn't really make a difference to my point - which is that in today's "democracies" a ton of people are unable to grasp that they are actually voting for candidates who harm their own interests. In my mind, that's a huge problem, and I would be happy to see someone come up with a brilliant idea to alleviate it.
OFFSHORE

Is there anymore need for physical cards? I suppos[…]

A Place for problems and solutions

This is a really good proposal. One title could be[…]

Team Innovating Forum

Are there forums for team innovating? Normally peo[…]

Whats your favorite Xbox game?

Mine is outrun2