Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Feb 2012 11:22 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems No matter where you look these days, there's a profound sense here in the west that the people no longer having any tangible control over what our governments do. Sure, we are allowed to vote every once in a while, but effectively, most of our countries are governed by backroom deals and corporate interests. If matters really do get out of hand, how do we fight this? Well, with technology of course!
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RE: Speak for yourself!!!
by Brendan on Mon 20th Feb 2012 12:07 UTC in reply to "Speak for yourself!!!"
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

What disgusts me with these kinds of comments is that it puts the blame on everybody except the VOTER!


If voters are given the choice between a poke in the eye and a punch in the arm; is it fair to blame the voter when one of these options must be chosen?

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 14

RE[2]: Speak for yourself!!!
by terrakotta on Mon 20th Feb 2012 12:51 in reply to "RE: Speak for yourself!!!"
terrakotta Member since:
2010-04-21

Yes it is, voters can do more than just vote. It is their/our job to check up on what the government is doing, objecting when necessary by demonstrating (physically or virtually). Idly standing by while things happen to complain afterwards just seams weak and is no way to make the government know they only exist to serve the people instead of the other way around.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Speak for yourself!!!
by Alfman on Mon 20th Feb 2012 14:19 in reply to "RE[2]: Speak for yourself!!!"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

terrakotta,

I hope you are correct about Switzerland, but you fail to grasp just how badly democracy itself has been corrupted in some parts of the world. Slowly, but over a very long period, the US government has been corrupted to favor of entities who have more money and power, namely corporate interests.

Does Switzerland have "Gerrymandering"? Because that's the sort of legalized vote tampering that we have to deal with in the US. Also the US is actually more of a republic than a democracy, which affords us far fewer opportunities to vote our minds.

The US has a notoriously bad reputation for bullying the international community, however the US people never get the opportunity to vote on those issues. More likely than not they are initiated by powerful corporate ties within the US government. We don't even get to vote on issues as significant as using our own money to fund corporate bailouts.

I'm not saying the people cannot win, only that they are unlikely to do so from within a corrupt system that has been so heavily optimized to serve the elite. Hopefully our next government will explicitly decree that corporations are *not people* and that government exists only to serve the people.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: Speak for yourself!!!
by Laurence on Mon 20th Feb 2012 14:52 in reply to "RE[2]: Speak for yourself!!!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Yes it is, voters can do more than just vote. It is their/our job to check up on what the government is doing, objecting when necessary by demonstrating (physically or virtually). Idly standing by while things happen to complain afterwards just seams weak and is no way to make the government know they only exist to serve the people instead of the other way around.

The UK (and America IIRC) demonstrated against the war on Iraq - yet we still went to war.
The UK demonstrated against student fees - yet student fees were still hiked up.
The whole world protested against SOPA - yet ACTA and other similar deals and legislation are still being pushed through.

So while I do agree with you in principle, I can't stop thinking that increasingly the general populous are powerless to change the government.

The problem we have is that it costs so much to run a successful campaign, that ultimately any leading party end up bought and paid for by corporate interest.

I'm not saying that all politicians are corrupt nor open to bribes, but the honest and selfless politicians just wouldn't have the funds to lead a successful campaign.

So ultimately we get stuck with a multitude of similar leaders pushing similar policies and we're left picking the lesser of n evils rather than the actual embodiment of a leader we'd aspire to have.

Edited 2012-02-20 15:01 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Speak for yourself!!!
by Soulbender on Wed 22nd Feb 2012 08:39 in reply to "RE: Speak for yourself!!!"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Why doesn't the voter do more to ensure more choices?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Speak for yourself!!!
by Alfman on Wed 22nd Feb 2012 16:04 in reply to "RE[2]: Speak for yourself!!!"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Soulbender,

"Why doesn't the voter do more to ensure more choices?"

Good question, I guess we have to look at what causes the lack of choice in the first place.

Here in NYS, we have elections where only one name appears on the ballot. It's not that no one else is running mind you, but that the ballot requirements make it difficult for "normal people" to run.

I found a very interesting blog about it.

http://www.r8ny.com/blog/larry_littlefield/the_signature_collectors...


Ordinary people simply don't have enough wealth to pay for a campaign, including an office, staff, advertising, etc. Heck most people wouldn't even be able to cover their own personal expenses if they took a leave from their jobs go campaigning (assuming their employer even allows them to take a leave of absence).

Around here there is talk of using public money and capping private funds to balance the playing field. Politicians obviously won't pass this, but even if they did I'm not sure that it would work. Upper classes are better prepositioned for running successful campaigns.


Another separate problem is the very real artificial incentive to vote for the least objectionable majority party that is likely to win, rather than the party one wants to win. This gives Democrats and Republicans a disproportionately large majority that they don't deserve at the ballots. This reinforces the lack of choice. Ideally we'd have a voting system which enables voters to vote for their actual preferred candidates without "throwing away" their vote. I think rank voting offers a good solution to this problem, and it would be a boon for real voter choice.


http://fortcollinsrankedvoting.org/rankedvoting.html

Reply Parent Score: 2