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[3]: Speak for yourself!!!
by Alfman on Wed 22nd Feb 2012 16:04 UTC 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

RE[4]: Speak for yourself!!!
by Soulbender on Thu 23rd Feb 2012 06:23 in reply to "RE[3]: Speak for yourself!!!"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

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.


Wait, are you sure you live in NYS and not in North Korea?

Upper classes are better prepositioned for running successful campaigns.


Oh I see. Now, I'm not going to say that the political system commonly found in Europe is better, because it obviously has it's own set of flaws, but at least there's a wide political playing field usually raining from the batshit-crazy left to the equally batshit-crazy right. We may not like these extremists but the fact that the do exist and is part of the political scene is, perhaps a bit contradicting, a sign of a healthy system.

In a kind of odd way I think the world was better off during the cold-war era. We might have been on the brink of nuclear destruction but at least we could always point to the "evil empire" and say "Hey, lets not be as bad as those guys, ok?".

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Speak for yourself!!!
by Alfman on Thu 23rd Feb 2012 17:22 in reply to "RE[4]: Speak for yourself!!!"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Soulbender,

"but at least there's a wide political playing field usually raining from the batshit-crazy left to the equally batshit-crazy right..."

I get your point, and I agree it's better to have a wide spectrum than a narrow one.

However as a side note, I am troubled how often so many complex issues are boiled down to a single dimention with right and left sides. It's entirely possible for someone to be fiscally conservative and yet against big business, to be against war, and yet for the right to bare arms, to be for nationalized medicine yet against welfare, etc. People who's beleifs cross the one dimentional political spectrum are probably not going to be well served by either of the parties. And so I kind of wish politicians had more leniancy to diverge from the party-line. Unfortunately, once one identifies with a political party, I think there's a tendency to discredit others on the sole basis of their party affiliation rather than comparing values and using critical thinking to see real differences.


"We may not like these extremists but the fact that the do exist and is part of the political scene is, perhaps a bit contradicting, a sign of a healthy system."

Yes, extremists are necessary and even heathy. But sometimes I think politicians will bargin from the extremity simply to get a policy that favors them when a compromise is made; they may never have genuinely believed in the extreme position in the first place.

Edited 2012-02-23 17:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2