What would a perfect voting system look like?
@mosbrooker Just for future reference it might help to tag us! You can type the "at" symbol and then look for the name of whoever you would like to direct your comments to.
Just to address your comments, I do think there are issues with the way representation is handled in the U.S., but there is also a very thoughtful literature documenting the rationale behind the structure of the federal government. The founders of the U.S. lived in a very different socioeconomic context and, as with anybody, were not capable of predicting all of the challenges that would face the nation in terms of its democratic legitimacy, but they also did consider a lot of important concepts and addressed them in a way that I think would be very difficult to consider anything but extremely successful. After all, the United States has become a globally dominant superpower with a robust economy and an overall incredible standard of living, notwithstanding significant wealth inequality and all the problems that come along with that, among other things (ahem, public education, health care, cough). Surely they did something structurally right. And in fact, they did predict most of the core issues that the nation is struggling with presently.
Don't let me just rant, I want to talk about your senator comment. The United States is a federation composed of individual states with distinct laws. The Senate is meant as a body that represents each state on equal footing, independent of population or economic status. The populace of each state is supposed to obtain representation in the House. You may be right that states should have more than 2 senators each, and we probably also need more representatives in the House, since our population is significantly larger than it ever has been! But that is a different way to address the problem. If we essentially do away with the Senate, we won’t really be a federation anymore. As to why that might be a bad idea, you could look to the Federalist Papers. I have my own individual reasons for very much despising the very concept of a large nation, and also large corporations, for that matter. I think each is the suboptimal result of a prisoner’s dilemma.
More than just arguably, election season is mostly toxic due to the "Choose One" voting system, which fuels the competitive and toxic 2-party system that all but disenfranchises moderate voters. This is exactly the problem most of us here want to address by, hopefully, somehow changing the voting system to something that is effective at producing satisfactory representation, and does not suffer from the flaws that induce significant conflicts of interest in voters. European citizens are intrigued to watch U.S. election season like it is a reality TV show. I think they have their own institutional problems as well, but the contrast is at the very least interesting.
Continuous voting has pros and cons, and it's also obviously sensitive to what is considered a "vote." Generally continuous voting would be more sensitive to changes in public opinion, which makes it intrinsically unstable (I'm repeating myself). Maybe you want the status quo to change, but in theory you might want to change it to something. If the system is not stable, whatever you change it to isn't liable to stick around for very long, either. Because it will be unpredictable, it's not easy to preclude it from devolving into something even worse than what it was initially! (Ex: Bolshevik revolution?)
In the end, I don't think we want a revolution. At least as far as what I would like to see, that would be stable and incremental changes that are constructive rather than destructive. I think tearing down the current infrastructure (1) is totally infeasible and (2) would be extremely wasteful anyway. There are many things about our government that work very well, but corruption and institutional issues have eroded its accountability to the public and general welfare.
Benjamin Franklin purportedly said, when asked what the founders had created, “a republic, if you can keep it.” I think the Achilles’ heel of the Constitution was and is the interstate commerce clause, I’m also not alone in this, nor am I by any means an expert. But I also would contest, at the risk of verging on political ideology territory, that movements toward “pure” democracy have been, in my opinion, detrimental, at least in California. I would say that the proposition system has done very little but empower special interest groups to dupe the masses with fine print, and to strip representatives of responsibility without doing the same to their status and power. Anyway, when the masses vote for public goods but also vote not to pay for them, the state is forced to borrow money, and inevitably gets tangled up in all sorts of nonsense, namely internal corruption and crippling debt. Direct democracy does not come structurally equipped with checks and balances. This apology will terminate my rant: sorry.
mosbrooker last edited by
Thx for the tag assist. I live I learn!
I pray to the universal equalness of all people living today that we, somehow, achieve heaven on earth where life is good and that the future is promising. I pray that wars, poverty, climate destruction, depression, resignation are all things of the past. I make this prayer to god (as defined above) and that we realize our full human potential quickly and completely with no offsetting quid pro quo or "bad twist ending theater" to "balance out" this prayer. Amen.
That's how I pray. For a lot of stuff. To me, the one truism is the equaleness of all people. This one simple, self-evident fact, is the fuel that, with an appropriate efficient engine, can get us to where we all want to be.
So how do we funnel our equalness, all 8 billion's worth, into running this shit show?
The two burning questions 1) can we do it? Is there some way to harness the whim of all people, without anyone playing god and predetermining a rule book that can and will be exploited to nefarious ends? and 2) should we do it? If we have a machine that fits the bill, would it be a good idea to turn it on?
So anyhow, I apologize for not directly responding to your notes. The Federalist Papers, Constitution Convention, Pre-amble etc. are of great interest to me. I'm just trying to do something that is very different that I think will really help. Kind of, sort of, like Chastain's NASCAR wall ride. Hilarious btw if you haven't seen it!
As always, if at anytime I cross your perceived line of sanity, I apologize and of course don't expect a response.