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  • Demarchy, anyone?

    Demarchy is a term coined by Australian philosopher John Burnheim to describe a political system without the state or bureaucracies, and based instead on randomly selected groups of decision makers. These groups, sometimes termed "policy juries," "citizens' juries," or "consensus conferences," would deliberate and make decisions about public policies in much the same way that juries reach verdicts on criminal cases.

    Demarchy attempts to overcome some of the functional problems with conventional representative democracies, which in practice have often been subject to manipulation by special interests and a divide between professional policymakers (politicians and lobbyists) vs. a largely passive, uninvolved and often uninformed electorate. According to Burnheim, random selection of policymakers would make it easier for everyday citizens to meaningfully participate, and harder for special interests to corrupt the process.

    More generally, random selection of decision makers is known as sortition. The Athenian democracy made much use of sortition, with nearly all government offices filled by lottery rather than by election.

    Recently, the Canadian province of British Columbia has made use of Demarchy in the formation of the Citizen's Assembly; a group of citizens randomly selected to propose a new electoral process to be ratified by the general population by referendum.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demarchy

    I find this system pretty interesting and would represent public opinon (if the size of coucil is large enough) a lot more than a vanguard or the bougeois democacy.

    Also, are there any British Columbians on this board who can comment on this system?

  • #2
    I don't think that random selection would be the best.

    Comment


    • #3
      ^ I agree. I believe people with educations should be making decisions. You ever watch Leno or a similiar comedy show where they ask people to "point to a country on a map" and they get it so blatantly wrong? Obviously they write the names wrong on the map but idiots actually point to Australia and call it Iraq. I mean, that's like asking for ten people to randomly be selected in order view a car on the side of the road that wont start. Yeah, you'll get a good average assumption as to whats wrong, but they aren't mechanics. Leave the decision making to people experienced in that field. Politicians make decisions about politics for a reason and mechanics make decisions on cars for a reason.
      Warpox exposes himself | Editorial 1 4 | 2Pox

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TheWalrus
        ^ I agree. I believe people with educations should be making decisions. You ever watch Leno or a similiar comedy show where they ask people to "point to a country on a map" and they get it so blatantly wrong? Obviously they write the names wrong on the map but idiots actually point to Australia and call it Iraq. I mean, that's like asking for ten people to randomly be selected in order view a car on the side of the road that wont start. Yeah, you'll get a good average assumption as to whats wrong, but they aren't mechanics. Leave the decision making to people experienced in that field. Politicians make decisions about politics for a reason and mechanics make decisions on cars for a reason.
        Bush couldn't name foriegn heads of states, until he was in war with them... also, I'm a Letterman guy.... but, I'm sure those idiots on "Jay walking" are faking it to get on TV.
        the last vet.before everyone got vetted
        Originally posted by MarshallArts
        Who's got you quoted in their sigs? Are they as equally worthy as those that have sigged me? I just can't imagine it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by reservoirGod
          Bush couldn't name foriegn heads of states, until he was in war with them...
          He knew who Saddam was.

          Originally posted by res
          also, I'm a Letterman guy.... but, I'm sure those idiots on "Jay walking" are faking it to get on TV.
          Ha, I like Conan and Leno.

          I know they take out a map and write the country names in but label them wrong. They'll write Japan where China is or Iraq where South Africa is and people just "find Iraq on the map". Most people can at least guess the region but they obviously find a lot of idiots who dont want to look stupid.. and just put the thumbtack where they see Iraq.. haha.. that's why they're always like "oh I didn't know Iraq was this big.."
          Warpox exposes himself | Editorial 1 4 | 2Pox

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by whereismarshall
            I don't think that random selection would be the best.
            What's the alternative?
            Originally posted by TheWalrus
            ^ I agree. I believe people with educations should be making decisions. You ever watch Leno or a similiar comedy show where they ask people to "point to a country on a map" and they get it so blatantly wrong? Obviously they write the names wrong on the map but idiots actually point to Australia and call it Iraq. I mean, that's like asking for ten people to randomly be selected in order view a car on the side of the road that wont start. Yeah, you'll get a good average assumption as to whats wrong, but they aren't mechanics. Leave the decision making to people experienced in that field. Politicians make decisions about politics for a reason and mechanics make decisions on cars for a reason.
            My question is, why is there people without educations?

            To undergo Demarchy, there would obviously be changes in the educational system so every person will understand basics of government. People weren't born to not know locations of countries, their crappy schooling allowed that to happen. Even the least educated people have opinions on politics and their voice will be unheard in the so-called democracy of today.

            Every single person is capable of running the government. We don't need an intelligent group, or vanguard, to run the country for us because they "know what's best."

            Demarchy is the only system I've read about which has the potential to represent everyone. Statistics shows this to be true, since a simple random sample of a population with enough samples will result in a very accurate representation of the population. For representing the US with a small percent error, you only need 1500 people.

            A possibility for an alteration of this system is to have people sign up to be randomly chosen. That way only people who have an interest in politics would be chosen. This would only work if enough people signed up, however.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think people should be elected in some way.. I think anyone should be able to run, but I think they should be elected. if it was random any schmuk could be making decisions for all the people. I think people should be elected to some sort of a district council, as in people from your area get elected into a council that represents your area, neighborhood, town.. Then they represent your town nationally for some time.


              Conan is GOD
              Last edited by w.i.m.; 04-08-2006, 05:52 PM.

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              • #8
                Elected officials have agendas, and there wouldn't be an excutive branch in Demarchy so one schmuk can't ruin anything.

                And if you look at this only statistically, you will know that it's impossible for any randomly selected group to go against the will of the people.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by D_Bokk
                  My question is, why is there people without educations?
                  Maybe I wasn't clear. I'm referring to specialized educations. Everyone cant be specialized in every topic. You have people who know a ton about the world and you have people who know a ton about fixing computers. Not everyone is going to be educated enough to make the important decisions in this country.

                  While I do like your idea, I like townhall meetings better. If they could be incorporated into our society more I'd be pretty happy.

                  Originally posted by d_bokk
                  To undergo Demarchy, there would obviously be changes in the educational system so every person will understand basics of government. People weren't born to not know locations of countries, their crappy schooling allowed that to happen.
                  That's a pretty crazy statement. Your saying people are supposed to know where every country is naturally, and educations inhibit this? That's crazy talk. People soak in what they want to. The fact is, geography isn't the most important topic to be taught. There's other things people should be worried about then pointing out Zimbabwe on a map.

                  You're talking about teaching people the "basics" of government, but that's like teaching people how to add and subtract and then throwing them in an algebra class.

                  Originally posted by d_bokk
                  Every single person is capable of running the government.
                  Wow I completely disagree. Only an independent and confident person would assume this. Are you an only child? Or do you have little or no friends? (i'm not trying to diss you! i'm curious) I am one of five kids and there are two who just lack common sense. They had the same education as me and my older sister, who fare quite well, but the results couldn't be more different. No education is suited for the majority population and not every person is capable of running the government.

                  Originally posted by d_bokk
                  Demarchy is the only system I've read about which has the potential to represent everyone. Statistics shows this to be true, since a simple random sample of a population with enough samples will result in a very accurate representation of the population.
                  You know what else represents everyone? Putting questions on ballots. When I vote there is always a bunch of options that are left up to the people. I.E. "should taxes be raisesd .15cents for every $1,000 of property value to conserve pine trees in ocean county". Everyone collectively makes the decision and politicians dont interfere with it.

                  Originally posted by d_bokk
                  For representing the US with a small percent error, you only need 1500 people.
                  That would require an impossible amount of perfection to attain. You would have to randomly select, based on population totals, people from different cities, cultures, races, religions, sexes, and incomes. You cant do that randomly.

                  Originally posted by d_bokk
                  A possibility for an alteration of this system is to have people sign up to be randomly chosen. That way only people who have an interest in politics would be chosen. This would only work if enough people signed up, however.
                  It's a lot better then ramdomly selecting. However, a lot of the things you tend to like (or have liked) exists in utopia form only. Communism would be great if it worked, Socialism would be great if it worked, and this would be great if it could work. Perhaps this could better function at the city or county levels. I would much rather have Harvard graduates and elected politicians and politically knowledgeable people making decisions then random people. Random people look out for their own interests, while politicians tend to do whats best for the country most of the time...
                  Warpox exposes himself | Editorial 1 4 | 2Pox

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by D_Bokk
                    Elected officials have agendas, and there wouldn't be an excutive branch in Demarchy so one schmuk can't ruin anything.

                    And if you look at this only statistically, you will know that it's impossible for any randomly selected group to go against the will of the people.
                    Hmm.. I suppose so.. I have an agenda too though.. I don't think I'm a bad guy. I think elections would be the best way, it would start in factories, schools where students elect councils, all the way up to cities where councils run the cities and then all the way up to the national level where a council partly runs the entire country.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by D_Bokk
                      Elected officials have agendas
                      So do individual people.

                      Originally posted by d_bokk
                      and there wouldn't be an excutive branch in Demarchy so one schmuk can't ruin anything.
                      It's quite odd that you say this. You have talked about how great this country is in the past and how it is the best country in the world, although you believe this occurs at the expense of the third world. Regardless, many strong leaders have achieved this over time. You seem to think they have done great in one instance but now you say they ruin everything?
                      Warpox exposes himself | Editorial 1 4 | 2Pox

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheWalrus
                        Maybe I wasn't clear. I'm referring to specialized educations. Everyone cant be specialized in every topic. You have people who know a ton about the world and you have people who know a ton about fixing computers. Not everyone is going to be educated enough to make the important decisions in this country.

                        While I do like your idea, I like townhall meetings better. If they could be incorporated into our society more I'd be pretty happy.
                        What's so complicated about politics?
                        That's a pretty crazy statement. Your saying people are supposed to know where every country is naturally, and educations inhibit this? That's crazy talk. People soak in what they want to. The fact is, geography isn't the most important topic to be taught. There's other things people should be worried about then pointing out Zimbabwe on a map.

                        You're talking about teaching people the "basics" of government, but that's like teaching people how to add and subtract and then throwing them in an algebra class.
                        The only geography class I've ever taken was in 7th grade and they focused more on world history / current events. There's no need to memorize every countries location, but they should have a decent education on the history of the world to at least point out countries. Honestly, if you went through school not learning anything about China, Japan or Iraq (this one would be more of a current type knowledge) then there's something wrong with the system since this isn't uncommon.
                        Wow I completely disagree. Only an independent and confident person would assume this. Are you an only child? Or do you have little or no friends? (i'm not trying to diss you! i'm curious) I am one of five kids and there are two who just lack common sense. They had the same education as me and my older sister, who fare quite well, but the results couldn't be more different. No education is suited for the majority population and not every person is capable of running the government.
                        I have 2 sisters. My twin and I are very close in intellectual capabilities. We both had the same amount of reading time with our parents, we had very simular public educations and overall had nearly the same experiences. My younger sister, unfortunately, didn't receive as much attention from my parents and she isn't doing as well in school as my twin and I. But, she had virtually the same public schooling as I did. The more intellectual activity that children engage in will result in a more intelligent adult, and that's the problem with society today.
                        You know what else represents everyone? Putting questions on ballots. When I vote there is always a bunch of options that are left up to the people. I.E. "should taxes be raisesd .15cents for every $1,000 of property value to conserve pine trees in ocean county". Everyone collectively makes the decision and politicians dont interfere with it.
                        How? When say, 60% of the population chooses one person to represent them in congress, how are the other 40% represented? Their vote becomes null and majority takes all. Opinions of the minority is ignored completely instead of having the amount of influence they deserve.
                        That would require an impossible amount of perfection to attain. You would have to randomly select, based on population totals, people from different cities, cultures, races, religions, sexes, and incomes. You cant do that randomly.
                        Well, firstly I wouldn't mind getting rid of nations altogether. Breaking everything down into small manageable communities would make this process easier and more representative.
                        Random people look out for their own interests, while politicians tend to do whats best for the country most of the time...
                        I would argue the exact opposite.
                        Originally posted by whereismarshall
                        Hmm.. I suppose so.. I have an agenda too though.. I don't think I'm a bad guy. I think elections would be the best way, it would start in factories, schools where students elect councils, all the way up to cities where councils run the cities and then all the way up to the national level where a council partly runs the entire country.
                        The problem with elections is the losing group(s) aren't represented at all and I don't know how it would be possible in a society without money to fund campaigns to become popular. Every candidate would need to get the same amount of "face time" or none at all, which would require people to look up people individually. Representative democracy doesn't seem plausible to real socialism to me.
                        Originally posted by TheWalrus
                        So do individual people.
                        Except they aren't seeking the power to put their agenda in place.
                        It's quite odd that you say this. You have talked about how great this country is in the past and how it is the best country in the world, although you believe this occurs at the expense of the third world. Regardless, many strong leaders have achieved this over time. You seem to think they have done great in one instance but now you say they ruin everything?
                        I'm referring to a betrayal of the people's ideology from one guy who got into the most powerful office in the country.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by D_Bokk
                          I have 2 sisters.
                          Are they hot?



                          But on a more serious note, I think the idea is flawed because no matter how "random" a group is, you will have certain people always accusing the group of being fixed the second decisions are made that go against what they cant. If a group of randomly selected people made left-wing decisions, I can guarantee right wingers would claim they were not randomly selected at all. Same thing other way around, a random group with right-wing leanings would be accused of being fixed as well. Just a whole mess.
                          Originally posted by ethan20
                          There's a correlation between cervixal cancer in women and un-circumsized penises. Not to mention it almost cuts your bacteria count on the penis in half.
                          Originally posted by reservoirGod
                          Ethan sure does know alot about dicks

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kEgBeGgEr
                            But on a more serious note, I think the idea is flawed because no matter how "random" a group is, you will have certain people always accusing the group of being fixed the second decisions are made that go against what they cant. If a group of randomly selected people made left-wing decisions, I can guarantee right wingers would claim they were not randomly selected at all. Same thing other way around, a random group with right-wing leanings would be accused of being fixed as well. Just a whole mess.
                            To start, there wouldn't be a "left" or "right." People will govern the way they think is correct, not what their party thinks. The group will equally represent every person in the society as much as they should be represented. If something is really contested, there can always be a referendum.

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