*

Offline xasop

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 9465
  • Professional computer somebody
    • View Profile
Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #60 on: December 09, 2021, 12:38:04 PM »
But anyway, the point remains that you started this by claiming we were a democracy a couple of hundred years ago when almost no-one had a vote. Come on dude, there are better ways to score internet points against Thork.
I concede that some of my examples may have been poorly chosen, which is how we got onto this diversion. The point wasn't supposed to be about the history of British democracy. It is not impossible for leaders to rule for a long time in a democratic system, let alone that being its raison d'être. Indeed, Thork seems to be overly preoccupied with the individual that ends up at the top, when the beauty of democracy is in enabling representatives from all corners of society to gather together and discuss things.

To put it in other terms, the point of democracy isn't that it produces different leadership, but that it makes the leader's role less significant.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2021, 12:40:21 PM by xasop »
when you try to mock anyone while also running the flat earth society. Lol

Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #61 on: December 09, 2021, 05:18:40 PM »
It is not impossible for leaders to rule for a long time in a democratic system, let alone that being its raison d'être.
Right. Agreed. If "the people" are happy with a leader then they'll stay in power for as long as that remains the case in a democracy.

Quote
To put it in other terms, the point of democracy isn't that it produces different leadership, but that it makes the leader's role less significant.
I don't know about that. I'd say the point of it is that it means the leader is elected (whether directly or indirectly) by "the people" and thus has a mandate to lead.
Another key feature is it recognises that public mood changes over time and leaders should be held to account, so that mandate has an expiry date and every so often the leader has to seek a new mandate.

My issue with democracy is that it's predicated on two things
1) Everyone has a right to an opinion (which is obviously true)
2) Everyone's opinion is equally valid (which is obviously not)

It is that second premise which my "solution" seeks to address, by making some attempt to ensure that someone is engaged before they cast their vote.
Again, I'm not expecting people to have to study extensively to pass this. But being able to identify basic stuff like who the leader of each main party is and their high level policies seems like a reasonable prerequisite for casting a vote for them.
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

*

Offline xasop

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 9465
  • Professional computer somebody
    • View Profile
Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #62 on: December 09, 2021, 05:30:51 PM »
I don't know about that. I'd say the point of it is that it means the leader is elected (whether directly or indirectly) by "the people" and thus has a mandate to lead.
Some democracies do work this way, and they tend to be the ones most in need of reform. The best-functioning democracies recognise that no one leader, however democratic the election process, will be able to represent all interests. The European Parliament and many national parliaments in Europe work this way — there is rarely or never a majority held by a single party, and the nominal leader has to work with representatives of other viewpoints to find solutions that work for everyone. Democracy isn't supposed to stop when election day is over, it's the daily job of MPs.

My issue with democracy is that it's predicated on two things
1) Everyone has a right to an opinion (which is obviously true)
2) Everyone's opinion is equally valid (which is obviously not)

It is that second premise which my "solution" seeks to address, by making some attempt to ensure that someone is engaged before they cast their vote.
I don't agree that it's so obvious there is a problem to be solved. Rather than talking about solutions, I would prefer to try to measure the scope of the problem and see if there is anything that needs to be solved. How about having exit polls ask voters a few probing questions on the parties' policies and publish statistics on the matter? That can not only tell us how many voters don't know what they're voting for, but we could also simulate an election where they were prevented from voting and see if the results would be any different. If not, then there's no point changing anything.
when you try to mock anyone while also running the flat earth society. Lol

*

Offline Roundy

  • Abdicator of the Zetetic Council
  • *
  • Posts: 3634
    • View Profile
Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #63 on: December 09, 2021, 06:11:05 PM »
My issue with democracy is that it's predicated on two things
1) Everyone has a right to an opinion (which is obviously true)
2) Everyone's opinion is equally valid (which is obviously not)

I take issue with your second point. Democracy is predicated on the notion that we are all equal. If we are all equal, then we should all have a say in who gets to run the government. You complain that people with no understanding of their party's platforms or whatever still get to vote. This is arguably one of the points of democracy; it is certainly an unavoidable consequence. Limiting anybody's ability to vote because they can't pass some test would not be democracy any longer. And it would be a great way to keep control in the hands of elites while simultaneously disenfranchising the poor.

I just can't agree with you on this.
Dr. Frank is a physicist. He says it's impossible. So it's impossible.
My friends, please remember Tom said this the next time you fall into the trap of engaging him, and thank you. :)

Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #64 on: December 09, 2021, 08:12:12 PM »
And it would be a great way to keep control in the hands of elites while simultaneously disenfranchising the poor.
Ha. Our PM, like many before him, is an old Etonian. Pretty much the most elite school in the country. The elites are already very much in control in the UK.

And are you really suggesting the poor can’t identify party leaders or learn the key parts of a manifesto?

Quote
I just can't agree with you on this.
I’m not entirely sold on the idea myself.
But when you hear stuff like “What is the EU” being the most Googled question in the UK after the Brexit polls closed
(https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/06/24/480949383/britains-google-searches-for-what-is-the-eu-spike-after-brexit-vote)
That does not speak to me of a well informed population who are well qualified to make informed decisions when they vote. It is desirable to improve that. A test would be a way to incentivise people to be engaged more.
I’m not convinced it’s a good solution but I do think there’s a problem. I don’t agree it would mean we are no longer a democracy. Democracy doesn’t mean literally anyone can vote. Under 18s can’t. I don’t think prisoners can in the UK. I don’t know if adults with severe learning disabilities can. Should they be able to if they have no understanding what they’re voting for? There’s already a principle in democracies that not every person can vote, the only issue is where the line is.
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

*

Offline Dr David Thork

  • *
  • Posts: 5186
  • https://onlyfans.com/thork
    • View Profile
Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #65 on: December 09, 2021, 08:19:18 PM »
But when you hear stuff like “What is the EU” being the most Googled question in the UK after the Brexit polls closed
(https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/06/24/480949383/britains-google-searches-for-what-is-the-eu-spike-after-brexit-vote)
That does not speak to me of a well informed population who are well qualified to make informed decisions when they vote.
How do you know it was the voters doing the googling? It could well be the huge number of people who didn't vote hearing the news and wondering "What on earth is this all about?".

But it fits the remoaner BBC narrative much better to say people didn't know what they voted for because they were on the losing side.
Rate this post.      👍 6     👎 1

*

Offline xasop

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 9465
  • Professional computer somebody
    • View Profile
Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #66 on: December 09, 2021, 09:24:17 PM »
But when you hear stuff like “What is the EU” being the most Googled question in the UK after the Brexit polls closed
How do you know it was the voters doing the googling?
This is exactly why measurement of the problem must be the first step. Making changes without evidence of their efficacy is an awful way to govern. Meanwhile, in the case of the UK in particular, there are many long-overdue reforms that have been repeatedly proven in other countries that should be given a higher priority than this.
when you try to mock anyone while also running the flat earth society. Lol

*

Offline honk

  • *
  • Posts: 2984
  • resident goose
    • View Profile
Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #67 on: December 09, 2021, 09:43:19 PM »
How do you know it was the voters doing the googling? It could well be the huge number of people who didn't vote hearing the news and wondering "What on earth is this all about?"

Adding on to this, it could be kids in particular. I could definitely see schools in Britain giving the students assignments on this subject in response to the news.
ur retartet but u donut even no it and i walnut tell u y

Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #68 on: December 09, 2021, 10:07:29 PM »
I don't know about that. I'd say the point of it is that it means the leader is elected (whether directly or indirectly) by "the people" and thus has a mandate to lead.
Some democracies do work this way, and they tend to be the ones most in need of reform. The best-functioning democracies recognise that no one leader, however democratic the election process, will be able to represent all interests. The European Parliament and many national parliaments in Europe work this way — there is rarely or never a majority held by a single party, and the nominal leader has to work with representatives of other viewpoints to find solutions that work for everyone. Democracy isn't supposed to stop when election day is over, it's the daily job of MPs.
Right. We do have a particularly bad version of democracy in our country. I'd definitely be in favour of any reform which means our system yields more representative results but there's no realistic prospect of it as the current system favours the current duopoly.

Quote
I don't agree that it's so obvious there is a problem to be solved. Rather than talking about solutions, I would prefer to try to measure the scope of the problem and see if there is anything that needs to be solved. How about having exit polls ask voters a few probing questions on the parties' policies and publish statistics on the matter? That can not only tell us how many voters don't know what they're voting for, but we could also simulate an election where they were prevented from voting and see if the results would be any different. If not, then there's no point changing anything.
That sounds sensible. I admit I don't have good data around this, it's more a vague feeling that people in this country are, by and large, bloody idiots. But that feeling is based on my interactions with people so I reckon I'm right  ;D
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

*

Offline Dr David Thork

  • *
  • Posts: 5186
  • https://onlyfans.com/thork
    • View Profile
Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #69 on: December 09, 2021, 10:20:15 PM »
it's more a vague feeling that people in this country are, by and large, bloody idiots.
Please read the following article. By the end of it, you will likely doubt that intelligent people should do the voting and will probably accept that the status quo is about as good as it gets.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2016/05/17/8-ways-smart-people-act-stupid/

Also I got the bat and ball question wrong. If that was the question, I just lost the right to vote.  :(
Rate this post.      👍 6     👎 1

*

Offline xasop

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 9465
  • Professional computer somebody
    • View Profile
Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #70 on: December 09, 2021, 10:50:51 PM »
Right. We do have a particularly bad version of democracy in our country. I'd definitely be in favour of any reform which means our system yields more representative results but there's no realistic prospect of it as the current system favours the current duopoly.
I don't really buy that. There was a referendum on AV, and while that wouldn't have solved all the problems, it would have been a good start. It was defeated by a supermajority, which is almost entirely thanks to British voters and not the established duopoly. (I say "almost" because the duopoly undoubtedly had a hand in influencing voters through their campaigning.)
when you try to mock anyone while also running the flat earth society. Lol

*

Offline Roundy

  • Abdicator of the Zetetic Council
  • *
  • Posts: 3634
    • View Profile
Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #71 on: December 10, 2021, 05:30:53 AM »
And it would be a great way to keep control in the hands of elites while simultaneously disenfranchising the poor.
Ha. Our PM, like many before him, is an old Etonian. Pretty much the most elite school in the country. The elites are already very much in control in the UK.

Point taken but I can't help but think that excluding people from voting would only make it worse.

Quote
And are you really suggesting the poor can’t identify party leaders or learn the key parts of a manifesto?

Of course not. But people with better access to quality education would have a natural edge. In this country anyway that would be people who can afford good schooling.

Quote
Quote
I just can't agree with you on this.
I’m not entirely sold on the idea myself.
But when you hear stuff like “What is the EU” being the most Googled question in the UK after the Brexit polls closed
(https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/06/24/480949383/britains-google-searches-for-what-is-the-eu-spike-after-brexit-vote)
That does not speak to me of a well informed population who are well qualified to make informed decisions when they vote. It is desirable to improve that. A test would be a way to incentivise people to be engaged more.
I’m not convinced it’s a good solution but I do think there’s a problem. I don’t agree it would mean we are no longer a democracy. Democracy doesn’t mean literally anyone can vote. Under 18s can’t. I don’t think prisoners can in the UK. I don’t know if adults with severe learning disabilities can. Should they be able to if they have no understanding what they’re voting for? There’s already a principle in democracies that not every person can vote, the only issue is where the line is.

Again, point taken. I don't think convicted felons can vote in the US either, although they probably should be if they've served their debt to society. I still think with your test idea you'd end up excluding way too many people for it to still be considered a democracy as we know it today. More like democracy in ancient Greece. I feel like all the decisions would be made by the affluent, and that would leave the poor in even worse shape than they're in now.

And the potential for corruption, beyond the surface issues, seems staggering. Do you think unscrupulous politicians wouldn't figure out how to manipulate such a situation to their advantage? I'm not convinced.

It's an interesting idea. Given how many uneducated people voted for Trump in the 2016 election it poses the interesting question of whether or not we would have ever had a President Trump in the first place. But as tempting an idea as that is I think it only underscores the problem, which is that it would exclude too many people.
Dr. Frank is a physicist. He says it's impossible. So it's impossible.
My friends, please remember Tom said this the next time you fall into the trap of engaging him, and thank you. :)

*

Offline stack

  • *
  • Posts: 3441
    • View Profile
Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #72 on: December 10, 2021, 06:54:19 AM »
The US already went down this path from about the 1890’s to the 1960’s. This from the National Museum of American History:

Proponents of tests to prove an applicant’s ability to read and understand English claimed that the exams ensured an educated and informed electorate. In practice they were used to disqualify immigrants and the poor, who had less education. In the South they were used to prevent African Americans from registering to vote. The Voting Rights Act ended the use of literacy tests in the South in 1965 and the rest of the country in 1970.

In Mississippi, applicants were required to transcribe and interpret a section of the state constitution and write an essay on the responsibilities of citizenship. Registration officials selected the questions and interpreted the answers, effectively choosing which applicants to pass and which to fail.


I don’t think there is any way, at least in the States, to not weaponize any form of “test” being discussed.

Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #73 on: December 10, 2021, 09:45:03 AM »
I still think with your test idea you'd end up excluding way too many people for it to still be considered a democracy as we know it today.

Well, I think that depends on the test. Again, I'm not expecting people to know the details of everyone's manifesto - I'd fail that test! But a basic knowledge of who the main candidates are and what they stand for at a high level isn't a bad idea. But I agree there's lots of potential for this to be a terrible idea which simply causes other problems.
I actually don't think it would have made a difference to the Trump election. I think most people who voted for him knew exactly who he was and knew the sorts of things he was promising. I find his attitudes and policies reprehensible but so long as the people who vote for him know what they are and find themselves agreeing with them then fine. I'm not saying we should try and stop people making a bad choice in who they vote for - that's subjective. I'm saying we should try and stop people making uninformed choices. If you don't know who the main leaders are or anything about their policies then on what basis are you casting a vote?

Proponents of tests to prove an applicant’s ability to read and understand English claimed that the exams ensured an educated and informed electorate. In practice they were used to disqualify immigrants and the poor, who had less education. In the South they were used to prevent African Americans from registering to vote.
Different era. Everyone has access to education now.
And I wouldn't necessarily tie this to literacy, although that is another problem with my otherwise brilliant plan. If you can't read then can you pass the test? It seems reasonable that someone has never been able to read but still knows who the politicians are and what they stand for and therefore should get a vote. There are accessibility issues here.
As for whether people should learn themselves the language #simpsons. We are quite nice in the UK - London is very cosmopolitan and you can get translations of many documents, recognising that not everyone who lives here speak well England.
The French have a very different attitude, which is basically "learn French or piss off". I think they kinda have a point. If you go and live in a country I'd suggest the onus is on you to learn their language in order to fully participate in their society.
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #74 on: December 10, 2021, 09:52:57 AM »
I don't really buy that. There was a referendum on AV, and while that wouldn't have solved all the problems, it would have been a good start. It was defeated by a supermajority, which is almost entirely thanks to British voters and not the established duopoly.
Yeah. But...
That referendum was only offered by Cameron as part of the deal when he had to get in to bed with Nick Clegg to form a government.
Cameron was pretty clever with that one. He knew that what they were offering, while demonstrably more representative than our current system, was too complicated for a lot of people to understand. And a more representative voting system does the duopoly parties no favours, so they both campaigned against it hard. Cameron knew he could offer this referendum with almost no risk of it passing, and it was very much a one time offer.
[Cameron then doubled down by offering the Scottish Independence referendum...he then went for 3 in a row with the Brexit referendum and that didn't go so well, the utter prick]
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #75 on: December 10, 2021, 09:58:51 AM »
you will likely doubt that intelligent people should do the voting
This is not what I am suggesting.
I simply think that people should be engaged and informed before they cast a vote.
If they are and they then vote in (what I regard to be) a stupid way then fine. They have a right to their opinion. I just think that opinion should be based on more than "Ha ha ha! Isn't Boris funny? Do you remember when he got stuck* on a zip wire?! Hoo hoo hoo!!"

*a situation I read by the way that he entirely engineered as he knew what a brilliant photo op it would be and would play in to the "good old Boris, what is he like?!" persona he so carefully cultivates and which is depressingly effective.
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #76 on: December 10, 2021, 02:27:45 PM »
you're proposing a replacement for democracy.
I'm really not.
There are already limits on who can vote, those limits have changed over time. It is not an inalienable human right. Under 18s can't vote. People in prison can't. People who are adults but have severe mental retardation...I actually don't know. If they can then what, a kid of 17 who is doing Politics A Level and who is thoroughly engaged in the political processes can't vote but a 20 year old with the mental age of a 4 year old can? That doesn't make much sense.

I think there's a reasonable principle that people should have some idea what they're voting for, who they've voting for. If there was a test which involved having to study all the major manifestos extensively then that seems excessive, it would exclude too many people. It would exclude me. If it was a simple "Who is the leader of the Conservative party" or I dunno "Which party has vowed to 'Get Brexit Done'". Well holy shit, if you don't know that then are you really able to make an informed decision?

If people demonstrate that they know the basics and they still vote for a terrible leader/party then so be it. As you've said, this is all subjective anyway. My problem with Boris is mostly that he's an incompetent liar rather than any actual policies he might have, so arguably I am voting for a stupid and subjective reason. But at least I make some effort to understand who he is and what he says he's going to do.

So yeah, if we have a more educated/engaged/informed voting population and they vote for people/parties/policies I think are stupid then yes I still think that's an improvement. Because I do believe in democracy and I think the will of "the people" should be heard. I was dead against Brexit but "the people" voted that way so that's the course we should take, however stupid and self-destructive it may be. I just wish that people had been a bit more engaged. I don't think the principle that if you're going to ask someone a question you make sure they understand that question and what the potential answers mean is a bad one. But testing that understanding is I agree problematic. I'm not sure it's impossible though.
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

*

Offline Dr David Thork

  • *
  • Posts: 5186
  • https://onlyfans.com/thork
    • View Profile
Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #77 on: December 10, 2021, 02:45:08 PM »
you will likely doubt that intelligent people should do the voting
This is not what I am suggesting.
I simply think that people should be engaged and informed before they cast a vote.
If they are and they then vote in (what I regard to be) a stupid way then fine. They have a right to their opinion. I just think that opinion should be based on more than "Ha ha ha! Isn't Boris funny? Do you remember when he got stuck* on a zip wire?! Hoo hoo hoo!!"

*a situation I read by the way that he entirely engineered as he knew what a brilliant photo op it would be and would play in to the "good old Boris, what is he like?!" persona he so carefully cultivates and which is depressingly effective.
You know ... not voting is an entirely acceptable option. And I would imagine most people who don't vote don't care much about politics. Anyone who does vote is expressing an opinion. They shouldn't be forced into a test to do so. Its already hard enough to get people to vote. I don't think a test is the way to go.

I used to think a 'House of Academics' would be a good way to go. So maybe bus drivers, pilots and road engineers all vote for the secretary of transport. Professional coaches and people who work in gyms get to vote for the secretary of Sport. Culture secretary is voted for by people working in showbiz etc. Doctors, nurses, Chemists etc vote for the health secretary. And then you get the very best person from each academic field being voted for by their peers ... people who know what they are voting for.

But in recent years I have seen how corrupt academics are. They pretend to be noble but they are basically available for hire to say whatever you want is 'the science'. Example ... aspartame is a vile additive. It causes a list of illnesses as long as your arm including brain cancers. It has been banned TWICE by the FDA as harmful. But, Donald Rumsfeld was the CEO of the company that invented it and he lobbied Ronald Regan to make it legal backed by huge interests like Coca Cola and Pepsi. It was made legal as 'New Science' funded by these people appeared saying it was safe after all. It isn't. Long story short ... don't drink diet soft drinks. Science is bent. You just hire scientists to create conditions that make whatever you want become the 'science' the truth and unable to be argued with. You don't want academics anywhere near politics.
Rate this post.      👍 6     👎 1

Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #78 on: December 10, 2021, 05:06:11 PM »
Reaching the legal voting age is not really what anyone is talking about when they say “test” in the context of having educated voters.
Saddam said «any kind of "test"». Checking someone's age is a kind of test.

In Australia, there are no "tests" in the sense it's been used here, but there are nevertheless certain
conditions one has to satisfy in order to vote:

•  At least 18 years of age.
•  A registered home address.
•  An Australian citizen.
•  Name registered on the electoral roll.
•  A jail inmate of not more than two years duration.

Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« Reply #79 on: December 10, 2021, 05:36:50 PM »
I know in Australia it’s mandatory.
I’m not sure what I think of that. I do think encouraging more people to vote is a good thing but part of the right to vote is a right not to.
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"