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  • Direct democracy

    In a Slashdot article on gaming online voting I found a link to an interesting article explaining the Swiss system of direct democracy:

    http://direct-democracy.geschichte-schweiz.ch/

    Would such a thing be practical in the US, either at the Federal level or at lower levels?
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

  • #2
    Re: Direct democracy

    That is actually a nice read Scratch. It is kinda interesting how the author (of the SlashDot article) points out as many of the faults as well as the positives.

    The concern would have would be how some technically savvy minority could easily skew any real discussion or poll if it were related to Government. The author actually identifies how it can happen as well. I would also think that we would leave a huge chunk of America out of any real decision process electronically.

    As for the Swiss model of Democracy, we are already would fail step one for their requirements:
    1) A first draft is prepared by experts in the federal administration. I am not too convinced we have any experts in the federal government, need I say more!!:row__523:
    "The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws." -Machiavelli

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    • #3
      Re: Direct democracy

      Ugh, who would want a direct democracy?

      Think about all the people that purchase tabloid newspapers. Think about all the people that have turned our cable newschannel that we call Music Television (MTV) into a channel that lacks music. Think about the fact that, as noted on /., it's possible for a table collecting signatures to "End Women's Suffrage!" to collect clipboards full of signatures from concerned women.

      No, direct democracy is certainly not something that we need in our world today. As slimy as politicians are, I'll keep trying to refine our representative democracy, thank you very much.
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      • #4
        Re: Direct democracy

        Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
        Ugh, who would want a direct democracy?

        Think about all the people that purchase tabloid newspapers. Think about all the people that have turned our cable newschannel that we call Music Television (MTV) into a channel that lacks music. Think about the fact that, as noted on /., it's possible for a table collecting signatures to "End Women's Suffrage!" to collect clipboards full of signatures from concerned women.

        No, direct democracy is certainly not something that we need in our world today. As slimy as politicians are, I'll keep trying to refine our representative democracy, thank you very much.
        So you want a meritocracy? Should we have tests for voters to keep the stupid ones described above from voting?

        Those politicians are elected by the same idiots you object to. Why wouldn't they be just as dumb as their constituents? Or be slimy enough to con them?

        I don't think representation is an effective mechanism for creating smarter laws. It's real value was historically to compensate for extremely slow communications over long distances. Much the same principle is used in robotic space probes more than a light-hour away, where realtime command is impossible.
        Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

        snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

        Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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        • #5
          Re: Direct democracy

          I can't see direct democracy working in today's society. Apparently, the Founding Fathers didn't, either. "Tyranny of the majority" and all that.

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          • #6
            Re: Direct democracy

            We already have tyranny of the majority. I don't think representation stops that, either, except perhaps in fiddling with the numbers that constitute a majority. If that's really an issue, then require supermajorities to insure significant consensus when writing law. (I'm a big fan of supermajorities. If there's not very good consensus, then the situation doesn't justify a law, yet. Without consensus, some minority is gonna get screwed.)

            Another solution which I think I see mentioned in the Swiss system is to make it easy for minorities to repeal and/or veto laws.
            Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

            snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

            Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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            • #7
              Re: Direct democracy

              I'd want a meritocracy.

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              • #8
                Re: Direct democracy

                Originally posted by sordavie View Post
                I'd want a meritocracy.
                Agreed. I just don't know a politically practical way to get it. How do we decide merit? And how might we scale it based on office? (A national leader would need a lot more merit than a small town mayor, for example.)
                Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Direct democracy

                  I, for one, welcome our new cybernetic overlord:

                  http://www.tacticalgamer.com/sandbox...ram-alpha.html
                  Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                  snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                  Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Direct democracy

                    Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                    So you want a meritocracy? Should we have tests for voters to keep the stupid ones described above from voting?
                    Ever read Starship Troopers? When I'm king of the USA, I'll require military service before someone is considered a citizen with voting rights.
                    Become a supporting member!
                    Buy a Tactical Duck!
                    Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
                    TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

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                    • #11
                      Re: Direct democracy

                      I'd require military service plus anti-stupid and anti-ignorance tests.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Direct democracy

                        It could be set up so that before registering to vote, you were required to take an exam that tested logic/reasoning, math, and grammar skills.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Direct democracy

                          How about also requiring that you own a piece of land? Wasn't that a requirement after the American Revolution?
                          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Direct democracy

                            Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                            How about also requiring that you own a piece of land? Wasn't that a requirement after the American Revolution?
                            Hmmm.... Right now, the likelihood of a young inner city woman becoming a landowner is pretty darn low. Do you think this would encourage people to get out of the cities to places where property is cheaper, or do you think they would just be "disenfranchised"?
                            Become a supporting member!
                            Buy a Tactical Duck!
                            Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
                            TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

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                            • #15
                              Re: Direct democracy

                              Everyones voting right should be eligible for sale or auction if they choose.

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