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The Ice Doctor - on 28 Jun 2018

What I find so amusing is how people think democracy and voting is actually going to change things.

Wake up and smell the roses. The only thing of importance in this world is money. Proven, time over. With money, you buy power. With power you corrupt. Vicious , sad circle.

It's a twisted world.

 

26
L Climbcycle - on 28 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

Have you got any better ideas?

john arran - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others."

Winston Churchill

Ridge - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to PaulKing:

> Have you got any better ideas?

You could post something on UKC telling people to 'wake up'. That should solve the issue.

Stichtplate on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

> What I find so amusing is how people think democracy and voting is actually going to change things.

> Wake up and smell the roses. The only thing of importance in this world is money. Proven, time over. With money, you buy power. With power you corrupt. Vicious , sad circle.

> It's a twisted world.

You're  free to look at the world like that if you choose or you could just look out of your window and see things as they actually are, especially for those of us lucky enough to live in the developed West: millions of people miraculously cooperating to feed, clothe, house, educate and heal each other.

We live in an age of wealth, prosperity and peace that has emerged out of thousands of years of history in which most peoples lives were nasty, short and bleak by modern standards.

Perhaps you should wake up and count your blessings.

DerwentDiluted - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

> What I find so amusing is how people think democracy and voting is actually going to change things.

Makes a refreshing change from threads banging on about how voting actually changed things.

profitofdoom on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

> What I find so amusing is how people think democracy and voting is actually going to change things.

That topic has been thrashed to death on UKC already over several years

> The only thing of importance in this world is money.

That is a really sad thing to say, apart from the fact it is not true

profitofdoom on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

> What I find so amusing is how people think democracy and voting is actually going to change things.

As I have said before I have spent many, many years living in countries under dictatorship. Until you have done so, you cannot imagine [1] what a deadening and unpleasant feeling it is to live in such countries. People were definitely longing for the vote and for democracy. And were afraid to speak their minds about the government/ system [2] that there was no chance of change without great risk and probably violence

GridNorth - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

I used to be of the opinion that if voting changed anything they would ban it.  Brexit and the election of Trump have changed my mind.  That doesn't mean that you are wrong about power, money and corruption but does show that the electorate has more influence than I previously credited it with, for better or worse.  I also suspect that many with power and money will attempt take steps that would lead towards a ban.

Al

deepsoup - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

Democracy requires an informed electorate, which requires a free press.  ('Media', perhaps one should say these days.)  The so called 'Fourth State': https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Estate

Free from state interference is what used to be meant by 'free press', but I think you would also have to say free from having an editorial policy imposed by some individual, it's sociopathic billionaire owner perhaps, intended to relentlessly push his own interests.  (See: Daily Mail, Express, Sun, Fox News etc..)

GridNorth - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to deepsoup:

You are implying that you would favour censorship but only for what could be called the "right wing" press.  That's hardly freedom is it?

Al

1
deepsoup - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

> You are implying that you would favour censorship but only for what could be called the "right wing" press.

I am?  Blimey.  I had no idea.

I would favour our government (of whichever party) not being shit scared to disobey Rupert Murdoch's every whim, mind.  Is that the same thing?

1
DubyaJamesDubya - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

> What I find so amusing is how people think democracy and voting is actually going to change things.

> Wake up and smell the roses. The only thing of importance in this world is money. Proven, time over. With money, you buy power. With power you corrupt. Vicious , sad circle.

> It's a twisted world.

Are you trying to become a caricature of yourself?

GridNorth - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to deepsoup:

You seem to be displaying a left wing bias at this time.  You use emotive language to describe individuals who, presumably, think differently to you and only object to "right wing" media.  And I did say implying.  If you are not I apologise but perhaps you could clarify you position.

Al

2
deepsoup - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

> and only object to "right wing" media.

I am a bit of a lefty, fairly obviously.  But no, I was objecting to those that push an editorial line pursuant to the interests of their proprietor.

You are right though, I think it would be fair to characterise the examples I gave (Mail - Viscount Rothermere, Express - Richard Desmond, Sun and Fox - Rupert Murdoch) as "right wing".  My bad, I should have included a couple of "left wing" examples in my list to show that I would also object to those.  Can't think of one off the top of my head, unfortunately, but please feel free to enlighten me.

 

1
GridNorth - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to deepsoup:

Daily Worker, Morning Star, CNN.  To be honest I'm not sure that "Left"and "Right"apply any more.  I would describe myself as leaning to the right, but I disapprove of the Monarchy, the House of Lords and have a lot of sympathy for essential utilities not being in the hands of profit making organisations although I also think Governments couldn't run a bath.  Bit of a paradox that!  I believe that more money should be spent on the NHS but only hand in hand with serious reform. 

Al

1
Gordon Stainforth - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

> Daily Worker, Morning Star, CNN.  To be honest I'm not sure that "Left"and "Right"apply any more.  I would describe myself as leaning to the right, but I disapprove of the Monarchy, the House of Lords and have a lot of sympathy for essential utilities not being in the hands of profit making organisations although I also think Governments couldn't run a bath.  Bit of a paradox that!  I believe that more money should be spent on the NHS but only hand in hand with serious reform. 

I'm an ("awful") centrist, but I think the terms Left and Right do still apply to politicians at the extremes. I'm also a Monarchist and a supporter of the House of Lords (i.e the need for two Houses), because I'm a supporter of the British [unwritten] constitution. I'll be writing a blog about this on my website soon, once I have present workload out of the way.

 

GridNorth - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I agree there is a need for a second chamber but not in it's current form.  I think Monarchy is outdated but then I'm not  a Christian either and the two are very much linked.

Al

Gordon Stainforth - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

Reform of House of Lords is a v tricky subject, because it begs the question: what system would be better? It could all too easily become more politicised than it is at present. The prime importance of the Monarchy lies outside of it being 'the Defender of the Faith' - indeed, that aspect of it is being watered down isn't it? with Charlie seeing himself as a 'defender of faiths'.

GridNorth - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I agree with you totally but for me it's more a matter of principle.  Neither institution is something I would want to abolish unless someone comes up with a better alternative and that's well above my pay grade  

Al

RomTheBear on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

> What I find so amusing is how people think democracy and voting is actually going to change things.

They think democracy is only voting. It's not.

L dareterr on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

I tend to believe that everything in life regresses to the mean. Applying that principle to democracy, regression is when the truly wealthy individuals and corporations control all the votes. Sadly, it seems to be the natural order and evolution of a democratic system.

john arran - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to dareterr:

That may be true of societal evolution, but then periodically, societal revolution throws everything up in the air again. I suppose the ideal would be to enact revolutionary change without the drawbacks usually associated with revolutionary conflict.

Bob Kemp - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to dareterr:

Which democratic system has a situation where the wealthy control all the votes like that? Or more accurately, which ex-democracy shows that evolution?

The Ice Doctor - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I'm angry. Angry at the lack of control I actually have over my own life. The whole notion of control is a con. I'm pissed off with people like Boris Johnson, Farage, Mogg Rees all spouting shite, the Clueless Teresa May, the idealistic Corbyn. Do these people have any principles other than greed? ( Obviously not Corbyn - but I cant see how his policies can work in a world economy)  Angry at how a man like Trump can be ruling America, and how dysfunctional their political, as well as our system is. I'd like to some of shoot these people if given the chance. I'm angry at the amount of plastic in our oceans.

The people running the show are deluded.

Something better? People would not want something better, something utopian, because people themselves are not honest enough to work together towards a better society they rejected David Camerons Big society idea, because I guess it exploited people, and many people offering up things for free does not make sense, when other companies charge for services. 

To me - something better is being able to trust people- but can you do that, without being ripped off, lied to or being robbed?

Everything seems to be about measured outcomes and money. I find that sad.

I have a comfortable life-  I live as a minimalist, I recycle , but I'm beginning to think why the f@@k should I bother, when we are surrounded by so much selfishness and mindless consumerism.  I look around at how hard people are forced to work, how many homeless people are on the street, how many people take drugs to escape and cope with life, and how many drug dealers are out there. 

I'm just angry. At people in general.

Rant over.

There you go.

Happy?

2
The Ice Doctor - on 29 Jun 2018
In reply to PaulKing:

Here is the answer!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUee1I69nFs

Not my idea

 

Stichtplate on 30 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

> I'm just angry. At people in general.

> Rant over.

I'm privileged enough to spend a fair amount of time observing people in extremis, when all the bullshit and bravado has been stripped away by the events at hand and I've come to the conclusion that at least 95% of people are lovely at least 95% of the time. The remaining 5% cause a lot of noise and grief but they're a tiny minority so why fixate on them?

Try to find a more balanced perspective on people and society and perhaps you won't be quite so angry anymore.

 

Ridge - on 30 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

> I'm angry. Angry at the lack of control I actually have over my own life. The whole notion of control is a con. 

I can empathise with that, and often have similar thoughts, but what is so specifically bad about our democracy?

No, you can't have what you consider a perfect world and the moon on a stick, but what is tbe alternative? Someone will always have a different viewpoint you don't agree with, but short of of setting yourself up as supreme dictator there's no way you'll get everything to align with your desires.

Welcome to reality. It might be a bit shit, but it's better than what the other 99.5% of the world have to tolerate.

summo on 30 Jun 2018
In reply to deepsoup:

>   My bad, I should have included a couple of "left wing" examples in my list to show that I would also object to those.  Can't think of one off the top of my head,

Not a newspaper, but Russel brand has no problem with anti capitalist ranting whilst promoting people to buy his books. It's bought him a nice big mansion and I expect his publisher is happy for him to write more. 

Perhaps the guardian is a curious example, when the group was more capitalist it was offshoring profit, now it's barely afloat. Perhaps far left socialist ideals don't pay the bills, or are typical guardian readers not prepared to pay enough to keep it going as they think others should pay more? ;) 

2
Bob Kemp - on 30 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

Happy? Not really. I’m not sure why you directed this rant at me. I sympathise with many of your points there but I was asking darrterr a question. 

 

Bob Kemp - on 30 Jun 2018
In reply to summo:

What a curious response! Russell Brand is an ephemeral irrelevance in a discussion about democracy.  And where did you get the weird idea that the Guardian was far-left? 

 

Ridge - on 30 Jun 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> What a curious response! Russell Brand is an ephemeral irrelevance in a discussion about democracy.  And where did you get the weird idea that the Guardian was far-left? 

Where did 'far' left come from? The Guardian certainly has a left perspective, and deepsoup's post that summo answered asked if there was any left wing media that balanced the Mail etc.

Gordon Stainforth - on 30 Jun 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> What a curious response! Russell Brand is an ephemeral irrelevance in a discussion about democracy.  And where did you get the weird idea that the Guardian was far-left? 

I'd describe the Guardian as slightly left of centre, but still centrist; the Independent and Observer as centrist, and all the rest of the large-circulation papers as right-wing, some very. The only (very) left wing paper, the Morning Star, I believe has a very small circulation of a few thousand (so small I've hardly ever seen it).

Timmd on 30 Jun 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

I think the best perspective on democracy I've come across, iss that putting a tick in a box and voting circa every four years is the least one can do, and that one needs to be more actively engaged than that. In joining pressure groups, being involved locally in community organisations, and supporting campaigns, whichever ways one can think of and find to do towards changing things. That democracy is about being immersed in and aware of what is going on, the opposite of apathy and disengagement.

Post edited at 16:37
Jon Stewart - on 30 Jun 2018
In reply to PaulKing:

> Have you got any better ideas?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUee1I69nFs

I don't agree with him, but it's quite an interesting point. I think governments should be selected on a technocratic basis from a pool of highly competent people with no incentive to self-interest (a bit like jury service, but with a high bar to be in the pool).

Stichtplate on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I don't agree with him, but it's quite an interesting point. I think governments should be selected on a technocratic basis from a pool of highly competent people with no incentive to self-interest (a bit like jury service, but with a high bar to be in the pool).

Didn’t Hitler form his government largely on technocratic grounds? Adolf was also a fan of utilitarianism, a school of thought eminently sensible on the face of it.

The problem is people aren’t cold blooded automatons and the application of cold logic In governance all too often leads to some very dark and authoritarian policies.

Bob Kemp - on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Ridge:

> Welcome to reality. It might be a bit shit, but it's better than what the other 99.5% of the world have to tolerate.

I agree that our democracy is rather better than most of the alternatives, but it still needs fixing. I came across a tweet from some conference recently which pointed out that we have a democracy that was designed for the 1690s that has never caught up with the post-internet world. It badly needs a redesign. Here's an interesting reconception - 

https://www.dezeen.com/2017/10/26/democracy-election-voting-booking-com-rudy-van-belkom-interview-dutch-design-week-2017/

I'm not saying that this is the way to go - I haven't really had time to think through all the implications -  but it's an interesting use of new technology, and it addresses some of the most pressing current problems, in particular regarding how populists exploit the system. We have to start thinking about new approaches.

Postmanpat on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I don't agree with him, but it's quite an interesting point. I think governments should be selected on a technocratic basis from a pool of highly competent people with no incentive to self-interest (a bit like jury service, but with a high bar to be in the pool).

  I think you'll find that we tried that for several hundred years but the bloody peasantry got sick of it. Let them eat cake, I say.

Post edited at 19:16
Postmanpat on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I don't agree with him, but it's quite an interesting point. I think governments should be selected on a technocratic basis from a pool of highly competent people with no incentive to self-interest (a bit like jury service, but with a high bar to be in the pool).

>

  Of course many inter-war "liberals" were admirers of early fascism. Funny how history repeats itself.

 

2
Timmd on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

You have to watch these liberals, they'll sell you the idea of freedom and give you fascism once in power, that Charles Kennedy was a terrible fascist in the making.  

Post edited at 20:02
Postmanpat on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

> You have to watch these liberals, they'll sell you the idea of freedom and give you fascism once in power, that Charles Kennedy was a terrible fascist.  


He was a Liberal, as opposed to a liberal. But yes, sometimes you do.

Who, for example, said ""I am asking for a Liberal Fascisti,for enlightened Nazis. The world is sick of parliamentary democracy. The Fascist party is Italy. The Communist is Russia. The Fascists of liberalism must carry out a parallel ambition of a far grander scale."

Clue: not Jon Stewart (that was a joke by the way)

Timmd on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

I don't know, who was it?

MG - on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> He was a Liberal, as opposed to a liberal. But yes, sometimes you do.

Yep, if you don't watch them.you end up with 70 years of peace in western europe.  You definitely need some hard right populism to sort things out after such horrors.

 

Postmanpat on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to MG:

> Yep, if you don't watch them.you end up with 70 years of peace in western europe.  You definitely need some hard right populism to sort things out after such horrors.


Well, they seem to be falling over themselves to undermine democracy from the inside or provoke its undermining from (what they regard as) the "hoi polloi" aka "evil populists"..

3
Postmanpat on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Timmd:

> I don't know, who was it?


HG Wells, that leading progressive......Plus ca change etc

Bob Kemp - on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

Who is this 'they' of which you speak? Hitting the big generalisations in a big way again today. 

Postmanpat on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Who is this 'they' of which you speak? Hitting the big generalisations in a big way again today. 


The same "they" as MG referred to? Ask him....

But I'm thinking of illiberal supporters of elitist technocratic governments looking after their own interests.

So, if you support the EU, cannot fathom why decent people voted brexit, or think that the democratic should be weighted in some way in favour of the "elite" then that'll be you.

1
MG - on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> The same "they" as MG referred to? Ask him....

umm, what? No mention of they in my post.It is just up there so it’s not hard to check. You’ve form in making up quotes. It’s really dishonest.

 

Post edited at 21:13
MG - on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

Somehow you’ve convinced your yourself the EU and liberal democracy is a threat, while Fanrage, Trump, Orban, Banks etc are the saviours....

Bob Kemp - on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

Flimsy conflations too I see. And straw men galore.

Postmanpat on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to MG:

> umm, what? No mention of they in my post.It is just up there so it’s not hard to check. You’ve form in making up quotes. It’s really dishonest.

"Them" . Apologies if you think that makes a materil difference. It's the accusative of "they".

And I have no form for "making up quotes". You just squirm when reminded.

Post edited at 21:21
4
Postmanpat on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to MG:

> Somehow you’ve convinced your yourself the EU and liberal democracy is a threat, while Fanrage, Trump, Orban, Banks etc are the saviours....

No, you resort to smearing anyone who votes brexit as a supporter of Trump, Oban etx.

  It’s not only not so. It’s a non sequitur. It’s dumb. Since you’re not dumb I assume that your obsession has just blinkered you to the obvious.

But if it makes you feel superior....

Post edited at 21:52
6
Postmanpat on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Flimsy conflations too I see. And straw men galore.

>

  Which confirms your lack of understanding of why people voted out. Point made, thanks x 

8
RomTheBear on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> No, you resort to smearing anyone who votes brexit as a supporter of Trump, Oban etx.

Well Brexit does help Trump in his goal to weaken and divide Europe, and thus, the U.K. In that regard those who voted Brexit supported Trump. Although they may not like to admit it, or not even want it, it's just a reality.

 

Post edited at 22:21
2
Bob Kemp - on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

You're doing it again. Ascribing beliefs to people for no reason at all. I have a very good understanding of the many reasons why people voted out. I don't automatically assume that because people voted for Brexit they are idiots. I am less sure about people whose debating position is based on insults.

Postmanpat on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> You're doing it again. Ascribing beliefs to people for no reason at all. I have a very good understanding of the many reasons why people voted out. I don't automatically assume that because people voted for Brexit they are idiots. I am less sure about people whose debating position is based on insults.

>

  So you'll understand that there is no strawman or are you just resorting to insults?

   There is no debate. The ultra-remainers  killed it months ago by their grotesque attitudes.. There's just an occasional letting off of steam. Goodnight.

 

8
Bob Kemp - on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

Saying that there is a straw man in a discussion is not an insult. 

1
Postmanpat on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Saying that there is a straw man in a discussion is not an insult. 


Oh, well I don't know what or who you were referring to.

7
Jon Stewart - on 01 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate and Postmanpat:

What I'm suggesting has nothing in common with neither fascism nor aristocracy. It would be a democracy, but the representation wouldn't be through voting. Voting is shite and gives rise to an utterly corrupt system which hands power to the most useless and greedy people in society. Before I start going totally Russell Brand, here's how such a system might work:

People who have a proven track record of impressive, successful work *in the public interest* are nominated to the pool. A panel (something like the house of lords) reviews all the nominations, and there is a constant programme of posting people into suitable roles in government where they have expertise and interest. This is organised into departments (there is no ministerial/civil service structure, so we're talking a lot of people) and there is a co-ordinating structure (cabinet office, basically) but no PM/great leader. There are no political parties, there is no ideology, there is no strategy. But there is a lot of work, and a lot of co-ordination.

Everyone can ask for a policy change. You go online and you see whether other people are asking for the same change as you. A bit like the petition system, but it's the actual system rather than a token gesture. You form a critical mass and get your proposal debated. Similarly, if the government want to change policy, then it goes out to consultation. It's a democracy in which everyone can engage but they have to work together, express themselves convincingly, persuade those debating the issue of their view. There would be lots of polling for those who weren't up to real engagement but could answer a yes/no question.

The key would be getting a really good mix of people in the government who are all highly competent, motivated by public service, and simply don't have tribal or personal goals to pursue. If someone like David Cameron or Boris Johnson was nominated for the pool, the application would be laughed out of town because there would be no evidence of them ever having done anything that demonstrates an understanding of the public interest. People who haven't achieved anything worthwhile and who wouldn't recognise the public interest if it painted itself purple and danced naked through their Cotswolds mansion would never be considered as being eligible for selection, because in working for the public interest they're about as useful as toxic waste. Equally, Corbyn with his total incompetence and narrow political aims would be thrown on the reject pile without making it anywhere near selection to the pool. The selection criteria would make sure that it had nothing to do with formal qualifications, or money, or who you know, but about showing evidence that you can achieve significantly on behalf of others. If you've run turned a school around, or run a company that's had huge benefits for its employees and customers, or run a programme that's reduced the incidence of malaria or whatever, you get into the pool for posting at some point. If you're not up to scratch, you get sacked/demoted/moved - and this would happen all the time.

I think it's perfectly possible to come up with democratic systems far better than the party/5-year polling rubbish we're used to.

 

2
Ridge - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> People who have a proven track record of impressive, successful work *in the public interest* are nominated to the pool. A panel (something like the house of lords) reviews all the nominations, and there is a constant programme of posting people into suitable roles in government where they have expertise and interest. 

Interesting post, and some good points. Taking the above quote:

How do we define impessive and sucessful? I know some incredibly good people in terms of skills at work, but they're not really interested in recognition. I know some some considerably less impressive people, but who are far better regarded due to either their PR ability or willingness to claim credit for other peoples work. Guess who will dominate the pool?

Now the selection body. How do we stop that becoming a bed of cronyism, nepotism and 'old school tie' networking?

This also sounds like some form of conscription. You're selected into the pool, assigned a role, if you don't meet whatever metric you get posted around the system or sacked. How do you stop the pool from taking up more lucrative posts, ending up with a pool of well meaning but not particularly good individuals?

Post edited at 07:07
Stichtplate on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

The key would be getting a really good mix of people in the government who are all highly competent, motivated by public service, and simply don't have tribal or personal goals to pursue.

...and there lies the main (but not the only) problem. Where would you find such paragons? and how would you ensure that their heads weren't turned by the very fact that they'd been plucked from the masses as an elite minority who know better than everyone else?

I too would like to see radical change in our method of governance, but not at the expense of direct involvement of the great unwashed or rather the great British public, as I'd prefer to think of them.

Ridge - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

I'm also slightly concerned by what appears to be either a lot of internet or postal polling for deciding where the country should be heading.

What could possibly go wrong with a yes/no referendum...

Plus you'd still get media/social media manipulation, as well as disenfranchising people who don't live online.

Postmanpat on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

  Essentially what you are doing is institutionalisng the dominance of the educated middle and upper middle classes. It is government by these people which has alienated the rest and led to brexit etc. You have updated the traditional eligibility criteria  based on property with more subjective and contemporary criteria but it is still based largely on class.

  The likelihood is that it would further alienate ordinary people and become an unreformable bastion of (self interested) groupthink.

Post edited at 08:36
Bob Kemp - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Did you look at the link I posted earlier? It’s all about redesigning voting for the modern age and I’m sure you would find it really interesting.

MG - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> No, you resort to smearing anyone who votes brexit as a supporter of Trump, Oban etx.

No, I am noting that you support these characters  You won't admit it of course but you've got your thinking so inverted you prefer to support authoritarian extremists over liberal democracy.

> But if it makes you feel superior....

Superior for not supporting those who are happy to take Russian money, "f*ck business", dismiss experts, demonise immigrants, undermine the judiciary etc etc?  Yep, pretty comfortable with that.

Post edited at 10:38
2
john arran - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Did you look at the link I posted earlier? It’s all about redesigning voting for the modern age and I’m sure you would find it really interesting.

It's an interesting idea that surely has something to offer, but abandoning the whole-basket approach in favour of piecemeal policy risks losing all strategic direction.

The short vid also doesn't address what I think would be such a scheme's biggest hurdle, which is how to prevent people voting for both low taxes and good services.

 

Ridge - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

From your link:

The themes will probably be the same as the themes that are relevant right now: education, healthcare, defence, etc. The current system is based on a pillarised society, but nowadays, society has changed. I can't be put in one box – I'm not left or right. So it could be that within defence I'm on the left side of the spectrum, but when it comes to healthcare, I'm on the right side of the spectrum, and there is not one political party that reflects my personal needs.

I have a lot of sympathy with that viewpoint and that does reflect my views, I'm pretty left wing on the NHS and social care; well to the right on dealing with criminals for example.

However it can't be a 'tick here for x, tick here for y' type system. It's the implementation of that policy that's important. Look at the Conservative and Labour manifestos. There's a huge amount of commonality in many of the policies, but the implementation varies, in some cases it looks like the exact opposite of what was stated.

The law of unintended consequences might well apply."I voted for equality but I've just been turned down for a job because I'm from the wrong demographic".

Also it will be 'populist' in nature, which is likely to be fine for the NHS, possibly less so for people on benefits, even less so for minorities. Also what happens when a petition to chuck gays off of tower blocks gets the backing of a huge but otherwise unlinked coalition  of scrotes, homophopes, neo-nazis and various flavours of religious nutcase?

Post edited at 11:06
Ridge - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to john arran:

> The short vid also doesn't address what I think would be such a scheme's biggest hurdle, which is how to prevent people voting for both low taxes and good services.

I forgot about that one.

elsewhere on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Experts are experts in their field but they're not experts in running a country.

You employ experts as specialist advisers or put them in a second chamber but don't leave them in charge

 

 

Postmanpat on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to MG:

> No, I am noting that you support these characters  You won't admit it of course but you've got your thinking so inverted you prefer to support authoritarian extremists over liberal democracy.

> Superior for not supporting those who are happy to take Russian money, "f*ck business", dismiss experts, demonise immigrants, undermine the judiciary etc etc?  Yep, pretty comfortable with that.

Ah, a true ubermensch

Was that a shark you just leapt with full pike and tuck?

1
Geras on 02 Jul 2018

to deepsoup:

Whilst the Daily Mail was wile under Dacre, it took a stance that was distinct from that of its Owner. 

MG - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Ah, a true ubermensch

> Was that a shark you just leapt with full pike and tuck?

Que?

MG - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

You might want to consider this thread

https://twitter.com/MikeStuchbery_/status/1012657916028116993?s=19

Post edited at 19:04
deepsoup - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Geras:

> Whilst the Daily Mail was wile under Dacre, it took a stance that was distinct from that of its Owner. 

Was vile?  It seems a bit early to be celebrating the redemption of the DM after Dacre's departure.  As far as I'm aware it's very much business as usual, but if you can show that their stance has significantly changed, please do brighten my day.

I'm not buying it really, but just for the sake of argument, let's say you're right and it was all down to Dacre.  The point I was making was that it is toxic for democracy to have an individual driving public opinion to suit his own interests by shaping the editorial policy of a "news" organisation.  Of course there is always some kind of editorial policy, but it crosses the line when they begin cherry picking stories for the front page, aggressively spinning stories in a certain way, and even by printing outright fabrications as fact.

It would be no better for democracy Dacre abusing his position in that way than Rothermere.

Jon Stewart - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Ridge:

> How do we define impessive and sucessful? I know some incredibly good people in terms of skills at work, but they're not really interested in recognition. I know some some considerably less impressive people, but who are far better regarded due to either their PR ability or willingness to claim credit for other peoples work. Guess who will dominate the pool?

The people who are nominated by others and whose CVs demonstrate an unequivocal commitment to successful public service will dominate the pool. They won't just dominate it, they will be the whole of the pool, because if you're a self-serving prat then you won't make it. What gets you selected is clear evidence of delivering any form of tangible positive change in society.

> Now the selection body. How do we stop that becoming a bed of cronyism, nepotism and 'old school tie' networking?

The system I propose has thousands and thousands of positions. It's the whole of parliament and the civil service combined. No one stays in the high profile posts for years and years, making headlines. There is no glory, there is no legacy. It's just an office job, helping to run the country effectively amongst thousands of other talented but ordinary people. The selection criteria are just a demonstration of being very hardworking in public interest projects. The charlatans are quickly filtered out when the recruitment bureaucracy check the CV - it's easy to ask all of the candidate's colleagues what they think, you just pick up the phone. If everyone who worked for a candidate says they're a tw*t, then that's that, on the reject pile. The problem with recruitment generally is that no one's lies are exposed. Just check what people say, it's not hard (but it does require bureaucratic effort). The selection body is something a bit like the House of Lords (people who understand the world of government), plus a load of bureaucrats.

> This also sounds like some form of conscription.

It is a little bit - as I say, it's like jury service. This doesn't make you any money, or make you famous, but if you're selected it looks good on your CV, especially if you achieve something in the public interest. If you manage to hold a senior position for a few years, then that makes you very desirable in senior positions in the job market. You might get paid the same wage you're getting in your current job, plus expenses and what not to make you feel you have to rise to the duty. Your employer is paid to hold a position open for you when you've done your bit. There isn't really a rational incentive to be an arsehole - it won't get you fame or legacy, as soon as you're not convincing you get sacked, so if you want to be dickhead just stay in your crappy corporate job where no one has the time to check up on you while you grind your way up the greasy pole.

There's enough self-interest to encourage people to try (it looks good on your CV), but there's no glory above and beyond doing a good job that will attract the self-serving morons that make up most of the current political class. In any case, those wankers won't make the grade in the first place because the first stage is to actually do something worthwhile to justify nomination.

And it's not obligatory - if you don't want to do it, you decline. What use is someone who doesn't want to be there?

Post edited at 00:28
Jon Stewart - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> ...and there lies the main (but not the only) problem. Where would you find such paragons? and how would you ensure that their heads weren't turned by the very fact that they'd been plucked from the masses as an elite minority who know better than everyone else?

Such paragons are all over the place - they're doing all kinds of work throughout our society for very little credit. We're really not short of people who work hard in the public interest, it's just that in the current system we screw them for everything they're worth. As above, there's no glory, they'd just be doing an office job in running the country. If you become very senior in a department, it's because you've shown particular aptitude and the people around you want you to stay and lead rather than to f*ck off back to your old job.

Jon Stewart - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Essentially what you are doing is institutionalisng the dominance of the educated middle and upper middle classes. It is government by these people which has alienated the rest and led to brexit etc. You have updated the traditional eligibility criteria  based on property with more subjective and contemporary criteria but it is still based largely on class.

It's quite true that starting today, the middle classes would dominate because of the higher level of educational attainment. But you'd still get plenty of people from poor backgrounds involved as you're selecting people on the basis of public service in all roles throughout society, not just in academia and medicine and so on. Then, working class and disadvantaged people can demand policies to redress the balance through the system of raising policy changes for debate.

So, rather than entrenching a system that allows certain types of power-hungry arseholes to gain power (mainly through the Oxford PPE route), you have a system designed to even out the distribution of power to all backgrounds. This is the whole point of meaningful (requesting policy change) rather than meaningless (cross in box based on lies) representation. Your argument is an argument against the status quo, which throws in the ultra-subjective criteria of charisma and a pretty face to make matters even worse.

>   The likelihood is that it would further alienate ordinary people and become an unreformable bastion of (self interested) groupthink.

Giving people meaningful ways to engage with a truly democratic system in place of the option to cross a box based on lies every 5 years should not alienate people. If you think that all people are capable or worthy of is the 5-yearly box cross, then it is you who holds them in low regard, not me.

 

Post edited at 00:48
Stichtplate on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> If you become very senior in a department, it's because you've shown particular aptitude and the people around you want you to stay and lead rather than to f*ck off back to your old job.

Wow, I thought you said that you'd worked in the public sector?

Well you've made me smile anyway.

Edit: That was a totally flippant answer and you deserve better. Big corporations have the profit motive to drive maximum efficiency. Big public bodies, on the other hand, have at their heart the desire for the greater good driving them on (just read the NHS constitution). 

Both regularly fall prey to the sort of high performing, charming, narcissistic sociopaths that all to often are handed the reigns of power and then royally screw up because they're so convinced of their own genius that they believe they can't fail.

You say the system you propose will allow for no individual status or glory? You Know your history Jon, how long before those little status indicators creep in? It starts with a slightly larger desk for all that important work and before you know it, it's a dacha on the lake and private traffic lanes back to the office in the city.

If you want to design a system of people running countries without the trappings of power and status you'll have to start by redesigning people.

Post edited at 01:31
1
Jon Stewart - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

?? This doesn't work like the civil service. If you're a nob, you get sacked, not promoted!

Jon Stewart - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> Experts are experts in their field but they're not experts in running a country.

> You employ experts as specialist advisers or put them in a second chamber but don't leave them in charge

I'm not arguing for "experts" in charge, I'm arguing for people with a proven track record of being useful in charge. They might have helped 50 kids leave behind gang life and drug dealing, or project managed the creation of a low-cost transport network. The post they'd be invited to take would be something roughly relevant to their interests (to give them confidence), but they would have to transfer their skills in delivering results for the public.

Who would you prefer to be in charge? Pig-f*cking charlatans who burn £50 notes in front of the homeless?

Post edited at 01:25
1
Stichtplate on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> ?? This doesn't work like the civil service. If you're a nob, you get sacked, not promoted!

Sorry Jon, took too long writing my edit. 

 

Ridge - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Thanks for the considered reply Jon.

The scale of what you're proposing is huge. Replacing parliament and the entire civil service?

Who actually does the selection? Is it some form of benign AI that completely removes human foibles, or an unelected technocratic elite. As Stichtplate said, you'd have to redesign not only society as a whole but people too.

No public or private sector body anywhere on the planet has a mission statement that reads “We will have leaders that are high performing, narcissistic psychopaths who will undermine the company, demoralise the workforce and deliver poor service in return for ever larger rewards”, but that's what you end up with to a greater or lesser extent.

Politics attracts the power hungry arseholes because thats where they get the power. Your new system is where the power would then reside. Guess where the pig-f*cking charlatans will work their way into, slowly but surely? It sadly won't be the disadvantaged using the system to facilitate change.

I'm probably far too cynical, but no matter what you design it will be undermined.

elsewhere on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Who would you prefer to be in charge? Pig-f*cking charlatans who burn £50 notes in front of the homeless?

YES.

They're easily replaced in an election.

That transition is largely ignored but might be the most important part of democracy.

Far better than having a bloody revolution or semi-permanent civil war.

 

1
Postmanpat on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

  Well, Stichtplate and Ridge have made  good points, not least that the system will very quickly be gamed by just the sort of people you don't like.

  Further, you have already made the first mistake by choosing "the sort of people who agree with me" ie. (as I read it) only those who work in the public sector, who will by definition tend to prefer public sector solutions and practices. So that's a large proportion of the electorate alienated from day 1. It all sounds suspiciously like being able to vote for whoever and whatever you like as long as he/she are members of "the party" and policies are approved by "the party". That's been tried before as well....

1
Bob Kemp - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to john arran:

I agree that the idea has a number of flaws as raised by you and Ridge, but it's an interesting starting point, and I'd like to see wider consideration of ideas like this. The starting point, that we have an archaic system of democracy that needs a radical redesign makes sense.

Stichtplate on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

A few hundred years ago our MPs used to travel to London to (supposedly) represent the views of their constituents in parliament. With the advent of modern technology us constituents are perfectly equipped to represent ourselves.

over the last hundred years Western principles of governance have increasingly drifted towards respecting the autonomy of the individual and the primacy of the individual’s wishes.

To my mind the logical conclusion is a move towards some form of direct democracy. Obviously this is an approach not without substantial dangers but perhaps it’s time people got the policies they deserve and accept responsibility for the outcomes.

MG - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> us constituents are perfectly equipped to represent ourselves.

Except we aren't because we don't have the time or knowledge to adequately understand what's needed, or to assess proposals in any but very narrow areas.  MPs do at least have the time and are backed up by staff, party workers and the civil service to attempt to do this.

 

Stichtplate on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to MG:

> Except we aren't because we don't have the time or knowledge to adequately understand what's needed, or to assess proposals in any but very narrow areas.  MPs do at least have the time and are backed up by staff, party workers and the civil service to attempt to do this.

Two pieces of evidence to the contrary.

Firstly; in 2003 Blair convinced the commons to invade Iraq with a majority of 173. The general public, according to most polls at the time, remained unconvinced.

Secondly; the right honourable Sir Christopher Chope.

Despite recent history, I'd rather trust the experience and judgment of 47,000,000 freely casting voters averaged out for a decision. Over the experience and judgement of 650 MPs in thrall to party and personal ambition.

MG - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

Obviously there will be bad decisions whatever type of government is used (try Brexit for the downsides of direct democracy).  You would expect however that, overall, seriously considered, informed decisions are better than ill-informed ones.

Stichtplate on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to MG:

I can only reiterate: I’d rather trust the averaged out judgment of 47 million citizens voting freely than the votes of 650 MPs largely voting the way the handful at the top tell them to.

RomTheBear on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

Democracy is not scalable. Democracy works only at the local level.

My preferred model would be loosely inspired from the roman empire : city states that manage their own affairs, and trade with each others as they wish, with a common platform to resolve differences and ensure peace, and a common army.

 

 

Stichtplate on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

There has been a bit of an improvement in communication technology since the days of the Roman Empire. Democracy can involve anyone with a phone signal.

 

GrahamD - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I can only reiterate: I’d rather trust the averaged out judgment of 47 million citizens voting freely than the votes of 650 MPs largely voting the way the handful at the top tell them to.

How often would you want a referendum ? have you seen how many topics are debated in the house of commons each and every day ?  Personally I'm happy I can elect an MP to represent me 99.9% of the time - although I'll happily acknowledge that the voting system is currently far from perfect.

MG - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I can only reiterate: I’d rather trust the averaged out judgment of 47 million citizens voting freely than the votes of 650 MPs largely voting the way the handful at the top tell them to.

Well OK.  I don't agree, generally.  The Swiss style system seems to work quite well with a lot of direct input but it still has central and cantonal government the make sure things are workable. It seems to me direct democracy only works on the very specific (e.g. a referendum on should we change the voting system), or very general (i.e. a general election where we choose if this manifesto/party is preferable to that one).  Anything detailed and complex individuals aren't in a position to make a judgement on.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Despite recent history, I'd rather trust the experience and judgment of 47,000,000 freely casting voters averaged out for a decision. Over the experience and judgement of 650 MPs in thrall to party and personal ambition.

I think we would get much better decisions if there was a cost to voting to give people a way of weighting how strongly they feel about a particular issue. 

So I'd do something a little more complex.  For example, give every voter 1,000 tokens per year which they can use to make their views felt on parliamentary votes which were important to them.   Parliamentary votes would be decided by the number of tokens cast not by counting MPs.   People could choose to give some or all of their tokens to an MP to vote on their behalf - any MP they like, not necessarily the MP representing their constituency - or to vote with them themselves.   They could choose to use multiple tokens on issues which are important to them or none at all if they don't know or don't care. 

 

 

Postmanpat on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> My preferred model would be loosely inspired from the roman empire : city states that manage their own affairs, and trade with each others as they wish, with a common platform to resolve differences and ensure peace, and a common army.

>

  The Roman empire was not a collection of city states. Maybe you are thinking of Ancient Greece?

 

1
RomTheBear on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   The Roman empire was not a collection of city states. Maybe you are thinking of Ancient Greece?

Ancient Greece also a good example.

Point is most decisions were made at the local level, which allowed for distributed errors that didn't adversely affect the wider system. Any independence was tolerated so long as the provinces paid taxes and stayed peaceful.

Nowadays we just have increasingly centralised states, too big too fail, and completely undemocratic.

 

Post edited at 19:47
RomTheBear on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Let's start by getting rid of FPTP shall we.

Stichtplate on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Ancient Greece also a good example.

> Point is most decisions were made at the local level, which allowed for distributed errors that didn't adversely affect the wider system. Any independence was tolerated so long as the provinces paid taxes and stayed peaceful.

> Nowadays we just have increasingly centralised states, too big too fail, and completely undemocratic.

So you'd like us all to split up into political blocks with a maximum population size of 150,000, the majority of whom are disenfranchised and existing in a state of almost perpetual warfare unless faced with an existential external threat.

Sounds ideal!

(Edit: I would want to dump FPTP though).

Post edited at 20:18
RomTheBear on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> So you'd like us all to split up into political blocks with a maximum population size of 150,000, the majority of whom are disenfranchised and existing in a state of almost perpetual warfare unless faced with an existential external threat.

Wrong. Small entities with a large degree of autonomy and the role of the central state is only to maintain peace and enforce dispute.

You can have decentralisation with a common army, see US, Roman/Byzantine empire, Switzerland etc etc 

 

Post edited at 20:42
john arran - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> A few hundred years ago our MPs used to travel to London to (supposedly) represent the views of their constituents in parliament.

Actually MPs are there to represent the interests of their constituents rather than their views. This is an important difference as it recognises the fact that MPs can take a broader view and can theoretically foresee such things as conflicting goals and unintended consequences more effectively than can typical constituents.

Sadly though, neither of these seems to be happening right now, since MPs are being expected to tow the party line first on too many important issues, rather than doing what they believe is best for their constituents.

Postmanpat on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to john arran:

> Actually MPs are there to represent the interests of their constituents rather than their views. This is an important difference as it recognises the fact that MPs can take a broader view and can theoretically foresee such things as conflicting goals and unintended consequences more effectively than can typical constituents.

> Sadly though, neither of these seems to be happening right now, since MPs are being expected to tow the party line first on too many important issues, rather than doing what they believe is best for their constituents.

>

   It seems to me that MPs are expected to do two very different things and have the resources to do neither 1) To represent their constituents, sometimes at a very micro-level eg. helping them battle the Home Office or the NHS  or their utility company etc etc 2) Contribute to debate over laws and the great affairs of State.

  All this with very limited staff from dingy badly equipped offices making it almost impossible to do either role well, let alone both.

  And, whilst I'm at it: it's equally odd that the opposition parties never seem to have the data or the resources available to formulate real policies in preparation for government. So when they get into power they spend the first year finding out what is happening and cobbling together policies on the hoof.

 

Post edited at 13:11
tom_in_edinburgh - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   All this with very limited staff from dingy badly equipped offices making it almost impossible to do either role well, let alone both.

I don't think it is about resources it's about motivation and power.  MPs have no interest in helping their constituents when what the constituent wants clashes with their own views or their party's policies.  If you've got a problem with social housing going up next to your property then you better hope your MP is a Tory.  If you have a problem with immigration then you better hope your MP is not a Tory.   MPs will help if they think he constituents problem can be used to score political points or if the constituent might make a donation.

Equally, their votes and parliamentary time are so controlled by the party whips they don't really have much power.   It's not like US senators/congresspeople where there seems to be a culture of horse trading and representatives will put the interests of their home state first and extract a quid-pro-quo for their vote.     The only MPs with any power at the moment are Tory MPs and it comes from their ability to remove their party leader not their vote in the commons.  

MPs are actually a bit of a waste of space and giving them more resources without more actual power and the freedom to exercise it is pointless.  I think one of the keys to reform would be allowing people to choose which MP they want to represent them rather than being stuck with the one for their constituency and weighting MPs votes according to how many people select them.   That way some of the best back-bench MPs could have a significant weight behind their vote and the ability to stand up to government.  Also, government and opposition could not easily collude to disenfranchise large sections of the population as has happened with Brexit - if people could choose the MP to represent them then remainers could switch their choice to someone hard line enough to ignore party whips and vote against Brexit legislation.

Post edited at 13:44
Bob Kemp - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

"And, whilst I'm at it: it's equally odd that the opposition parties never seem to have the data or the resources available to formulate real policies in preparation for government. So when they get into power they spend the first year finding out what is happening and cobbling together policies on the hoof."

I do think you're right there, with one or two exceptions. One of the things that was striking about the first Blair government, regardless of one's opinions about them, was that they clearly did have a plan and were very quick to start implementing it. I remember the first three months as a quite startling burst of activity by British governmental standards - Bank of England independence, hand gun bans, hospital building programme, land mine sale ban, ethical foreign policy (may raise a laugh in some quarters, I know...), extra spending on education and much more.

neilh - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

If you spend time looking at what MP's do and the number of people who go to them with constituency issues it is quite mindboggling. How anybody actually copes with the work load is beyond me.You have so many conflicts of interests- do I support Fred down the road who needs help with a benefits issue, or  a local party issue and some big strategic issue like heathrow.

I am amazed that anything actually gets done.

They are clearly under-resourced and are trying too much to do everything.

Cut the local issues out which could be done by the local council.

elsewhere on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to neilh:

MPs out of touch with their constituents and constituency. What could go wrong? 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to neilh:

> If you spend time looking at what MP's do and the number of people who go to them with constituency issues it is quite mindboggling.

I've got to my mid 50's and only written to my MP once - when somebody wanted to build a block of student flats about 4m from my living room window.   They were totally unhelpful: Labour MP sharing an office with Labour MSP and Labour Councillor: there was no way she was going to help against the Labour council's policy of getting more students in the constituency (who they thought would vote Labour).    Funnily enough it turned out the students voted SNP and they all got kicked out.

Most of my life I've had Labour MPs who would have disagreed with me on pretty much everything.    That's why I think people should be able to choose the MP that represents them and votes on their behalf in parliament rather than being stuck with the one for their constituency.  

neilh - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Of course the other side of the argument is that planning laws allows them to do that quite legally. 

neilh - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Of course the other side of the argument is that planning laws allows them to do that quite legally. 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to neilh:

> Of course the other side of the argument is that planning laws allows them to do that quite legally. 

It wasn't as clear cut as that: they had absolutely no interest in helping because they wanted that kind of development.    Which in some ways is fair enough: the problem is that when the MP for your constituency has a diametrically opposite viewpoint from yours you've effectively not got an MP.   

It would be better to have a two stage system: the first stage to select a set of MPs and the second stage where everyone gets to choose an MP to represent them.  That way everyone would be represented even if another party won in their constituency.  If choosing an MP was done via a website MPs would need to stay on their game or people would switch to someone else during the course of a parliament.

Jon Stewart - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Did you look at the link I posted earlier? It’s all about redesigning voting for the modern age and I’m sure you would find it really interesting.

Yes, watched it a couple of times, and it seems to be suggesting something pretty similar to what I'm saying, but slightly less radical. I'm sure it's far more sensible and well considered than my suggestion, but I didn't really feel that I'd understood how the proposed system worked.

I'm encouraged by the idea that there movements out there that consider how democracy might not just mean voting for political parties or leaders delineated on tribal grounds.

Jon Stewart - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> YES.

> They're easily replaced in an election.

Well that's news to me. OK, so say Michael Gove has ruined my children's education by supporting limiting the overall amount of funding available and then siphoning off a proportion to support a "free school" that indoctrinates children with false mystical ideas and then narrowing the focus of the curriculum to memorising dry lists of knowledge to reproduce in tests. Then he takes us out of the EU and destroys my business that I've worked my entire life to build. He's probably going to poison my water supply now as environment secretary by removing regulation that keeps it safe (this last one is an unsubstantiated smear against Gove, but it would be in keeping). I live in Barnsley. How, exactly, do I replace him in an election?

You might think that we can get rid of our politicians, but the system does not work that way.

In my system, they'd be gone in a couple of years, because it's like jury service. You do it for a bit and then the job goes to someone else. The people who run departments and provide continuity don't make policy - that's done through the democratic procedure of debated policy change campaigned for on a continual rolling basis.

Post edited at 21:11
Jon Stewart - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Well, Stichtplate and Ridge have made  good points, not least that the system will very quickly be gamed by just the sort of people you don't like.

The point is this: the current system is very attractive to power-hungry arseholes who act for entirely self-serving motivations because it offers the rewards of concentrated power, fame and legacy. The system I propose takes away these incentives, there is no concentrated power or fame or legacy because once you've served for a bit you're replaced. And you can't deliberately work your way in: you have to demonstrate public service outside government to make it into the pool, and then you're just picked with a large element of randomness like jury service.

I'm talking about moving from a system set up with incentives and in-built methods to game, to one without the incentives nor the methods. It's therefore a huge improvement.

>   Further, you have already made the first mistake by choosing "the sort of people who agree with me" ie. (as I read it) only those who work in the public sector

Well you read it wrong, and I was perfectly clear:

> If you've run turned a school around, or run a company that's had huge benefits for its employees and customers, or run a programme that's reduced the incidence of malaria or whatever, you get into the pool for posting at some point. 

These people are *nothing* like me!

> It all sounds suspiciously like being able to vote for whoever and whatever you like as long as he/she are members of "the party" and policies are approved by "the party". That's been tried before as well....

That's because you haven't read it or thought about it properly.

This isn't to say that it would work properly rather than having disastrous unintended consequences. It's just that you've failed to show what they might be and how what I propose is worse than the current nonsense.

Jon Stewart - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Ridge:

> The scale of what you're proposing is huge. Replacing parliament and the entire civil service?

Yes.

> Who actually does the selection? Is it some form of benign AI that completely removes human foibles, or an unelected technocratic elite. 

It's not an elite, it's just a bunch of bureaucrats checking CVs against a list of criteria. I'm well aware that this doesn't work in organisations, which manage to select only the most machiavellian members for promotion. The difference in this system is that the CVs are actually checked, and if what you're saying isn't corroborated in full by the people you worked with then you're rejected. You never knowingly apply for, or get rejected for a post, so it's actually nothing like a recruitment process. If you put your CV in, you might one day get called up for service. The pool is huge, because CVs from everywhere are constantly being assessed and checked for the future. They're put into batches for suitable types of role and then selected randomly from the appropriate batch of passes. You can serve more than once (unless you f*ck up, i.e. complaints against you are upheld). It's a big HR dept that constantly works to post people, replace people, keep the whole government staffed with suitable people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

> No public or private sector body anywhere on the planet has a mission statement that reads “We will have leaders that are high performing, narcissistic psychopaths who will undermine the company, demoralise the workforce and deliver poor service in return for ever larger rewards”, but that's what you end up with to a greater or lesser extent.

That's because they're stable hierarchies which you can work your way up by machiavellian tactics, they're not run on a jury-service basis.

> Politics attracts the power hungry arseholes because thats where they get the power. Your new system is where the power would then reside. Guess where the pig-f*cking charlatans will work their way into, slowly but surely?

See above.

I'm not saying that this wouldn't go horribly wrong. I'm saying that it's a fundamentally better system than the nonsense we have today.

 

Stichtplate on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

 It's a big HR dept that constantly works to post people, replace people, keep the whole government staffed with suitable people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

You keep putting this stuff forward as if you've never had any interactions with big organisations. Have you ever had dealings with an HR department, of any size, anywhere, ever? They seem to be solely staffed by rule bound dullards who all assume that as their own work time can be wasted to no consequential effect then so can yours. I think this is an important point as your whole scheme depends on a miraculously organised and adept HR department, something that I've not only never seen but also never heard of or read about.

I agree that it would be wonderful if we could be organised by an ever changing army of intelligent, dedicated, selfless, egoless technocrats. It's just that I don't think that these people exist in any numbers and those very few that do exist will be far too busy improving the world on their own terms to want to get involved in some vast, faceless bureaucracy.

Edit: I agree that the current systems out there need a radical overhaul, it's just that I'd prefer to move towards more democracy, not less.

Post edited at 22:20
Jon Stewart - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> You keep putting this stuff forward as if you've never had any interactions with big organisations. Have you ever had dealings with an HR department, of any size, anywhere, ever? They seem to be solely staffed by rule bound dullards

That's because HR depts in organisations are staffed by people who can't do anything except work in an HR dept (and moan about their weight while eating enormous cakes with an 8th or 9th cuppa that morning, skimmed milk please). This HR dept would be staffed by people who have done something else and they're doing a stint in government. Since it's a pretty boring job you wouldn't have to do it for long, but you could do it as an introductory position while you learn what's what. It isn't a bunch of jaded moaners making a "career" out of dying slowly in that soul-poisoning office.

Ridge - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Thanks for the reply.

You mentioned replacing the civil service, but in a later post you stated: “The people who run departments and provide continuity don't make policy - that's done through the democratic procedure of debated policy change campaigned for on a continual rolling basis.” That is the existing role of the civil service, so why would it need to be replaced? Keeping it would cut down on the amount of 'churn' in the organisation.

> If you put your CV in, you might one day get called up for service. The pool is huge, because CVs from everywhere are constantly being assessed and checked for the future. They're put into batches for suitable types of role and then selected randomly from the appropriate batch of passes. You can serve more than once (unless you f*ck up, i.e. complaints against you are upheld). It's a big HR dept that constantly works to post people, replace people, keep the whole government staffed with suitable people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

I don't think the pool would be huge or necessarily diverse. Very short term contracts wouldn't appeal to a large number of people due to their precarious nature, especially if they had to leave a stable job. It would predominantly appeal to upper middle class people with the confidence and contacts to know they could seemlessly slip back into well paid job. (Typical politicians really..)

> I'm not saying that this wouldn't go horribly wrong. I'm saying that it's a fundamentally better system than the nonsense we have today.

A variation on your proposed system might well be the way forward.

Jon Stewart - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Edit: I agree that the current systems out there need a radical overhaul, it's just that I'd prefer to move towards more democracy, not less.

I don't understand why you think a rolling programme of policy debate, the agenda set by a working version of the online petition system, is less democratic than putting a cross in a box every 5 years, on the basis of lies sold by media tycoons and facebook frauds.

Jon Stewart - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Ridge:

> That is the existing role of the civil service, so why would it need to be replaced? 

Because it's shite. It's the type of hierarchy that attracts the power-hungry tw*ts I can't stand at the top, and the type of jaded, whinging incompetent tw*ts I can't stand at the bottom. Much better if they were all people who'd got experience from outside. If they were well-suited they could stay on for quite a while, whereas in the policy-making positions, these would have a faster turn-over to avoid power becoming concentrated.

> I don't think the pool would be huge or necessarily diverse. Very short term contracts wouldn't appeal to a large number of people due to their precarious nature, especially if they had to leave a stable job. It would predominantly appeal to upper middle class people with the confidence and contacts to know they could seemlessly slip back into well paid job. (Typical politicians really..)

Covered this in the first post. Your employer is compensated to keep the job open, you earn whatever you earnt before, plus some allowance for disruption. Since it looks good on your CV and builds esteem as a public servant, there is an incentive to take up the offer of a post, but not one of power and money.

 

Stichtplate on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Have a like for the optimism and the HR vignette.

Jim Fraser - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to The Ice Doctor:

(Checked Equality Act 2010. Stupidity is NOT a protected characteristic. Excellent.)

> What I find so amusing is how people think democracy and voting is actually going to change things.

> Wake up and smell the roses. The only thing of importance in this world is money. Proven, time over. With money, you buy power. With power you corrupt. Vicious , sad circle.

> It's a twisted world.

And you are a twisted buffoon.

If people persistently vote for anachronistic tribal groups with no relevance to 21st century life then one can guarantee that things will go wrong. Even worse, a large part of the electorate damage the process by not voting. Worse still, a huge proportion of those in England who do vote, vote for a party with a worse record of damaging this country and lives of its people across the last 40 years than anyone could have imagined during the earlier couple of decades.

The consistently lamentable social and economic status of the UK compared to its North European neighbours speaks volumes. 

You are one who needs to wake up. You need to vote every time you have the opportunity. You need to vote for someone clever than you. You need to vote for someone whose political ambitions would create a world that you could bear to live in. You need to persuade the person next to you to do the same. 

Now f3ck off. You have a lot of homework to do.

Your starter for ten ...

http://databank.worldbank.org/data/download/GNIPC.pdf

 

Post edited at 22:47
Stichtplate on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I don't understand why you think a rolling programme of policy debate, the agenda set by a working version of the online petition system, is less democratic than putting a cross in a box every 5 years, on the basis of lies sold by media tycoons and facebook frauds.

You're right, it doesn't sound any less democratic. I think I'm just hung up on the faceless technocrat elite angle. It sort of creeps me out that it could end up producing just another iteration of the ruling class, just smugger and more entitled as it's based on belonging to 'the chosen' rather than just money or the nonsensical idea of 'breeding'.

Edit: For terrible typo.

 

Post edited at 22:55
Jon Stewart - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

The point is that they'd only get to be smug for a couple of years, and then they'd go back to their old job. Then 10 years later they might do another stint. So it wouldn't be an elite at all, it would be normal people, but ones who are actually proven capable of doing something useful.

Stichtplate on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I get the limited term thing it's just that if you tell a group of people  'you're the best of the best' and then hand them the reigns of power they quite often start getting ideas and start wondering why the hell they should let the little people limit them at all.

 

Bob Kemp - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>  but I didn't really feel that I'd understood how the proposed system worked.

I wasn't entirely clear either. I'd like to see some of these kinds of ideas prototyped, at local level for example. It would help to see them in action. 

> I'm encouraged by the idea that there movements out there that consider how democracy might not just mean voting for political parties or leaders delineated on tribal grounds.

Yes. I think the two-party model is broken. Populism is one response, but it's a short-term solution that's inherently dangerous, especially if tied to authoritarian beliefs. Fixing the system is better but more difficult.

 

Postmanpat on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The point is this: the current system is very attractive to power-hungry arseholes who act for entirely self-serving motivations because it offers the rewards of concentrated power, fame and legacy. The system I propose takes away these incentives, there is no concentrated power or fame or legacy because once you've served for a bit you're replaced. And you can't deliberately work your way in: you have to demonstrate public service outside government to make it into the pool, and then you're just picked with a large element of randomness like jury service.

> I'm talking about moving from a system set up with incentives and in-built methods to game, to one without the incentives nor the methods. It's therefore a huge improvement.

>

  Power corrupts.

> Well you read it wrong, and I was perfectly clear:

>> These people are *nothing* like me!

>

But are they people that you respect for the way they live their lives? I suspect so. That you are not actually one of them doesn't mean you don't think like them. If you tell that in addition to public spirited charity workers you would appoint hard nosed businessmen and maverick brexiteering lawyers to your "elect" then I'll retract.

> This isn't to say that it would work properly rather than having disastrous unintended consequences. It's just that you've failed to show what they might be and how what I propose is worse than the current nonsense.

>

   You have described a very undiverse group of people who you personally happen to think are best suited to power and made the extraordinary assumption that they will not be corrupted by the access to power, let alone that the non-elect will not resent the creation of this "elect".

  It's curious: simplistically, the history of the UK (and most of the West) is of power being increasingly democratised by pressure from below. Essentially the holders of power (successively monarch-aristocracy-landowners) were wise enough to realise that only by sharing power could they avoid revolution and having their heads lopped off. It is now the soft left that moots reversing the process and doesn't see the rather obvious risks it would create.

Incidentally, if these people are only running the country for a couple of years at the time, how do they get the expertise required to run things?

Post edited at 08:44
neilh - on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

You can please some of the people some of the time but never all the people all the time.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to neilh:

> You can please some of the people some of the time but never all the people all the time.

Which is why we should be able to switch MP.   If your local MP doesn't please you then choose a different one to represent you in parliament just like you would for any other supplier.  That's a far better option than effectively being disenfrachised and unrepresented if you are a Labour voter in a Tory constituency or vice versa.

It also gives a way of dealing with screw-up MPs like Chope.  If people could go on a website and switch the MP that represents them and MPs votes in parliament were scaled by the number of people that chose them the electorate would have a way of signalling their displeasure with a guy like Chope.   If there was a threshold number of people you had to repesent to stay an MP then we could even kick the really bad ones out mid-parliament.

Our present electoral system with constituencies and sending MPs to a central parliament and counting votes on bits of paper by hand was a response to constraints which existed a few hundred years ago but don't exist any more.    We can do a lot better if there is the will to research and develop alternatives. 

Post edited at 10:23
neilh - on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

That is your opinion.

The system should have people like Chope ( whose defence is basically he does not support private members bills-- he wants the government of the day to take issues seriously and push stuff through not via private members bills). There is nothing wrong with a view like that...in a democracy.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to neilh:

> The system should have people like Chope ( whose defence is basically he does not support private members bills-- he wants the government of the day to take issues seriously and push stuff through not via private members bills). There is nothing wrong with a view like that...in a democracy.

He is entitled to his views (and to his lame excuses) but equally it would be an improvement if the electorate could make their disapproval of his actions felt.

Suppose you were a woman and a clown like Chope was your MP because you happened to live in his constituency even though you had never voted for him.  Would he be a useful representative or would you rather nominate someone who wasn't in favour of upskirt photos to represent you?

 

1
Stichtplate on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to neilh:

> The system should have people like Chope ( whose defence is basically he does not support private members bills-- he wants the government of the day to take issues seriously and push stuff through not via private members bills).

That would be the Chope with 32 private members bills of his own?

There is nothing wrong with a view like that...in a democracy.

Did you mean democracy or hypocrisy?

 

Jon Stewart - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Power corrupts.

Jeremy Hunt is in charge of the NHS.

OK, that was unfair, he was corrupt *before* he came into government. 

But the whole point of the proposal is to dilute power precisely because power corrupts. In this system, rather than networks of Bullingdon scumbags or trades union tosspots, power is shared by far more people, who are far more widely spread in terms of connections. "Power corrupts" isn't an argument against what I propose, it's an acknowledgement of the problems inherent in all governance which this proposal makes deliberate steps to address. I'm not saying it's going to work, I'm saying there are reasons why it's less prone to the type of corruption demonstrated to an eye-watering magnitude by the current systems sorry consequences: Jeremy Hunt.

> If you tell that in addition to public spirited charity workers you would appoint hard nosed businessmen and maverick brexiteering lawyers to your "elect" then I'll retract.

The positions are serving the public, right? So it depends what you mean by "hard nosed". If you mean "very effective in delivering results, for the benefit of the public" then fine. If you mean "very effective in delivering results to serve themselves, with negative consequences for others" (which sounds more like "hard nosed" to me) then you need to explain why on earth these people would be suitable in public service.

Unless you disagree with the foundational purpose of democratic government which is to serve the public? As for "brexiteering" - no such concept would exist! There probably wouldn't even be an EU in this fantasy world. Maverick lawyers - of course, if they had a track record of delivering results for the public good.

I'm slightly disturbed by your idea that the type of people I hate - those who screw others for personal gain - should be deliberately engineered into government for the sake of diversity. Perhaps we should have a quota of incredibly stupid people too, so they don't get left out?

>    You have described a very undiverse group of people who you personally happen to think are best suited to power and made the extraordinary assumption that they will not be corrupted by the access to power, let alone that the non-elect will not resent the creation of this "elect".

All I'm saying is that good criterion for government is a clear demonstration of achieving results that benefit public rather than private interests. If you want to pursue your private interests, you are welcome to do that that privately, but you won't be given public resources to siphon off into your own pocket. If you want to work your balls off in the public interest, then you're welcome to do so. I'm not sure what the advantage would be in inviting people who show no interest in improving the lives of others but demonstrate a talent for filling their own pot into determining the distribution of public resources. It sounds like a completely stupid idea to me.

>   It's curious: simplistically, the history of the UK (and most of the West) is of power being increasingly democratised by pressure from below. Essentially the holders of power (successively monarch-aristocracy-landowners) were wise enough to realise that only by sharing power could they avoid revolution and having their heads lopped off. It is now the soft left that moots reversing the process and doesn't see the rather obvious risks it would create.

I'm proposing further democratisation, you just refuse to accept that anything other than voting for certified pillocks every 5 years can be effective democratic participation. Probably because it suits you rather nicely to have people who can serve your interests in power, while if you're poor and disabled, then you're f*cked because the system is set up with no regards to your interests. 

> Incidentally, if these people are only running the country for a couple of years at the time, how do they get the expertise required to run things?

This is the detail of how long a policy position (debating changes coming in from the petition-style public input, which would involve a great deal of advocacy to shape needs in society into concrete proposals) would be held for versus a more technocratic "civil service" type position. I don't think that once you account for Cabinet reshuffles and constant churn of civil servants between departments the timescales would be that much different but the contract lengths would be deliberately optimised from experience rather than arrived at by pure accident.

Post edited at 20:07
elsewhere on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Better a despised pillock who can lose an election than a competent but eventually hated technocrat.

Jon Stewart - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> Better a despised pillock who can lose an election than a competent but eventually hated technocrat.

You seem to be working on the basis that the technocrat stays in post, but the proposal is that they are shorter lived that ministerial positions. And as I pointed out, under FPTP, it's rarely possible for the people who are screwed by a minister to vote them out.

 

elsewhere on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Doesn't matter if individual technocrats change, the members of the technocratic ruling class would end up hated.

Post edited at 21:00
Jon Stewart - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

Every time I remember that Jeremy Hunt is in charge of the NHS, I want to drive a screwdriver through my prefrontal cortex.

What makes you think that the hatred of the tenchnocracy could be worse than this? Remember that if you don't like what the technocrats are doing, you go online, you see what changes are being proposed through advocacy groups, and you add your support to the policy change you think will your resolve your problem. Your direct democratic interaction is what sets the agenda for these vile, corrupt, hated technocrats to debate. And these people don't have any vile self-serving ideology, because they don't have the means to enforce one. They're not a team bounded and cemented together by ideology - they're a disparate collection of individuals selected for their proven ability to analyse problems and find effective solutions.

What do I do about Jeremy Hunt? I wait another 5 years, and then I vote for the notorious queer-basher Tim Farron* to keep a Tory out of the Westmorland and Lonsdale seat.

 

*This is a joke - I like Tim Farron, I'd much rather have the Lib-Tory choice than the Lab-UKIP choice I used to face in Heeley.

Post edited at 21:15
elsewhere on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Every time I remember that Jeremy Hunt is in charge of the NHS, I want to drive a screwdriver through my prefrontal cortex.

> What makes you think that the hatred of the tenchnocracy could be worse than this? 

Because the technocratic ruling class and those who select its members can only be replaced by bloody revolution.

Jon Stewart - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

I don't know what you're on about.

The technocrats can't form a "class", because they don't come from any background, and they get chucked straight back out of government back into the rest of society. The whole idea is that there is that there is no "class", it's disparate individuals with relevant practical skills to get useful things done.

I suspect that what you object to is the removal of any idea of a "tribe" or a "class" or an ideology to which one can belong?

elsewhere on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I don't know what you're on about.

> The technocrats can't form a "class"

Yeah, right.

Their class would be the favourites of the selectors , the ruling class or more in your words;  NOT "the rest of society".

> I suspect that what you object to is the removal of any idea of a "tribe" or a "class" or an ideology  

 I suspect a permanently ruling technocratic tribe would be hated.

 

Post edited at 21:47
Jon Stewart - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

So if they're hated, then propose rules changes to run things differently. What stops that?

elsewhere on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> So if they're hated, then propose rules changes to run things differently. What stops that?

technocratic rule ideologues stop that 

Jon Stewart - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

You've really missed a bit.

Go back to the HR post somewhere upthread. The people selecting aren't at the top of a hierarchy, looking down on the plebosphere and picking out people that reflect themselves. That idea of a "ruling elite" is something that is knocked down in the proposal, not built up. You seem obsessed with it, as if, there are only 2 possible worlds: vote for a choice of utter pricks, choosing between tribes and ideologies, every 5 years and then exist sorrowfully at the mercy of their interests until you're faced with precisely same charade again. Or be ruled by an unelected elite who will screw you in their self interest. But I'm not proposing either.

The people who do the selecting aren't at the top of the hierarchy - they're actually at the bottom. But they are proven competent by completely unrelated work.

You're imposing an idea of "ruling elite" as if it simply must be the case, when it isn't there in the proposal.

 

Edit: actually I suspect that you're just obsessed by the idea of "bloody revolution" and you can't be reasoned with because your ideology bulldozes down the whole principle of reason and debate.

Post edited at 22:11
Postmanpat on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

 

> But the whole point of the proposal is to dilute power precisely because power corrupts.

>

  You don't dilute power by narrowing the potential pool of power holders to a group of clones.

> The positions are serving the public, right? So it depends what you mean by "hard nosed". If you mean "very effective in delivering results, for the benefit of the public" then fine.

>

  It means hard nosed in meeting whatever targets they were deputed to meet public/private/charity/whatever. As I said above, you have just specified an elect in the mould of the way you think the world should be run.

> Unless you disagree with the foundational purpose of democratic government which is to serve the public?

>  

  I'm a utlititarian. I beleive that democracy should benefit the public but not necessarly in the same way you do.

> I'm slightly disturbed by your idea that the type of people I hate>

  You hate people who you interpret as doing those things.

> All I'm saying is that good criterion for government is a clear demonstration of achieving results that benefit public rather than private interests.

>

   So you end up with a bunch of virtue signalling clones instead of people who serve the public in other ways.

> I'm proposing further democratisation, you just refuse to accept that anything other than voting for certified pillocks every 5 years can be effective democratic participation. Probably because it suits you rather nicely to have people who can serve your interests in power, while if you're poor and disabled, then you're f*cked because the system is set up with no regards to your interests. 

>

  Thanks for the cod psychology and personal attack. Nice.

  That aside, as you well know I am highly critical of the anachronism that passes for democracy in this country. I just don't think that creating a self replicating elect is going improve either democratic debate or outcomes.

> This is the detail of how long a policy position (debating changes coming in from the petition-style public input, which would involve a great deal of advocacy to shape needs in society into concrete proposals) would be held for versus a more technocratic "civil service" type position.

>

  So you also create a long serving technocratic elite that manipulates the elected representatives or, more likely, is made from the same mould.

  Apart from the obvious comparisons to the various communist party States the precedent that springs to mind is Oliver Cromwell

"A few honest men are better than numbers. … If you choose godly, honest men to be captains of horse, honest men will follow them. … I had rather have a plain russet-coated captain that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that which you call a gentleman and is nothing else’".

So he restricted his parliaments to the "Godly" elect and , funnily enough, found that some of them weren't that Godly after all. So  he had to keep dissolving parliament until power was eventually limited to one Godly man, Oliver Cromwell (who ruled through his Godly Gauleiters, the Major Generals). Who'd have thought! 

elsewhere on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The people who do the selecting aren't at the top of the hierarchy - they're actually at the bottom. But they are proven competent by completely unrelated work.

If they do the selection they're the top of the heap as  they have power. They're the  ones to corrupt too. 

Proven competent to whom? Proven to the selectors with the power to decide. Proven to those deemed to have the right  technocrat thinking.

> You're imposing an idea of "ruling elite" as if it simply must be the case, when it isn't there in the proposal.

It might not be in your proposal but it is an obvious consequence. 

> Edit: actually I suspect that you're just obsessed by the idea of "bloody revolution" and you can't be reasoned with because your ideology bulldozes down the whole principle of reason and debate.

my ideology is that democratic transitions of power avoid bloody revolution whereas technocratic rule makes rebellion or bloody revolution  inevitable. 

1
Jon Stewart - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   You don't dilute power by narrowing the potential pool of power holders to a group of clones.

So I define the criteria as "having track record of achieving something useful for the public any in way, be that in business, in the public sector, in charity, or as an individual", and you interpret that as "narrowing the potential pool of power holders to a group of clones.".

You are speaking in bad faith and wasting my time.

>   It means hard nosed in meeting whatever targets they were deputed to meet public/private/charity/whatever. As I said above, you have just specified an elect in the mould of the way you think the world should be run.

I am talking about people "having track record of achieving something useful for the public any in way, be that in business, in the public sector, in charity, or as an individual".

Deal with that, not what it is easiest for you to believe I am saying.

>   I'm a utlititarian. I beleive that democracy should benefit the public but not necessarly in the same way you do.

>    So you end up with a bunch of virtue signalling clones instead of people who serve the public in other ways.

Justified, or talking crap?

>   Thanks for the cod psychology and personal attack. Nice.

It's a credible explanation for why you're so keen to knack down an idea that threatens the status quo. I'm inviting you to propose something that serves the public better, or to defend the status quo. Either will do.

>  I just don't think that creating a self replicating elect is going improve either democratic debate or outcomes.

So you don't think there's a "self-replicating elect" now? I'm proposing widening, not narrowing the pool from which government is drawn, and then vastly increasing the responsiveness to democratic demand. If it doesn't serve well, the system is designed to tear itself down: request the change and organise the support.

>   So you also create a long serving technocratic elite that manipulates the elected representatives or, more likely, is made from the same mould.

You and elsewhere keep saying "long serving" and I keep repeating "no". Again: no. NO. Random selection. 

>   Apart from the obvious comparisons to the various communist party States the precedent that springs to mind is Oliver Cromwell

You can't advance your argument by offering utterly irrelvant historical examples which don't look, even superficially, like what I propose. It is weak.

Jon Stewart - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> If they do the selection they're the top of the heap as  they have power. They're the  ones to corrupt too. 

The point is that the people doing the selecting don't have an agenda to progress. They're just looking through CVs and deciding whether they meet criteria, and the people doing this are diverse: they come from business, from education, from social projects, from law...there's no ideology linking them. They're corrupted, because they're not at the top of a hierarchy, they're just doing a job.

> Proven competent to whom? Proven to the selectors with the power to decide

The power to decide: does this 10,000th application meet the criteria of demonstrable useful impact? Are they lying? Might they be bearable for a couple of years in one of thousands of  government jobs? It's hardly holding the keys to enter the "ruling elite". You're just imposing an idea that isn't there in what I'v said.

> my ideology is that democratic transitions of power avoid bloody revolution whereas technocratic rule makes rebellion or bloody revolution  inevitable. 

But we've never tried a democracy in anything like this form, where there is ongoing reform through open public debate. Why would you choose a bloody revolution if every day on the news there is a run-through of "top trending" policy reforms that you go online and add your voice to? 

Postmanpat on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

It’s a simple parable thst I thought you’d understand. That you think It’s  meaningless reflects how naive you're being. It’s a simple example of how choosing people who you think share your values will usually end in disappointment, corruption, and less democracy.

You’d end with a bunch of elitist quangocrats admiring each other at Hamstead drinks-potties and alienating the voters. It would make the honours system look good.If you dont let people like Farage or the idiot Corbyn stand for office you are restricting democracy to a limited elite. You know what happens next? Somebody takes over the system and redefines the requirements of office holders to reflect their prejudices rather than yours.

It’s a bloody daft idea. Not much else to say really

Post edited at 22:52
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Jon Stewart - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> It’s a simple parable thst I thought you’d understand. That you think It’s  meaningless reflects how naive you're being. It’s a simple example of how choosing people who you think share your values will usually end in disappointment, corruption, and less democracy.

But I'm not proposing a powerful leader choosing people who share their values. I'm proposing a completely non-ideological system that deals with tangible results instead of values.

> You’d end with a bunch of elitist quangocrats admiring each other at Hamstead drinks-potties and alienating the voters. It would make the honours system look good.If you dont let people like Farage or the idiot Corbyn stand for office you are restricting democracy to a limited elite. You know what happens next? Somebody takes over the system and redefines the requirements of office holders to reflect their prejudices rather than yours.

You say "somebody takes over the system" without thinking about how that would be done. In any system, someone can "take it over" and be a dictator. That's what being a dictator is.

The problem you appear to have in understanding the proposal is that it isn't a hierarchy with leadership. All the examples you propose as counter-evidence are ideologically driven hierarchies. It's actually different. You have senior people in departments, but they're not the ones making policy. Failing to engage with what is being said is not the same as opposing it. 

 

Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> It’s a simple parable thst I thought you’d understand.

Oh my goodness. Did you really mean that and not, e.g parallel or analogy?

Postmanpat on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Oh my goodness. Did you really mean that and not, e.g parallel or analogy?

>

A parable is a type of analogy. It doesn’t have to be biblical if that is your point

 

Postmanpat on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> But I'm not proposing a powerful leader choosing people who share their values. I'm proposing a completely non-ideological system that deals with tangible results instead of values.

>

  You think you are but any specification of suitability for membership of elect will reflect values. You can't see that because you seem to think that your particular values are universal.

> You say "somebody takes over the system" without thinking about how that would be done. In any system, someone can "take it over" and be a dictator. That's what being a dictator is.

>

  Yes, but when you deliberately and officially tell a large part of the population that they are banned from office for being too stupid or selfish you are provoking a backlash. How it happens is how revolutions and coups happen.

> The problem you appear to have in understanding the proposal is that it isn't a hierarchy with leadership. All the examples you propose as counter-evidence are ideologically driven hierarchies.

>

  No, that's what they became. It's not what they were meant to be. That is exactly the point.

 

Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   You think you are but any specification of suitability for membership of elect will reflect values. You can't see that because you seem to think that your particular values are universal.

I'm trying to choose values so dilute that it seems reasonable to universalise what's left over: only a motivation to work in the public interest. If you don't think this is a reasonable expectation for those serving the public in government roles I really question what you think the purpose of government is in the first place.

>   Yes, but when you deliberately and officially tell a large part of the population that they are banned from office for being too stupid or selfish you are provoking a backlash. How it happens is how revolutions and coups happen.

I'm not proposing you tell anyone they're banned from office. Thousands and thousands of applications/nominations go in. Postings are made on a rolling basis. No one is "handed the keys of power". No one is banned from office. You are either offered a position at some point in your career. Or you are not. Partly this depends on whether you demonstrate any useful skills in delivering public service. And partly on luck. I'm trying to be clear but perhaps I'm not doing so well?

>   No, that's what they became. It's not what they were meant to be. That is exactly the point.

No. You're totally misrepresenting...well, everything, when you draw a parallel between a proposed system that attempts to hugely increase democratic participation, dilute power so that far more, and more diverse people contribute to the government and guard against the imposition of ideological policies, with systems that are hell-bent on enforcing an ideology over the population whether they like it or not. You are attached to the idea that that's what I'm proposing, when it isn't. It's nothing like that. 

I am completely willing to take seriously the risk of ideological homogeneity in a government that is selected on a technocratic/random "jury service" basis. The solution I propose is a mixture of the sortition system in the talk I posted where people's *characteristics* are represented, but I'd throw in a good dose of ideological diversity monitoring a la Jonathan Haidt. In fact, let's put him in a consultancy role setting up the checks and balances to firmly implement ideological diversity in the constitution.

When we put the new system to a referendum, we'll allocate weighted votes to those who it's actually going to affect: if you're 90 you have a negligible % vote, if you're 20 you have a proper say, as for you it actually matters. This general principle of weighting according to impact on your life could be written into the democratic processes so that, for example, those who send their kids to private schools (and were educated privately themselves) can't piss all over those who depend on the state system because they have no expertise and it doesn't affect them anyway. Follow the incentives - if you've got all the incentives to make a bad decision, then you don't get to make policy. We will not have the Jeremy Hunt problem (god only knows what he's going to do in the foreign office - the thought chills the soul).


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