So people who vote in isolation have less influence than people who organize and vote as a bloc.
I think it also means that places where one party predominates would require the minority party to be highly coordinated in order to have any chance with one single silver “bullet” whereas the dominant party can expend multiple “bullets” to counter.
And in addition, seeing as this is an anonymous (I'm assuming) vote, then I could lie to you and vote my way (to get more votes for Y), but then if everyone will do it, the colluding wouldn't work, so we need to be able to trust each other and work together, which is exactly what we in the end, for people to work together and not against each other.
Then the other side should also coordinate tightly in this manner, and now you have a new problem: polarization.
X and Y need not be alternatives for the same problem, X might be about financial deregulation and Y about privacy deregulation.
Anonymous voting doesn’t help when independent thought itself is trained away from an early age.
There's nothing wrong with persuading people.
The idea of a majority having more power than a minority is, as another user puts it "a feature, not a bug". If your goal is to best represent your population, then you want a system that counts people's opinions equally, regardless of what group/s they belong to.
The problem here isn't the voting system so much as the structure. The way to "better represent" minority groups is to have different weightings to those groups. But then that's difficult because you have to specify which groups are more equal than others. Clearly we like racial minorities and don't like minority groups like white nationalists (at least as a public), but most lines aren't this easy to differentiate.
The goal of voting systems like this is not so much to tackle this majority vs minority problem but rather to reduce tribalism. In a first past the post voting style your optimal strategy is not to pick the thing you like the most, but to rather pick the thing that you think is most likely to win and more closely aligns to your beliefs. These voting systems are more about finding common beliefs. For example, republicans and democrats agree on many issues. These systems are about anti-polarization, not about weighted representation.
Not really, it was just made to weight the scales (in both houses, by different mechanisms) so that a particular set of interests would be less likely be a political minority even if they were a numeric minority. It retained the feature that political minorities were easily suppressed by the political majority, so long as it was a political minority in both houses.
 The slave states of the South.
1) You are spreading the vote credit cost across a larger population
2) Because of quadratic voting, if you hold the total number of a group's voting credits put towards an issue constant as you add additional people to a group, the impact that a group has on a particular issue grows.
Because of these two factors, the majority can be quite a bit more disorganized than the minority and still control the issue.
> The primary positions of power within a republic are not inherited, but are attained through democracy, oligarchy or autocracy.
We're a democratic republic. Just saying the US is not a democracy but rather a republic is a woefully uninformed statement. They are not disjoint. Now let's stop parroting this phrase once and for all.
The important point is we protect minority positions via inalienable rights. That is not guaranteed in a pure democracy. It takes a near impossible situation to disarm a minority in the Unites States. It is what sets up apart from traditional democracies. I'm fine with the term Democratic Republic, but if you are concerned about parroting It's not the word republic that gets parroted.
Yes, I remember when our teachers used to hound this into us. But frankly Wikipedia has been as verifiable as the Encyclopedia Britannica. If you're going to say Wikipedia (the most commonly cited resource) isn't providing a good definition, provide a good source that counters. Your reply has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion at hand.
Also, see  (a good source) 1b and the discussion below.
If you're going to act high and mighty, do some background research. No one likes an armchair scholar. And if you're going to be a combative armchair scholar, you better do some actual fact checking.
Calling it a Democracy without mentioning the more important word misses the point; your original comment:
The idea of a majority having more power than a minority is, as another user puts it "a feature, not a bug".
That is exactly what our Republic protects against. The minority has the same inalienable rights as the majority.
In theory, more of a federal republic whose constituent members are democratic republics than a democratic republic itself. In practice those members are more oligarchic (specifically plutocratic) than democratic, though, but most of the people saying “republic not a democracy” probably don't want to come out and say “federation of plutocracies.”
100 players would form a voting cartel, and each member would spread their votes out among all the members' favorite issues. Reneging on the cartel's rules means that the entire cartel retaliates on the next vote.
So each party has exactly 100 issues in their platform, and no individual voter can do anything to stop them.
If you can see the ballots, you can filter for the ones that match the cartel platform, and count to 100. There may be a voting coordination strategy to find out who cheated. Maybe instead of 100 members, you have 99, and each member votes 2 for a different issue.
Doesn't sound sustainable, but it's an interesting idea to play with. You could adjust the price-point to make it more or less price-competitive with lobbying and conventional bribery, and to serve as a sort of tax. Might make for a good cyberpunk setting.
I think that’s a feature not a bug. It would encourage people to propose plan or candidates that are acceptable to a wider part of the electorate.
I'd much rather see IRV gain traction to remove the spoiler effect and disincentivise negative campaigning.
n = people in each group
b = individual vote budget
Each Group Votes Independently: n * sqrt(b) votes
If a group colludes s.t. group A gives (1/2)b votes to group B's issue and vice versa you get: 2 * n * sqrt((1/2)b)) votes which simplifies into Sqrt(2) * n * sqrt(b).
Yet coordinating between these two groups becomes more difficult and costly, growing somewhere between n (perfect coordination) and n^2 (total decentralization). Thus, regardless of how you coordinate it will always be more expensive than the influence you gain which grows at sqrt().
Even in this simple assumption collusion becomes a negative value decision.
Military spending goes up every year. Save for Dodd-Frank, deregulation has been common across presidencies for 30 years along with corporate tax cuts...
The establishment gets things done, they really do, it’s just not things that help everyday people. I’m not sure how this would help that.
Yes, there are things the parties agree on, but that minimizes the huge, material differences between their platforms, e.g.:
- appropriate levels of taxation, and especially types of taxation (e.g. capital gains, inheritance taxes, etc.)
- mix of spending on social programs
- the huge gap on social issues, such as abortion, gay rights, gun control, etc.
"They're just the same, they don't care about the little guy, etc." are tactics the Russian trolls used to convince people not to vote.
My point is, fighting “zealotry” is just a nice way of saying let’s make it easier for corporate centrism.
They are literally presenting the same information, just pegging inflation to different years.
Contrast that with the Republican healthcare plans, which consist of nothing more than "not obamacare"
Republicans have the same stance on gun violence and climate change.
Also, to your point "As a relatively high income earner the only significant tax increase I've ever seen was under Trump.", and don't see how this could possibly be true. For example, Obamacare added significant taxes for Medicare payroll and the surtax on investment income for high earners.
Personally I'd like to see the government stop spying on US citizens, more protections for digital privacy and free speech, reduced military spending, curbs on an an increasingly militarized police force and privatized judicial system, and policies designed to protect the American middle class against increasing globalization. It's hard to draw a meaningful distinction between parties on any of these policies and they matter much more to me than the ones you've listed.
1. "government stop spying on US citizens, more protections for digital privacy and free speech" - OK, this one I'll give to you, I don't see significant differences between the mainstream parties on this one. But I'd argue that is because this issue is actually so low (sadly, IMO) on the vast majority of Americans' concerns.
2. "reduced military spending" - If you honestly think the parties are equal when it comes to their enthusiasm for military spending, you are not paying attention. As one example, the whole reason for the 2013 budget sequestration rules were that they included large cuts for military (which Democrats wanted) and social programs (which Republicans wanted) which both sides thought would force them to compromise - the fact that ALL cuts went through when they couldn't reach an agreement just highlights which programs were important to which parties.
3. "an increasingly militarized police force and privatized judicial system" - again, this is an issue that Democrats are much more on your side than the average Republican, mainly because urban minorities, which tend to vote Democrat, are the group most negatively affected by these policies.
4. "policies designed to protect the American middle class against increasing globalization" - while I tend to agree with the main gist of this argument, especially in that both parties have enthusiastically supported many free trade deals, Republicans have shown much more antipathy to unions, both in the past and currently.
The fact that you say "It's hard to draw a meaningful distinction between parties on any of these policies" is just baffling to me.
Really? It seems to me like you either agree or gave a kind-of-not-really example for each point.
"By Republicans in Congress"
The Republican House had narrowly passed a bill on December 20, 2012, which would have replaced only the defense side of the sequester with cuts to programs including food stamps, Dodd-Frank and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
"By Democrats in Congress"
Patty Murray, Democratic Chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, proposed on February 14 to replace the 2013 sequester with $110 billion in spending cuts and tax increases. Like the House version, these policies also include a Buffett-rule tax, the closure of the oil subsidies, and cuts to farm subsidies. Additionally, this bill would cut defense spending for 2013 in excess of the amounts required by the current sequester. But this bill has little chance of winning the 60 votes required to override a filibuster.
See my point?
Federal politics is a distraction. A useless distraction that you're obsessed with. That's the kind of thinking that's "dangerous".
While I realize this is pretty much a trolling post, I just want to highlight that you are in quite the privileged position to believe this. You couldn't possibly believe "federal politics is a distraction" if:
1. You desire to get married to someone of the same sex.
2. You have anyone you care about who has been affected by federal drug laws.
3. You have any close relatives who are citizens of another country.
4. You are a woman who cares deeply about her own reproductive rights. Conversely, you believe that human life starts at a stage earlier than currently recognized by the Supreme Court.
5. You have a pre-existing medical condition.
I could go on, and of course there are loads of ways federal policies affect virtually everyone albeit in a less direct manner (tax policy, monetary policy, foreign trade policy, etc.)
But congratulations, I'm sure those only apply to other people, so fuck them.
Granted, quadratic voting specifically was probably not designed with parliamentary elections in mind. There are other systems in use that are designed to be fair and result in decent representation of voters.
The two longest lasting, largest, most successful democracies of all time - I don't see the problem.
The arguments against winner-take-all are mathematically maximizing a collective total happiness score for single elections. But governments are run by people, not math, and I've yet to see anything addressing the psychology of election systems and especially not over time.
If instead election systems are scored on how well they do after 250 years or how few world wars they start then winner take all is the only winner.
They both have problems with large minorities of voters not being represented in their respective parliaments.
It's hard to argue against someone's feelings.
But if you want to talk about good governance over time, does the country endure and does it make good decisions that ultimately benefit the country, that would be a more productive discussion. You have an uphill battle, with history not being kind to proportional democracies, but there's plenty of room for opinions and reasonable disagreement.
It's possible that constantly pitting constituents against each other is actually a vital component of democracy.
Democrats are against outright hostility and blatant marginalization of certain classes.
But both have largely been ok with everyone being exploited by feudal trade economics, bombing other nations to satisfy global political norms, and swindling developing nations out of their resources, while emotionally coddling elites.
It means something to not be outright hostile to the truly marginalized, but the Dems have not exactly been labors friend. And most people are laborers. They’ve failed the majority plenty.
Republicans are against outright hostility and blatant marginalization of certain classes.
Not the same classes, perhaps even classes that many don't want recognized, such as the unborn, but the statement is still just as true.
There are tons of YouTube videos on college campuses that prove otherwise.
Well, Goldwater tried to warn the Republicans about what would happen if they kept sucking up to the evangelicals, and...
Oh, wait, were you talking about Democrats?
But I did conclude that they also fall short in many areas.
No popular party can do this or they wouldn't be truly marginalized. By definition, it's impossible.
What rock are you living under?
There are activist organizations on both sides calling for violence and both should be condemned.
I think by any objective measure the US has seen an explosive growth in regulation the last 30 years.
I really wish I had an objective measure around to demonstrate this with...
We should be able to vote on those we want out of politics and the most voted would have to seat it out.
And a small portion of representatives should be chosen by lottery. Maybe 5% or 10%. These representatives, obviously, would not have to answer to their sponsors.
I don't think representatives need to have any particular competencies beyond being representative of the interests of the population. Hired staff can take care of things that require particular abilities.
I reckon that a wholly random set of representatives would act like a direct democracy where every voter is free to fully focus on the issues, is allowed an entire staff to help them, and can consult and coordinate effectively with other voters. I think that could work pretty well.
If I was "forced" into a political position, then what I would do is purposefully sabotage the position I was in, out of spite.
What are you going to do? Arrest me because I voted a certain way? That doesn't sound easily enforceable.
Be careful what kind of slavery you force people into. Those slaves might just fight back (in this case, by voting for bad policies.).
Either way, I can imagine that if you were to pledge to purposefully vote against the population's interests in front of a judge, and the judge bought it, they may be allowed to disqualify you on these grounds (and probably slap you with a fine). I wouldn't want to make it impossible to get out of this duty, just difficult enough that most people wouldn't do it.
Ehh, the sociopaths are the ones who want to force people into slavery, for "civic duty" or whatever.
The rest of us might fight back in ways that you don't like.
If you're unhappy about being forced into duty, you can abstain from voting at all, or you can focus your energy on changing the system so that it works on a purely voluntary basis. That's perfectly fine. But let's not pretend that voting for bad policies, which will inevitably hurt people who have nothing to do with your predicament, is a proper way to fight back.
Well, what they did was force me into temporary slavery.
> It's like working at a restaurant and spitting in customers' food
If the customers were forcing me to work in a restaurant, I think I might do that.
> If you're unhappy about being forced into duty, you can abstain from voting at all
Why would I do that, when a much more effective method of screwing over the people who forced me into this, is by voting for bad policy?
The people who would force me into this want good policy. So I do the opposite of what they want.
This is why you don't do stuff like this. Because the people who you are forcing into slavery aren't going to play "nice" with your plan. They will instead take actions that you don't like, regardless of your complaints about it, or regardless how "immoral" you believe it to be.
I do not have to live by your code of ethics. I will instead live by mine, and screw over your plan in the way that hurts everyone the most.
You don't get to complain about "fairness" or the "right" way for me to protest, when you are forcing me into slavery.
I would engage in this behavior specially because it would very effectively sabotage this plan to force people into the work.
> You don't get to complain about "fairness" or the "right" way for me to protest, when you are forcing me into slavery.
What about the part of the public who doesn't like this system, doesn't want to force you to do anything, and would like to change the way it works? If you're "sabotaging" the system by voting for "bad policies," you're screwing them over along with everyone else. Can they complain? Because I can guarantee you that they will.
Anyway. Let me put it this way: if 95% of the public supports this system, it doesn't matter how hard you try to sabotage it. It won't do dick. If a significant percentage hates the system, let's say 20%, then 20% of the "enslaved" representatives really want to change the system to work on a voluntary basis. Surely they can bloody negotiate with the remaining 80% to enact a reform, instead of lashing out against the public at large, who can't really do anything about the system because they weren't picked by the lottery.
Sure it will. It will help cause more bad policies to happen, at the margin.
There would be lots of controversial laws, and 10% of people voting here to mess things up, would effect something.
That's my revenge on the 90% that forced me into this, because of their "support".
> Surely they can bloody negotiate
Why do that, when we can just sabotage things? You don't get to force me into this, and complain when I fight back.
People do not have to react the way that you want them to, or that you find fair. Burning everything to the ground, in whatever way I can, is a perfectly acceptable retaliation to slavery.
Sure, there would be collateral damage. But there is always collateral damage. No matter what political stance a person is fighting for.
Very unreliably. You will only be able to influence policies that are nearly 50/50, but if they are 50/50, that is because there is widespread disagreement over which option is better. This means there is a fairly high chance that your "sabotage" vote ironically results in better policy. Think about it: the issue is 50/50, and you have the decisive vote. Half of the voters are wrong. What do you think the odds are that you're in the half that knows what it's doing?
My analysis is that odds that the average saboteur would vote for a bad policy ought to be roughly proportional to the proportion of honest voters that pick the good policy. Unfortunately, these odds are a toss-up when the saboteur's influence is maximized.
> Why do that, when we can just sabotage things?
To get results. Your gripes are understandable enough not to be dismissed, and if you can make a credible threat of sabotage, you may be able to cause a reform and perhaps get your freedom back before the end of the term. Sabotage can be a valid tactic to get what you want, especially if you're in desperate straits, but I don't see how your stunts are supposed to achieve anything at all, let alone anything that cannot be achieved more efficiently through collaboration.
> You don't get to force me into this, and complain when I fight back.
Was I actually complaining, though? When I say your behavior in this situation would be sociopathic, I mean it as a statement of fact. Notice that I followed the remark with "that's part of the risk in the system," clearly indicating that I am willing to eat that loss. I'm not complaining. I'm accounting. (Also, I genuinely think you would be working against your own interests.)
> People do not have to react the way that you want them to, or that you find fair.
I know many people won't react the way I want them to. I know some people will act like sociopaths. This is a variable to quantify: if enough people would turn into madmen if they were forced to do this, well, that invalidates conscription, and it's back to the drawing board. Likewise, if a large number of people think my system is immoral, okay, sure, let's do something else.
I mean, I'm not married to the specifics: I think it is important to make sure that the sample is statistically unbiased, and conscription is the easiest way to do this, but if we can get close enough on a voluntary basis, hey, that's even better.
I do maintain that your reaction would be disproportionate and ultimately immoral. Again, though, I'm not complaining about it, because that would be pointless: you do you. But I'm taking note of it so that I can account for the seriousness of the threat.
Edit: And if the threat is serious enough, you win, really. I would oppose conscription and you wouldn't have to sabotage anything (well, if I had my way). Just want you to know I am listening, even if I disapprove of your behavior.
Well then it doesn't matter what I do, so I am not sure why you'd be so angry about it.
> hen I say your behavior in this situation would be sociopathic
It is not sociopathic to retaliate against people who want to force you into temporary slavery. It is instead called justice.
> would turn into madmen
There isn't nothing "mad" about fighting crazies like you who want to force people into slavery.
Instead, the madmen are the ones trying to take away our rights.
Honestly, my actions are fairly tame. I didn't even say that I would engage in violence or anything. I expect that other people might, and I wouldn't blame them.
Violence is a perfectly logical response attempts to force people into slavery. I wouldn't do it, though (because of the other alternatives at my disposal).
I'm curious how you think you can evaluate someone's "anger" in written comments on the Internet. I'm not angry. I'm judging you and listing all the problems I see with what you say you would do, but there's frankly no need to be worked up to do any of that.
> It is not sociopathic to retaliate against people who want to force you into temporary slavery. It is instead called justice.
Okay, so my view is that equating this system to slavery is disingenuous, hysterical and ridiculous for too many reasons to count, and that your "retaliation" is unfocused, ineffective and reckless. Your view is that I'm a sociopathic tyrant.
But you know what? Who cares.
I don't need your approval. You don't need mine. The only thing that matters is that I want an unbiased sample, but saboteurs, insofar that they purposefully act contrary to what they think is good, constitute an unwanted bias. In other words, you don't want to be conscripted, and I don't want to conscript you. We can probably work something out.
> Honestly, my actions are fairly tame. I didn't even say that I would engage in violence or anything. I expect that other people might, and I wouldn't blame them.
If by engaging in violence, you mean violent resistance to anyone who tries to force you to go to parliament, I consider this more acceptable than your idea of going and voting for bad policies, and I do not think of it as sociopathic (I also strongly oppose having such an enforcement policy).
If you mean random acts of terrorism, then this is insane and you've lost me completely.
There is no point in trying to force people to do things - the best way is to change the job in such a way that people will want to take it.
Pay them well, in other words, in money, in prestige, or otherwise.
This isn't a change, it's what we have now. The problem is that the kind of people that want to take it are not the kind of people you actually want doing it.
Also, what's important is for the sample to be representative, so it's fine if a very motivated minority gets out of it, as long as it doesn't create a significative bias in the lottery.
But yes, they should be paid handsomely. And as I mentioned in another comment, their debts should be paid in full to make them less vulnerable to bribes.
I would say the biggest vulnerability of lottery, with respect to bribery, is debt: if a representative owes a lot of money, they are particularly at risk. Which is why I think the state should pay off all debts owed by all representatives (conditional to not peddling their influence, of course). We can disqualify people who owe excessive amounts so that this doesn't cost too much.
Said differently, if I was a defendant, could I find out the exact jurors 2-4 months ahead of time so that I could arrange to bribe them?
Maybe the sanctions that successfully keep jurors from telling the press about trials 99% of the time could work for this too. Maybe it would have to be cleverer somehow.
Lawmaking is a profession, and needs to be done by professionals. If it is not, studies show that power shifts towards other existing power structures, such as the head of state and to lobbyists, which would make a lottery based appointments counterproductive on the issue of corruption.
1. By nurturing personal relationships with politicians. I may be mistaken, but I feel like this is probably the most effective method. You want to exploit the natural tendency people have to want to help their friends, even decent people.
2. By helping politicians get what they want (e.g. reelection, but also first election, or election to a new position).
3. By providing compelling arguments and objections to various policies, grounded in special knowledge about their industry. These compelling arguments may be good (in which case the lobbyist's influence is actually a good thing), but they may also be bad (misdirection or lies).
I think lottery is less vulnerable to 1 and 2 (but not immune). It doesn't help against 3, although having seasoned lawmakers does, since they can see through the bullshit.
Either way, it's speculative, and it would need to be properly evaluated somehow.
There's a good TED talk about it: https://www.ted.com/talks/brett_hennig_what_if_we_replaced_p...
To expand on the former, if a majority of Athenians voted to hold an ostracism vote, two months later, the person with the most votes (potentially over a minimum) was banished from the city for 10 years .
One can imagine a gentler modern version. Every ballot must have an ostracism line. Every candidate on that ballot must appear on this line. If a simple majority of voters choose the same person, a second one-line election is held in 2 months. If a simple majority of voters, two months later, vote again to ostracize, the candidate is barred from appearing on that jurisdiction's ballots for 8 years.
So if a majority of New Yorkers say Richard Nixon is ostracized, he is simply unable to appear on New York ballots for 8 years. Given the ballot will contain all manner of candidates running for many different offices, this makes it sufficiently difficult to ostracism while providing an incentive against polarization.
Here’s an example.
I can't fathom why people think "managing a country" requires less skills than managing servers. The consequences of hiring someone unqualified is certainly not less severe.
Once you've got enough people, 5% of them may as well have been hired by lottery, depending on what you're measuring. People get less productive, more productive, want to change the company, decide to steal things, etc.
I think it's interesting to think about.
Representatives picked by lottery would not "manage" the country: they would hire qualified people to do so, and they would supervise their work according to their values. The point of the lottery, at least the way I see it, is to have an unbiased random sample of the population oversee the government, but not to actually run it.
The problem is that any minority group will always have less voting power than the majority group (if their interests are disjoint and no other coalitions are formed).
And if the majority actually did feel so strongly about a narrow set of issues, then it should be very expensive for a minority to counter that.
I'd prefer to read GP's post as a "live and let live", rather than pursuit of domination.
That said, there's always the risk of "dominating minority is bad" if my in-group is the minority, and "upholding majority preferences is good" if my in-group the majority. :-)
Given this, apparently the problem is that strong minority preferences are being snuffed out by majority preferences? Of course, this is the inherent flaw in democracy.
In the US we have two guards against that - the first is the Electoral College and the second is the Constitution. The former ensures that even the least populated states have at least a minimum (as opposed to effectively none) effect on the outcome and the second ensures that the government can't be used for something evil just because a majority has voted to to use it for that purpose.
So if there's a "zealotry" problem as the title implies, why can't these tools be used to manage it? What is wrong with them such that we need this new, additional layer?
In practice, this looks like things like pork-barrel infrastructure spending and farm subsidies. These sorts of things are pretty unpopular with most people, but they keep getting passed, and the above is why.
That's not the problem Quadratic Voting tries to solve at all. The increased cost of additional votes actually reduces the voting power of certain minority groups, such as one-issue voters. The system tries to fix the opposite - a strong minority preference winning a vote where it is not the first choice of the majority.
This would probably work well in two party states because it would allow lawmakers to vote as weakly as possible for stupid things just to say they're towing the party line while not actually voting strongly for them. In single party states this is probably a bad thing because it gives the people who ran as the other party just to get their name on the ticket to only weakly vote the way their platform says they should be voting.
If this system were used outside of the legislature (i.e. to actually elect legislator) it would probably be a total shitshow because as other commenters have mentioned it rewards coordination which basically just favors the status quo. If there's anything we need it's less status quo in general elections.
So yeah, this might work in a legislature but I don't see it working well to elect the actual politicians themselves.
Because the problem isn't with strong preferences -- it's with extreme preferences.
If there were 7 versions of a bill (A,B,C,D,E,F,G) ranging from ultra-conservative (a "A") to ultra-liberal (a "G"), in a polarized community people could still be spending the minimum 1 point each on the A's or G's and none on B-F.
The problem with politics today isn't that people are single-issue voters (because they generally aren't -- it's not a problem that needs to be solved)... it's that the natural evolution of the two-party system has forced us into choices that are more polarized than ever before in the history of the US -- in a two-party election, we're often only given options A and G, or maybe B and F, but rarely C through E.
The problem is the people have no representation, what people want does not impact the likelihood of passage of a law.
People on the left in right have a lot more in common with each other than everyone likes to make out. But even where they agree still nothing happens. I think this “polarization” line is a convenient distraction from this reality.
The only way out I see is through constitution-level campaign finance reform, replacing multilayered first past the post, and probably reducing the power of the presidency so this new many-party Congress actually matters rather than so much power in a single (and thus winner takes all) office.
Edit: as another unrepresented belief, if I think Israel is a geniciding state that deserves no international support, well, too bad, the center of both parties if firmly in the pockets of pro Israeli interest groups.
Do those people really care and work for their voters? Or for their own career (including post-political career at some company they've done favors), lobbies, party, etc?
Not that I follow this closely, but last i heard the Median Voter Theorem was still holding up well in the research.
Caveat: I'm just some guy who reads web pages, not a voting scientist.
The US has a long history, almost all of it with a two-party system. Only sometimes is there extremity. To my mind, 1860 is even more extreme than today.
(My opinion is that an important common thread between then and today is a class of people with a great deal of money who are deliberately driving the political atmosphere. But in any event a claim that it is a natural outcome of a two-party system needs to account for the historical fact that the US experience is typically not extreme.)
There's extensive literature on what's been driving polarization, but it really is a new "era" for it and not a cyclical thing. Factors include:
- More democratic/open primaries, which select extreme candidates
- More statistically targeted media (including social media) to take advantage of extreme views (including social media)
- Increasingly partisan news media made possible by more fragmented media (first cable, then the Internet)
None of these show any signs of going away, and all three are phenomena that are fundamentally new in the past few decades.
Isn’t the entire mainstream media owned by only like 6 corporations?
There's a lot more news outlets than there used to be when I was a kid. No question about that.
Moderation is no solution at all when you think about it. I mean what's the compromise? They have to be slaves 3.5 days out of the week? And you can teach them to write, but any reading is strictly forbidden. So under no circumstances can you teach them to read?
Just hard to come up with any compromise that doesn't just sound ludicrous on its face.
Compensated emancipation was typically enacted as part of an act that outlawed slavery outright or established a scheme whereby slavery would eventually be phased out. It frequently was accompanied or preceded by laws which approached gradual emancipation by granting freedom to those born to slaves after a given date. Among the European powers, slavery was primarily an issue with their overseas colonies. The British Empire enacted a policy of compensated Emancipation for its colonies in 1833, followed by Denmark, France in 1848, and the Netherlands in 1863. Most South American and Caribbean nations emancipated slavery through compensated schemes in the 1850s and 1860s, while Brazil passed a plan for gradual, compensated emancipation in 1871, and Cuba followed in 1880 after having enacted freedom at birth a decade earlier.
I mean, there's still slaves.
"Your kids can be free! But only the ones born after the next Vernal Equinox falling on a Tuesday. Oh, and by the way, You can never be free."
Again, a solution that's ludicrous on its face and doesn't really get rid of slavery. Kind of like the compromise we had here, where you could "technically" have slaves in the North. (Of course, occasionally in the North, your neighbors came by to kill you and take your slaves to Canada. But you could have them.) Obviously, it just turned out to be not a very workable solution. Like any compromise on an issue like that. There were just a whole lot of people out there taking that whole "..then, thenceforward, and forever free.." thing deadly seriously.
Either you have slavery or you don't. It's kind of binary. You really can't go into a roomful of pregnant high school girls and pick out the one who is the "most virgin" is kind of my point. It's ludicrous to think that you can.
> So in other words, still slavery. Right?
.., which suggests you overlooked the first leg of the OR clause:
> Compensated emancipation was typically enacted as part of an act that outlawed slavery outright
But maybe I am not understanding you. If an act outlaws slavery outright, is it your view that there are still slaves?
You also write ...
> ... and doesn't really get rid of slavery.
.., but the historical record shows that compensated emancipation did get rid of lawful slavery.
Let's flip this around to today: imagine a hypothetical future 100 years from now, that honors the qualitative dignity of all animal life, and views factory farming with the same horror that we view slavery now. From this moral vantage point (even as a meat eater, I concede this position the high ground), a phased approach seems appalling.
We currently slaughter roughly one Holocaust's worth of animals every hour; how about reducing it to one Holocaust per two hours? Maybe a new law to give cows an hour in the sunshine before they're herded back into pens? What about voluntary buyback programs? Taxes on meat to subsidize cheaper vegetables? These are all quantitative solutions to a qualitative problem: either cows have inalienable value as conscious beings, or they don't; and if they do, shouldn't we stop at nothing to defend that sacred value and eliminate all human-caused animal suffering, rather than wishy-washy incrementalism?
The unfortunate reality then and now is that we're stuck in quantitative games, directly or indirectly. There are no shortage of highly motivated consumers and producers who benefit from factory farming, just as as there was for slavery. There was clear justification to go to war to end slavery, to forcibly grind the game entirely to a halt; but it was not without cost, not only in lives lost, but in a consequential cultural rift that persists to this day. I'm both ignorant and curious how culture played out in those societies that use phased approaches; do they have equivalents to the "Southern Strategy" and Nixon's racially-motivated War on Drugs (which is rightly, I think, compared to modern-day slavery)?
I don't claim to know the answers to any of these things; but until a given moral phase-shift takes place, it's not always obvious how to get there, and a hardline stance can run the risk that the system kicks back, opponents are strengthened and galvanized, and nothing is accomplished.
(Yes, I'm aware of the irony and offense of invoking a comparison to farm animals in a discussion of slavery, when slaves were once viewed as livestock. I'm attempting to draw the opposite point: of humanizing animals, in the same way that we now humanize all homo sapiens regardless of ethnicity.)
Travel to Asia or Africa, and ask who the leader of the US was when the slaves were freed? Then ask who the leader of the British Empire was when their slaves were freed? Or the leader of Brazil? There's a reason people in Asia revere Lincoln and not the leader of the British Empire, or the leader of Brazil at the time, or the leader of Cuba, or what have you. That reason is because Lincoln is viewed as having done the right thing in the face of enormous risk. We did the right thing in a way that transcended America. It even transcended the slaves to be perfectly frank. What we did has inspired humanity ever since. Whether you are at an elite University in Beijing, Shanghai, or Singapore, Lincoln is a leader all of the most promising students are drawn to.
This is not simply the result of marketing either. For instance, the king of Siam was famously drawn to Lincoln over all of the others as well. The Czar lamented his comparison to Lincoln. Insisting people should instead venerate him, because he had done more for the serfs than Lincoln did for the slaves. And he felt he'd certainly done more than the British or the Portuguese, who he felt had done nothing at all. All of this was long before professional marketing really existed. Even long before the US was really even a power. So our solution to slavery paid us off over a thousandfold in untold influence and soft power alone. Influence and soft power throughout the world. Now, I'll concede that it's influence and soft power that we seem to have squandered, but it's also influence these wishy washy incrementalist approaches never conferred on their proponents.
You say it was a cost, (and presumably a loss?). I think you might believe that because you haven't properly accounted for the many benefits we've enjoyed in your cost-benefit analysis.
Only if you consider a million lives lost, and many more wounded, "better" than the solution other countries with slavery, like Great Britain, adopted: they paid off the slaveowners and freed their slaves without any violence at all.
Excepting, of course, all the violence used to keep the slaves as slaves in the first place I assume? Because, what? That's not real violence?
Come on man. It's slavery. There was already grotesque violence. Only question was, what were different nations willing to do to stop it? But where slaves were concerned, every nation involved was already perfectly ok with massive, grotesque, and global scale violence. It was kind of a necessity for that kind of thing to work.
It's real violence, sure, but it's there in all of the cases, so it drops out of the comparison we're making. We're not talking about the costs of slavery itself; we're talking about the costs to end slavery. A million lives seems to me like a much bigger cost to end slavery then paying off the slaveowners.
Not to mention the fact that all those other countries that didn't have to fight a war to end slavery ended it sooner than the US did; so actually we should be considering the costs of slavery itself--for all the extra years that it existed in the US compared to those other countries. Which just makes the "fight a war to end slavery" option look even worse by comparison.
And I mean come on guy? What's with these ideas? Any violence against slaves just "drops out". But other violence does not? We should pay off slaver owners? A million lives is too much to pay to end slavery?
A million lives is far less than the body count of 400 years of the slave trade. How many lived and died as slaves? How many were killed, beaten, or left for dead? Or maybe just thrown overboard? etc etc etc.
As to the question of paying off slave owners, what part of our history to 1860 would lead you to believe that it was our policy to pay money for freedom? You either didn't pay attention in history class, or you are willfully ignoring the nature of how we got our start. Presumably because it is inconvenient, and doesn't fit with your narrative.
And, yeah, on the question of just ignoring the violence against slaves, that's just not even worth commentary.
But hey man, we can just agree to disagree. Obviously we're just different people. You have a nice rest of the day.
Paying off the slaveowners is not just an "idea". It actually happened. In every other country that ended slavery. That's why I'm drawing the comparison. Every other country managed to end slavery without fighting a war that cost a million lives. So why did the US have to?
> what part of our history to 1860 would lead you to believe that it was our policy to pay money for freedom?
You're missing my point. Of course it wasn't our policy to pay money for freedom. That's why we had to fight a war that cost a million lives to free the slaves.
My point is, why wasn't it our policy to pay money for freedom? Why couldn't we do the obvious thing that all the other countries did to free slaves without it having to cost a million lives?
And if your answer is "we should never pay money for freedom", why not? The slaves were freed either way. Wasn't freeing them the goal? Wouldn't it be better to achieve that goal without it having to cost a further million lives?
> on the question of just ignoring the violence against slaves
You're missing my point again. I'm not ignoring the violence against slaves. I'm pointing out that that violence happened regardless of how the slaves were freed. So when counting the cost of freeing the slaves, you can't factor in the violence that happened while they were slaves, because that violence had already happened; freeing the slaves with a war that cost a million lives didn't make any of the violence against the slaves while they were slaves go away, any more than paying the slaveowners for the slaves' freedom did. The million lives it cost in the US Civil War wasn't instead of the 400 years of violence against the slaves; it was in addition to it.
You don't negotiate with terrorists.
Maybe I should just ask you to get a better idea of how you're thinking about this whole thing, do you think we should have paid the British?
So you think the slaveowners were terrorists? You think the British in Colonial times were terrorists? On what basis?
> do you think we should have paid the British?
I answered this in another part of this subthread: yes, if the British would have accepted payment in exchange for our independence, and we could have afforded the payment, we should have paid them.
Uh... on the basis of them beating, torturing and even killing slaves maybe? Or again, are we not counting any terrorism against slaves?
I mean, what would you call slavery but terrorism? Violence to achieve and maintain a political objective. What is war but terrorism really? When you're dealing with a terrorist, you use their tactics and prove to them you're willing to go further.
But coming to the central point, I think it's clear we just disagree fundamentally about when it's appropriate to use treasury to pay settlements. Paying terrorists or bullies is completely inappropriate. Paying someone you may have wronged inadvertently, or paying for land, is more appropriate. So paying, say, France for Louisiana, or Russia for Alaska, is entirely appropriate. It's just making an offer for a piece of land that's not ours. We don't own it. We don't farm it. We weren't the people making that land valuable. But we wanted to move there so we could do so. An offer of purchase is appropriate under those circumstances.
But paying southerners to free slaves, is tantamount to paying a kidnapper to release their hostages. If you're smart, you just don't do that. The only thing it does is embolden other kidnappers.
And paying someone for land you live on, you farm, and you make valuable, but they take the profit off of it with no input from you at all? Yeah, that's not even something you should consider doing. Just as you shouldn't pay mafia "protection" fees. It's just asking for more trouble down the line.
But you and I just think differently about these things. No worries. I just firmly believe if you tried to do things your way, you would find in very short order that the world is not unicorns and rainbows. There are significant dangers to doing business with bad actors.
So by your definition, the Union fighting a war to free the slaves was terrorism. So your argument is basically to fight terrorism with more terrorism.
> paying southerners to free slaves, is tantamount to paying a kidnapper to release their hostages. If you're smart, you just don't do that. The only thing it does is embolden other kidnappers.
This claim is obviously false when applied to paying slaveowners to free slaves. Great Britain and other countries paying slaveowners to free slaves did not embolden other slaveowners. In fact it did the opposite.
> paying someone for land you live on, you farm, and you make valuable, but they take the profit off of it with no input from you at all?
Huh? We're not talking about the slaves buying their freedom. (Although that did happen in the South--it wasn't common, but it happened.) We're talking about the United States Government paying the slaveowners to buy the freedom of the slaves, in exchange for the slaveowners' agreement to outlaw slavery. Just like Great Britain did with its slaveowners. Do you even understand what actually happened in the latter case?
> you and I just think differently about these things
As far as I can tell, you are thinking not about what I actually proposed, but about straw man versions that you have made up.
Yes, exactly. Some nations were willing to tell their moralizers to shut up, and just pay off the slaveowners. The US wasn't willing to make that compromise; we let the moralizers drive the process, so we had to fight a war and kill a million people.
Yeah, "moralizers" like Hamilton, Washington, and Ben Franklin, who were so obstinate and short sighted they refused to simply pay the British Crown instead of fighting such a destructive war. Too bad you couldn't be there to show them the error of their ways.
Yeah, this is another case where you and I are just different people. We'll just agree to disagree. Have a nice day though.
You think the Colonies could have paid the British Crown to become independent? Where are you getting that from? What makes you think the British would have accepted it?
But if you are just asking as a pure hypothetical--should the Colonies have paid for independence, if the British would have accepted that resolution--then my answer would be yes, of course. Independence was the goal; if we could have gotten there without having to fight a war, so much the better.
But no, I don't believe we should have paid the British either. Of course not. Pay off every world power hard up for money that comes along? No way. You start off that way, you've set yourself up for extreme and painful failure. Best to have one war at the outset so that all the other global powers get the message loud and clear.
You can try paying off bullies if you like in your own life, but I can guarantee you that it won't work. The only thing it will create is more opportunists.
You're being a bit naive man.
I have not proposed any such thing. Being willing to pay money for a specific valuable objective--independence for the American Colonies, freedom for the slaves of the American South--is not at all the same as being willing to pay money to anyone who comes along and asks for it.
> You can try paying off bullies
So you think the British were bullying the American Colonies? You think the South was bullying the North before the Civil War? On what basis?
If you look at the historical record, you will see that, if anything, it was the Colonies bullying the British until the British got fed up, and the Northern abolitionists bullying the South until the South got fed up.
> You're being a bit naive man.
No, I'm simply taking to its logical conclusion a premise that seems obvious to me: that paying for something with money, if you can, is better than paying for it with human lives.
So it's disingenuous to say that 1860 was like today. It wasn't. At all. There is no new, powerful, upstart party that people can vote for to get away from the extremists today. There is no overriding issue that people can legitimately claim to be at once barbaric and deleterious to the republic. There is none of that.
We just have two parties... who choose to be extreme for dubious reasons.
So it hasn't been as polarized as it is today, ever really during the two party era. Today is way outside the norm. We haven't seen anything like this before.
Of course, we've never had anything like our current leaders either. But that's a whole other issue. (A related issue though.)
Outside of wartime, the federal government was something you mainly interacted with when going to the post office. If the national politicians hated each other, it made for good gossip, but didn't affect daily life much
Today, it is involved with and regulating most aspects of our lives, and federal government dysfunction is a much bigger problem.
Quadratic voting weights power away from my-way-or-highway voters towards voters who are willing to consider more than one option. Without thinking too deeply, it would make it easy to tease apart large and awkward alliances. Even if it didn't formally fracture the major parties, it would de-facto moderate politics by increasing the risk of holding extreme positions.
Basically any other form of voting is an improvement over the US FPTP system; FPTP's only advantage is that it is very obvious how it works. Nothing to sneeze at, but not mathematically satisfying.
I don't think this is supported by the evidence. Polarization in the US hasn't been unidirectional (there are many long periods during which the US became less polarized) and the recent massive spike is, well, a recent spike--it's not a natural evolution at all. Something happened in the last twenty years or so that increased our polarization. I recall several good sources, but I'll have to dig around for them...
I'd expand the timeframe to 30 years and say the biggest contributors to this are the rise of neoliberal politics combined with globalization leaving a lot of working class people "behind" while corporations made ever more and more profits, combined with the rise of the Internet where the most outrageous content gets the most clicks/likes/eyeball-time with next to no institutions to provide as "quality filter".
Stuff like antivaxxers, flat earthers, "great exchange of the white people" and other conspiracy bollocks was relegated to physical mailings of fringe groups naturally limiting its distribution, nowadays the reach capability is in the millions for everyone.
In addition, countless fuck-ups (aided by propaganda) demolished trust into journalism and experts in general, which led to the erosion of fact-based viewpoints as the base for democratic discourse.
What is this referring to?
This has happened all over the world. The obvious major thing that's changed is this thing right here: The internet.
Social media has replaced "mainstream media" as the source of our news and our opinions. And so we have a new opinion landscape.
This gives license to all sorts of denialism and conspiracy theories--the right denies climate change, the left denies biological gender differences, and both sides have their anti-vaxxers and flat-earth theorists. Without common "truths" to counter our tribalist tendencies, we are being pulled toward extremes.
Suppose I belong to minority group X (say people with a rare disease, LGBT, immigrants...) whose life will literally change by approving or rejecting a bill.
On the other side, a similarly sized group Y strongly opposes the first group out of first principles from their ideology (reducing taxes, sanctity of heterosexual marriage, keeping the country "pure"). Usually this group will have strong opinions against several of those social issues, but none of them will really affect their lives directly. So, their votes will be divided among several issues.
Therefore, the votes of a small group will decide the outcome in their benefit on those issues that strongly affect them, unless:
1) an equal opposing group has the same extreme incentives (and in that case, the opinion of the overall population will decide), or
2) the opposing group is much larger than the small group.
I'd say that, in both cases, it is reasonable to think that the system is working as it should.
This is the exact opposite of what economic theory predicts and my (admittedly biased) personal observations. Consider for example Hoetelling's Law, which states that competitors naturally tend to become as similar as possible in order to extract as much value from the competition as possible: https://www.uh.edu/engines/epi2692.htm
The advantage of systems other than the two party system is precisely that they allow more diverse view points to be represented.
> g Likert has never done; engages a higher level of thoughtfulness; attenuates extremism to expose deeper insight; and predicts behavior better than Likert at high levels preference intensity.
Basically extreme views and polarization are poorly weighted in large populations and this can be _exposed_ by QV.
Besides, if the people want to put someone in office, shouldn't they be allowed to? Isn't that Democracy 101?
Voters can restore someone to office, but each term must stand alone, avoiding the, "What does every first-term President want? A second term." problem.
It also forces clearer the revolving door between the private sector and politics as then the no-longer congressperson gets hired into a company.
Yeah, those people are called "voters". That's how it's supposed to work. We want congresspeople to feel beholden to them.
> It also forces clearer the revolving door between the private sector and politics as then the no-longer congressperson gets hired into a company.
Isn't this just motivation for more cronyism? You're basically arguing that the last term of any congressperson should be spent working for a company instead of the people.
No it's not. It's to the people with money which let's them get to the voters. Because otherwise that money is going to an alternate candidate that plays ball. Have you ever wondered where the blue-collar Democrats of the 1970's went, for example? Businesses and those with money instead financing better campaigns in return for business representation, won. It's why both Democrats and Republicans have generally represented corporate interests since Reagan.
> Isn't this just motivation for more cronyism?
No, it's motivation for making the existing cronyism even more transparent. Or, incentivizing those who did their terms to return to the communities they helped represent and move on with their non-political life.
Term limits already exist for other positions. It is not a strange concept.
My problem is not with "money in politics", it is with career politicians.
> more difficult to implement
Forgive my laughter, setting a term limits is way easier than your abstract idealism of removing money from politics.
Everyone can still vote and is still emancipated. The America after the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution is no less a Representative Democracy than before.
I'm all for honest and open discussion but it is clear this is not one of them.
But TV ads are expensive, hence the several million dollars each candidate spends every election cycle.
Oh, and have Senators be appointed by state governments again, like they used to be.
The power to make laws is going to go somewhere. If the legislature won't or can't accept it, it'll end up in the bureaucracy (admittedly a huge problem with out non-term limited national Congress, though for different reasons), or in the case I'm familiar with, by executive fiat and outside groups and lobbyists.
If you're in tribe A, your media tells you tribe B are literally devils. There's no understanding a devil, or compromise with one. If they say something that sounds reasonable? It's probably a trick. Hannity or Maddow will explain why tonight.
There is something very sad, yet true, about that statement.
The federal government has been corrupt my entire life. I don't see any reason to give them additional money or power.
If anything, I find national liberals wrong, and state liberals more correct.
I wouldn't mind paying for things my area uses, I have some oversight.
Nationally trillions of dollars gets lost.
Alice can spend all her 100 tokens on A, and she gets 10 votes on A. Ditto Bob can spend all his 100 tokens on B, and he gets 10 votes on B.
But if each of them spends 50 on A and 50 on B, then A and B both get 2*sqrt(50) ~= 14 votes, so both Alice and Bob win by colluding.
What's to stop them doing this?
Bob can convince Alice to spend half her tokens on proposition B but then betray her and spend all his tokens on B, resulting in 17 votes for B and only 7 for A.
When voting is anonymous there is no way to detect if voters keep their pledge or not, so this should deter them from voting in any other way than in their own interest.
Unlike ordinary people, the legislators are working for their voters, who deserve to know if they got what they paid for. If I send Bob to the legislature, understanding that he plans to get rid of all the bloody clowns, I certainly want to know if he supported the Bill that gives every Clown $5000 of the city's tax revenue to buy more ludicrous shoes and lapel flowers. If Bob can promise he's anti-clown, then arrive in the legislature and vote a straight pro-clown slate knowing he'll face no consequences, that's no way to run a representative democracy!
Alice and Bob are making a good deal. Well working democracy should involve maximum amount of deliberation and deal making. It's a good thing. If you want more of that kind of deal making votes should be visible though (quadratic voting between representatives in parliament might work the way you suggest).