HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  Log in  

Share | 
 

 Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Mike
Admin


Number of posts : 229
Registration date : 2006-12-22

PostSubject: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   18.04.07 10:08

Now that we've decided that it is easier to tweak current systems of government than create whole new ones, lets examine some of the minor (or major) flaws that might need correcting.

I started this thread as a response to something I read in wikipedia:

"The City of Kawartha Lakes (population 74,561) is a city in east-central Ontario, Canada. Although designated as a "city", it is a largely rural area.

The main population centres of the 'city' are:

Omemee
Lindsay
Fenelon Falls
Woodville
Bobcaygeon

The municipality was created in 2000 by the Progressive Conservative government of Ontario through the amalgamation of the constituent municipalities of the former County of Victoria, and officially came into effect on January 1, 2001.

In a close vote (51% for, 49% against), the citizens of Kawartha Lakes voted to de-amalgamate in a November 2003 local plebiscite, but the provincial and municipal governments have not taken any steps since the vote to initiate de-amalgamation."

Lets look at whats happened here.

The city was created when a few nearby regions were amalgamated under a single council. After a few years, the citizens voted, by a slim majority, against the continued amalgamation.

Now, one can imagine that these citizens probably aren't very vehement about this issue. Conversely, I bet most of them were quite apathetic as the amalgamation didn't have any severe effects. Nevertheless, the vote was cast to discontinue the amalgamation. Now, the government probably knows this as well as I do, and decides that breaking up the amalgamation is not an issue of extreme significance, and therefore is rather apathetic to do so.

Good on them. This would seem like a wise thing to do. Perhaps wait a little longer and let the citizens adjust to the new model.

However, this being a democracy, the citizens should expect their vote to be carried out, no?

If this was the United States, the government might have quickly enacted the decision of the majority. If this had been done, the city could have lost out on the benefits of amalgamation (as any negative experience by the citizens thus far may be caused only by unfamiliarity and adjustment to the system). Doing this would probably do more to inflame the more visionary minority, who wanted the system kept, rather than appeaze the apathetic majority.

In my opinion, the Canadian governments reaction seems more sensible, but unfortuately it is not as defendable. What if the majority were the ones that were vehement, and the minority were apathetic?

Clearly then, what we need is some way of gauging the level of apathy to an issue when a vote is cast. In my opinion, this is why mandatory voting should never ever be required, as the apathetic should not be required to vote. This should especially be the case if the potential voter does not feel as though he is adequately knowledged about the issues on which they might vote.

So the level of knowledge surrounding an issue should also be gauged somehow.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://cleanslate.editboard.com
Mike
Admin


Number of posts : 229
Registration date : 2006-12-22

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   18.04.07 10:39

Now that we've decided that the level of apathy and knowledge of the voter are important, lets look at the ways they can be measured and used in the voting process.

Envision this: A voter comes up to a stall and picks up his ballot paper. Next to the option, there are the standard yes/no boxes, and also 3 boxes for level of apathy (e.g. apathetic, neutral, vehement), and another 3 boxes for the level of knowledge/understanding of the issue. Now there are a few ways in which this information might be used:

1. It can be used in addition to the standard Yes/No vote, so that they simply add a layer of additional information that can be used to analyze the votes. In other words, the Yes/No vote is definative, but the council has the right not to act in haste if the issue is clearly not a priority. This is similar to what the Canadian government did, except that the information is more reliable and statistical than simply gauging the publics level of apathy through media response etc.

2. They can be used to change the weight of the vote, so that an apathetic vote has less effect than a vehement one. Likewise, the vote of a man with less understanding of the issue will carry less weight than the vote of a well-informed man.

Now you might think that the shrewd voter would simply adjust his or her vote so that it carried the most weight, i.e. by ticking the 'Knowledged' and 'Vehement' boxes. But I reckon most people will find it easier to be honest.

In any case, I think the government could be a lot more communicative with its citizens.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://cleanslate.editboard.com
Mike
Admin


Number of posts : 229
Registration date : 2006-12-22

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   20.04.07 2:03

Here's another thing I just thought of.

If Democracy assumes that people know what they want, then this new government should assume that this is true, but they may not necessarilly tell you exactly what it is they want.

Crucially though, it is important that this new government doesn't assume that people don't know what they want, or try to manipulate those that are easily malleable.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://cleanslate.editboard.com
lkm



Number of posts : 482
Registration date : 2008-05-05

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   05.05.08 5:02

You could always begin each ballot paper with a twenty question multiple choice exam on the subject of the referemdum in question, that way people with any knowledge of the issue could be differentiated from people who just got up on the wrong side or are angry about their bins and the results could be appropriately weighted. Seriously though a major problem with government today is that some of the biggest issues facing it required some degree of proffessional knowledge of the area that the majority of voters can't be expected to have. Hence biofuels.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Mike
Admin


Number of posts : 229
Registration date : 2006-12-22

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   06.05.08 0:22

Absolutely. Excellent idea lkm. Personally, I don't understand why this sort of thing isn't currently widely implemented. Do you know of any first-hand examples (where it is implemented)?
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://cleanslate.editboard.com
lkm



Number of posts : 482
Registration date : 2008-05-05

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   06.05.08 5:23

Again, I have no idea if anyone has prior art on this, I just mentioned it as a random idea in response to previous posts on how to determine the worth of a vote. If it already exists then it's serendipity take two.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Redsand11j



Number of posts : 450
Registration date : 2007-12-18

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   13.05.08 14:33

Mike wrote:
Now that we've decided that the level of apathy and knowledge of the voter are important, lets look at the ways they can be measured and used in the voting process.

Envision this: A voter comes up to a stall and picks up his ballot paper. Next to the option, there are the standard yes/no boxes, and also 3 boxes for level of apathy (e.g. apathetic, neutral, vehement), and another 3 boxes for the level of knowledge/understanding of the issue. Now there are a few ways in which this information might be used:

1. It can be used in addition to the standard Yes/No vote, so that they simply add a layer of additional information that can be used to analyze the votes. In other words, the Yes/No vote is definitive, but the council has the right not to act in haste if the issue is clearly not a priority. This is similar to what the Canadian government did, except that the information is more reliable and statistical than simply gauging the publics level of apathy through media response etc.

2. They can be used to change the weight of the vote, so that an apathetic vote has less effect than a vehement one. Likewise, the vote of a man with less understanding of the issue will carry less weight than the vote of a well-informed man.

Now you might think that the shrewd voter would simply adjust his or her vote so that it carried the most weight, i.e. by ticking the 'Knowledged' and 'Vehement' boxes. But I reckon most people will find it easier to be honest.

In any case, I think the government could be a lot more communicative with its citizens.

I would go with option number 1, because it is both less likely that voters would lie, and if it were close only, then it would be used.

Quote :
There is an elected legislature, which can only decide what the issues are, by a 3/5 vote. This then goes to a comittee of intellectualls, which are brought from public universities, as part of their services. they have 1-6 months to determine a preliminary solution. This then goes back to the legislature, who only need to give it a 40% approval rating before it is sent to the people. The people can vote on their computers, which will be an assumed right, and no more than ~1 bill per day shouldn't be unbearable.

The legislature may contain representatives, mostly elected, but some entered by corporations. Lobbying, or advertising for or against any bill commercially, will be illegal.

I was quoting myself from another thread, because I thought that it belonged here as well.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
NoMoreLies



Number of posts : 398
Age : 22
Registration date : 2008-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   16.05.08 14:50

The one that asks what your understanding of the issue shouldn't be used; rather, there should be (5?) replies that go from absolutely against to absolutely for and the weight of the vote should be gauged from that?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Redsand11j



Number of posts : 450
Registration date : 2007-12-18

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   17.05.08 12:26

but if you don't understand the issue, shouldn't your vote count less?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
NoMoreLies



Number of posts : 398
Age : 22
Registration date : 2008-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   18.05.08 6:00

Another question: If you don't understand the Issue, why are you voting?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
lkm



Number of posts : 482
Registration date : 2008-05-05

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   18.05.08 12:38

I'd just like to point out that a major flaw in the democratic response to certain political issues is that voters often come in three flavours, don't know- don't care, do know - care a bit, don't really know- care passionately.
Climate change is a great example of this. It's a scientific issue, it's solution will be a scientific technological one. The vast majority of the population don't have a a strong scientific education, they can barely understand the problem let alone tell an appropriate solution apart from a campaign against plastic bags. But that's ok as long as they realize they don't know anything, the problem really starts with the people who think they do know something because they read one article and watched a documentary.
An increasing number of problems facing a modern society are problems that require a degree of education in the subject to understand and judge the best solution for that the average voter just does not have, passionate voters doubly so.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Redsand11j



Number of posts : 450
Registration date : 2007-12-18

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   18.05.08 13:17

In the government mentioned above, there could be a necessary amount of the legislators as scientists/intellectuals. And why can't we try to educate people on the topics?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Mike
Admin


Number of posts : 229
Registration date : 2006-12-22

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   19.05.08 0:23

The former suggestion is okay, but I would suggest that you are very careful if you want to 'educate people on topics'. You must ensure that there is no potential for abuse by the state.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://cleanslate.editboard.com
Redsand11j



Number of posts : 450
Registration date : 2007-12-18

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   19.05.08 14:07

use a system like that which is used in america: The state says what you have to know, the BOE in each town makes the curriculum.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
lkm



Number of posts : 482
Registration date : 2008-05-05

PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   20.05.08 3:23

Fundamentally not everyone can know everything. Renaissance men are few and far between so it seems unrealistic that an entire populous can be educated to a sufficient level to grapple with every possible issue.
As for the American education system, I hardly think it's an example of how to do things given the international rankings, except of course if money is no object.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...   

Back to top Go down
 
Tweaking the finer aspects of Government...
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Tourism initiatives of Kerala Government
» U.K. Government rules Christians have no right to wear Crosses to work
» GM`s astro chart - very telling aspects
» I want the government lawyers to realize that we can never let this happen again!
» McCanns link to Government

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Clean Slate Society Forum :: Discussion :: Clean Slate Government-
Jump to: