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Why I Think the U.S. Needs a [Parliamentary System With Proportional Representation]

245

Posts

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    I would never want a compulsory voting law in the United States, not unless it was coupled with voter education initiatives. But if we have a strong civics curriculum in school, people not voting solves itself.

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  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Tox wrote: »
    We've had this thread before. Everyone seems so in love with parliamentary systems and yet we have threads dedicated to how shitty the government is being in Canada and the UK and Europe et. al.

    There is literally nothing that is wrong with the United States that would be solved by changing the way our government works. Like Gosling said, the assholes are the problem.

    I disagree vehemently. The biggest problem the PR system could help with is voter participation. Generally speaking, people don't vote because they don't think their vote matters. In a PR system, votes matter more, and can have a greater impact. So people are more likely to turn out and vote.

    That's hardly why people don't vote. It's also a bullshit excuse. You could solve this problem with more voter information and better outreach. We live in a world where more people vote for American Idol than for political office, you don't solve that with PR.

    But voting for American Idol is both (1) much more convenient that voting for the president and (2) since it is a straight count, without any electoral college like system, each vote counts more. I actually think that moving to a straight popular vote could signifigantly increase turnouts in states that reliably vote for one party (like NY, CA, TX). I also think that lowering the cost of voting would help, which is why I think the whole country should vote by mail. Oregon does it, and has incredibly high turnout.

    I would tentatively get behind tweaking or removing the Electoral College, but there's nothing wrong with the United States that simply changing the voting set up or the government's structure is going to fix so it'd be silly to try and separate these questions. I'm of the opinion that if we fix the poor voter quality the issues with our government would solve themselves.

    Your vote very much does count, but its convenient for people on the right and the left to make it seem like it doesn't.

    Could you elaborate on the last sentence? While it is clearly true that if no one votes for your candidate, your candidate will lose, if you are confident that your candidate will win your state, then you as an individual have little incentive to vote. Its just a collective action problem, but I think it may be solved, or at least lessened, by eliminating the electoral college.

    It is very rare for there to be only one office up at a time. If you're only focused on the top office, then congrats you're part of the problem. Down ticket races are important, more important I would say, than the top offices because that's where people can take control of their party.

    The people who benefit from this malaise about voting are the people in power on both sides of the aisle who would be thrown out on their asses if people started paying attention.

    Liberals do themselves no favors by throwing up their hands and saying "my vote doesn't matter" and hoping for an AV voting system or something to magic itself up.

    With that, moving to an AV or PR vote system will do nothing if it isn't coupled with more voter education and turn out drives. If anything it would make them worse. In my opinon, our system wouldn't be broken if we had voters who knew who to blame (instead of just blaming/crediting the president: gas prices being a good example, unemployment being another) and if people actually showed up to vote down ticket the two parties would be more representative in general.

    I thought you were talking about the top level tickets. I agree 100% that people need to pay attention to the lower ticket elections, and tha voter education is key (I think many people don't even know who their senators or representatives are, let alone state or municipal candidates). But all of that said, at least incentivizing voting for the president even in a "guaranteed" state translates into more people voting for people lower on the ticket, and of the lower candidates know this, then maybe they will make more of an effort to get their campaign platform across, instead of just going for name recognition plus the "D" or "R" next to their names.

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    Chanus wrote:
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  • ZephiranZephiran Registered User regular
    No, but if they vote for sane candidates without even knowing it, nobody suffers. If they vote for fringe candidates, they're likely to throw their vote away - even more so if they don't put down any secondary preferences (for sane compromise candidates) at all, which absolutely does make their vote useless if they vote for a candidate nobody else would be okay with.

    Alright and in this next scene all the animals have AIDS.

    I got a little excited when I saw your ship.
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Zephiran wrote: »
    No, but if they vote for sane candidates without even knowing it, nobody suffers. If they vote for fringe candidates, they're likely to throw their vote away - even more so if they don't put down any secondary preferences (for sane compromise candidates) at all, which absolutely does make their vote useless if they vote for a candidate nobody else would be okay with.

    You can't see the problem with this assumption? There's no point in changing how we vote if we don't change how we prepare people to vote.

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  • QliphothQliphoth Registered User
    edited March 2012
    Zephiran wrote: »
    No, but if they vote for sane candidates without even knowing it, nobody suffers. If they vote for fringe candidates, they're likely to throw their vote away - even more so if they don't put down any secondary preferences (for sane compromise candidates) at all, which absolutely does make their vote useless if they vote for a candidate nobody else would be okay with.

    You can't see the problem with this assumption? There's no point in changing how we vote if we don't change how we prepare people to vote.

    The apathetic people are much more in touch with reality than those "informed" by fox news and Limbaugh etc.

    Qliphoth on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • ZephiranZephiran Registered User regular
    Well, even if they're still absolutely irrational beings that vote for irrational fringe candidates that nobody else wants, as long as they place down proper compromise candidates on their lower preferences, you're likely to end up with a compromise candidate that isn't all that bad when it really comes down to it. If they manage to consolidate under a single, "unreasonable" candidate, then shouldn't they be able to elect that person to represent them? If that was to happen, they obviously want that person in a political leadership position, and they should have the right to elect an absolute bumfuck if they so desire.

    You can obviously try to change people's political education to help democracy along its way to elect reasonable candidates, but you have to admit that STV, at its core, is at the very least a better system than the hegemonic two party system that arises from FPTP and some forms of Proportional Representation.

    Alright and in this next scene all the animals have AIDS.

    I got a little excited when I saw your ship.
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    Zephiran wrote: »
    No, but if they vote for sane candidates without even knowing it, nobody suffers. If they vote for fringe candidates, they're likely to throw their vote away - even more so if they don't put down any secondary preferences (for sane compromise candidates) at all, which absolutely does make their vote useless if they vote for a candidate nobody else would be okay with.

    You can't see the problem with this assumption? There's no point in changing how we vote if we don't change how we prepare people to vote.

    The apathetic people are much more in touch with reality than those "informed" by fox news and Limbaugh etc.

    At no point have endorsed Fox News or Limbaugh, so, thanks for this I guess.

    I would reinforce the civics classes that people get in school. They'd be much more in depth.

    And frankly, I don't think apathetic people are any more in touch with reality and they certainly are at the same level of usefulness as Fox News viewers.

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  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Zephiran wrote: »
    Well, even if they're still absolutely irrational beings that vote for irrational fringe candidates that nobody else wants, as long as they place down proper compromise candidates on their lower preferences, you're likely to end up with a compromise candidate that isn't all that bad when it really comes down to it. If they manage to consolidate under a single, "unreasonable" candidate, then shouldn't they be able to elect that person to represent them? If that was to happen, they obviously want that person in a political leadership position, and they should have the right to elect an absolute bumfuck if they so desire.

    You can obviously try to change people's political education to help democracy along its way to elect reasonable candidates, but you have to admit that STV, at its core, is at the very least a better system than the hegemonic two party system that arises from FPTP and some forms of Proportional Representation.

    Eh, I don't really have to admit it. I'll admit that it's less likely to lead to the problems of FPTP, but it has its own issues. My main point is just that changing how we vote is meaningless because FPTP is not our biggest problem by a long shot.

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  • QliphothQliphoth Registered User
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    Zephiran wrote: »
    No, but if they vote for sane candidates without even knowing it, nobody suffers. If they vote for fringe candidates, they're likely to throw their vote away - even more so if they don't put down any secondary preferences (for sane compromise candidates) at all, which absolutely does make their vote useless if they vote for a candidate nobody else would be okay with.

    You can't see the problem with this assumption? There's no point in changing how we vote if we don't change how we prepare people to vote.

    The apathetic people are much more in touch with reality than those "informed" by fox news and Limbaugh etc.

    At no point have endorsed Fox News or Limbaugh, so, thanks for this I guess.

    I would reinforce the civics classes that people get in school. They'd be much more in depth.

    And frankly, I don't think apathetic people are any more in touch with reality and they certainly are at the same level of usefulness as Fox News viewers.

    Because you can teach people that congress is a seperate branch of government from the president but knowing that doesn't stop people from believing that Obama is a Kenyan, which is the real source of the retarded voting trends.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    Zephiran wrote: »
    No, but if they vote for sane candidates without even knowing it, nobody suffers. If they vote for fringe candidates, they're likely to throw their vote away - even more so if they don't put down any secondary preferences (for sane compromise candidates) at all, which absolutely does make their vote useless if they vote for a candidate nobody else would be okay with.

    You can't see the problem with this assumption? There's no point in changing how we vote if we don't change how we prepare people to vote.

    The apathetic people are much more in touch with reality than those "informed" by fox news and Limbaugh etc.

    At no point have endorsed Fox News or Limbaugh, so, thanks for this I guess.

    I would reinforce the civics classes that people get in school. They'd be much more in depth.

    And frankly, I don't think apathetic people are any more in touch with reality and they certainly are at the same level of usefulness as Fox News viewers.

    Because you can teach people that congress is a seperate branch of government from the president but knowing that doesn't stop people from believing that Obama is a Kenyan, which is the real source of the retarded voting trends.

    Really? I didn't know that pre 2008 our system was working perfectly. Good to learn I guess.

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  • QliphothQliphoth Registered User
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    Zephiran wrote: »
    No, but if they vote for sane candidates without even knowing it, nobody suffers. If they vote for fringe candidates, they're likely to throw their vote away - even more so if they don't put down any secondary preferences (for sane compromise candidates) at all, which absolutely does make their vote useless if they vote for a candidate nobody else would be okay with.

    You can't see the problem with this assumption? There's no point in changing how we vote if we don't change how we prepare people to vote.

    The apathetic people are much more in touch with reality than those "informed" by fox news and Limbaugh etc.

    At no point have endorsed Fox News or Limbaugh, so, thanks for this I guess.

    I would reinforce the civics classes that people get in school. They'd be much more in depth.

    And frankly, I don't think apathetic people are any more in touch with reality and they certainly are at the same level of usefulness as Fox News viewers.

    Because you can teach people that congress is a seperate branch of government from the president but knowing that doesn't stop people from believing that Obama is a Kenyan, which is the real source of the retarded voting trends.

    Really? I didn't know that pre 2008 our system was working perfectly. Good to learn I guess.

    That was just one example among thousands. Are you being intentionally dense in an attempt to get people to stop disagreeing with you?

    People will cling to retarded beliefs and vote based on them regardless of how much of the underlying political structure they understand. Australia teaches politics in high school history and legal studies. People still vote for parties on the basis of their fear of Asians.

    When your politicians can say the type of bullshit that Santorum et al are spewing currently and still get votes the issue is not political education. It's xenophic fundamentantalist morons voting for xenophobic fundamentalist morons.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Qliphoth wrote: »
    People will cling to retarded beliefs and vote based on them regardless of how much of the underlying political structure they understand. Australia teaches politics in high school history and legal studies. People still vote for parties on the basis of their fear of Asians.

    When your politicians can say the type of bullshit that Santorum et al are spewing currently and still get votes the issue is not political education. It's xenophic fundamentantalist morons voting for xenophobic fundamentalist morons.

    So, in addition to political education, we need better overall education. That would cause persons to not be swayed by "xenophobic fundamentalist" rhetoric.

  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    I'd love to see instead of a ballot with the various candidates names on it, but a 20 question (or so) piece of paper with "How important is X to you?" or "Are you for or against Y?" and then it would actually pick the candidate that was most beneficial to them.

    Of course, it's not perfect since people are dumb and would fuck it up/get a 'cheat sheet' to vote for their chosen candidate (and usually against their own self interests). I only bring it up cause I bet if you asked people these questions, and they answered honestly, you'd find a ton more people would skew to 'the left' then current polling would imply.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Well, for Santorum that's sort of. A lot of people just don't understand how our government works and blame the president or credit the president for everything. I agree with you on everything you just said but to me that speaks against moving to a parliamentary system. Can you imagine what life would be like right now in the US if the Tea Party had control without the Senate and the White House to stop them?

    My last response was basically to point this out. A person is smart, people are stupid. That's why we have such a slow and perhaps clunky system. The tyranny of the mob is a real thing. If people weren't dumb and thinking that President Romney/Santorum/Gingrich could magically lower gas prices or somehow create jobs out of thin air, they wouldn't vote for them as much.

    AManFromEarth on
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  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Also, to say that people only vote for Republicans because they're xenophobic morons is disingenuous at best.

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  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    A significant portion of Republicans vote that way for very bad reasons (tm). I'm not saying it's all, or even most, of them but it's quite a few.

    I mean "Don't Re-Nig"? Honestly?

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Again, these are the people who would be in total control right now if we had a parliament.

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  • HamurabiHamurabi AmsterdamRegistered User regular
    Magus` wrote: »
    I'd love to see instead of a ballot with the various candidates names on it, but a 20 question (or so) piece of paper with "How important is X to you?" or "Are you for or against Y?" and then it would actually pick the candidate that was most beneficial to them.

    Of course, it's not perfect since people are dumb and would fuck it up/get a 'cheat sheet' to vote for their chosen candidate (and usually against their own self interests). I only bring it up cause I bet if you asked people these questions, and they answered honestly, you'd find a ton more people would skew to 'the left' then current polling would imply.

    Most people don't actually know where they fall on the political spectrum. Also, there's the old standby for elitist pricks (like myself): the Almond-Lippman consensus.

  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    The best voting systems are those which do not involve rankings. Otherwise they're manipulable to prevent the Condorcet winner from being selected.

    Some examples:

    Lottery - everyone's vote goes into a barrel and one is selected at random. This person is the winner. It eliminates the spoiler effect as there is absolutely no way to vote strategically. Selects the Condorcet winner a majority of the time, but also gives a candidate with 5% of the vote a 5% chance to win. Which is possibly a little scary.

    Yay/Nay - you vote yay or nay on every candidate. It's easy to understand, relatively quick and selects the Condorcet winner almost all the time.

    Marks - you give each candidate a rating, like in the scoring of figure skating. While slightly less intuitive than yay or nay, it also selects the Condorcet winner in a few edge cases that the Yay/nay system doesn't.

    Of course, then, you still have to determine the structure of your government.

    Tide goes in. Tide goes out.
    Es-annon NEVA 4GET
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Again, these are the people who would be in total control right now if we had a parliament.

    Not necessarily. We would have gotten an accurate view of Democratic governance in 2009-2010 and people could make a decision based on reality and not the amazing world where the most liberal Republican gets to determine the Democratic Party's policy choices.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    We've had this thread before. Everyone seems so in love with parliamentary systems and yet we have threads dedicated to how shitty the government is being in Canada and the UK and Europe et. al.

    There is literally nothing that is wrong with the United States that would be solved by changing the way our government works. Like Gosling said, the assholes are the problem.

    I disagree vehemently. The biggest problem the PR system could help with is voter participation. Generally speaking, people don't vote because they don't think their vote matters. In a PR system, votes matter more, and can have a greater impact. So people are more likely to turn out and vote.

    That's hardly why people don't vote. It's also a bullshit excuse. You could solve this problem with more voter information and better outreach. We live in a world where more people vote for American Idol than for political office, you don't solve that with PR.

    But voting for American Idol is both (1) much more convenient that voting for the president and (2) since it is a straight count, without any electoral college like system, each vote counts more. I actually think that moving to a straight popular vote could signifigantly increase turnouts in states that reliably vote for one party (like NY, CA, TX). I also think that lowering the cost of voting would help, which is why I think the whole country should vote by mail. Oregon does it, and has incredibly high turnout.

    I would tentatively get behind tweaking or removing the Electoral College, but there's nothing wrong with the United States that simply changing the voting set up or the government's structure is going to fix so it'd be silly to try and separate these questions. I'm of the opinion that if we fix the poor voter quality the issues with our government would solve themselves.

    Your vote very much does count, but its convenient for people on the right and the left to make it seem like it doesn't.

    The fact that your FPTP two party system makes it impossible to try and drag the parties a different direction and the extreme and rather hateful polarisation of the political parties seems like exactly the sort of thing that political reform could influence.

    Tide goes in. Tide goes out.
    Es-annon NEVA 4GET
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Except that it isn't impossible to influence the parties right now, people just aren't willing to put the legwork in. Starting on the national level is pointless, you have to build a base at the state and local level but all anybody wants to do is jump into the White House.

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  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    We've had this thread before. Everyone seems so in love with parliamentary systems and yet we have threads dedicated to how shitty the government is being in Canada and the UK and Europe et. al.

    There is literally nothing that is wrong with the United States that would be solved by changing the way our government works. Like Gosling said, the assholes are the problem.

    I'm Canadian and I don't know why Americans would ever want a system like ours. To continue the whole asshole thing - our assholes went to a special asshole school run by your assholes, and the result has been that said assholes have been running the show and are in total control of everything with basically nothing in the way of checks and balances. If you think some one sounds like an asshole for claiming to have a mandate because they got 50% + 1 of the votes, imagine if their mandate actually consisted of 39% of the vote, and they're going to appoint their losing canadidates to the Senate anyway, because huehuehuehuehuehue.



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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    The main thing that a parlimentary/proportional representation system does is make it easy for the voting public to understand who's responsible for what goes on in government. You vote for a slate, somebody wins and a majority government is formed. Then that government does stuff or doesn't, and the next election is in effect a referendum on their record.

    In the U.S. presidential elections wind up being the de facto 'accountability moments' for the entire governmental apparatus, which isn't really a great system.

    A "could happen" change I'd like to see is reducing senate terms to four years and run them every presidential election year.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Bullshit, it's very simple to understand who is "responsible" for things in the US. The Federal system isn't that hard to understand and blame is shared by all three branches in some instances and the State governments in most.

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  • chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    Yet one of the biggest talking points and a rather big sway of gallop polls are the gas prices and how it is all Obama's fault for not making gas cheaper.

    John Q Public sure is on that ball.

    steam_sig.png
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    It's almost like there's a whole thread you can read where I point out that this is the exact problem and that changing how we vote alone won't help fix that.

    But no, go ahead an snark.

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  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Bullshit, it's very simple to understand who is "responsible" for things in the US. The Federal system isn't that hard to understand and blame is shared by all three branches in some instances and the State governments in most.

    I don't think the Judiciary bears blame for the government's diafunction in the vast majority of cases (the new deal being the exception).

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Bullshit, it's very simple to understand who is "responsible" for things in the US. The Federal system isn't that hard to understand and blame is shared by all three branches in some instances and the State governments in most.

    I don't think the Judiciary bears blame for the government's diafunction in the vast majority of cases (the new deal being the exception).

    Hence the use of of the word "some".

    Lh96QHG.png
  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    I like that the President and Congress can be in the hands of different parties. I may even go so far as to say that I prefer it. It forces compromise and prevents one party from enacting their agenda unchecked.

    So, I'm completely on board with a separation of powers between the executive and legislative, as opposed to co-mingling them as a parliamentary system does. Proportional voting on the other hand I could get behind, as long as as the threshold for minority parties to enter is high enough; something in the 5 to 10% range.

    Of course, we could make our lives really hard and do both FPTP and proportional voting at the same time. Welcome to mixed-member proportional representation. I want to see that happen just to have a news anchor try to explain it.

    enc0re on
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Bullshit, it's very simple to understand who is "responsible" for things in the US. The Federal system isn't that hard to understand and blame is shared by all three branches in some instances and the State governments in most.

    I don't think the Judiciary bears blame for the government's diafunction in the vast majority of cases (the new deal being the exception).

    Hence the use of of the word "some".

    But it is so uncommon for it to be implicated that I'm not even sure it is useful to include the judiciary when explaining the operation of the government to somebody for voter education purposes. By doing so, I think you risk placing more emphasis on the presidential election (since the president appoints judges) or making people feel more disaffected if their take away is that an unelected judiciary can override the actions of the people they vote for anyway.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    It's almost like there's a whole thread you can read where I point out that this is the exact problem and that changing how we vote alone won't help fix that.

    But no, go ahead an snark.

    Yet you say its very simply to understand who is responsible.

    Apparently it isn't very simple, now is it? If it was, it'd be common knowledge.

    Anywho, Japan is a prime example of how PR can go deathly wrong and kill a nation in a slow and meticulous fashion.

    steam_sig.png
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    It's almost like there's a whole thread you can read where I point out that this is the exact problem and that changing how we vote alone won't help fix that.

    But no, go ahead an snark.

    Yet you say its very simply to understand who is responsible.

    Apparently it isn't very simple, now is it? If it was, it'd be common knowledge.

    Anywho, Japan is a prime example of how PR can go deathly wrong and kill a nation in a slow and meticulous fashion.

    I don't think that simplicity of a fact leads to it becoming common knowledge, that logic doesn't really work out at all.

    But yes, that's my whole point: simply changing to a PR system doesn't automatically change things and make them magically better.

    For example, the UK right now has a coalition government that according to popular opinion, no one wants.

    It's a question of voter education, enfranchisement, and motivation. Right now the US is doing poorly in all three and until we tackle that problem, anything else will just be lipstick on a pig.

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  • HamurabiHamurabi AmsterdamRegistered User regular
    I don't think you'll find too many people in here taking the anti-voter education position; reasonable people don't disagree that a better-informed electorate is a categorical Good. The assumption you're working from, though, is that I'm peddling a parliamentary system and/or PR as a silver bullet for civic dysfunction. A smaller chance of divided government is simply one of several benefits. As has been pointed out, sometimes it's good that a government can't expeditiously implement its policies. Additionally, we've made the point that the Almighty Rational Voter is, by most metrics of the modern American electorate, a statistical outlier, and that most people vote in a relatively irrational (ie. voting against their interests) and uninformed manner.

    Voter education still doesn't address my personal problem of not having a legitimately representative candidate to vote for, though. Without getting overly autobiographical, I would label myself a far-left progressive/(dispaced) "social democrat." One would think the Democratic Party would have space for me in its tent, but that's akin to telling a libertarian to be satisfied with the present state of the Republican Party; sure, the party has some positions to which I'm sympathetic, and in some cases it may even line up exactly with my positions. However, there are other positions of the DNC that I either disagree with, or that aren't far enough left for my liking. Is the prognosis here just to suck it up and continue voting for the lesser of two evils?

    I used myself just because (especially on this forum) I'm not too far out of the mainstream; for a mainline Marxist or diehard libertarian, there straight up is no option.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    I don't think 2 and 4 are actual benefits. There's nothing wrong with making people work together when they don't agree on everything (and a coalition government requires that anyway), nor is there a problem with politicians not being beholden to the party.

    Not much more to say than this. I find those the two most glaring problems with proportional legislative bodies in other nations, and I would very much not like to see them as part of American democracy.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Also, I would like the astoundingly condescending and paternalistic phrase "voting against their interests" out behind the woodshed and beat it to death with a brick.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    I would argue that this is a good thing, but that's cause I'm not a Marxist or a libertarian. But on that same token, I would never want to limit people's ability to make their voice heard.

    My advice is always to play to your favorites when you can. The best way to do it is to find like minded people and form a local party and take local seats and move your way up but for the foreseeable future, yeah, you'll have to take the lesser of two evils in the general election but that is what primaries are for. This is how the Republican party started back in the day, and how the Tea Party became a thing that the oil industry could astro turf. The Tea Party has existed on the local and state level for decades and the GOP leadership decided to let the monster out of the lab so to speak. But one can take lessons from this experiment in democracy and apply them to sane politicking.

    Politics, in this sense, is all about pragmatism. It's good to have ideals and stick to them, but you have to make a choice in the end and removing yourself from the equation only helps the people you don't like. This is why I get so annoyed when people bring out the "your vote don't matter" chestnut.

    I guess what I was trying to get across is the fact that if voter education was better, we wouldn't really need to fix the system from my point of view. I quite like the federal system. Can you imagine what the last year would've been like if we hadn't had the Senate to stop the Tea Party's shit? You don't really need to, just look at Florida's government.

    I'm not a fan of this "knowing who to blame" argument either, if I'm honest. I don't really care so much about placing blame as I do having a functioning government and I quite enjoy checks and balances.

    AManFromEarth on
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  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    I don't think 2 and 4 are actual benefits. There's nothing wrong with making people work together when they don't agree on everything (and a coalition government requires that anyway), nor is there a problem with politicians not being beholden to the party.

    Not much more to say than this. I find those the two most glaring problems with proportional legislative bodies in other nations, and I would very much not like to see them as part of American democracy.
    I'm . . . agreeing with you about politics? D: Quick, oppose the 17th amendment!

  • chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    I just want to state that another big problem here is assuming 'voter education' will accomplish some monumental fix. I agree completely that civics classes in highschool and similar should be made stronger.

    On the other hand, a lot of those crazy, 'Women should be in the kitchen and contraceptives are for hookers' people are university educated people that are well aware of the lessons a civics class would teach.

    Basically, they are assholes. In fact, a blanket attempt to educate everyone would just empower a lot of other assholes to be assholes with a more refined aim.

    As someone said earlier, the system is fine, its all the assholes running and voting in it thats the problem. For every reasonable person you teach to vote, you'll also teach some weasely assberger how to go out and try to get some dude like Ron Paul into office. (Sorry Paul fans.)

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    spool32 wrote: »
    Also, I would like the astoundingly condescending and paternalistic phrase "voting against their interests" out behind the woodshed and beat it to death with a brick.

    It's pretty demonstrably true that someone on medicare voting for a candidate who champions medicare reforms that would reduce their coverage is voting against their own interests - especially when they don't realize it or think medicare is private.

    override367 on
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