Something the creators of democracy should have included.

Vastet
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Something the creators of democracy should have included.

If less than a certain percentage of a populace turns out to vote, it constitutes a show of no confidence of the electorate, and it's time to rehash the whole system.

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Yellow_Number_Five
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Less than half the eligible

Less than half the eligible voting populace turns out in MOST elections. That means the guy who runs our country was approved by LESS than 25% of tax paying adults. Part of me thinks we deserve what we get for such abject apathy.

I have my theories as to why people simply don't give a fuck (one is that Rebulicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin, and a large portion of us are not ALLOWED to have a viable candidate represent us), but I certainly don't think that a person who was elected by less than 25% of the country should be speaking for me, going to war for me, or speaking on behalf.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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I heard a remark once that

I heard a remark once that I thought was right on the mark.

"The best way to get people to vote is to attempt to take away their right to vote."

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The constitution could have

The constitution could have let people actually vote for canidates, instead of an electoral college that acts as a buffer between government and the populace.  That would increase interest.  You could have run-off elections, where if your canidate doesn't make it your second or third choice goes in, which helps new blood become established and eliminates the "throwing your vote away" argument.

 

There are alot of ways this country could be more democratic.  I pretty much buy into the argument that people don't vote because there is no difference in the two established parties and neither one will make serious strides to help the voter out in any way. 


GodlessLitany
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I think the electoral

I think the electoral college should be thrown out entirely and the popular vote count for the whole thing. I think I'm in good company for that opinion.

Wasn't it that in the 04 presidential election it was one of the lowest turnouts in voting history? I hear people all the time say they don't want to get involved in politics, and even in other cases everyone talks about picking "the lesser of two evils." Most of the "serious" candidates for president in recent years have been atrocious. And if a candidate is not in one of the two major parties, they don't have a chance at all. It may cause some problems for a while, but I think it would be for the better if it required a majority of the POPULATION to elect someone-not the majority of the people who actually vote. Compulsory voting doesn't seem right to me, but there needs to be a change in this system. I find so few true-Bush supporters out there, yet somehow he won the election with over 50% of the vote? Like it was said before, if people don't vote a vote of no-confidence should be called. I think people should get out and vote anyway-whoever it's for, it's important for citizens of the U.S. to do SOMETHING to effect policy. There would be less problems if political parties were done away with but that won't happen anytime soon-we just need to find a way of setting up a party that isn't democrat or republican that has a real chance in the running, support them, and change the way this country works.

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Democracy sucks anyways.

Democracy sucks anyways. The majority is not sacrosanct, it does not define what is right and wrong, 51% does not define the morality to be imposed upon the other 49%, direct-democracy, representative-democracy, redundant-representative-democracy (multiple layers of electorates), all forms of democracy, it does not matter, the premise is the same. It is wrong for Y to steal from Z. It is wrong for X and Y to steal from Z. If X, Y, and Z take a vote, it does not make it right for X and Y to steal from Z, whether or not Z voted. It is wrong for X and Y to steal from Z, even if X and Y delegate W to commit the theft. It does not matter if it is two, ten, or ten billion voters, it is still not right for X, or Y, or W, or anyone to steal from Z.

If one does not believe in compulsory voting, why believe in compulsory obedience to democratically-arrived-at decisions? 


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Excellent points,

Excellent points, Zhwazi.

I've long thought that democracy doesn't really work, but neither does communism or Feudalistic goverments-etc. Fascism is, I should think obviously, terrible. Is there a such thing as a truly good form of government currently in existence? A government "by the people and for the people" sounds like a great idea, but what happens when the majority of the people believe that something wrong should be legal?

I'll use the example of gay marriage because of my personal feelings on the matter, I don't intend to make this a debate about it (though I am inclined to believe that the general libertarian leaning of a large part of this community would find me in good company). I don't think it should be voted on at all-I think it should be completely legal because it's in the department of human liberty, the pursuit of happiness, etc. I'm speaking from an American perspective, but most countries that this website is being viewed from aren't dramatically different. I can go further with this.

When slavery was abolished, I'll bet a great deal of money that if it had gone to a national vote, it wouldn't have been at the time. If it had gone to a state vote, half the country would still be keeping slaves. Why does it matter if it's popular opinion on something like this? I think for democracy, as it is, to at least improve the candidate should have approval from at least 75% of the country, if not more. "Well, then no one would get elected!" So what? If half the country is going to suffer because of the desires of the other half, they do not DESERVE to be elected.

 

I think we need a new form of government, or some serious reform, in the more prominent countries in the world as well as the rest of them. Problem is, I don't know what that change is. We certaintly need to start making changes, though.

Humanity needs compassion and knowledge-an end to bigotry and undue ignorance. Religion stands in the way of these and my other ideals so strongly that I can't think of a stance apart from atheism that will allow me to feel like a decent human being.


Vastet
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Democracy works because

Democracy works because constitutions protect the minority from the majority and vice versa. No other form of government provides anywhere near as much protection to it's majority and minority populations.

And the simple fact of the matter is that the majority of a society determines what is good and what is evil to the society. It's the way society has always worked, and always will work. Democratic, monarchistic(word?), libertarian, or otherwise. Which is why it's so important to erode religions foothold.

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Jacob Cordingley
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One of the major problems

One of the major problems with democracy is something that both us Brits and you Yanks are subjected to: First Past the Post. I'm a big fan of PR and also of open participation in legislative processes (i.e. people could perhaps play some role in local councils alongside the elected representatives). Liberal Democracy, however is something I am opposed to, it being neither liberal nor democratic (I think Marx said the same thing). That is simply because of the economic system it promotes, i.e. capitalism. I mentioned my views on that in the 'Libertarian' thread.

I'm intrigued by the original idea of this thread, it eliminates the supposed 'tacit' consent which people like John Locke talk about (and I personally have no time for). Another alternative to this is something we have in university elections known as RON (Re-Open Nominations). I'm not sure how it would work in big democracies but I guess the effect it has is that people could perhaps call for a new candidate to represent their views and it might perhaps open up the party system. In university elections it probably works differently since everyone votes and there's nearly always an abundance of candidates.

Whether or not democracy works is an important issue. I think it is important that governments work for the people (something I think liberal democracy often fails at) rather than for any economic elites. How can a government work for a people if it isn't elected by them? If freedom of all thought and expression is allowed and also freedom of scrutiny (i.e. people are allowed to have faith but are also allowed to have it openly criticised) then the people can become a better educated people and are better equipped to make rational decisions. 


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The danger of taking the

The danger of taking the view that low turnout means a vote of no confidence in the system is that politicans will almost certainly go down the Australian route and will introduce compulsory enrollment and voting

They will justify it with the line about it ensuring the people's voice being heard; ignoring the fact not voting is as much a political statement as voting.

The result yet another of our liberties sacrificed for the convenience of those parasitic political cockroaches.


Vastet
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Jacob Cordingley

Jacob Cordingley wrote:

One of the major problems with democracy is something that both us Brits and you Yanks are subjected to: First Past the Post. I'm a big fan of PR and also of open participation in legislative processes (i.e. people could perhaps play some role in local councils alongside the elected representatives). Liberal Democracy, however is something I am opposed to, it being neither liberal nor democratic (I think Marx said the same thing). That is simply because of the economic system it promotes, i.e. capitalism. I mentioned my views on that in the 'Libertarian' thread.

I'm intrigued by the original idea of this thread, it eliminates the supposed 'tacit' consent which people like John Locke talk about (and I personally have no time for). Another alternative to this is something we have in university elections known as RON (Re-Open Nominations). I'm not sure how it would work in big democracies but I guess the effect it has is that people could perhaps call for a new candidate to represent their views and it might perhaps open up the party system. In university elections it probably works differently since everyone votes and there's nearly always an abundance of candidates.

Whether or not democracy works is an important issue. I think it is important that governments work for the people (something I think liberal democracy often fails at) rather than for any economic elites. How can a government work for a people if it isn't elected by them? If freedom of all thought and expression is allowed and also freedom of scrutiny (i.e. people are allowed to have faith but are also allowed to have it openly criticised) then the people can become a better educated people and are better equipped to make rational decisions. 

I think removing the party system completely and switching capitalism for communism would solve most of the problems in our governments.

momentimori wrote:

The danger of taking the view that low turnout means a vote of no confidence in the system is that politicans will almost certainly go down the Australian route and will introduce compulsory enrollment and voting

They will justify it with the line about it ensuring the people's voice being heard; ignoring the fact not voting is as much a political statement as voting.

The result yet another of our liberties sacrificed for the convenience of those parasitic political cockroaches.

I'm pretty sure it would be against the constitution of the US to do that.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


GodlessLitany
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I understand the point

I understand the point about the constitution protecting the minority from the majority, but the problem is that some politicians will find ways to get around the constitution and still make the minority suffer.  I'll agree fully that democracy is the best system of government we currently have, but I think there are lots of flaws-of course. 

The government has gotten around the constitution before.  I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, that it's actually unconstitutional to illegalize Marijuana-so when the government wanted it off the streets or whatever term you wish to use, they made a law that Marijuana could be sold, used, etc., but only with a special government issued stamp or something that allows this.  The government has purposely never issued any of these-I think something similar occured with alcohol back in prohibition times.  When the majority supports the politicians that want to circumnavigate the consitution, they get away with it.

 It's a bit late and my mind's a bit frazzled, but I think I made a bit of a post.

Humanity needs compassion and knowledge-an end to bigotry and undue ignorance. Religion stands in the way of these and my other ideals so strongly that I can't think of a stance apart from atheism that will allow me to feel like a decent human being.


qbg
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That could be a sign people

That could be a sign people are understanding something about representative democracy:
Don't vote and the choice is theirs; vote and the choice is theirs.

Now, direct democracy is the best way to do group decision making that I know of. If you must have a representative democracy, make it accountable by having the representative being instantly recallable for example; also, having a focus on direct democracy should be good...

"What right have you to condemn a murderer if you assume him necessary to "God's plan"? What logic can command the return of stolen property, or the branding of a thief, if the Almighty decreed it?"
-- The Economic Tendency of Freethought


Vastet
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Well, marijuana's illegal

Well, marijuana's illegal thanks to an ancient trade war over hemp. It's strange that none of the arguments used to keep it illegal today have anything to do with why it became illegal in the first place.

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