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 The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?

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PostSubject: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:31 pm

This particular topic started out as a side track on another thread:
LINK - World Citizen - A Question for the Legal Forum

tonys wrote:
Hermes wrote:
tonys wrote:
Hermes wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
soubresauts wrote:
Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Hmmm....
What is a 'citizen'?
What are 'human rights' and who or what upholds them? ...
Challenging questions. Fortunately, there is a musical answer. (You won't be disappointed, I hope.)

I wasn't disappointed Very Happy

evercloserunion: your point that citizenship emerged as the antithesis to slavery is the key point I think. I want to think about that a bit.

I'm unsure is 'antithesis' the correct description. The word citizen merely distinguishes that a person is different to a slave. There isn't all that much difference.

I'd categorise the differences as follows

* A citizen is expected to provide for his own accomodation.
* A citizen must buy his own food.


All in all the difference is to be found in how the econmics apply. Instead of the master providing the essentials directly to the slave, the master now provides the citizen with a pittance to provide for the essentials instead.

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot - the propaganda. The slave is under no illusions as to the fact that he is not free. The citizen is usually convinced that the harder he works, the more free he'll be.
The citizen has a vote and of course the citizen can become his/her own master anytime he/she wants to, but without the paid holidays of the citizens who decide to stay as paid slaves.

Ah the vote. Forgot about that.

The citizen's vote is about as much use as the slave's lack of one.
And gets about as much respect from those who don't value it.
Piss on your own vote if you wish, just don't try to do the same to mine.

tonys wrote:
Hermes wrote:
Quote :
And gets about as much respect from those who don't value it.
Piss on your own vote if you wish, just don't try to do the same to mine.

I won't piss on your vote if you don't piss on me in the way you exercise it.
This would be the major difference between us, in my view, what you do with your vote is your business, nothing to do with me. I don't have the right to express an opinion on how you use your vote much less express a wish as to how you should use your vote. I may not respect your views, but I do respect your vote.

BTW when I said don't try to piss on my vote, I wasn't giving you any options.

I don't require your permission. I have the right to have and express opinions and it's not down to your vote or your own opinions. It's down to what I choose to do. It would be better if you focus on what's being said and deal with it with debate, rather than assume that I've elected you as my better or as my censor - that hasn't happened and it won't happen. Thus any conversation between us where you take it upon yourself to set the rules, is firstly, undemocratic and secondly is a waste of effort on your part unless you choose to follow your rules alone.

My beliefs on the vote are a little complex and if you wish to only give them an infantile and facile examination, they will seem self-contradictory. And will in turn give you plenty of pseudo-information to construct both a strawman and a false sense of injured pride.


  • I would kill to defend my right to vote.
  • Voting is a complete and utter waste of time - worse, it gives the impression that we have a democracy twice a decade or so.
The ultimate form of democracy is to have no government. The vote, exercised in the system we have now, perpetuates the continuing failure of the aim of democracy to be achieved.

I probably need to expand on my point that states that the ultimate aim of democracy is to rid itself of government. There's the philosophical argument of course, but all philosophies are down to taste, and one may prefer tea to coffee. So ultimately, the philosophical argument is unfulfilling. The other argument is much better and isn't so easilly dismissed. The logical argument.

Democracy is all about the collective and their amalgamated will. A government is representative at best of a portion of this will. If it were representative of the whole, there would be no need to elect it. A government can be considered to be a filter. Therefore, currently, we have a filtered democracy. Remove the filter and we have an unfiltered democracy. Or in other words: a pure democracy.

Now would I piss on your vote?

I don't even need to think about it. Yes, absolutely.

Would I be willing to die to defend your right to vote?

Again it requires little thought. Yes I would, absolutely.

The trick is not to confuse the piece of sodden paper with the right.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:06 pm

Hermes wrote:

The ultimate form of democracy is to have no government. The vote, exercised in the system we have now, perpetuates the continuing failure of the aim of democracy to be achieved. Only to an anarchist

I probably need to expand on my point No, you don't really.

Democracy is all about the collective and their amalgamated will. A government is representative at best of a portion of this will. If it were representative of the whole, there would be no need to elect it. A government can be considered to be a filter. Therefore, currently, we have a filtered democracy. Remove the filter and we have an unfiltered democracy. Or in other words: a pure democracy. Or in other other words we have anarchy, which may suit you but doesn't suit, at a guess I'd say, 95% of the population. To a true democrat that would mean that not only is it not going to happen, but it shouldn't happen, to you it just means we don't know whats good for us.

Now would I piss on your vote?

I don't even need to think about it. Yes, absolutely.

The trick is not to confuse the piece of sodden paper with the right. The trick for you would be to make sure I'm not around when you're doing the pissing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:21 pm

tonys wrote:
Hermes wrote:

The ultimate form of democracy is to have no government. The vote, exercised in the system we have now, perpetuates the continuing failure of the aim of democracy to be achieved. Only to an anarchist

I probably need to expand on my point No, you don't really.

Democracy is all about the collective and their amalgamated will. A government is representative at best of a portion of this will. If it were representative of the whole, there would be no need to elect it. A government can be considered to be a filter. Therefore, currently, we have a filtered democracy. Remove the filter and we have an unfiltered democracy. Or in other words: a pure democracy. Or in other other words we have anarchy, which may suit you but doesn't suit, at a guess I'd say, 95% of the population. To a true democrat that would mean that not only is it not going to happen, but it shouldn't happen, to you it just means we don't know whats good for us.

Now would I piss on your vote?

I don't even need to think about it. Yes, absolutely.

The trick is not to confuse the piece of sodden paper with the right. The trick for you would be to make sure I'm not around when you're doing the pissing.

Let's not deal with guesswork. I've given you a very logical construct to examine. Refute it to dispute it. Bluster doesn't cut it. The point being made here is that if the collective will of the people is expressed fully, it means that it has 100% of the collective behind it. That might indeed be anarchy, but it is not chaos.

If you don't wish to debate this issue but instead wish to play the child, then do it elsewhere. Read the Charter that you've signed up to and start applying it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:29 pm

hermes and tonys wrote:
The ultimate form of democracy is to have no government. The vote, exercised in the system we have now, perpetuates the continuing failure of the aim of democracy to be achieved. Only to an anarchist

To my knowledge, tonys, there are a number of models of functioning participatory democracy extant these days - most prominently in Switzerland but in parts of South America there exists participatory budgets.

In the US as well there are plenty of democratic structures that we could do with to enhance voter participation and the list system exists I believe in Israel.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:34 pm

The idea of participatory democracy is gaining momentum in the discourse of political science. The idea of "Deliberation Day" as developed by Bruce Ackerman at Yale University, is widely studied at the School of Politics in UCD.

A short article on the process can be seen in the Legal Affairs journal:
http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/January-February-2004/feature_ackerman_janfeb04.msp

The BBC ran a documentary about 2 years ago on the process when a deliberation day was held in an area of Belfast on issues to do with interdenominational schooling with interesting results.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:16 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
hermes and tonys wrote:
The ultimate form of democracy is to have no government. The vote, exercised in the system we have now, perpetuates the continuing failure of the aim of democracy to be achieved. Only to an anarchist

To my knowledge, tonys, there are a number of models of functioning participatory democracy extant these days - most prominently in Switzerland but in parts of South America there exists participatory budgets.
In the US as well there are plenty of democratic structures that we could do with to enhance voter participation and the list system exists I believe in Israel.

They all accept the democratically expressed will of the majority, hermes does not, unless there is 100% agreement behind it, an impossibility and a nonsense.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:24 pm

Hermes wrote:
tonys wrote:
Hermes wrote:

The ultimate form of democracy is to have no government. The vote, exercised in the system we have now, perpetuates the continuing failure of the aim of democracy to be achieved. Only to an anarchist

I probably need to expand on my point No, you don't really.

Democracy is all about the collective and their amalgamated will. A government is representative at best of a portion of this will. If it were representative of the whole, there would be no need to elect it. A government can be considered to be a filter. Therefore, currently, we have a filtered democracy. Remove the filter and we have an unfiltered democracy. Or in other words: a pure democracy. Or in other other words we have anarchy, which may suit you but doesn't suit, at a guess I'd say, 95% of the population. To a true democrat that would mean that not only is it not going to happen, but it shouldn't happen, to you it just means we don't know whats good for us.

Now would I piss on your vote?

I don't even need to think about it. Yes, absolutely.

The trick is not to confuse the piece of sodden paper with the right. The trick for you would be to make sure I'm not around when you're doing the pissing.

Let's not deal with guesswork. I've given you a very logical construct to examine. Refute it to dispute it. Bluster doesn't cut it. The point being made here is that if the collective will of the people is expressed fully, it means that it has 100% of the collective behind it. That might indeed be anarchy, but it is not chaos.

If you don't wish to debate this issue but instead wish to play the child, then do it elsewhere. Read the Charter that you've signed up to and start applying it.
Why don’t you keep your little fascist in its box and address why the will of the vast majority of the population should be ignored in favour of your own undemocratic tendencies.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:37 pm

tonys wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
hermes and tonys wrote:
The ultimate form of democracy is to have no government. The vote, exercised in the system we have now, perpetuates the continuing failure of the aim of democracy to be achieved. Only to an anarchist

To my knowledge, tonys, there are a number of models of functioning participatory democracy extant these days - most prominently in Switzerland but in parts of South America there exists participatory budgets.
In the US as well there are plenty of democratic structures that we could do with to enhance voter participation and the list system exists I believe in Israel.

They all accept the democratically expressed will of the majority, hermes does not, unless there is 100% agreement behind it, an impossibility and a nonsense.

I'm not sure here are you failing to understand what I'm saying or are you trying to isolate me in a political sense so that you might use numbers plucked from your imagination to beat down me into my place, as you see it.

You've now come to the point where you need to put words into my mouth, in order to make something approaching a point. Why not deal with what's been said rather than the strawman that you're making. As it seems to me that you're the only one who's dealing with your strawman.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:42 pm

tonys wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
hermes and tonys wrote:
The ultimate form of democracy is to have no government. The vote, exercised in the system we have now, perpetuates the continuing failure of the aim of democracy to be achieved. Only to an anarchist

To my knowledge, tonys, there are a number of models of functioning participatory democracy extant these days - most prominently in Switzerland but in parts of South America there exists participatory budgets.
In the US as well there are plenty of democratic structures that we could do with to enhance voter participation and the list system exists I believe in Israel.

They all accept the democratically expressed will of the majority, hermes does not, unless there is 100% agreement behind it, an impossibility and a nonsense.

I don't know if he is saying that - he can answer himself though. What I'm getting from his statement above is that the system we have currently perpetuates itself only and has no mechanism to grow e.g. consultign with the people before pushing forward with certain legislation. That's what I'm getting from what he's saying.

I'm troubled that it's not that case that there is more participation and I feel it would be wise for governments here to start implementing strains of it here. People often feel disenfranchised ... and you'd be surprised how many would be interested in being consulted too.

And it wouldn't be that bizarre an idea either - you'd get the electorate to vote for packages of budgets for example and all this budgetary secrecy nonsense would be consigned to the playpen of history; people could vote in the good times to have their income tax levels raised but there would be a corresponding dividend in public projects or this could be done locally - a Dublin tax for example, not implemented down the country where there would be a higher level of VAT but the collected tax would transparently fund public projects.

It could be offered to people to vote on and would vary each year - +1%, 0%, 0.5%, -1% etc. depending. I believe it's like this in Switzerland and they often vote for tax hikes - imagine having the confidence and consent of your people like that ?

It would have the benefit of including your people in governing to a small but important degree. It would also be a little bit of education.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:00 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
tonys wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
hermes and tonys wrote:
The ultimate form of democracy is to have no government. The vote, exercised in the system we have now, perpetuates the continuing failure of the aim of democracy to be achieved. Only to an anarchist

To my knowledge, tonys, there are a number of models of functioning participatory democracy extant these days - most prominently in Switzerland but in parts of South America there exists participatory budgets.
In the US as well there are plenty of democratic structures that we could do with to enhance voter participation and the list system exists I believe in Israel.

They all accept the democratically expressed will of the majority, hermes does not, unless there is 100% agreement behind it, an impossibility and a nonsense.

That's exactly what I'm saying.

The more influence in the running of things that your vote achieves the more democratic the system you are participating in. The more your vote facilitates the will of someone else, the less democratic the system.

I don't know if he is saying that - he can answer himself though. What I'm getting from his statement above is that the system we have currently perpetuates itself only and has no mechanism to grow e.g. consultign with the people before pushing forward with certain legislation. That's what I'm getting from what he's saying.

I'm troubled that it's not that case that there is more participation and I feel it would be wise for governments here to start implementing strains of it here. People often feel disenfranchised ... and you'd be surprised how many would be interested in being consulted too.

And it wouldn't be that bizarre an idea either - you'd get the electorate to vote for packages of budgets for example and all this budgetary secrecy nonsense would be consigned to the playpen of history; people could vote in the good times to have their income tax levels raised but there would be a corresponding dividend in public projects or this could be done locally - a Dublin tax for example, not implemented down the country where there would be a higher level of VAT but the collected tax would transparently fund public projects.

It could be offered to people to vote on and would vary each year - +1%, 0%, 0.5%, -1% etc. depending. I believe it's like this in Switzerland and they often vote for tax hikes - imagine having the confidence and consent of your people like that ?

It would have the benefit of including your people in governing to a small but important degree. It would also be a little bit of education.

That's exactly what I'm saying.

The more influence you have via your voting the more democratic the system. The more your vote facilitates the will of someone else, the less democratic the system. This is why the right to vote is so sacred.

Whose will is it that we have a crap educational system, a crap health service and a crap infrastrcture?


Last edited by Hermes on Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:03 am

Quote :
That's exactly what I'm saying. If your vote facilitates your will being done you have a democracy. The more of your will that your vote achieves, the more democratic the system you participate in. On the other hand, if your vote facilitates the will of someone else, the less democratic the system. The less influence your vote achieves, the closer you move to a dictatorship.

Yes. FF and FG (this is a generalisation) tend not to tolerate dissenters and perhaps to shun them - something I've seen a few times at different meetings where FFers express a different view from the official party line and they are shunned. So, even within their own group a party can be totalitarian and attempt to subject all to the one will.

This is not right but happens.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:06 am

Sorry the wording of what you've quoted changed Audi, my browser was acting up and wasn't showing what I'd posted at all. So I did it again (differently - but the same meaning).

EDIT: Ahh... Spotted my problem. I typed my response into the the quote from yourself and didn't spot it when I sent it. I can be a stupid git at times... Rolling Eyes Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:40 am

Quote :
Whose will is it that we have a crap educational system, a crap health service and a crap infrastrcture?

The hospital in Ennis is getting scaled down now and is the source of some headaches for our local FF TD Timmy Dooley who was apparently attacked at a recent hospital meeting. I heard him getting a right good telling-off by in incensed nurse (among other people) at a meeting last night and it was an interesting moment as to whether it was the democratic will of the people at that forum last night or a mob.... As the Mayor of Clare, Madelaine Taylor-Quinn FG said, herself and Anna Pryor SF at the last GE promised that if successful after running they would have fought in the Dáil for the hospital to the point of resigning the whip if the hospital got downgraded.

A bit academic now as herself and Anna Pryor didn't get elected but she made the point that the people then voted Timmy and FF who made no such promises so they in effect gave the mandate to Timmy and FF to do what they wanted with the hospital - so they should shut up now.

I think she has a point besides saying I told you so; wWe don't hold our politicians to account and we forget promises and we don't prioritise or anything. We probably can't given the system we have where we can't vote for issues or even systems.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:53 am

Democracy deals with some limited aspects of life, but if we look at the banks, that lack any democractic controls, it is very limited indeed. At the moment, our democractically elected politicians are pouring money into the banks and taking advice from the banks on how to deal with a crisis in part caused by themselves. The Dail is a farce. Things have been stitched up between a few privileged individuals and groups behind the scenes, Golf clubs, the tent and the Partnership are more central to decision-making than the Dail.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:10 am

I'm sorry folks but it all smacks to me of people who are in a minority, some a tiny minority, and who have decided it's the system that's out of step rather than themselves and want our system of democracy changed. Now I've no real problem with that so long as the change is democratically achieved, but I'm not at all sure that is accepted by all concerned.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:32 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Quote :
Whose will is it that we have a crap educational system, a crap health service and a crap infrastrcture?

The hospital in Ennis is getting scaled down now and is the source of some headaches for our local FF TD Timmy Dooley who was apparently attacked at a recent hospital meeting. I heard him getting a right good telling-off by in incensed nurse (among other people) at a meeting last night and it was an interesting moment as to whether it was the democratic will of the people at that forum last night or a mob.... As the Mayor of Clare, Madelaine Taylor-Quinn FG said, herself and Anna Pryor SF at the last GE promised that if successful after running they would have fought in the Dáil for the hospital to the point of resigning the whip if the hospital got downgraded.

A bit academic now as herself and Anna Pryor didn't get elected but she made the point that the people then voted Timmy and FF who made no such promises so they in effect gave the mandate to Timmy and FF to do what they wanted with the hospital - so they should shut up now.

I think she has a point besides saying I told you so; wWe don't hold our politicians to account and we forget promises and we don't prioritise or anything. We probably can't given the system we have where we can't vote for issues or even systems.

That's the catch 22. The most democratic your vote can get within the current system, if you don't feel a candidate supports your view or is representative of you, is to vote vote for the candidate that least offends you. You'll be told that this is an act of voting against your least favourite candidate. And then, sure as Sunday follows Saturday, when the elected candidate absolutely fails to represent you, you yourself must take the blame and the politician who only ever acts and who only knows how to act in self interest or in the interest of the Party, is considered to have done his allegedly democratic duty.

This type of hucksterism is something we might expect a child to fall for. You know, "heads you win, tails I lose." It's my belief that we are programmed to this type of behaviour from an early age. We are instilled with the fallacy that it is our patriotic or democratic duty to vote.

There are but two ways to change the system. Those who have centralised power for their exclusive use will not just give it away. The two ways are revolution and evolution. Revolution comes about by proceeding as we are now. A government still based on cronyism and self-interest that will not give an inch in the face of catastrophe. It's the way of bloodshed. Evolution on the other hand is the peaceful way and may lead to a stable and representative government or even something resembling and approaching a full democracy. Evolution is achieved by rejecting the propaganda and witholding your vote until you can vote for someone who represents you. It is not your democratic duty to vote. It is your democratic duty to only vote for someone or some idea that actually represents you.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:46 am

tonys wrote:
I'm sorry folks but it all smacks to me of people who are in a minority, some a tiny minority, and who have decided it's the system that's out of step rather than themselves and want our system of democracy changed. Now I've no real problem with that so long as the change is democratically achieved, but I'm not at all sure that is accepted by all concerned.

No need to apologise tonys. Smile

If you look at who does the most damage to democracy, its often people who were voted into power: Hitler, Tony Blair, George Bush...

And then there are the people who are democrats at home, but support dictatorships abroad... Western democracy has been paid for to a large extent from profits extracted from colonies and dictatorships.

A representative democracy is not a utopia, and it doesn't provide for social equality. One man one vote doesn't translate into equal influence. It was a progression from feudal society but that doesn't mean that nothing better can ever replace it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:51 am

Hermes wrote:
There are but two ways to change the system. If you're in a tiny minority.

Those who have centralised power for their exclusive use will not just give it away. That would be those who win the most votes and are democratically elected under our system.

The two ways are revolution and evolution. Winning the support of a substantial number of voters for your version of democracy is out of the question apparently, for the people, god love them, are not of sufficient intelligence to understand what would be good for them, it is therefore our bounden duty to lead them to the promised land even if it is against their expressed will.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:53 am

tonys wrote:
I'm sorry folks but it all smacks to me of people who are in a minority, some a tiny minority, and who have decided it's the system that's out of step rather than themselves and want our system of democracy changed. Now I've no real problem with that so long as the change is democratically achieved, but I'm not at all sure that is accepted by all concerned.

Hermes wrote:
It's my belief that we are programmed to this type of behaviour from an early age.

There's no way it's a minority tonys - you must be mad - it's just that people haven't been offered an alternative and they won't cook one up themselves. Political students, sociology students and others at university will be very much aware that there are alternatives - philosophy and history people too among many many others. I'd reckon if these people were approached with a simple proposal of changing the system so there would be voting 3 or 4 times a year then it's my opinion that they'd be very much inclined at least to comprehend it if not agree it's an advance on the system that is there.

Besides uni students (not those bould naked people during rag week in Galway who were arrested for putting their buckfast-soaked furniture on the lawn) there would be plenty of older people who would have an instinctual idea of this as there would be plenty of lay people who have an interest in it and would welcome implementing it.

What Hermes says above is probably the barrier to it - we're not able to think that this could happen - that this isn't the hardest thing in the world to start thinking about. There may be plenty of an element of apathy in it which is less healthy than what you're expressing tonys i.e. settling for the system we have ..... resignation.

I'd say people simply can't conceive that the system CAN be changed ... All it needs is for a small party to forumlate it right and sell it to the populace.... "The Participatory Party" ... . I've patented that already so don't bother.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:58 am

cactus flower wrote:
tonys wrote:
I'm sorry folks but it all smacks to me of people who are in a minority, some a tiny minority, and who have decided it's the system that's out of step rather than themselves and want our system of democracy changed. Now I've no real problem with that so long as the change is democratically achieved, but I'm not at all sure that is accepted by all concerned.

No need to apologise tonys. Smile

If you look at who does the most damage to democracy, its often people who were voted into power: Hitler, Tony Blair, George Bush...

And then there are the people who are democrats at home, but support dictatorships abroad... Western democracy has been paid for to a large extent from profits extracted from colonies and dictatorships.

A representative democracy is not a utopia, and it doesn't provide for social equality. One man one vote doesn't translate into equal influence. It was a progression from feudal society but that doesn't mean that nothing better can ever replace it.
So change the system, democratically, but I think you'll find that not all who want change, what that change to be brought about by a democratic process, for they know best and the end justifies the means, they believe that, just like a few of the lads you mentioned above believed that too.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:03 am

Quote :
There's no way it's a minority tonys - you must be mad - it's just that people haven't been offered an alternative and they won't cook one up themselves. Political students, sociology students and others at university will be very much aware that there are alternatives - philosophy and history people too among many many others. I'd reckon if these people were approached with a simple proposal of changing the system so there would be voting 3 or 4 times a year then it's my opinion that they'd be very much inclined at least to comprehend it if not agree it's an advance on the system that is there.

Hmmm.

People already have quite a bit more power than they realise or else they choose not to exercise it.

Bray Local Area Plan had less than maybe a dozen submissions and quite a number of those were from business interests.

Stradbally in Laois had none, not even one.

There are a few to come before the people of Wicklow in the coming weeks and it will be interesting to see what the response to those is.

If you were to look at the most recent LAPs in Clare, Audi, do you think there would have been many submissions from the general public on the books?
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:04 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
tonys wrote:
I'm sorry folks but it all smacks to me of people who are in a minority, some a tiny minority, and who have decided it's the system that's out of step rather than themselves and want our system of democracy changed. Now I've no real problem with that so long as the change is democratically achieved, but I'm not at all sure that is accepted by all concerned.

Hermes wrote:
It's my belief that we are programmed to this type of behaviour from an early age.

There's no way it's a minority tonys - you must be mad - it's just that people haven't been offered an alternative and they won't cook one up themselves. Political students, sociology students and others at university will be very much aware that there are alternatives - philosophy and history people too among many many others. I'd reckon if these people were approached with a simple proposal of changing the system so there would be voting 3 or 4 times a year then it's my opinion that they'd be very much inclined at least to comprehend it if not agree it's an advance on the system that is there.

Besides uni students (not those bould naked people during rag week in Galway who were arrested for putting their buckfast-soaked furniture on the lawn) there would be plenty of older people who would have an instinctual idea of this as there would be plenty of lay people who have an interest in it and would welcome implementing it.

What Hermes says above is probably the barrier to it - we're not able to think that this could happen - that this isn't the hardest thing in the world to start thinking about. There may be plenty of an element of apathy in it which is less healthy than what you're expressing tonys i.e. settling for the system we have ..... resignation.

I'd say people simply can't conceive that the system CAN be changed ... All it needs is for a small party to forumlate it right and sell it to the populace.... "The Participatory Party" ... . I've patented that already so don't bother.
You're agreeing with me so. Our system is ideal for your proposal, go out and sell it to them, get enough of them to vote for you and you win, simples.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:04 am

tonys wrote:
Hermes wrote:
There are but two ways to change the system. If you're in a tiny minority.

Those who have centralised power for their exclusive use will not just give it away. That would be those who win the most votes and are democratically elected under our system.

The two ways are revolution and evolution. Winning the support of a substantial number of voters for your version of democracy is out of the question apparently, for the people, god love them, are not of sufficient intelligence to understand what would be good for them, it is therefore our bounden duty to lead them to the promised land even if it is against their expressed will.

Don't forget Tonys, that alleged mandate that you cherish so dearly, is not a product of the majority. Nor anything close to it. The majority in this country don't bother to vote and your beloved receives less than half of the rest. As the majority that don't vote increases (or if), your pseudo-democracy, which is in actuality a capitalist dictatorship, will be shown for the aberration that it most certainly is.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:13 am

tonys wrote:
You're agreeing with me so. Our system is ideal for your proposal, go out and sell it to them, get enough of them to vote for you and you win, simples.

Or are you agreeing with me Wink

Ye know well that single issues will get to rile people up to the point of wanting to tear the arms off Timmy Dooley at a hospital meeting - there's a lot of ferocity there that could be harnessed if you were of the right cast.

Besides that there are the existing vehicles of the Green Party and Sinn Fein, both of which would not be at all adverse to delivering a form of participation. Even if they were to begin writing it into their manifestos they'd be competing with the existing parties and like the green trend, the established parties might have to make some nod towards it.

And into the bargain there is a population becoming increasingly educated and opinionated and there's a good chance that some younger politicians will simply spontaneously demand it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Vote - A Poor Replacement For Democracy?   Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:15 am

Hermes wrote:
tonys wrote:
Hermes wrote:
There are but two ways to change the system. If you're in a tiny minority.

Those who have centralised power for their exclusive use will not just give it away. That would be those who win the most votes and are democratically elected under our system.

The two ways are revolution and evolution. Winning the support of a substantial number of voters for your version of democracy is out of the question apparently, for the people, god love them, are not of sufficient intelligence to understand what would be good for them, it is therefore our bounden duty to lead them to the promised land even if it is against their expressed will.

Don't forget Tonys, that alleged mandate that you cherish so dearly, is not a product of the majority. Nor anything close to it. The majority in this country don't bother to vote That's just simply wrong, check the last or any general election, you know the ones I mean, the elections where we elect 165 TD's to choose and run a Government for 5 years.

and your beloved receives less than half of the rest. As the majority that don't vote increases (or if), your pseudo-democracy, which is in actuality a capitalist dictatorship, will be shown for the aberration that it most certainly is. Until a majority agrees with you what we have is a democracy, but keep it coming brother, we're getting there.
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