Elected vs Selected - a better theoretical approach to Government?

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posted on Sep, 6 2013 @ 10:38 PM
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Recently, I was taking with a friend about the Syria issue, and how it seemed like congress wasn't actually listening to what the people of the USA actually want to happen. My friend, being interested in politics, purposed the following political idea as a theoretical solution:

1. Instead of "electing" officials for office, a random selection of people would be picked to represent the USA.

2. This "random draw" would be held on 3-month intervals (in other words, every three months, a new set of people would be randomly drawn in).

3. The people eligible for being picked would need to be of legal age and legally living in America (as in, 21 years or older, and must be an official member of the USA).

4. The number of people that are selected would be an odd number, so that if a vote ever came to a battle between two sides, at least one side would be able to pull a win.

5. If, for whatever reason, a particular person could not fulfill the three month term (such as an active member in the armed services, or someone attending college), then another random person would be selected until all positions are filled.

6. If no common agreement could be met on a bill or item that needed passing, then an anonymous vote (yes or no), would be conducted. Because of the odd number of people, there should always be a yes or no answer, and no standoff.

These were the strong points of using such a system (at least, according to my friend).
1. A "fresher" pool of people that can be used to represent the USA - Part of the problem is that we always elect those that "make a campaign"; what if someone, out in the middle of one of the states, had a brilliant idea to make their nation better, but could not get anyone to listen? Giving a random pool of people this kind of power might allow that one person to share his idea among others, and maybe, the issue would pass.

2. A random selection might also help to better represent the US, as a whole - With politicians, they always seem to be considered above the normal, everyday human. Now, put someone into the seat that has worked with everyday, normal humans on a regular basis - they may know some of the hardships that are experienced by those "everyday Joes", the ones that do not get their voices heard.

3. The three month term would allow for a shorter waiting time to refresh the political pot, so to speak. So instead of seeing the same old faces make the same old mistakes, every three months would bring fresh, new faces into the pool.

Me, loving to play the Devil's advocate, came up with a few negatives to using such a system.

1. The "random" selection would need to be monitored, and the selection pool (all the available people that could be selected) , would need to be monitored by some agency (as a programmer, I know that if you can figure out the seed for the random number selection, then you can predict the next numbers that will appear).

The problem with this is that in today's time, how can you trust that agency?

2. This body of people could still be susceptible to the same influences that everyday politicians were & are (such as bribes, scandalous affairs, under the table deals, etc). In theory, this could make that person as bad as the current ones are.

3. The "randomness" of the selection. Here's my problem with this - Because of how a random number generator (which I would assume would be used in this fictional universe) works, it's possible that the people being selected might all be from the same "group" (for example, it's entirely possible that the majority of the people selected are a neo-nazi mafia doomsday cult, just as it's possible that all the people are neither democrat nor republican). Then, the issue becomes: Would you want these people to really represent us?

4. It's also possible that all the people selected come from the same state - which would cause an entirely different problem (aka "Hmph, State A is selected to lead, but the other 49 states aren't qualified for this...").

Seeing as neither of us could agree on if such a system could work, I'm turning it over to you, ATS society. Do you think that the purposed political system my friend offered could work? Or, is the system doomed to fail, as I feel it would?

NOTE: I haven't heard of any governments that actually use a similar system, so I will say this in my friend's defense - How to we know something won't work if we have never tried it before?

-fossilera
edit on 6/9/2013 by fossilera because: title seemed a little incorrect - Fixed.




posted on Sep, 6 2013 @ 11:57 PM
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reply to post by fossilera
 


with only a 3 month mandate - no long term project would survive



posted on Sep, 7 2013 @ 12:18 AM
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Originally posted by ignorant_ape

with only a 3 month mandate - no long term project would survive

You make it sound like that's a bad thing.



posted on Sep, 7 2013 @ 12:58 AM
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Originally posted by ignorant_ape
reply to post by fossilera
 


with only a 3 month mandate - no long term project would survive

It would if voting were mandatory on projects using public funds and required a population percentage minimum of voters to go on instead of relying on politicians to yay or nay it. Frankly, as far as I'm concerned, that how it should be done, the people should be able to make a pitstop once a season to vote on where their money goes in public projects, as well as what policies get passed. sure, that means it would be out there longer, but at least the window is bigger for making the time to go in. This would also be very doable if we could figure out a system that allowed online voting with identity certainty. Perhaps registering yourself & a single selected voting email once in person and bam, good to go with it for future votes?

As for the 3-month politicians, that's an awfully short period of time to really do anything votes can't accomplish. I'd say 1 year would be fair. Long enough to get a few things done, short enough to prevent long-term corruption. That is not to say no one would be corrupt, anyone can be bought, but it might lessen the amount of corrupt officials by having a 1-year stint.


No one shred me, please, that's all just a wild idea that will probably never come to pass. In a perfect world of people who wouldn't complain about their opinion's necessity, it could be a useful system.



posted on Sep, 7 2013 @ 09:55 AM
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I should've asked more on his reasoning for that three month term - If I had to take an educated guess, it's because he was trying to reduce the amount of time it would take to get rid of someone if the general consensus didn't agree with them. In my eyes, a year would probably be a more accurate goal.

You all do raise an interesting point - With the long term projects, how would someone go about getting these resolved?

I'll have to ask on that one & see - hopefully I'll get a response by the end of the night.



posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 01:53 AM
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fossilera
1. Instead of "electing" officials for office, a random selection of people would be picked to represent the USA.


Isn't that already in place? Just because you don't like the selection of those to be elected at the big-game (aka, the only day most American's know about; First Tuesday in November), doesn't mean that the selection isn't with a random set of people. Randomness is there, but people have chosen to go with safe, sound and recognizable names.


2. This "random draw" would be held on 3-month intervals (in other words, every three months, a new set of people would be randomly drawn in).


What if, during your "random draw", those who were "selected" don't want to lead? What if the People they are now lording over, don't want them to lead?


3. The people eligible for being picked would need to be of legal age and legally living in America (as in, 21 years or older, and must be an official member of the USA).


We can't even restrict driving privileges of those not officially and legally allowed to live here, what makes you think we can get this right?!


4. The number of people that are selected would be an odd number, so that if a vote ever came to a battle between two sides, at least one side would be able to pull a win.


So this about those who are in power and furthering the divide between the People (those who inherently hold all the political power) and the "Chosen"; who will have power to wield with no accountability at all -- save randomness. A lot can be done in 3 months.


5. If, for whatever reason, a particular person could not fulfill the three month term (such as an active member in the armed services, or someone attending college), then another random person would be selected until all positions are filled.


Why all this randomness? It barely works with Jury Duty.....


6. If no common agreement could be met on a bill or item that needed passing, then an anonymous vote (yes or no), would be conducted. Because of the odd number of people, there should always be a yes or no answer, and no standoff.


Why anonymous? You are removing all accountability from the system! Sometimes a "standoff" is needed. Always have a yes/no is not always good. Debate, discussion, division is not always a bad thing.


These were the strong points of using such a system (at least, according to my friend).
1. A "fresher" pool of people that can be used to represent the USA - Part of the problem is that we always elect those that "make a campaign"; what if someone, out in the middle of one of the states, had a brilliant idea to make their nation better, but could not get anyone to listen? Giving a random pool of people this kind of power might allow that one person to share his idea among others, and maybe, the issue would pass.


I agree that we need fresh faces, but that comes with actually being involved in politics, in your local and state elections. That is where the real democracy was meant to take place -- not the national level as it is now. If you cannot sell your ideas on the free market, why should anyone listen? Especially in this day and age where we don't need to bow to the lords of the media and can reach far and wide through instant communication?

What I am seeing is the pure lack of understanding of how our Republic was setup. Again...November, the Super Bowl of Elections and that which nearly all "voters" think that matters. Never mind primaries, local elections, gubernatorial elections, run-offs, etc, etc.


2. A random selection might also help to better represent the US, as a whole - With politicians, they always seem to be considered above the normal, everyday human. Now, put someone into the seat that has worked with everyday, normal humans on a regular basis - they may know some of the hardships that are experienced by those "everyday Joes", the ones that do not get their voices heard.


And random people won't ever become "politicians"? There are regular people out there that try....thing is, even if we hate our congress, WE vote them right back in.....


3. The three month term would allow for a shorter waiting time to refresh the political pot, so to speak. So instead of seeing the same old faces make the same old mistakes, every three months would bring fresh, new faces into the pool.


What about long term goals for the nation? Or are we to only operate on quarters?

That's my devil's advocate of the proposal. Nonetheless, it is an idea and worth discussing.



posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 04:06 AM
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Not unlike the ancient greek form of democracy. Everyone was eligble to serve. Also each year there was a vote on lowest performing official. That guy would get exiled for 10 years.



posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 07:50 PM
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reply to post by ownbestenemy
 



There's a lot that wasn't mentioned with the theory - I had quite a bit more negatives to the system (Almost all of which were what you posted). But, as a friend, I felt to bring up more points would start a political battle with my companion.

My main point to my side is that I'm 95% sure that this could never work. I mean, heck, I've seen what happens when jury duty comes around to people I know (let's just say they all never seem to get on one), and I also can see how hard it would be to regulate this.

I can see why the "randomness" of the whole deal is the main plot of the theory (at least, to my programmer mind) : When you want to get an "overview" of a wide demographic, a random sample of the area is the easiest way to do it. For example, say you wanted to find out how many people think this theory is worthless - If you looked at just the people who posted in this thread, then you might get a skewed opinion. Now, put this thread in front of the majority of ATS - You are, in essence, getting a random sample that can act as a microcosm for this region of the internet. If you kept to this thread alone, the longer it stays active, the more likely a single opinion will win (which, depending on the amount of people that post, could also become a microcosm in itself).

Or another one: Why do you think companies like it when you "like" one of their items on a social media site such as Facebook? You're providing them with a random plot/raw data that gives an overview of how their product is enjoyed (or hated) around the world - It's easier to gather data that way than go door-to-door and ask each person what their opinion is).

Regardless, I do agree, it's an interesting concept, even to a skeptic like myself.

[At everyone]
And I did ask - He said that the reason for 3 month terms was to prevent corruption, as it felt to him that a year would be too long of a term. He also felt that it should be that way, as you'd be asking everyday, normal citizens to stop what they were doing to run the country.

-fossilera




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