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Thread: Elections are bad for democracy

  1. #1

    Elections are bad for democracy



    I hate to admit, but he does have a point.

    The fatal flaw in this guy's article is that somehow we, as free people, are electing, or selecting, "leaders".

    The average politician or schmuck on the street, couldn't "lead" their way to a brothel, with an eight ball of coke and a fistful of hundreds.

    "Leaders"...give me a $#@!ing break...these people are sent to capitals to represent me, to vote for or against public policy as I would.

    Nothing more.

    They are supposed to act as my surrogates in government so I can be a productive citizen with my time.


    Elections Are Bad for Democracy

    https://dnyuz.com/2023/08/21/electio...for-democracy/

    August 21, 2023in News

    On the eve of the first debate of the 2024 presidential race, trust in government is rivaling historic lows. Officials have been working hard to safeguard elections and assure citizens of their integrity. But if we want public office to have integrity, we might be better off eliminating elections altogether.

    If you think that sounds anti-democratic, think again. The ancient Greeks invented democracy, and in Athens many government officials were selected through sortition — a random lottery from a pool of candidates. In the United States, we already use a version of a lottery to select jurors. What if we did the same with mayors, governors, legislators, justices and even presidents?

    People expect leaders chosen at random to be less effective than those picked systematically. But in multiple experiments led by the psychologist Alexander Haslam, the opposite held true. Groups actually made smarter decisions when leaders were chosen at random than when they were elected by a group or chosen based on leadership skill.

    Why were randomly chosen leaders more effective? They led more democratically. “Systematically selected leaders can undermine group goals,” Dr. Haslam and his colleagues suggest, because they have a tendency to “assert their personal superiority.” When you’re anointed by the group, it can quickly go to your head: I’m the chosen one.

    When you know you’re picked at random, you don’t experience enough power to be corrupted by it. Instead, you feel a heightened sense of responsibility: I did nothing to earn this, so I need to make sure I represent the group well. And in one of the Haslam experiments, when a leader was picked at random, members were more likely to stand by the group’s decisions.

    Over the past year I’ve floated the idea of sortition with a number of current members of Congress. Their immediate concern is ability: How do we make sure that citizens chosen randomly are capable of governing?

    In ancient Athens, people had a choice about whether to participate in the lottery. They also had to pass an examination of their capacity to exercise public rights and duties. In America, imagine that anyone who wants to enter the pool has to pass a civics test — the same standard as immigrants applying for citizenship. We might wind up with leaders who understand the Constitution.

    A lottery would also improve our odds of avoiding the worst candidates in the first place. When it comes to character, our elected officials aren’t exactly crushing it. To paraphrase William F. Buckley Jr., I’d rather be governed by the first 535 people in the phone book. That’s because the people most drawn to power are usually the least fit to wield it.

    The most dangerous traits in a leader are what psychologists call the dark triad of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. What these traits share is a willingness to exploit others for personal gain. People with dark triad traits tend to be more politically ambitious — they’re attracted to authority for its own sake. But we often fall under their spell. Is that you, George Santos?

    In a study of elections worldwide, candidates who were rated by experts as having high psychopathy scores actually did better at the ballot box. In the United States, presidents assessed as having psychopathic and narcissistic tendencies were more persuasive with the public than their peers. A common explanation is that they’re masters of fearless dominance and superficial charm, and we mistake their confidence for competence. Sadly, it starts early: Even kids who display narcissistic personality traits get more leadership nominations and claim to be better leaders. (They aren’t.)

    If the dark triad wins an election, we all lose. When psychologists rated the first 42 American presidents, the narcissists were more likely to take reckless risks, make unethical decisions and get impeached. Add a dash of Machiavellianism and a pinch of psychopathy, and you get autocrats like Putin, Erdoğan, Orbán and Duterte.

    Eliminate voting, and candidates with dark triad traits would be less likely than they are now to rise to the top. Of course, there’s also a risk that a lottery would deprive us of the chance to select a leader with distinctive skills. At this point, that’s a risk I’m willing to take. As lucky as America was to have Lincoln at the helm, it’s more important to limit our exposure to bad character than to roll the dice on the hopes of finding the best.

    Besides, if Lincoln were alive now, it’s hard to imagine that he’d even put his top hat in the ring. In a world filled with divisiveness and derision, evidence shows that members of Congress are increasingly rewarded for incivility. And they know it.

    A lottery would give a fair shot to people who aren’t tall enough or male enough to win. It would also open the door to people who aren’t connected or wealthy enough to run. Our broken campaign finance system lets the rich and powerful buy their way into races while preventing people without money or influence from getting on the ballot. They’re probably better candidates: Research suggests that on average, people who grow up in low-income families tend to be more effective leaders and less likely to cheat — they’re less prone to narcissism and entitlement.

    Switching to sortition would save a lot of money too. The 2020 elections alone cost upward of $14 billion. And if there’s no campaign, there are no special interests offering to help pay for it.

    Finally, no voting also means no boundaries to gerrymander and no Electoral College to dispute. Instead of questioning whether millions of ballots were counted accurately, we could watch the lottery live, like we do with teams getting their lottery picks in the NBA draft.

    Other countries have begun to see the promise of sortition. Two decades ago, Canadian provinces and the Dutch government started using sortition to create citizens’ assemblies that generated ideas for improving democracy. In the past few years, the French, British and German governments have run lotteries to select citizens to work on climate change policies. Ireland tried a hybrid model, gathering 33 politicians and 66 randomly chosen citizens for its 2012 constitutional convention. In Bolivia, the nonprofit Democracy in Practice works with schools to replace student council elections with lotteries. Instead of elevating the usual suspects, it welcomes a wider range of students to lead and solve real problems in their schools and their communities.

    As we prepare for America to turn 250 years old, it may be time to rethink and renew our approach to choosing officials. The lifeblood of a democracy is the active participation of the people. There is nothing more democratic than offering each and every citizen an equal opportunity to lead.
    “It is not true that all creeds and cultures are equally assimilable in a First World nation born of England, Christianity, and Western civilization. Race, faith, ethnicity and history leave genetic fingerprints no ‘proposition nation’ can erase." -- Pat Buchanan



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  3. #2
    Come to think of it, it would solve this problem as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Banana View Post
    “It is not true that all creeds and cultures are equally assimilable in a First World nation born of England, Christianity, and Western civilization. Race, faith, ethnicity and history leave genetic fingerprints no ‘proposition nation’ can erase." -- Pat Buchanan

  4. #3
    Officials have been working hard to safeguard elections and assure citizens of their integrity.


    What the hell is this guy talking about?

    They've been doing pretty much the exact opposite.

    Here's just one of myriad examples:

    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Banana View Post
    The Bastiat Collection · FREE PDF · FREE EPUB · PAPER
    Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)

    • "When law and morality are in contradiction to each other, the citizen finds himself in the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense, or of losing his respect for the law."
      -- The Law (p. 54)
    • "Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
      -- Government (p. 99)
    • "[W]ar is always begun in the interest of the few, and at the expense of the many."
      -- Economic Sophisms - Second Series (p. 312)
    • "There are two principles that can never be reconciled - Liberty and Constraint."
      -- Harmonies of Political Economy - Book One (p. 447)

    · tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito ·

  5. #4
    [Sortition] would also improve our odds of avoiding the worst candidates [...]

    [...]

    Eliminate voting, and candidates with dark triad traits would be less likely than they are now to rise to the top.
    Given the following, what is the warrant for those claims?

    In ancient Athens, people had a choice about whether to participate in the lottery. They also had to pass an examination of their capacity to exercise public rights and duties. In America, imagine that anyone who wants to enter the pool has to pass a civics test [...]

    [...]

    The most dangerous traits in a leader are what psychologists call the dark triad of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. What these traits share is a willingness to exploit others for personal gain. People with dark triad traits tend to be more politically ambitious — they’re attracted to authority for its own sake. [...]
    If candidates are self-selected, shouldn't we expect that the "dark triad" will still be over-represented in sortition pools? And wouldn't those "civics test[s]" and "examination[s] of their capacity to exercise public rights and duties" merely weed out the less intelligent and capable among them, thereby yieldinng a greater concentration of the smarter and savvier ones?
    Last edited by Occam's Banana; 08-22-2023 at 01:54 PM.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post


    I hate to admit, but he does have a point.

    The fatal flaw in this guy's article is that somehow we, as free people, are electing, or selecting "leaders".

    The average politician or schmuck on the street, couldn't "lead" their way to a brothel, with an eight ball of coke and a fistful of hundreds.

    "Leaders"...give me a $#@!ing break...these people are sent to capitals to represent me, to vote for against public policy as I would.

    Nothing more.
    Actually, that is not true. What you are doing is delegating authority to large groups of people who have varieties of self interests. Nothing more.

    Let’s use your Republican Party for an example. While you may be against endless wars and the Military Industrial Complex, and starting wars for the sake of profit, using your hard-earned tax payer money to do such atrocities, there are many in the Republican Party who work in that industry. Those constituents may be 100% pro gun, oppose abortion, and firm supporters of property rights. A Representative may have MIC manufacturing plants in his district, and for him to cut, or even level out funding, would mean zero votes from those Republican constituents.

    That’s just one small example of thousands.

    When you vote, you are willingly giving your consent to democratic rule by mob, and forfeit your right (all of your rights) as an individual.
    ____________

    An Agorist Primer ~ Samuel Edward Konkin III (free PDF download)

    The End of All Evil ~ Jeremy Locke (free PDF download)

  7. #6
    The author makes some salient points.

    The assertion that representative elections are NOT democracy at all but something else entirely was put forth by
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his classic, The Social Contract (1762).

    He writes, "In the ancient republics…the people never had representatives.…[T]he moment a people allows itself to be represented, it is no longer free: it no longer exists.”



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