2010.09.16 - election of reason

this post has slipped in time a bit. but to the point…

president elections time!

recently there were elections for a president's chair here, in Poland. this year was the first time i really took some time, myself, to see what proposals (aka “programs”) did candidates prepare. it was no surprise for me that most of the candidates have nothing interesting in their programs, but what shocked me was that there was NO candidate having program i'd agree with in more than ~50%! these were bad news – first time i tried to find my candidate and a real “fpic eail”1). no one to vote on. even the “lesser of two evils” did not worked here. even the candidate i finally choose to vote on was no good option for me, when i see “simplify taxes” (which i'm strongly willing to see in real life, by the way, but that's a longer topic, perhaps for a separate entry somewhere in the future) and “death penalty” (one of the most stupid ideas, that have somehow survived in the XXI century…) next to each other in the program!

how about other elections?

this was the complaining part. what about the alternatives? i do have a thing on my mind. but before going to that i'd like to introduced another phenomena that still works in Polish law, despite its obvious hypocrisy. during elections to the seym, senate and local governments, when voting you actually “put cross” in the box in front of the name of the candidate you choose to vote on. ok – so far, so good… but what is really surprising is that in fact you haven't voted for that candidate! what you really did is, you voted for the PARTY given candidate is member of! except for the fact it is VERY misleading (i know it for at most few years, many people don't know it at all) it is also non-democratic. imagine situation that party X have 3 candidates: A, B and C, while party Y have D, E and F. now let us assume A is a man of reason, while B, C, D, E and F are only interested in money and does not have any idea about position they want to take. if people know this, they may vote like this: A-35%, B-5%, C-5%, D-10%, E-5%, F-5% (rest of the citizens didn't vote at all). and so we're sure A will have a major vote. what happens in fact is this: we have X-45% and Y-20%, thus X is in power and they decide them selves who will take assigned places. if there are now 3 chairs to be set, it is perfectly fine to set 1 candidate from Y and (any!) 2 from X, so that the outcome may look like this: B, C and E! what has just happened? people having 15% of votes rule the country.

what is wrong? what can be done?

image taken from http://l.thumbs.canstockphoto.com/canstock1778348.jpg what went wrong in previous examples? we voted for the PARTY not for the PEOPLE, we though we did. thus we have:

  1. people having different elements of programs you may or may not agree with, but you have to choose the whole set
  2. voting on parties and their programs instead of ones you have trust in

however, there is a common solution for both problems described above – voting on the program elements to be realized! this means that instead of the names and faces you'd have a sort of “TODO list” to be realized. people to realize this could be chosen according to their skills (authors of ideas could be head of the execution team, for example).

by they way – did you noticed another common problem, in democratic countries being solved with this approach out of the box? this is accounting parties in charge for realization of what they have promised to do before the elections. such a thing does not exist right now – the worst scenario of doing nothing is not being elected the second time, but the election period is still open box, with a (nearly) free hand on what to do. having precise points to be realized, along with reasonable estimations and specific people responsible for the realization changes it dramatically. now everyone have assignment, clear target, limited time for a task to accomplish and responsibility for actions taken. you can look at it more like on contracts to fulfill – something that works in economy for many years now.


what have been proposed is an alternative approach to realization of true-democratic government. there are limitations to this idea as well. the first one i can imagine is that it is still democracy, which is wrong by default since people, in general, do NOT know what they need in fact and have no long-term perspective on which direction will be better to go. if you think that most of the people is right most of the time (base of democracy) think again. as an example ask billion of flies what's for dinner! in fact most of the people are wrong, most of the time. this is why democracy is wrong by default. it cannot be changed easily – good alternative have to be proposed first (long-term solution). what we can do now is to improve it (shorter-term solution) and that's the point of this text.

“epic fail” with a intentional typo
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