Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

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Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:00 pm UTC

A new study published out of the University of Catania in Sicily suggests that the efficiency of parliamentary democracies could be greatly improved by having some of the legislators randomly selected rather than elected directly. The idea being basically that, with some number of legislators not tied to any one particular political party, these free agents would be able to more easily break legislative deadlocks by providing a pool of votes that parties could use to create temporary coalitions to allow a single vote to pass--or be defeated. They claim that this tends to increase both the number of laws passed, and the social benefits of laws being passed.

From the Guardian.

Spoiler:
Democracies would be better off if they chose some of their politicians at random. That's the word, mathematically obtained, from a team of Italian physicists, economists, and political analysts.

The team includes the trio whose earlier research showed, also mathematically, that bureaucracies would be more efficient if they promoted people at random.

Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, Cesare Garofalo, and two other colleagues at the University of Catania in Sicily published their new study in a physics journal called Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications. The study itself is titled Accidental Politicians: How Randomly Selected Legislators Can Improve Parliament Efficiency.

The scientists made a simple calculation model that mimics the way modern parliaments work, including the effects of particular political parties or coalitions. In the model, individual legislators can cast particular votes that advance either their own interests (one of which is to gain re-election), or the interests of society as a whole. Party discipline comes into play, affecting the votes of officials who got elected with help from their party.

But when some legislators are selected at random – owing no allegiance to any party – the legislature's overall efficiency improves. That higher efficiency, the scientists explain, comes in "both the number of laws passed and the average social welfare obtained" from those new laws.

Parliamentary voting behaviour echoes, in a surprisingly detailed mathematical sense, something economist Carlo M Cipolla sketched in his 1976 essay called Basic Laws of Human Stupidity. Cipolla gave an insulting, yet possibly accurate, description of any human group: "human beings fall into four basic categories: the helpless, the intelligent, the bandit and the stupid". Pluchino, Rapisarda, Garofalo and their colleagues base their mathematical model partly on this fourfold distinction.

The maths indicate that parliaments work best when some — but not all — of the members have been chosen at random. The study explains how a country, subject to the quirks of its own system, can figure out what mix will give the best results.

Random selection may feel like a mathematician's wild-eyed dream. It's not. The practice was common in ancient Greece, when democracy was young. The study tells how, in Athens, citizens' names were placed into a randomisation device called a kleroterion.

Later on, legislators were selected randomly in other places, too. In Bologna, Parma, Vicenza, San Marino, Barcelona and bits of Switzerland, say the scientists, and "in Florence in the 13th and 14th century and in Venice from 1268 until the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, providing opportunities to minorities and resistance to corruption".

Athens, way back when, used random selection to people its juries. So, still, does much of the world.

And it's not just juries. Iceland, having survived a financial collapse, is drawing itself up a new constitution. For advice on that, the nation assembled a committee of 950 citizens chosen at random.

• Marc Abrahams is editor of the bimonthly annals of Improbable Research and organiser of the Ig Nobel prize


The actual study is posted on arXiV and can be read by anyone, and in the peer reviewed journal Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications. It is a bit technical, though.

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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:09 pm UTC

The scientists made a simple calculation model that mimics the way modern parliaments work, including the effects of particular political parties or coalitions. In the model, individual legislators can cast particular votes that advance either their own interests (one of which is to gain re-election), or the interests of society as a whole. Party discipline comes into play, affecting the votes of officials who got elected with help from their party.


I'm hoping that horrible simplications is journalistic and not the research.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Роберт » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:40 pm UTC

Title is misleading. "Some" is a necessary word here.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:50 pm UTC

They should introduce Parliament Duty and compel twenty or thirty to be called to serve as MPs for two weeks.

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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Jonesthe Spy » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:33 pm UTC

This is actually an element of the Martian Constitution as written in The Martians, Kim Stanley Robinson's companion to his amazing Mars Trilogy. There are two legislative bodies, one elected ("The Senate") and one made up of citizens chosen by lottery (the "Duma") - government as jury duty, basically. In another interesting twist, instead of a single president there is a seven-person executive council, elected by the Duma.

Sounds pretty cool, and definitely superior to the American Representative/Senate arrangement.

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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:36 pm UTC

Jonesthe Spy wrote:In another interesting twist, instead of a single president there is a seven-person executive council, elected by the Duma.

To paraphrase Oscar Nuñez of "The Office":
Oscar wrote:Look, it doesn't take a genius to know that every organization thrives when it has seven leaders. Go ahead, name a country that doesn't have seven presidents, a boat that sets sail without seven captains. Where would Catholicism be without the Popes?
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby dedalus » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:22 am UTC

To be honest, I don't think this would be a bad idea. My only question is - what would happen to people who didn't want to serve? I can imagine many people wouldn't mind being a politician and being able to make major decisions, but I can also imagine many people might want to do something else. And I'm not completely sure you want people to be forced to make decisions for a country.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Tirian » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:32 am UTC

I am fundamentally opposed to this idea for the same reason that I hate the idea of term limits. Legislating involves a number of important skills and it's irrational to put power in the hands of people who don't know what they're doing. Half the laws will be ridiculous and unconstitutional in obvious ways, and the other half will be crafted by lobbyists. Congratulations, the system is now even less accountable to the electorate.

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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Griffin » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:35 am UTC

Except we're only discussing a portion of legislators coming from the populace at large, not the whole thing. It's important to have skilled legislators, yes, but its ALSO important to have people outside of the game, who aren't entrenched in the system, to counteract the corruption and incompetence that system naturally breeds.

Half the laws will be ridiculous and unconstitutional in obvious ways, and the other half will be crafted by lobbyists.

An improvement, then?
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby dedalus » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:56 am UTC

Either way, you'll need to get agreement from at least one party before any laws passed. Which involves people who care about their re-election.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:24 am UTC

Tirian wrote:I am fundamentally opposed to this idea for the same reason that I hate the idea of term limits. Legislating involves a number of important skills and it's irrational to put power in the hands of people who don't know what they're doing.

I think what you're missing is that the skills that legislators acquire are not the ones important to governing effectively. You're getting experts, certainly, but they're experts at getting re-elected. Not really a skill that's of any practical use to their constituents. Besides, this isn't replacing the whole legislature with randomly appointed people; it's replacing only part of it. So that when you have 40% of the government that wants to do something, they can go to the 20% of appointed people and make a case to them to gain their support. If those people support or oppose them, it won't be because of party loyalty. Ideally they'd do so on a merit basis, but even just preventing the potential for party-based partisan gridlock would be a huge improvement.

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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Iulus Cofield » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:43 am UTC

I think you're underestimating how hard it is to get 1416 people to agree on anything, much less how hard it is to get them to agree to the precise wording of bills that will have the force of law.

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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby johnny_7713 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:18 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Jonesthe Spy wrote:In another interesting twist, instead of a single president there is a seven-person executive council, elected by the Duma.

To paraphrase Oscar Nuñez of "The Office":
Oscar wrote:Look, it doesn't take a genius to know that every organization thrives when it has seven leaders. Go ahead, name a country that doesn't have seven presidents, a boat that sets sail without seven captains. Where would Catholicism be without the Popes?


The Dutch prime minister is 'first among equals' in the cabinet (i.e. the council of ministers and secretaries of state, the Dutch executive branch). He may have a deciding vote if there's a stalemate, but otherwise his vote doesn't count for more than that of the other ministers.

The Roman Republic was usually ruled by two consuls who shared ultimate executive power. Only in rare emergencies was a single dictator elected.

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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:27 am UTC

Jonesthe Spy wrote:This is actually an element of the Martian Constitution as written in The Martians, Kim Stanley Robinson's companion to his amazing Mars Trilogy. There are two legislative bodies, one elected ("The Senate") and one made up of citizens chosen by lottery (the "Duma") - government as jury duty, basically. In another interesting twist, instead of a single president there is a seven-person executive council, elected by the Duma.

Sounds pretty cool, and definitely superior to the American Representative/Senate arrangement.


Yes, I knew I recognized this kind of thing from a book, I had assumed it was The Dispossessed at first, but I think it's more likely to be The Martians.

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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Iulus Cofield » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:16 am UTC

johnny_7713 wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
Jonesthe Spy wrote:In another interesting twist, instead of a single president there is a seven-person executive council, elected by the Duma.

To paraphrase Oscar Nuñez of "The Office":
Oscar wrote:Look, it doesn't take a genius to know that every organization thrives when it has seven leaders. Go ahead, name a country that doesn't have seven presidents, a boat that sets sail without seven captains. Where would Catholicism be without the Popes?


The Dutch prime minister is 'first among equals' in the cabinet (i.e. the council of ministers and secretaries of state, the Dutch executive branch). He may have a deciding vote if there's a stalemate, but otherwise his vote doesn't count for more than that of the other ministers.

The Roman Republic was usually ruled by two consuls who shared ultimate executive power. Only in rare emergencies was a single dictator elected.


Yeah, but the Consuls were primarily military leaders and the biggest reason for having two was to be able to field two separate armies and to maintain a chain of command if one of them died while in the field. Also, their civil duties were largely administrative by the end of the Fourth Century (probably their greatest political power was the ability to call popular elections that could potentially override the Senate) and on top of that they alternated civil duties each month. Dictators were appointed, not usually because they needed a single executive (dictators had to have a Master of Horse who had near equal authority and equal authority whenever the Dictator was elsewhere), but because Dictators had supreme authority over all matters and could thus act with all necessary
haste and ignore or make laws at his discretion.

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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:40 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Yeah, but the Consuls were primarily military leaders and the biggest reason for having two was to be able to field two separate armies and to maintain a chain of command if one of them died while in the field. Also, their civil duties were largely administrative by the end of the Fourth Century (probably their greatest political power was the ability to call popular elections that could potentially override the Senate) and on top of that they alternated civil duties each month. Dictators were appointed, not usually because they needed a single executive (dictators had to have a Master of Horse who had near equal authority and equal authority whenever the Dictator was elsewhere), but because Dictators had supreme authority over all matters and could thus act with all necessary
haste and ignore or make laws at his discretion.



Additionally, look at the number of civil wars having two supreme executives caused Rome:

Sulla's first two civil wars
Lepidus' rebellion
Caesar's war
the post-Caesar war
the three to four wars that Octavian fought until declaring himself Emperor.

This is in a period of about 100 years.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:06 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:Yeah, but the Consuls were primarily military leaders and the biggest reason for having two was to be able to field two separate armies and to maintain a chain of command if one of them died while in the field. Also, their civil duties were largely administrative by the end of the Fourth Century (probably their greatest political power was the ability to call popular elections that could potentially override the Senate) and on top of that they alternated civil duties each month. Dictators were appointed, not usually because they needed a single executive (dictators had to have a Master of Horse who had near equal authority and equal authority whenever the Dictator was elsewhere), but because Dictators had supreme authority over all matters and could thus act with all necessary
haste and ignore or make laws at his discretion.



Additionally, look at the number of civil wars having two supreme executives caused Rome:

Sulla's first two civil wars
Lepidus' rebellion
Caesar's war
the post-Caesar war
the three to four wars that Octavian fought until declaring himself Emperor.

This is in a period of about 100 years.

You also have to recognize the fact that there was a pretty crucial error in who the legions were loyal to and who had command over those legions in terms of the governance.m The whole, let's give two people lots of power and large armies idea was bound to not go so well.

It's one of the really spectacular achievements of America that we have had so many peaceful turnovers of power, partially because of how the command of the military is structured.

Also, Dr. Robinson was a really good friend of one of my late professors--who edited the book on Robinson.

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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Роберт » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:12 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:
Half the laws will be ridiculous and unconstitutional in obvious ways, and the other half will be crafted by lobbyists.

An improvement, then?

Better than half the laws being ridiculous and unconstitutional in obvious ways, and crafted by lobbyists.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:22 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:You also have to recognize the fact that there was a pretty crucial error in who the legions were loyal to and who had command over those legions in terms of the governance.m The whole, let's give two people lots of power and large armies idea was bound to not go so well.

It's one of the really spectacular achievements of America that we have had so many peaceful turnovers of power, partially because of how the command of the military is structured.

Also, Dr. Robinson was a really good friend of one of my late professors--who edited the book on Robinson.



Well, sure - look at the Year of Five Emperors and the Year of Four Emperors for backup to that. That being said, I don't think that having a council as opposed to a single supreme executive is a better idea - In the cases of emergency or natural disaster, having a single person making the decisions means that things can be done quickly, in situations where time is of the essence. In every other case, having the checks & balances of mulitcameral legislative bodies means that bad laws cannot be passed as quickly, nor can power be abused as egregiously.

Personally, I'm in favour of a system where the House proposes laws on a 2/3rds majority, and the Senate repeals them with a simple majority.

I also think that political parties should be banned under RICO, but that's just me.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby maybeagnostic » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:34 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:Legislating involves a number of important skills and it's irrational to put power in the hands of people who don't know what they're doing. Half the laws will be ridiculous and unconstitutional in obvious ways, and the other half will be crafted by lobbyists.
I don't think that this system assumes the 20% of randomly picked politicians would be writing any laws- they might propose them but they probably don't have the skill to write them. On the other hand getting an incentive to write laws that a lay person can understand can only be a good thing. Being forced to publicly explain your proposed law rather than just getting automatic support from your party is an even better thing.

The biggest problem in the system would be keeping lobbyists from getting access to the inexperienced legislators. They would need some kind of protection from outside influence, kind of like jurors. Then again that's probably a good idea for all legislators, it's just likely impossible to implement and enforce.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:11 pm UTC

I think this is assuming a parliamentary model, where the "government" party (usually the one with the most seats) is generally the one that proposes laws, but does not necessarily have enough votes to pass them without help from the other parties (or has a majority of the seats and can pass whatever they want). The random politicians would almost certainly not be required to write laws, I wouldn't think.

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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Griffin » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:21 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
Griffin wrote:
Half the laws will be ridiculous and unconstitutional in obvious ways, and the other half will be crafted by lobbyists.

An improvement, then?

Better than half the laws being ridiculous and unconstitutional in obvious ways, and crafted by lobbyists.

I was implying that 50% for each would be better than our current (randomly generated statistic) 75% for each, btw. Not asking for an improvement, but rhetorically implying that it would be one.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Diadem » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:26 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote: It's one of the really spectacular achievements of America that we have had so many peaceful turnovers of power, partially because of how the command of the military is structured.

In the last 150 years, only 86% of your turnovers (24 out of 28) have been peaceful. Not a very good rate ;)
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Yakk » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:47 pm UTC

Are you referring to assassination of the US president as a "non-peaceful turnover"?

While that might be true, there is little evidence that the political side that took over after an assassination (read: the vice president) has ever assassinated a sitting president.

It was a government turn-over. It was non-peaceful (in that someone died by violence). The violence was not about the turnover (in particular), but almost always about someone wanting to kill someone important.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Diadem » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:53 pm UTC

All true. I was being somewhat pedantic. Besides I suspect 86% is actually a pretty good rate. There are some countries that do better, but most probably do worse.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Metaphysician » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:23 am UTC

Griffin wrote:
Half the laws will be ridiculous and unconstitutional in obvious ways, and the other half will be crafted by lobbyists.

An improvement, then?


My thoughts exactly, isn't this way better than all of the laws being both unconstitutional and crafted by lobbyists. (Before I get jumped on for a few exceptions, hyperbole people, hyperbole).
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby addams » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:31 pm UTC

The Italians turned it into Math.

People are stupid and Politicians chosen at random dove tail.
Those guys are funny.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby addams » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:20 am UTC

dedalus wrote:Either way, you'll need to get agreement from at least one party before any laws passed. Which involves people who care about their re-election.

Bad Mood

Re election can not be; should not be, the greatest motivator.

Re election by who? Who elects? Who counts the votes?

Spoiler:
Who would want to spend a day in the head of James Joyce. It was his wife that said, "James; Honey; Why don't you write something people can read?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulysses_%28novel%29

Some people form book clubs to get through that thing?

Who would want James Joyce to take a turn in Congress? Would that man imaginary man throw a fit? Pound on the podium? "Have You No Poetry In Your Souls?!?



[spoiler]
What about the other people. As The election has become God and the Common Man has expressions of his capricious childish not childlike self expressed in the world around him, like Graffiti I can not read. Governance.

Yes. governance belongs to the Individual. Governance over its own Agent.

The rest of it is, like Graffiti I can not read. Must be something simple.

Ommmmm. Just a sound. Ommmm. Ommmm. Rummmm. Some one has a Back Hoe! See? What ya' going to listen to today? The strange birds or the guy with the back hoe?

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It is fucking Cold Here. Oh, Dear God! HUH!!!

No. It is not a flash back! It is cold in here.

It is well past Equinox and it is still cold!

The Serenity Prayer; Anyone? It is a dandy.
God; Just say it and get it out of the way.
Define God: Dear Right Brain; I know you can take me in a fair fight and I know you do not fight fair. Dear Right Brain; You are not larger than the Left Brain. You are beyond words.
Dear Right Brain; Step in and Help Me!


Yes. Sir! What do you want me to do?
The Serenity Prayer.

I. Grant me the Courage to change the things that I can?
2. Grant me the Serenity to accept the things that I can not change?
3. Grant me the Wisdom to Know the Difference.?

That one?

Yeah. It makes a good check list.

Use the check list. Over and Over again. Why bother using up valuable memory with the mundane.
What can I do? Ahh. Something warm.
The computer is warm.

Yep.
Next on the list of things that I can change. hmm. A system smaller than Myself. Coffee by God!
Great Rallying Cry. But Damn. It's cold out there. I need to do some Math.

There is, Right Brain Math. QM for the the more Real Math types.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imaginary_unit types.
Surrealism for the Flashy Types and the Types that did not have the language of math. Never mind.

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I bet they would not ask me. Yeah. I think I can pass a basic citizen test. I'd like to study a bit. Oh me yarm! What if all the facts changed? Like, overnight.

I'll take a different kind of test. One that does not change as much from place to place. Weather. The whole fucking Planet has weather. It is caused by the same stuff everywhere. It is impressive, On The Ground.

Weather and Climate are very different, yet, related.

James Joyce.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulysses_%28novel%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Joyce#Biography
So, weird. I do not understand why people would read Joyce.
It is so boring.
One day in an Irishman's head; For a month.
Is it, just, one way to get to know people? (Shrug.)

Judges and Attorneys form these book clubs. It is continuing ed for them?

Can two completely sane and reasonable people read the same words and come up with very different meanings for those words? Yes. Right?

The Age Of Reason was as weird as I like it to get.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Age_of_Reason
http://www.tassos-oak.com/extras/Paine.html

eww. The Original is a page turner and better than the explanation. Some pieces of work stand on their own. Age of Reason is one of those.
Thomas Paine would not make it fifteen minutes in the 21st century.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Paine

If, I think real hard, then, I might make it fifteen minutes in the 21st century. Not much more. It is dangerous out there.

[/spoiler]

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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:57 am UTC

I can see how having 20-30% of a parliment chosen in a similar manner to jury duty could work well and for similar reasons.

You could even treat it like jury duty in a few other ways.
people could serve for a couple of weeks.
Keep them totally sequestered as you would a jury from the moment that they're selected so that their opinions aren't influenced by outside parties once it's known they've been selected.

Ditto for while they're serving except for while they're in the parliment. The competing sides would be trying to get their support by explaining their bills in the parliment or answering questions.

They're not supposed to be experts on the law any more than a jury is.

there would have to be laws similar to jury duty so that people can't be fired for missing work or similar if they're called up along with measures to make sure issues are taken care of for people while they're serving.

It may also have to be mandatory or else the portions of the population would be excluded, for example single mothers or people caring for sick relatives. (which would have to be accomodated for but given the small numbers quite a bit of money could be thrown at the problem and people could be paid well for their time. )
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby addams » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:10 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:I can see how having 20-30% of a parliment chosen in a similar manner to jury duty could work well and for similar reasons.

You could even treat it like jury duty in a few other ways.
people could serve for a couple of weeks.
Keep them totally sequestered as you would a jury from the moment that they're selected so that their opinions aren't influenced by outside parties once it's known they've been selected.

Ditto for while they're serving except for while they're in the parliment. The competing sides would be trying to get their support by explaining their bills in the parliment or answering questions.

They're not supposed to be experts on the law any more than a jury is.

there would have to be laws similar to jury duty so that people can't be fired for missing work or similar if they're called up along with measures to make sure issues are taken care of for people while they're serving.

It may also have to be mandatory or else the portions of the population would be excluded, for example single mothers or people caring for sick relatives. (which would have to be accomodated for but given the small numbers quite a bit of money could be thrown at the problem and people could be paid well for their time. )


Yes. Fine. All of that.

Please; Please; Please! The sample must be pulled from a group that has had a test of reading and critical thinking skills, at the very least. Please.

Spoiler:
Ugh. The common man. Not the great hero of yesteryear. But; The bully of today. Insecure, angry, fucked up and stupid. It is not elitist. It is true.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elitism
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Sharlos » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:38 pm UTC

addams wrote:Please; Please; Please! The sample must be pulled from a group that has had a test of reading and critical thinking skills, at the very least. Please.


One of the main benefits of having legislators chosen by lot is that you can get representatives of people whose voice would normally be overwhelmed by the majority. That includes poorer and less educated individuals who have just as much right in participating in their government as rich well educated individuals.

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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby addams » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:59 am UTC

Sharlos wrote:
addams wrote:Please; Please; Please! The sample must be pulled from a group that has had a test of reading and critical thinking skills, at the very least. Please.


One of the main benefits of having legislators chosen by lot is that you can get representatives of people whose voice would normally be overwhelmed by the majority. That includes poorer and less educated individuals who have just as much right in participating in their government as rich well educated individuals.


Right there. This is the reasoning behind open mandatory education for all people. Right?

It is not what is in a persons wallet, but, between their ears that matters.

Rich and well educated are not the same thing and should not be clustered together.

There are rich people that are able to be promoted up through the ranks of the Politically Powerful that can not read and can not pass an honest class or an honest test in their own Majors.

There are poor people that can think circles around the Politically Powerful, these people can and should be a part of the Policy Process.

I like the idea of each person that is qualified to do the task having a random chance of doing the task.

Just; TEST 'EM!
(If, I were Queen, then, the US congress would have a test on their desks the first day. Those people piss me off. They would wear that number, on that stupid ID they have, when they are inside public buildings. They could study up a bit and retest. I think we have a right to know how stupid the dip shits are.)

Yes. The poor and uneducated have basic human rights. But, the Right to decided the fates of others? Hey! Universal education! If, they can't read they can't do the job.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby HungryHobo » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:23 am UTC

addams wrote:Just; TEST 'EM!
(If, I were Queen, then, the US congress would have a test on their desks the first day. Those people piss me off. They would wear that number, on that stupid ID they have, when they are inside public buildings. They could study up a bit and retest. I think we have a right to know how stupid the dip shits are.)

Yes. The poor and uneducated have basic human rights. But, the Right to decided the fates of others? Hey! Universal education! If, they can't read they can't do the job.


They would still be in the minority and yes, they have **exactly as much right as you** to take part in deciding their own fate and as much right to control your fate as you have to control theirs. Intelligence or even literacy is not a prerequisite for citizenship, nor should it be.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Yakk » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:20 pm UTC

I'll assume you'll include in your test basic political facts. Like how tests to earn the right to participate in the political process have historically been used as a mechanism of racist suppression of minorities? Basically every such test introduced has been used this way? I'll assume you'll also cover how "this time it will be different" is very rarely right?
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Ormurinn » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:01 pm UTC

Theres a collection of voices calling for reform of the House of Lords in the UK at the moment - choosing half the lords at random is objectively superior to anything they've proposed thus far. I wonder if theres a petition in that...

Yakk wrote:I'll assume you'll include in your test basic political facts. Like how tests to earn the right to participate in the political process have historically been used as a mechanism of racist suppression of minorities? Basically every such test introduced has been used this way? I'll assume you'll also cover how "this time it will be different" is very rarely right?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_examination

Might not be exactly what you're referencing, but if anything, thats an example of a test that increased minority participation in government.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby HungryHobo » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:06 pm UTC

The house of lords is actually an interesting example. in theory they're a terrible thing but they actually stop quite a few bad laws from going through.

To deal with the problems of lack of qualified people perhaps something like the house of lords only where half or more of the members are randomly selected and the rest are selected on some measure of merit.

Similar to judge and jury: as in how judges are selected on merit as experts who keep things running and legal and random regular people are selected to have most of the actual say.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby omgryebread » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:07 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:Theres a collection of voices calling for reform of the House of Lords in the UK at the moment - choosing half the lords at random is objectively superior to anything they've proposed thus far. I wonder if theres a petition in that...

Yakk wrote:I'll assume you'll include in your test basic political facts. Like how tests to earn the right to participate in the political process have historically been used as a mechanism of racist suppression of minorities? Basically every such test introduced has been used this way? I'll assume you'll also cover how "this time it will be different" is very rarely right?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_examination

Might not be exactly what you're referencing, but if anything, thats an example of a test that increased minority participation in government.
That's uh. Not voting? And also that system started to collapse when the rich, powerful families were able to afford the extensive education required to pass the tests but everyone else couldn't.
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby Ormurinn » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:51 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_examination
Might not be exactly what you're referencing, but if anything, thats an example of a test that increased minority participation in government.
That's uh. Not voting? And also that system started to collapse when the rich, powerful families were able to afford the extensive education required to pass the tests but everyone else couldn't.[/quote]

As I said, it's not the exact same thing - but the context given wasn't a test required to vote, it was one to participate in the political process. This is clarly a test alowing any echelon of society to participate in the political process, voting not being applicable as Imperial china wasn't a democracy.

As for unequal systems of education - we have extensive state schooling and the internet nowadays. It's less of a problem.

(I'm personally uncomfortable with any restrictions on franchise, but the position that voters should be qualified in some way isn't indefensible)
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Re: Study Suggests Politicians Should Be Chosen at Random

Postby addams » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:10 pm UTC

Fine! You win. Don't test the new ones!
I would sure like to see the test scores on the old ones.

Random Ma and Pa Kettle could not be worse than what we have, now.

Someone on this thread said, "Laws are written by Lobbyists and Think Tanks." It is true. There is no way that it would be worse. It might be very entertaining. It could be the best show, ever. Do it! When do you start?

You so totally win. How long will each person serve? It has to be long enough to do something, but, not long enough to eroded the soul. (McCain may be an example of that.)

Oregon still has a couple of good ones. It would have to be 'Throw the Baby out with the Bath Water'. The good ones will find other good things to do. The bad ones will find other bad things to do.

I am still upset over the Patriot Act. Ms. Clinton signed that thing! Mr. Obama extended it! These are our smart people?

The more I think about it, the better I like it. It will not be politics. It will be entertainment. This one thing could have a measurable effect on the culture.
No more millions spent on Marketing of Politics. Or; The billboards will not have a person, but, an issue. Let the whole community in on the thing!

Sitting down with a beer, a bong and a remote control could become adults studding. It may give the people a sense of empowerment.

Great Idea! Now; Make it happen. How are you going to make it happen?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.


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