The debate "There should be no political parties. Every Mp should be an independent" was started by
June 19, 2015, 9:54 pm.
By the way, Mathew is disagreeing with this statement.
24 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 39 people are on the disagree side.
That might be enough to see the common perception.
It looks like most people are against to this statement.
I_Voyager posted 8 arguments to the agreers part.
PsychDave posted 7 arguments, historybuff posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.
I_Voyager, raz, Upbeatethan, ChonCunningham, rishab, gouthamabi, yasanjeewa, mace89 and 16 visitors agree.
Mathew, Arnold, PsychDave, historybuff, toughgamerjerry, Bxat9, keyboardwarrior, SinanKassim, kay_joey1101, MEATMISSILE01, CJismyname12, sidp31, bearunter, lybee, invincible_01, kaka, musejay1 and 22 visitors disagree.
I'm glad I could pique your interest. When you're reading you should enjoy some piquante salsa.
All very fair points. I will go back when I get a chance and reread chapters 2 and 3. It may be a while, so it might not be contributed to this debate, but it has piqued my interest nonetheless.
I enjoy chapter 2 and 3 of the book because they largely deal with relying on the criticism of the current democracies to explain the advantages of his system. In chapter three he points out how Voltaire thought about the shift from imperialism to social democracies:
“A democracy should aim at equality, but it can be ruined by a spirit of extreme equality, when each citizen would fain be on a level with those he has chosen to command. Where this is the case, virtue can no longer subsist in the republic. The people are desirous of exercising the functions of the Magistrates, who cease to be revered. The deliberations of the Senate are slighted; all respect is then laid aside for the Senators, and consequently for old age. If there is no more respect for old age, there will be none presently for parents; deference to husbands will be likewise thrown off and submission to masters. This license will soon become general; the people fall into this misfortune when those in whom they confide, desirous of concealing their corruption, endeavor to corrupt them. The people will divide the public money amongst themselves, and having added the administration of affairs to their indolence, will be for blending their poverty with the amusement of luxury.”
Of course, he could not see the effect of decentralized markets combined with a revolution in physics and chemistry on the lives of citizenry in a democratic polity. I think similarly about the coming technologies and the current political system. A new one needs to be presented which best meshes with access to wearable or implantable, ubiquitous and interconnected computation and sensor systems. Imperialism was relevant to steam power and two minute rifle-reloading speeds, discipline and ignorance. Traditional federal democracies were relevant to open markets, academic science and industrial manufacturing. Small scale manufacturing and universal access to knowledge will require security and accounting systems that can serve the interests of minority parties against the contractual mechanisms of technological oligarchies (in the short-term). I don't think the current system can be close enough to a citizen to support them against the interests of technological monopolies. By rooting politics in a system that begins in neighborhoods supported by expert panels you're at least giving the chance for citizens to engage intelligently in a world increasingly less dependent on their labor.
All in all I don't see it as being worse than the current system, but it might not be much better, which means that the turmoil and the expense of changing our entire method of governance could simply change one set of problems for a different set and not actually improve anything overall. Part of that likely comes down to "the devil you know" being less scary, but unless solutions were suggested to some of the potential issues, I personally wouldn't feel comfortable with overhauling the system.
Sorry for the delay. I did do some research but with an 8 month old it slipped my mind.
It seems like it could be a good system, but I do see some potential problems (not that there aren't issues with the current system).
The first potential issue is what to do if no one wants to run. If there is no one in an area who wants to be the representative, either due to lack of interest or busy schedules, compelling someone to would be inefficient, and not having anyone represent the area could cause problems. This could be overcome by having a neighboring representative speak for both areas if no one was willing from one area.
The second potential issue is that minorities would loose all representation above the first few levels, if they had any representation at that level. If there was a sector where a minority dominated (Chinatown, Little Italy, etc) they would get 1-2 representatives at the lowest tier, and likely nothing above that since all others would be more inclined to chose a next tier representative who better represents the majority. I am aware that minorities already tend to be less represented, but the current parties tend to try to pander to them to sway votes, so at least some of their concerns are addressed, and their cultures tend to be reasonably respected for fear of lost votes. In the proposed system, that would likely cease since those at the top are in no way dependent on the votes of minority voters.
The third potential problem is somewhat connected to the second. What the the tiered system, urban voices would become far more influential than they are now, and rural votes would cease to matter on the national scale. This is already true to some extent, but with the ridings currently being divided geographically and by population, there is at least still some representation at the national level. While some might see this as a positive step, a great deal of our nation's exports come from low population sectors. We export lumber, minerals, and have a great deal of agriculture, but these voices would be downed in a sea of retail and office worker perspectives, which could easily lead to terrible decisions for our industries. Advisors could try to counter this, but it might be hard to do since each representative is really only accountable to their direct constituents, so the majority would likely be willing to sacrifice another representatives constituents' interests to further their own.
I was wondering if you took a look at TDG and my small modification and came to an opinion about it?
Hey, don't worry. I wouldn't have assumed. I would have waited a week or two before asking if you've thought about it some more. Enjoy the read.
That is a truly interesting idea. I am going to take a bit of time to look into it and think about it before replying, but I didn't want you to think I was ignoring the subject.
I would supplement the system with a robust national political digital framework built and programmed from the ground up without the aid of third party software or operating systems. Different tiers with different responsibilities participate in the digital framework in different ways. It would be an informing system, with NR's moving the small local issues of their citizens up the chain to the next rep by way of a structured communication system. As needs, ideas and projects move up, the tiers at the top authorize the movement of funds down. You could replace a lot of complex bureaucratic administration with a power digital architecture. Just as an example, programs requiring funding which would normally receive it through taxation could present through this method their plans and financial needs and appeal to the citizens or higher representatives to vote it into service, or could even appeal directly for funds from citizens instead of forced taxation.
All political representation should be handled by individuals. There should be no place for businesses to have a say in which politicians or rules come or go. People who own or represent businesses can engage in the politics like everyone else, just as they do when they eat or shit or breath.
Mind you this system can't start tomorrow, so in all my plans and philosophies I plan for execution of ideas in figures of 20-40 years from now, with steps being necessary to lay the foundation for the larger principles of law, economics, politics, military and service.
No problems, never thought it was a rhetorical question.
People associate in groups regardless of whether there is a mandated group system or not. Whether these groups are mandated to be permanent and in doing so produce political stagnation, or whether these groups are static and come out of the complexity of human association are the differences. Political parties represent a nineteenth century way of looking at democracy and the alignment of the many players which you brought up. I can present a newer way of looking at democracy which I didn't invent, and then I can present a way of making it firmer and more robust by introducing an open-source digital method (which I favor in all my philosophies).
I'll summarize Tiered Democratic Governance, a Canadian invention by Dave Volek out in Alberta. It's a dry read, but it's a great idea and well argued for:
Tiered Democratic Governance suggests we need more political tiers elected from the base up. He suggests the first electoral tier should be (roughly, as a placeholder value) neighborhoods of 150 voters (or households, I've got my own elaboration on types of level 1 tiers). The electoral process for the representative of that tier only involves the citizens of that tier. Groups of 20-30 neighborhoods are the next tier, and only the elected representatives vote amongst themselves for a representative onward until the nation is represented by a leader or a council. This system is buffeted by panels of specialists who have no power, but who advise the representatives on different levels. The specialist panels are restricted to people with actual practical education on X subject. To contrast against our current health minister who has no education on health matters and whose views towards health are politically informed, these councils would have doctors and scientists informing the politicians.
There are a number of checks and balances and extra qualities which tie together the elements to make what at first seems like a staggeringly complex and expensive system actually rather cheap, functional and agile.
To be clear, I wasn't asking that rhetorically. I know you have an in depth knowledge of political systems and am curious how you would make a democratic system work without parties with such distinct cultures, geographies, population densities and industries needing to be represented with conflicting directions that they want the country to move. Without the party system to unite them under a banner and provide a system to find compromises that all of its members get as close to what their constituents want without destroying something elsewhere in the country, how would you provide cooperation between MPs from very different ridings?
Those are all valid points, and most of them I completely agree with, but what alternative would you recommend? Say we banned political parties, now we have all elected officials fighting for what is best for their constituents, without regard for the bigger picture. Alberta MPs want better conditions for oil production, East Coast MPs care about fishing, and Toronto MPs don't care about either since they see more direct benefits from either. Now, without overriding party direction, we do not have a cohesive majority government, or even a minority government negotiating with the opposition for consensus, we have a bunch of people squabbling over what to do based on what is best for their small pocket of the country, and none of them willing to compromise because if they do something that doesn't help their constituents, or worse something that negatively impacts them, they will not get reelected.
More parties is not necessarily an improvement, either. Look at countries with many parties and most, if not all, have trouble doing anything since there is never a true consensus, argue internally since there is no single vision of the future that they are working towards, and fall apart often as those who make up the coalition government disagree and fragment back into their small parties. This accomplishes less than our current system.
I will certainly agree that there are problems in a party system, but without them the current system would fall apart.
Sixth - because parties are highly controlled, distant structures where most political representatives represent tens or hundreds of thousands of voters, voters themselves become ill-informed about the issues. Misinformation and sensationalism prevail and we end up not knowing or forgetting about the wretched character of our representatives.
Seventh - Parties can't plan for the future because their success is too invested in short-term tactics and presentations. Although it may take decades for effective political labor to manifest as some benefit or cost, the long-term perspective is ignored for the constant fight. Parties with knives to each-others throats are not governing for a nations future and can't take the time to do so.
Eighth - Political parties are beholden to those volunteers and donors who feed the machine. Individuals might be able to get traction on their own in small groups or communities, but without support of the party it's meaningless. But from the top-down, the parties themselves cannot risk losing donation support or volunteer hours so those communities become largely irrelevant, while those who manipulate the machine hold the power. It's all about playing the game rather than working well.
Ninth - Because political parties are internally shadowy and founded on manipulating immoral and unethical practices for the sake of success, internally parties are incompetent to deal with their own corruption. In a multi-party system at the very least each party may act as a watch-dog. This happens from time to time, but consider the few blown-out-of-proportion scandals of the past few years involving the conservatives. It is likel less than is truly there, but most of it is concealed. It is seldom that the secretive internal party structure reveals itself blatantly, so must corruption could not be perceived. We cannot know who is corrupt, all we know is corruption prevails by the success of money in forging policy.
Finally - because of all of this, political parties cannot positively shape society. I will accept that the liberal party has successfully championed social morals and values. But outside of that, each party also champions levels of corruption and immorality which become the accepted standard. This works its way from the top down. If they can do it, why not me? A moral society requires a moral foundation and that cannot be rightly achieved by political parties. All we can do is pretend with clever speech that we are the good gu
There are ten major problems with political parties which I can point out.
First - they create a very exclusive club in which competing to best present the party line discourages the involvement of competent people whose goals would be sound governance rather than complacency with power structures. We get people willing to endure the hassle of politics rather than the people who want to write successful legeslation.
Secondly - political parties rely heavily on involving volunteers to further the strategies of electioneering rather than representation or policy development. Massive parties with control over media diminishes the role of governing in governing. These skills widely become the prevailing skills. Nothing about competence or character truly prevails against presentation and internal colluding.
Thirdly - political parties enable government to be a marketing machine, further propelling it into the hands of corporations and big-money. Government itself becomes about the sale of politics and not the act of governance.
Fourth - because political parties compete internally and present externally, and because the current system is not designed for these population levels simplistic explanations of complicated problems are given. This dilutes the success of politicians in power. We don't often see the merit of a policy change for decades, but simple and unethical arguments which are often untrue prevail commonly.
Fifth - politics ends up involving preparing for elections, speaking to media, meeting with party members to gain confidence, speaking at fund-raising activities, making and maintaining alliances, engaging in social activities to increase influence, spinning issues, resolving power plays, wrestling with rules to gain advantages, interpreting poll results, attending to the needs of volunteers and donors and oppositional tactics against other parties... While politics ought to involve consulting citizens from differen sides of issues, consulting with and empowering experts, working on comittees that deal with these issues and finally making, communicating and implimentind decisions that must be made for a society to manage itself well.
I would think it would make corruption worse as well. MPs wouldn't be accountable to anyone and therefore many seats would be for sale on issues where there isn't a strong public opinion. another way would be to get rid of party whips. so that the party can't force them to vote a certain way.
While in theory this would mean that every MP represents their constituents better, it would also mean that getting anything done is almost impossible. Deciding who should be the Prime Minister would also be complicated.