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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 4:05 pm
by mouse
so showler - you are proposing essentially a poll with teeth? <quick pause while dealing with the pictures this creates> i don't know - politicians seem to play to poll results now. my question is, how representative are those polls, really? if you look at the number of people they actually talk to, it is generally in the 500-3000 range - to represent the whole u.s. i actually work with survey data, and we figure we need at least 15,000 to accurately represent just the state of california. you would need a far higher turnout than that if you wanted polling to affect the makeup of congress.

which is of course our real problem - turnout. according to stuff i've read, about half the registered voters turned out this year (the low number was put down to general disaffection). and i have read that only about half the people eligible to vote even bother to register. and most of the elections were pretty close, with the winner not getting much over 50% (and sometimes less than that, if there were strong third party candidates). so we are governed by people who were actually elected by about 12% of the people eligible to vote. (and of course that 12% is heavily weighted of radical fringe characters like me who start foaming at the mouth when we discuss politics - clearly an untrustworthy bunch! :D )

ok - better stop here before i go into full rant mode....

PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 4:41 pm
by showler
Not so much a "poll with teeth" as the right to withdraw your vote from a candidate if he or she doesn't live up to their promises.

For instance, Canada has some of the stupidest election rules in history (we pay large amounts of money to a party whose main goal is the breakup of Canada). Several times in the past few years a politician has gotten elected as a member of one party (say, the Liberals) and then partway through their term switched to another party (the Parti Quebecois) with philosophies so diametrically opposed that, to my mind, it constitutes fraud. The vast majority of the people who elected the politician would not have if they had run for the PQ in the first place, and for some dumb reason they are allowed to serve out their term as a member of the other party.

I think if a politician screws up that badly, we shouldn't be forced to wait four years to get rid of the bum, we should be able to withdraw our vote, or give it to another candidate. Maybe that way we wouldn't have politicians who get elected to represent us, and then "vote their conscience" regardless of what their constituents want. Especially since their "conscience" often seems to lead them in the direction of whichever group paid them the most.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 1:52 am
by Whistle
See... we'd all be much better off with a monorchie! Bruno as king! that can't go wrong!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 4:53 pm
by mouse
Whistle wrote:Bruno as king! that can't go wrong!



anyway - i guess i rather agree with you, showler (in abstract). in the u.s., of course, they don't bother to change parties - they just say what is necessary to get elected, then go with the biggest donor (or the meanest party leader). It would definitely be nice to have some effective, mid-term way to say 'hey - that's NOT what i elected you to do! if you're not going to play by the rule, get outa there!'

surely with the spread of the internet, there must be some way to do this. i mean, they are already talking about election voting via the 'net - main concern now is security. this might be a neat system to test it out on (the first sets of votes could be advisory only, so a security breach wouldn't have too many repercussions)

re: politicians

PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2002 12:08 pm
by mouse
been meaning to put up a link to this cartoon.

only problem with this solution is, it would encourage lawyers...

PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2002 2:05 pm
by Whistle
Hmmm... that way your vote would become worth something.... yup... the idiot era... sound like today indeed...