The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

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romanv
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Re: The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

Post by romanv » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:46 am

TimeSeeker wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:34 pm
romanv wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:25 pm
That cant happen in a real democracy.

If the state derives its power from its citizens, that means citizens must have power to give, to have power they must be free. If they are free they must have rights eg right to free expression, right to live without discrimination, innocent until proven guilty, right to a fair trial, right to free association etc. your rights can never be stripped in a real democracy. Your rights constrain the state. In a democracy there is an inherent limit to the power of the state. The power of the state rests on your rights, so it cannot strip those rights and still call itself a democracy, as it clearly becomes a tyranny in that case.

Popular sovereignty requires individual sovereignty.
Is "real democracy" like "real socialism"?

Your rights are outlined in a constitution and constitutions can be amended with majority vote.
Therefore rights can be stripped.
If your rights can be stripped then it is not a democracy. In a real democracy the power of the state rests on your rights, so it has no power to strip them. We must imbue people with the idea that the state can never hinder your individual sovereignty. We should never be ruled, only represented.

All the problems (well most of them) stem from being ruled. We, as citizens, must live with the consequences of the decisions made by our representatives, so we will never allow actions and policies that do us harm to persist.

Anything that interferes with our individual sovereignty will lead to sub-par governance, and that is immoral. Only the citizen can define the common good, and ensure it is maximised; no-one else can, and that is only possible if he is free.

I cannot empahsise enough that what we have now is not democracy, and can never be democracy. It is an elected oligarchy, nothing more and nothing less.
Last edited by romanv on Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:17 am, edited 4 times in total.

romanv
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Re: The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

Post by romanv » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:49 am

Impenitent wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:43 pm
rights? the only thing that guarantees rights is superior firepower.

-Imp

NOTA is a howitzer under our control, and ties the hands of our opponents behind their backs, blindfolds them, and puts a cigarette in their mouths, and stands them in our LOF. Anyone on our side is safe.

TimeSeeker
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Re: The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

Post by TimeSeeker » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:58 am

romanv wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:46 am
If your rights can be stripped then it is not a democracy. In a real democracy the power of the state rests on your rights
Yeah. No.

In a democracy the power of the state rests on OUR rights. The state may not have the power to strip YOUR rights at this very moment, but at any moment the majority have the power to elect a state that has the power to strip YOUR rights.

Because it's our right to amend/update constitutions.

If we can never update our constitution then it's not a democracy.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:48 pm

"I totally agree with your sentiment"

As I do with yours.

Certainly, I hope I'm wrong.

Adopting a binding none of the above across the board would be the single most effective reform imaginable.

Unfortunately, because NOTA would be so effective, I'm thinkin' we'll never see it in place.

Again: I hope I'm wrong.

commonsense
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Re: The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

Post by commonsense » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:39 pm

romanv wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:40 am
Currently, in the States anyway, those who withhold their vote are counted as the non-consenters. The problem is that some are merely demonstrating their apathy, while others are truly voting for no one to be elected. NOTA may identify these 2 groups as distinct, however the same problem, of apathy v votes in favor of no one, persists.
Can you tell me more? If they don't affect the outcome of an election, then they are not voting, but abstaining. These 2 groups are very distinct. There is nothing wrong with abstaining. I don't have an opinion on everything, as I don't have the knowledge, or stake in every issue. It's ok to abstain, but as for those who are forced to 'get out of the way', well, that is tyranny. No-one should every have to get out of the way of the state with no say. Their voice must be heard, and counted under a democratic mandate.
Sorry, poorly expressed. I meant to say that even with NOTA, some who favor NOTA will simply abstain. Although NOTA voters are distinct from abstainers, they will still be somewhat co-mingled with NOTA. It remains to be seen to what extent this co-mingling, or blurring of the distinction between the groups, will occur.
romanv wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:40 am
I hope you’ve already resolved this problem—laws are often expressed as prohibitions, again in the US anyway, e.g. “It is illegal for guns to be sold to someone with a mental health history.” Automatically registering a No vote could have dire consequences. On the other hand, an automatic abstention might be safer, although such a maneuver would seem to fly in the face of the NOTA concept.
Badly worded on my part, thanks for showing me that. What I mean is that the empty seat registers as a vote against every new piece of legislation put forward in the legislature, until a representative with the consent of the majority is elected, and has the democratic mandate to make a decision on behalf of his electorate. Without the consent of the majority he does not have a mandate and does not belong in the legislature.
I believe that new legislation can be written in the negative. While a vote of No only means that the legislation is less likely to pass, the effect of not passing can be a de facto rule in favor of what was intended to be prohibited.
romanv wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:40 am
Negative campaigns are employed to strike fear in the hearts of voters, so much so that they will be motivated to vote against the target of the advertising. Voting for NOTA in this situation is a gamble. If NOTA gets too few votes, the feared target may win, or there may be a re-running of the election, in which case the feared candidate may win anyway. The most effective way to vote against the targeted candidate would be to vote for the negative campaigner, not for NOTA. Tactical advantage continues, to the dismay of all well-educated voters who want to know what the candidates think about the issues and not what the candidates claim that their opponents think about the issues.
I think we must disagree. You are right in that wily campaigners may find a way to inveigle a win through negative campaigning, even with NOTA present, but NOTA makes such a tactic much less viable. To counter, the other side will also fear monger. So it will be something like vote for me or stalin will get elected, against vote for me or hitler will get elected. Voters will just reach for the eject button of NOTA, and at the very least the tactic will become a very expensive gamble. it would be way better just to conduct a campaign based on policy in these circumstances.
I just think that—potentially a significant number of—NOTA voters will simply abstain.

commonsense
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Re: The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

Post by commonsense » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:20 pm

I see a meta-problem on the horizon: selling the idea of NOTA to those who disagree with you.

For instance, those who currently have the power to accept or reject NOTA would have to be convinced of the benefits for themselves. It's a question of WIFI (What's in it for the incumbents?).

Why would the self-serving politicians of today ever want to be representatives instead of rulers, and accountable at that?

So, yes, the ability to formally withhold consent would lead to real democracy and maximize the common good. But it cannot plant its seeds in the present environment.

romanv
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Re: The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

Post by romanv » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:14 am

TimeSeeker wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:58 am
romanv wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:46 am
If your rights can be stripped then it is not a democracy. In a real democracy the power of the state rests on your rights
Yeah. No.

In a democracy the power of the state rests on OUR rights. The state may not have the power to strip YOUR rights at this very moment, but at any moment the majority have the power to elect a state that has the power to strip YOUR rights.

Because it's our right to amend/update constitutions.

If we can never update our constitution then it's not a democracy.
You have it backward. Your rights cannot be stripped from you in a democracy, even if everyone, including you, voted for it. In a democracy no-one has the power.

Your rights create and sustain democracy, if you live in a democracy, they cannot be stripped.

What you are describing is mob rule.
Last edited by romanv on Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:02 am, edited 3 times in total.

romanv
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Re:

Post by romanv » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:17 am

henry quirk wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:48 pm
"I totally agree with your sentiment"

As I do with yours.

Certainly, I hope I'm wrong.

Adopting a binding none of the above across the board would be the single most effective reform imaginable.

Unfortunately, because NOTA would be so effective, I'm thinkin' we'll never see it in place.

Again: I hope I'm wrong.
This is why we have worked so hard in presenting cogent arguments that cannot be easily dismissed. We can only give it a shot. If we get enough people like you, who believe strongly in the reform, then we can start to get some traction. I hope you are wrong, but yes, its going to be a uphill battle.
Last edited by romanv on Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

romanv
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Re: The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

Post by romanv » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:35 am

I just think that—potentially a significant number of—NOTA voters will simply abstain.
I think this is a realistic question. Will people use it? Surveys that obtain the reasons why people don't vote indicate a large number don't as they many think it wont change anything, or there is no-one who will represent them. NOTA is clearly a worthwhile option for them.

In a recent election in the UK, 20% of voters voted tactically, ie against a candidate that they did not want to win. In effect they are forced into choosing the least crappy candidate, which is absurd.

Again this is another group who are likely to choose NOTA.

Russia had an 'against all' option in municipal elections for a number of years, where if it obtained the plurality there was a re-run with new candidates (a plurality win causing a re-run is we argue against in the white paper) - that option 'won' 200 times out of 1500.

In a recent election in Brazil, where there is a symbolic NOTA option ie it does not affect the outcome of an election, it was used extensively, as voter dissatisfaction was so high, even though it had no effect to the outcome. I cant remember the percentage off the top of my head, but it averaged 30% or more at least.

So there are some compelling indicators that once people get their heads around the option, they will start using it. Its a matter of education really, in my opinion.
Although NOTA voters are distinct from abstainers, they will still be somewhat co-mingled with NOTA.
The point of NOTA is to be able to distinguish between these two groups. We wont know who is abstaining out of apathy, or ignorance, or who has been abstaining as they are dissatisfied with the current options, and who is holding their nose and choosing the least crappy option.

NOTA's main function is to provide a clear and unambiguous measure of discontent in a way that ensures candidates will have to take note of the reasons for discontent, and act to remedy them
Last edited by romanv on Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:51 am, edited 3 times in total.

romanv
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Re: The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

Post by romanv » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:38 am

commonsense wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:20 pm
I see a meta-problem on the horizon: selling the idea of NOTA to those who disagree with you.

For instance, those who currently have the power to accept or reject NOTA would have to be convinced of the benefits for themselves. It's a question of WIFI (What's in it for the incumbents?).

Why would the self-serving politicians of today ever want to be representatives instead of rulers, and accountable at that?

So, yes, the ability to formally withhold consent would lead to real democracy and maximize the common good. But it cannot plant its seeds in the present environment.
Yes, nail on the head, this the problem, but I am encouraged that once I presented the arguments for NOTA, people on here find the arguments for the reform compelling. Its a matter of getting it front of a large enough audience. We can only keep working at it, and hoping for a breakthrough somehow.

TimeSeeker
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Re: The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

Post by TimeSeeker » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:40 am

romanv wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:14 am
You have it backward. Your rights cannot be stripped from you in a democracy, even if everyone, including you, voted for it. In a democracy no-one has the power.

Your rights create and sustain democracy, if you live in a democracy, they cannot be stripped.

What you are describing is mob rule.
OK. Lets do a thought-experiment.

Suppose that a group of democratic republics form a consortium to develop AI, and there's a lot of politicking during the process—some interest groups have unusually large influence, others get shafted—in other words, the result looks just like the products of modern democracies.

Alternatively, suppose a group of rebel nerds develops an AI in their basement, and instructs the AI to poll everyone in the world—dropping cellphones to anyone who doesn't have them—and do whatever the majority says.

Which of these two systems aligns closer to your idea of a "democracy"?
romanv wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:14 am
In a democracy no-one has the power
A system where the people's will has no power over government sounds like a dictatorship.

romanv
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Re: The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

Post by romanv » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:09 am

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:40 am
romanv wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:14 am
In a democracy no-one has the power
A system where the people's will has no power over government sounds like a dictatorship.
You are not arguing in good faith. This is the full quote.
You have it backward. Your rights cannot be stripped from you in a democracy, even if everyone, including you, voted for it. In a democracy no-one has the power.
I am saying precisely the opposite. In a democracy no-one has the power to strip you of your rights. The power of the state rests on your rights, the state can no more strip your rights and call itself a democracy, than you can cut of your own legs and float around off the ground unsupported.
some interest groups have unusually large influence, others get shafted
This is the point of NOTA; it stops special interest groups having an undue influence beyond their actual numbers.

In a democracy you do what the majority want, but there is a limit to what they can dictate. If, as happens, the majority get it wrong, who suffers the consequences of that mistake? Everyone, including the majority who voted for it. Very few are going to keep on voting for a policy or action that makes their life worse are they?

So in a democracy, if you harness it properly, there is a built-in mechanism for continuous improvement. The reason why democracy often looks so bad as it does is bc it uses a 'lead, follow, or get out of the way electoral model, which by and large, ends up being an elected oligarchy, rather than a democracy, and the mechanism for continual improvement has been hobbled.

The way to get democracy, and use that mechanism, within an electoral democracy, is the inclusion of a NOTA option where, if 50+% choose it, there is a new election. The electoral model then is no longer 'lead, follow, or get out of the way' but ensures the state does the will of the majority, and that characteristic will lead to the maximisation of the common good.

I have described how that works in my first post.

TimeSeeker
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Re: The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

Post by TimeSeeker » Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:32 pm

romanv wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:09 am
You are not arguing in good faith. This is the full quote.
You have it backward. Your rights cannot be stripped from you in a democracy, even if everyone, including you, voted for it. In a democracy no-one has the power.
I am arguing in good faith and I am adhering to the axioms of probability theory: P(A) ≥ P(A & B). Which can be deduced from predicate logic.
IF A ∧ B => ⊤ THEN A => ⊤ AND B => ⊤


A = People are allowed to vote
B = People are allowed to vote on X

So I have taken your QUALIFIED (A ∧ B) statement and turned it into a GENERAL (A) statement by replacing "rights" with a universal variable X.

Nobody has the power to X even if everyone voted for it.

And so here are some particular examples of what X COULD be:
* Voting to invest in solving global warming
* Voting to increase taxes towards better universal healthcare
* Voting to repeal military conscription
* Voting to repeal owning slaves
* Voting to recognise NEW rights
* Voting to repeal OLD rights (owning slaves)

Obviously this is absurd! And so I am asking you to explain the mechanism by which the system will allow voting, while at the same time it will discriminate what people are allowed to vote FOR.
romanv wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:14 am
Very few are going to keep on voting for a policy or action that makes their life worse are they?
You pre-suppose malice rather than ignorance. Rights are lost through ignorance all the time! By outsourcing responsibility to the state.
romanv wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:14 am
So in a democracy, if you harness it properly, there is a built-in mechanism for continuous improvement.
Yes. That mechanism is voting. Voting aggregates the will of the people. Please eliudicate on the word "properly".

How do you resolve policy conflicts amongst interest groups in a democracy?
How do you allow people to vote for all other things which ARE in their interest, while you prevent the from voting for a policy that is harmful to them?

Lets take a particular example. Suppose that we are in a "proper democracy" and the constitution of said country contains a 2nd amendment - right to own firearms. Suppose also that 75% of the population votes to repeal this right, while the other 25% exercise their NOTA right.

What would happen next in your system?

romanv
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Re: The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

Post by romanv » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:20 am

TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:32 pm
romanv wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:09 am
You are not arguing in good faith. This is the full quote.
You have it backward. Your rights cannot be stripped from you in a democracy, even if everyone, including you, voted for it. In a democracy no-one has the power.
I am arguing in good faith and I am adhering to the axioms of probability theory: P(A) ≥ P(A & B). Which can be deduced from predicate logic.
IF A ∧ B => ⊤ THEN A => ⊤ AND B => ⊤


A = People are allowed to vote
B = People are allowed to vote on X

So I have taken your QUALIFIED (A ∧ B) statement and turned it into a GENERAL (A) statement by replacing "rights" with a universal variable X.

Nobody has the power to X even if everyone voted for it.

And so here are some particular examples of what X COULD be:
* Voting to invest in solving global warming
* Voting to increase taxes towards better universal healthcare
* Voting to repeal military conscription
* Voting to repeal owning slaves
* Voting to recognise NEW rights
* Voting to repeal OLD rights (owning slaves)

Obviously this is absurd! And so I am asking you to explain the mechanism by which the system will allow voting, while at the same time it will discriminate what people are allowed to vote FOR.
romanv wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:14 am
Very few are going to keep on voting for a policy or action that makes their life worse are they?
You pre-suppose malice rather than ignorance. Rights are lost through ignorance all the time! By outsourcing responsibility to the state.
romanv wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:14 am
So in a democracy, if you harness it properly, there is a built-in mechanism for continuous improvement.
Yes. That mechanism is voting. Voting aggregates the will of the people. Please eliudicate on the word "properly".

How do you resolve policy conflicts amongst interest groups in a democracy?
How do you allow people to vote for all other things which ARE in their interest, while you prevent the from voting for a policy that is harmful to them?

Lets take a particular example. Suppose that we are in a "proper democracy" and the constitution of said country contains a 2nd amendment - right to own firearms. Suppose also that 75% of the population votes to repeal this right, while the other 25% exercise their NOTA right.

What would happen next in your system?
I did a bad job of answering your post, so let try again.

To keep perspective, all NOTA does is provide a reliable measure of public dissatisfaction at elections, and if public dissatisfaction reaches more than 50%, then the election is held again.

It is not MY system, but the system that is supposed to be in place.

Democracy is not mob rule; this proposal does not do away with any country's constitution, there are inherent limits to the power of the state in a democracy - it cannot impinge on anyone's individual sovereignty.

I think you are getting carried away here. I am not sure what you are objecting to.

Is the addition of a NOTA option a good thing or a bad thing?

If you think its bad, please tell me why.

Adding NOTA does not outsource anything to the state, it does precisely the opposite, it ensures that the state can never at outside the parameters set out by its citizens.

TimeSeeker
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Re: The Ability to Formally Withhold Consent at Elections Leads to Real Democracy and Maximises the Common Good

Post by TimeSeeker » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:02 am

romanv wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:20 am
TimeSeeker wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:32 pm
romanv wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:09 am
You are not arguing in good faith. This is the full quote.

I am arguing in good faith and I am adhering to the axioms of probability theory: P(A) ≥ P(A & B). Which can be deduced from predicate logic.
IF A ∧ B => ⊤ THEN A => ⊤ AND B => ⊤


A = People are allowed to vote
B = People are allowed to vote on X

So I have taken your QUALIFIED (A ∧ B) statement and turned it into a GENERAL (A) statement by replacing "rights" with a universal variable X.

Nobody has the power to X even if everyone voted for it.

And so here are some particular examples of what X COULD be:
* Voting to invest in solving global warming
* Voting to increase taxes towards better universal healthcare
* Voting to repeal military conscription
* Voting to repeal owning slaves
* Voting to recognise NEW rights
* Voting to repeal OLD rights (owning slaves)

Obviously this is absurd! And so I am asking you to explain the mechanism by which the system will allow voting, while at the same time it will discriminate what people are allowed to vote FOR.
romanv wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:14 am
Very few are going to keep on voting for a policy or action that makes their life worse are they?
You pre-suppose malice rather than ignorance. Rights are lost through ignorance all the time! By outsourcing responsibility to the state.
romanv wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:14 am
So in a democracy, if you harness it properly, there is a built-in mechanism for continuous improvement.
Yes. That mechanism is voting. Voting aggregates the will of the people. Please eliudicate on the word "properly".

How do you resolve policy conflicts amongst interest groups in a democracy?
How do you allow people to vote for all other things which ARE in their interest, while you prevent the from voting for a policy that is harmful to them?

Lets take a particular example. Suppose that we are in a "proper democracy" and the constitution of said country contains a 2nd amendment - right to own firearms. Suppose also that 75% of the population votes to repeal this right, while the other 25% exercise their NOTA right.

What would happen next in your system?
I did a bad job of answering your post, so let try again.

To keep perspective, all NOTA does is provide a reliable measure of public dissatisfaction at elections, and if public dissatisfaction reaches more than 50%, then the election is held again.

It is not MY system, but the system that is supposed to be in place.

Democracy is not mob rule; this proposal does not do away with any country's constitution, there are inherent limits to the power of the state in a democracy - it cannot impinge on anyone's individual sovereignty.

I think you are getting carried away here. I am not sure what you are objecting to.

Is the addition of a NOTA option a good thing or a bad thing?

If you think its bad, please tell me why.

Adding NOTA does not outsource anything to the state, it does precisely the opposite, it ensures that the state can never at outside the parameters set out by its citizens.
So such a system would still suffer from the problem where 68% of the population can vote away the rights of the other 32%?

As a concrete example: repealing the 2nd amendment.

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