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Why Don't We Fix Faulty Political Systems?

Political system Redesign

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#1 DanielBoyd

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 09:44 AM

In the business world it's quite normal to reorganise if you come to the conclusion that the way things are set up is not working well. Why doesn't this happen with political systems? Why do we stay chained to constitutions and voting systems that were thought up often hundreds of years ago in very different circumstances and simply don't work well?

 

Two simple examples:

 

- As attempts at democratic representation, both the UK consituency system and the American system spectacularly fail at giving each vote cast in an election equal value in determining who is in parliament/congress. Why are these not changed to a system that can be objectively demonstrated to be fairer?

 

- In today's complex world, some problems (e.g. global warming) can (only) be solved using high-level expertise. Why do we place these problems in the hands of politicians who understand them no better than the man in the street? If the heating in my house doesn't work I call in someone who understands heating systems, not someone who has a very strong opinion about heating systems but no knowledge of how they work. It would seem sensiblle to do the same when our planet's heating system is on the blink. So why don't we redefine what is and what is not a political issue, and give only political problems to politicians to solve (there are enough of those to keep them busy!) 

 

Could someone with knowledge of political science help me out on this one? Almost every time I open the paper I read something related to this that makes my skin crawl. 



#2 VictorMedvil

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 06:10 PM

This is all because not many science people and such run for office it is mainly lawyers and such. If Scientist,Engineers, and such ran for office it would remedy this problem, but all to often politics is no better than a popularity contest it is not always the person that is most fit to rule that actually rules it is the person with the most support by votes. I will ask you how many scientists and such do you know that were the most popular kid in school, well politics is no different than winning high school prom queen or king. The only way we will ever see a scientist in power is sadly if one ever grows the balls to be that Evil Genius that overthrows the planet using more advanced technology than this world currently has, but I am telling you if there is ever a scientist and such that smart it will be hell for the world to get out of enslavement by this person, I have a feeling it will be like IQ 180+ person who has common sense too. Just know whomever this person I am rooting for you, I want this species to be taught a lesson in humility by us science people and such for how long we had to listen to lesser minds lead us. There you go Daniel that is the truth as I know it.

 

power-infinite-power-memegenerator-net-p


Edited by VictorMedvil, 08 August 2019 - 06:55 PM.

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#3 LaurieAG

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 09:44 PM

The political classes make sure they look after the media moguls so they keep the population under control by feeding them mindless pap.


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#4 Deepwater6

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 12:43 AM

Too true LG, and for good measure let's keep the media moguls in charge to a minimum. Much easier to control just a few than a healthy environment of differing opinions.

"I don't trust words.
I even question actions,
but never doubt patterns."
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#5 Flummoxed

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 04:17 AM

Part of the problem appears to be Politicians can mis inform people about what is going on and still are allowed to stay in office. The media can report these made up stories as facts and make little attempt to verify the facts, of what the politician is saying. Boris Johnson is an example of a politician making facts up reported by the media but never verified in the the Brexit campaign. 

 

Boris or Coco the clown as he is now known was a journalist, before he was a politician.



#6 LaurieAG

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 10:04 PM

There is also the separation of the powers problem that needs to be fixed.

 

While politicians cannot interfere in a legal system, apart from producing legislation, there is nothing to stop paid amoral agents for third parties (lawyers) trained in the legal system from interfereing in the political system. If anything lawyers should not be allowed to run for elected office while they are registered and this period should extend for 5 years after their registration ceases.



#7 Deepwater6

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:27 AM

Part of the problem appears to be Politicians can mis inform people about what is going on and still are allowed to stay in office. The media can report these made up stories as facts and make little attempt to verify the facts, of what the politician is saying. Boris Johnson is an example of a politician making facts up reported by the media but never verified in the the Brexit campaign. 
 
Boris or Coco the clown as he is now known was a journalist, before he was a politician.


I agree with you, although since I peg myself a little left of center on the political spectrum and would like to say that misleading stories only come from the far right the truth is I see it across all media outlets these days.

As a result I have doubts (as I think/hope many do) about the validity of news stories from any news organization. The problem with this is many people tend to believe the news outlets they identify with. I have lengthy discussions at work with co-workers who are further to the right than I am. They often preface their references to news stories with "I know it's Fox News, and they back conservatives,but...."

The problem with this is, if more and more people are honest with themselves and are not sure if any news story from any news organization is factual, people don't know what to believe.

I believe when that happens we return to a form of the Salem witch hunt days. Where if someone accuses another and enough people believe the falsehood, that person will be burned at the stake first and we'll figure out if the accusation had any basis at a later date.
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#8 DanielBoyd

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 11:48 PM

This is all because not many science people and such run for office it is mainly lawyers and such. If Scientist,Engineers, and such ran for office it would remedy this problem, but all to often politics is no better than a popularity contest it is not always the person that is most fit to rule that actually rules it is the person with the most support by votes. I will ask you how many scientists and such do you know that were the most popular kid in school, well politics is no different than winning high school prom queen or king. The only way we will ever see a scientist in power is sadly if one ever grows the balls to be that Evil Genius that overthrows the planet using more advanced technology than this world currently has, but I am telling you if there is ever a scientist and such that smart it will be hell for the world to get out of enslavement by this person, I have a feeling it will be like IQ 180+ person who has common sense too. Just know whomever this person I am rooting for you, I want this species to be taught a lesson in humility by us science people and such for how long we had to listen to lesser minds lead us. There you go Daniel that is the truth as I know it.

 

Hi Victor

 

I'm not sure I agree entirely that potting scientists into positions of political power will solve the problem: power tends to corrupt and even in the scientific community there is power politics at play. Obviously, it probably would help if someone with some knowledge of the environment headed up the Ministry of the Environment and so forth, but that won;t change the system, which is as you say more a contest of populariy than of capability. 

 

Personally I think that the solution is more in separating the system from the actors: you have people with understanding of political systems who design the system; people with the skills to fulfill the roles in that system then do the politics. If you let politicians design their own system, the corruption of power is a major risk (whatever their background). Most commonly, all they do is ascribe themselves more power (and/or material wealth).

 

But in the current system, the politicians would have to agree to this change, which is a direct threat to their own jobs and influence, and therefore not very likely.



#9 DanielBoyd

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 09:20 AM

I was particularly interested as to whether how to design an effective and fair political system is part of the curriculum of Political Science studies (as designing effective organisations is in Business Studies). And of course, if not, why not?



#10 DanielBoyd

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:48 PM

Part of the problem appears to be Politicians can mis inform people about what is going on and still are allowed to stay in office. The media can report these made up stories as facts and make little attempt to verify the facts, of what the politician is saying. Boris Johnson is an example of a politician making facts up reported by the media but never verified in the the Brexit campaign. 

 

Boris or Coco the clown as he is now known was a journalist, before he was a politician.

 

Misinformation is certainly a problem in politics - always has been, with those in power twisting the truth to stay in power. But the fact that they can do this is also a result of the design of the system. So why don't we redesign it to prevent this from happening? 

 

At the moment, some countries have freer press than others, and even a free press may have a political preference that you can't always blame on the politicians. But political influence on the media certainly doesn't contribute positively to the task of politics of serving the population. So why doesn;t every country have laws to prevent this? 

 

Or the underlying question: why don;t countries separate the making of such laws from politics, since politicians obviously have their own motives on such matters?



#11 DanielBoyd

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:55 PM

I agree with you, although since I peg myself a little left of center on the political spectrum and would like to say that misleading stories only come from the far right the truth is I see it across all media outlets these days.

As a result I have doubts (as I think/hope many do) about the validity of news stories from any news organization. The problem with this is many people tend to believe the news outlets they identify with. I have lengthy discussions at work with co-workers who are further to the right than I am. They often preface their references to news stories with "I know it's Fox News, and they back conservatives,but...."

The problem with this is, if more and more people are honest with themselves and are not sure if any news story from any news organization is factual, people don't know what to believe.

I believe when that happens we return to a form of the Salem witch hunt days. Where if someone accuses another and enough people believe the falsehood, that person will be burned at the stake first and we'll figure out if the accusation had any basis at a later date.

 

I think a distinction is important here between topics of fact and topics of opinion. Global warming is a topic of scientific fact, where personal opinions of non-experts should not be granted influence. What to do about global warming (the priority we give it relative to other issues such as global poverty or making the rich elite richer) is a matter of opinion: there is no factual scientific answer to this question.

 

Could a solution be to make a distinction between these two types of question, give the first to the experts, and the seccond to the politicians?



#12 DanielBoyd

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:58 PM

There is also the separation of the powers problem that needs to be fixed.

 

While politicians cannot interfere in a legal system, apart from producing legislation, there is nothing to stop paid amoral agents for third parties (lawyers) trained in the legal system from interfereing in the political system. If anything lawyers should not be allowed to run for elected office while they are registered and this period should extend for 5 years after their registration ceases.

Hi Laurie

 

Separation of powers is certainly a relevant issue. Can you explain more about what you mean here? Most lawyers just have the job of executing the law for businesses and individuals. Are you referring here to the part of the legal profession that occupies itself with creating/changing constitutional law?  



#13 LaurieAG

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 11:57 PM

Separation of powers is certainly a relevant issue. Can you explain more about what you mean here? Most lawyers just have the job of executing the law for businesses and individuals. Are you referring here to the part of the legal profession that occupies itself with creating/changing constitutional law?  

 

Hi Daniel,

 

At the highest levels:-

 

Just consider that we have a state in Australia that is currently in the process of passing legislation to require priests to pass on any information to the police that was obtained in the confessional but at the same time this states courts are cancelling hardened criminals sentences on appeal because a lawyer broke lawyer client confidentiality and passed on relevant information to the police that resulted in the hardened criminals being conviction in the first place!

 

The judges, politicians and lawyers are also running a system in that same state where 12 year old girls, who are married to much older men, say they consented to sex with their husbands even when the states age of consent is 16, so the husband is not prosecuted.

 

That's the problem with either direct corruption or absolute incompetence, either way people get hurt, the innocent get molested and the true price to society is the same in the long run regardless.

 

Why would you bother talking to people without integrity as they all happily eat this 'sh*t sandwich' without question.



#14 LaurieAG

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 12:10 AM

Also read the Australia Act 1986 and the Irish Constitution.

 

You will note that the preamble to the Australia Act ends in 'independent, sovereign and federal nation.' while the Irish constitutions preamble ends with 'independent, sovereign and democratic state'. The Irish people voted 'yes' for their constitution over 80 years ago but the people of Australia are still waiting (over 33 years) to approve the constitutional changes contained in the Australia act 1986. Since 1986 there has been only 1 referendum, 2 questions for changes to our preamble, and both failed. In the same period prior to 1986 there were around 20 referendums with one third of the questions being approved constitutionally by the people.

 

BTW, our High Court regards Australia as a 'parliamentary democracy' even though we have a constitution for a 'constitutional monarchy' so the rot is wide spread and goes right up to the highest levels.



#15 DanielBoyd

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 12:19 AM

Hi Daniel,

 

At the highest levels:-

 

Just consider that we have a state in Australia that is currently in the process of passing legislation to require priests to pass on any information to the police that was obtained in the confessional but at the same time this states courts are cancelling hardened criminals sentences on appeal because a lawyer broke lawyer client confidentiality and passed on relevant information to the police that resulted in the hardened criminals being conviction in the first place!

 

The judges, politicians and lawyers are also running a system in that same state where 12 year old girls, who are married to much older men, say they consented to sex with their husbands even when the states age of consent is 16, so the husband is not prosecuted.

 

That's the problem with either direct corruption or absolute incompetence, either way people get hurt, the innocent get molested and the true price to society is the same in the long run regardless.

 

Why would you bother talking to people without integrity as they all happily eat this 'sh*t sandwich' without question.

 

You've got a good point about the fact that different laws may conflict, that lawyers make the laws, and they get paid to sort out the mess it has become, which probably doesn't optimally motivate for a logically coherent system. And the examples you mention would be clearly terrible examples. 

 

My question in theis thread is not so much directed at this kind of law, as to the constitutional structure of society: defining what politicians jobs should be, rather then letting them run riot with anything they have a (ususally uninformed) opinion on.

 

Any thoughts on that? 



#16 DanielBoyd

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 09:25 AM

Also read the Australia Act 1986 and the Irish Constitution.

 

You will note that the preamble to the Australia Act ends in 'independent, sovereign and federal nation.' while the Irish constitutions preamble ends with 'independent, sovereign and democratic state'. The Irish people voted 'yes' for their constitution over 80 years ago but the people of Australia are still waiting (over 33 years) to approve the constitutional changes contained in the Australia act 1986. Since 1986 there has been only 1 referendum, 2 questions for changes to our preamble, and both failed. In the same period prior to 1986 there were around 20 referendums with one third of the questions being approved constitutionally by the people.

 

BTW, our High Court regards Australia as a 'parliamentary democracy' even though we have a constitution for a 'constitutional monarchy' so the rot is wide spread and goes right up to the highest levels.

Sorry, should have read your second post first!!

 

This is exactly the point I'm interested in. As long as politicians have contol over the system they are a part of conflicting interests are always going to be a problem. It would take a very very public-minded politician to give away his own position of power to someone else, even if that other person could do the job better.

 

Shouldn't the first line of the Constitution be: "Politicians do not determine the Constituion"?

 

I also don't think the populace should be asked how the political system should work. To start with, they can only exert an influence through elected politicians, so that solves nothing. More importantly, they have even less understanding of such systems and are easily influenced by people with a vested interest (politicians and business lobbyists).

 

Instead, it seems to me that this task should be given to people without any personal interest in the outcome, and with knowledge of how political systems work. A mathematician, for instance, can give an objective and rational answer to the question of how to design a fair voting system, and won't have any personal interest in designing it to be unfair.

 


Edited by DanielBoyd, 15 August 2019 - 09:28 AM.


#17 LaurieAG

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 10:16 PM

My question in theis thread is not so much directed at this kind of law, as to the constitutional structure of society: defining what politicians jobs should be, rather then letting them run riot with anything they have a (ususally uninformed) opinion on.

 

Any thoughts on that? 

 

It all boils down to the percentage of our politicians who are lawyers and 30-50% corrupts the system.