T Nation

Paulies Spam Straw Poll

…Wait! Those aren’t Ron Paul supporters! They’re Romney supporters!

mike

Her expression and the way she tries to hide the tickets upon hearing the cameraman say “one vote per person” is priceless.

Aw, she’s just really enthusiastic. She’s just such a supporter of democracy and voting, she wants to do it again. And again. And again…

Don’t you people support freedom?

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Aw, she’s just really enthusiastic. She’s just such a supporter of democracy and voting, she wants to do it again. And again. And again…[/quote]

…following Richard J Daley’s advice: “Vote early and often!”

aaaahhh…democracy…

[quote]jlesk68 wrote:
aaaahhh…democracy…

[/quote]

Nice add. Seems every time I clicked on a new video of Mitt supporters multi-voting the video would be removed.

mike

These people just don’t get it do they? does Romney think he’s going to get more attention from a straw-poll win? They have received minor coverage as it is. I can’t wait for the NH primaries.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]Mick28 wrote:
Something like 300 thousand dead people voted in Illinois in the 1960 Presidential election. This gave the win to Kennedy over Nixon

Democracy isn’t perfect, it’s just the best possible choice.[/quote]

I’ve got a few better ideas…though I do confess I’d take a democracy over a monarch purely for symbolic reasons.
mike

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]Mick28 wrote:
Mikeyali wrote:
Mick28 wrote:
Something like 300 thousand dead people voted in Illinois in the 1960 Presidential election. This gave the win to Kennedy over Nixon

Democracy isn’t perfect, it’s just the best possible choice.

I’ve got a few better ideas…

I’d love to hear some.

[/quote]

The 30 second version:

The institution of a second “Supreme Court” whose purpose is to ensure the Constitutionality of EVERY bill before it meets the president’s desk for signing.

Direct elections for president being abolished. (Though any president selected by Congress must pass muster with a direct vote to CONFIRM him.)

Restructuring the House of Representatives. The MC’s are national and not state. Anyone that can get a predetermined number of votes (let’s say 10,000) can become an MC. For every additional 10,000 votes that MC gets an additional vote. In doing this, most everyone gets a voice in Congress. The MC’s vote is weighted depending on his popularity.

Individual voting being weighted. Every citizen gets 1 to 5 votes depending on several factors. You start with 1 to ensure everyone has a voice. Then a person can add to his number of votes in several ways (this is still in work):

Welfare recipients get only 1 vote. To include SS.

Gov’t employees only get one vote, but when they are out of the service they are given an extra vote. This means beaurocrats, military, teachers, cops…

Land owners get an extra vote.

Additional votes go to achieving certain levels of school or their equivalent such as an extra vote for a college grad.

Then an extra vote can go for passing a short test. It would be a simple 10 question test to ask objective questions about the current political climate. Questions such as who the president is. Who is the majority party in the Senate? We are currently at war where?

mike

[quote]Mikeyali wrote:
Land owners get an extra vote. [/quote]

How’s that gonna help? The elite already influences (not to say determines) the elections enough with all the big donations.

I really want to know what your logic on this point is.

[quote]Mikeyali wrote:
Mick28 wrote:
Mikeyali wrote:
Mick28 wrote:
Something like 300 thousand dead people voted in Illinois in the 1960 Presidential election. This gave the win to Kennedy over Nixon

Democracy isn’t perfect, it’s just the best possible choice.

I’ve got a few better ideas…

I’d love to hear some.

The 30 second version:

The institution of a second “Supreme Court” whose purpose is to ensure the Constitutionality of EVERY bill before it meets the president’s desk for signing.

Direct elections for president being abolished. (Though any president selected by Congress must pass muster with a direct vote to CONFIRM him.)

Restructuring the House of Representatives. The MC’s are national and not state. Anyone that can get a predetermined number of votes (let’s say 10,000) can become an MC. For every additional 10,000 votes that MC gets an additional vote. In doing this, most everyone gets a voice in Congress. The MC’s vote is weighted depending on his popularity.

Individual voting being weighted. Every citizen gets 1 to 5 votes depending on several factors. You start with 1 to ensure everyone has a voice. Then a person can add to his number of votes in several ways (this is still in work):

Welfare recipients get only 1 vote. To include SS.

Gov’t employees only get one vote, but when they are out of the service they are given an extra vote. This means beaurocrats, military, teachers, cops…

Land owners get an extra vote.

Additional votes go to achieving certain levels of school or their equivalent such as an extra vote for a college grad.

Then an extra vote can go for passing a short test. It would be a simple 10 question test to ask objective questions about the current political climate. Questions such as who the president is. Who is the majority party in the Senate? We are currently at war where?

mike[/quote]

Yikes. That’s way too complex. Most of these suggestions simply create redundant structures to those already in place or complicate an already complicated process.

Just the 1-5 votes part would be an administrative nightmare, involving tracking the changing status of people over their lives… and amenable to fraud as I’m sure you’d get businesses started on the premise of selling land by the square millimeter, just so someone can claim to be a land owner and get an additional vote.

You’d do better to insure the present system works, has as little fraud as possible and encouraging participation.

[quote]lixy wrote:
Mikeyali wrote:
Land owners get an extra vote.

How’s that gonna help? The elite already influences (not to say determines) the elections enough with all the big donations.

I really want to know what your logic on this point is.[/quote]

Basically, I wish to empower the educated and successful middle class. These are people that pay into the system as opposed to leech from it. When I say landowner, I’m referring to someone who owns their own home and the ground it is on; effectively the yeoman farmer of the 21st century. I’m not referring to some antiquated idea of a plantation owner, though a rich man would certainly get his extra vote if he owned his house.

mike

[quote]Mikeyali wrote:

The 30 second version:

The institution of a second “Supreme Court” whose purpose is to ensure the Constitutionality of EVERY bill before it meets the president’s desk for signing.[/quote]

So how exactly does an oligarchy fit into a separation of powers format?

Hmmmmm. This is not the worst of your ideas.

So, the House of Representatives will mostly be politicians from urban areas, and two of the main points of federalism - to insure non-urban areas don’t have their interests overrun by cities and that we are a nation of states - goes by the wayside?

[quote]Individual voting being weighted. Every citizen gets 1 to 5 votes depending on several factors. You start with 1 to ensure everyone has a voice. Then a person can add to his number of votes in several ways (this is still in work):

Welfare recipients get only 1 vote. To include SS.

Gov’t employees only get one vote, but when they are out of the service they are given an extra vote. This means beaurocrats, military, teachers, cops…

Land owners get an extra vote.

Additional votes go to achieving certain levels of school or their equivalent such as an extra vote for a college grad.

Then an extra vote can go for passing a short test. It would be a simple 10 question test to ask objective questions about the current political climate. Questions such as who the president is. Who is the majority party in the Senate? We are currently at war where? [/quote]

Wow - where to begin? Outside of flirting with an government-augmented aristocracy, this system essentially measures a person’s ability to participate in self-government based on their portfolio of wealth, which may or may not be indicative of their intelligence or knowledge, and certainly is not indicative of their virtue or character.

Let’s see - in your system, a hard-working, keeping-his-nose clean small businessman who had some college gets less of a say in laws being passed that affect him than would some affluent brat who muddled through his college education and grad degree, all paid for by a wealthy father, who also put down the down payment on the kid’s house right after school.

Not what I would have guessed in your ideal platform.

[quote]pookie wrote:

Yikes. That’s way too complex. Most of these suggestions simply create redundant structures to those already in place or complicate an already complicated process.

Just the 1-5 votes part would be an administrative nightmare, involving tracking the changing status of people over their lives… and amenable to fraud as I’m sure you’d get businesses started on the premise of selling land by the square millimeter, just so someone can claim to be a land owner and get an additional vote.[/quote]

This is the 30 second version. I can write up the X-pages version, but I trust it would never be read. A landowner wouldn’t be some guy with a stick in the ground somewhere. It would effectively be a homeowner. As far as the complexity…well, people would be expected to provide proof at the polling station. A DD-214 for military, or a diploma for a grad, ect. I certainly would NEVER support the idea of the .gov tracking anyone. It’s way out of hand already. [quote]

You’d do better to insure the present system works, has as little fraud as possible and encouraging participation.
[/quote]

Why? The current system is institutionally corrupt. 1 head 1 vote democracy is an invitation to tyranny; we are living the fruits of that today. Avoiding fraud in voting is certainly good, but why encourage participation among the uneducated and corrupted citizens? They certainly deserve a vote. No taxation without representation and all. But they don’t deserve an equal voice when they haven’t worked for it.

The idea here is that the bulk of the people think it’s cool to rob Peter to pay Paul, particularly when they are Paul. The world is full of far more Pauls, yet it’s the Peters who advance us as a species. I just want to even the odds some and protect them from the predators who will do them in out of jealousy and ignorance. It’s something of a democracy mixed in with a meritocracy.

mike

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
Mikeyali wrote:

The 30 second version:

The institution of a second “Supreme Court” whose purpose is to ensure the Constitutionality of EVERY bill before it meets the president’s desk for signing.

So how exactly does an oligarchy fit into a separation of powers format?[/quote]

How does the addition of a second Supreme Court destroy the system any more than the current one?[quote]

Direct elections for president being abolished. (Though any president selected by Congress must pass muster with a direct vote to CONFIRM him.)

Hmmmmm. This is not the worst of your ideas.

Restructuring the House of Representatives. The MC’s are national and not state. Anyone that can get a predetermined number of votes (let’s say 10,000) can become an MC. For every additional 10,000 votes that MC gets an additional vote. In doing this, most everyone gets a voice in Congress. The MC’s vote is weighted depending on his popularity.

So, the House of Representatives will mostly be politicians from urban areas, and two of the main points of federalism - to insure non-urban areas don’t have their interests overrun by cities and that we are a nation of states - goes by the wayside?
[/quote]

Why? As I see it, rural areas would receive MORE representation in congress. Granted I’m here in Idaho, but Boise elects one of our reps and CDA gets the other. The people not in the city have no voice. This way farmers can throw their vote into someone supporting rural ideas in Texas or Nevada. And who cares if there are 100 wacky urban MC’s with 1 vote when there are 5 rural MC’s with 20 votes? At least most every citizen would get a voice. In a democracy such as ours if you lose the election you don’t really have a representative do you? This way we can all vote our conscience.[quote]

Individual voting being weighted. Every citizen gets 1 to 5 votes depending on several factors. You start with 1 to ensure everyone has a voice. Then a person can add to his number of votes in several ways (this is still in work):

Welfare recipients get only 1 vote. To include SS.

Gov’t employees only get one vote, but when they are out of the service they are given an extra vote. This means beaurocrats, military, teachers, cops…

Land owners get an extra vote.

Additional votes go to achieving certain levels of school or their equivalent such as an extra vote for a college grad.

Then an extra vote can go for passing a short test. It would be a simple 10 question test to ask objective questions about the current political climate. Questions such as who the president is. Who is the majority party in the Senate? We are currently at war where?

Wow - where to begin? Outside of flirting with an government-augmented aristocracy, this system essentially measures a person’s ability to participate in self-government based on their portfolio of wealth, which may or may not be indicative of their intelligence or knowledge, and certainly is not indicative of their virtue or character.

Let’s see - in your system, a hard-working, keeping-his-nose clean small businessman who had some college gets less of a say in laws being passed that affect him than would some affluent brat who muddled through his college education and grad degree, all paid for by a wealthy father, who also put down the down payment on the kid’s house right after school.[/quote]

That’s why we cap at 5 maximum votes. Like it or not you will NEVER be able to wrest power from the rich. If anything, my system puts the middle class up with the rich while keeping the masses from becoming too powerful. This being an idea in progress, there would be more criteria to earn you an additional vote. I’m only flirting with the college idea and won’t have one unless I can figure some sort of equivalent that doesn’t have to do with daddy getting you through college.

Why is it overly based on wealth? A small businessman who got some college (something we all can do) who owns his house and can pass a simple test about who Nacy Pelosi is automatically has 4 votes. BAM.

The extra vote criteria are loose examples. I don’t know what they’ll be for sure yet. But it’s the idea of merit and intelligence weighing your vote that I’m most interested in. [quote]

Not what I would have guessed in your ideal platform.[/quote]

Just out of morbid curiousity what did you figure my ideal platform would be?

mike

[quote]Mikeyali wrote:

How does the addition of a second Supreme Court destroy the system any more than the current one?[/quote]

The legislative branch is a constitutional actor co-equal to other branches, not subordinate to. A “second Supreme Court” that determines, in advance, the constitutionality of legislation prior to the incident of a “case or controversy” - which is the only way a court can opine and determine a law’s validity - directly infringes on the constitutional prerogative of the legislature.

The legislature already has it vetting of constitutional legislation - during the act of passing the law. That is its constitutional duty.

What you propose is an unelected overseer to the legislative process - veto power with no democratic accountability. No thanks - we have enough of that problem today.

You have the problem exactly backwards - you’ll make worse the problem of overactive judiciaries who routinely invade the province of the legislature.

Separation of powers was no historical accident - and your proposal tears does nothing to protect that important principle.

So, the basic voter will have a list of thousands of candidates to choose from - no boundaries on the vote. Further, your change doesn’t do much of anything - it is a change, but does it make anything better? Are you giving a voice where there isn’t one?

You say that if your candidate loses, you don’t really have a representative - that would be no different under your proposal.

I don’t see it - seems like you are creating a solution in search of a problem.

That has nothing to do with it - what you are doing is reconstructing a right to self-government - as a rootin’, tootin’ libertarian, I assume this is important to you - into a privilege based on wealth.

So, do you have the right to self-government, or not? Or does a man who has more wealth get more of a right?

How does it do that? Right now, every member of the middle class gets the same votes as a person who is “rich”.

Under your system, both rich people and the middle class would still mostly qualify for the exact same voting privileges, because both groups fall into the two things you prioritize: education and land ownership. So, it’s basically a draw between our current system and your new proposal - there is no difference.

Except: you would have a system that would actually drop some members of the middle class out of the voting block of rich people, on the basis that some in the productive middle class don’t have advanced education or they may rent.

So, your system merely duplicates the voting rights of the current system, and only changes it only to the extent to may actually diminish some members of the middle class - the exact opposite of your goal.

So what? Why does his right to self-government have to take a backseat to someone else? Why should a person in the exact same position who never went to college - by the way, as an aside, have you seen the atrocious state of college and what it actually teaches you these days? - but instead worked hard, started a trade-based service making him middle class income, educated himself on worldly issues that makes him knowledgable in all matters political via the public library and the internet (not on this forum, surely) have less of a right to self-government than the first guy?

Merit is fine in certain contexts, but in trying to tether merit to what is understood as a right to self-government leads to, in my mind, absurd results.

Rest assured, I have no interest in mobocracy or “tyranny of the masses”, as the much-abused and often overstated phrase is understood. But we have a republic, and the carefully constructed legislative branch - no accident that its complicated mechanics is one of the most dense parts of the Constitution - strikes the necessary balance just fine.

Most of the time, anytime anyone invokes the “tyranny of the masses”, usually they are just complaining because the legislature happens to not be going their way on policy. The majority - I hope you are sitting down - actually has rights, and passing laws you happen not to like isn’t “tyranny”.

Most libertarian types are all about “rights, rights, and more rights” and are largely uninterested in trying to attach any concept of rights to any kind of behavior. In this particular case, I think you have it wrong to try and attach a merit-based program to the right to participate in self-government - but otherwise, I think it is an important idea in other contexts.

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” -Benjamin Franklin

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
Mikeyali wrote:

[/quote]

Well said.
Thunderbolt’s patient explanation would give credit to “The Federalist,” perhaps a book good libertarians might choose to re-read.