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What if?

Re: What if?

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:09 pm

Smouldering Stoat wrote:The fact that we have the technology to do something doesn't mean that it's a good idea.

So far as the legislature is concerned, we have objectives which are competing and to an extent incompatible. Of course we need a legislature which is democratically accountable. But we also need one which is representative of society, and which has the expertise necessary to pass good law and to hold the executive to account. Experiments in mass democracy are interesting but (a) may struggle to engage the electorate (in which case it's not clear that they are actually democratic and representative) and (b) they separate the taking of a decision with accountability for the consequences.


Have we jumped a page somewhere? Last I looked, we were discussing the grass roots accountability (or lack thereof) of the Momentum movement.
I am not suggesting that Parliament be replaced by any kind of mass democracy (and I'm surprised that you would think that I might), but that an effective mass debating platform for the represented might help to guide the decisions of the representative.
In respect of the experiments, if such a system was in place then (a) would be up to the electorate and (b) would not apply because the decision would be made by the representative.
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Re: What if?

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:17 pm

Your comment about technology was in response to shootist's post about Parliament.

So, this technological mass debating* platform would be advisory? Great, because our recent experience of advisory mass democracy has been absolutely fucking brilliant.

*as Woody Allen nearly said, don't knock mass debating, it's sex with someone you love.
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Re: What if?

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:31 pm

Smouldering Stoat wrote:Your comment about technology was in response to shootist's post about Parliament.

It was, but his reference to Parliament was a misunderstanding about the nature of the debating platform.

So, this technological mass debating* platform would be advisory? Great, because our recent experience of advisory mass democracy has been absolutely fucking brilliant.


Exactly so, and hence my surprise that you thought I might think it a good plan.
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Re: What if?

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:39 pm

Generally, when a person says Why do X when we can do Y? they are suggesting that Y is a good idea.
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Re: What if?

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:07 pm

Smouldering Stoat wrote:Generally, when a person says Why do X when we can do Y? they are suggesting that Y is a good idea.

A fair point, but some of the context was lost along the way.
It matters not, I think we are now on the same page of the discussion, if not yet in agreement.
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Re: What if?

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:58 pm

I'm surprised you've given me the last word here: are there no further comments?

To summarise, the suggestion is to have a platform (perhaps like a forum) and invite the constituents to come along and discuss the issues.
The elected representative can consider those discussions and be guided by them: when he sees a lot of idiots talking utter twaddle, he may take the populist option and take up their viewpoint or he could ignore them and hope they are a vocal minority; or he could even take steps to address the levels of ignorance in his constituency.

Aside from the obvious difficulties of managing a discussion involving potentially thousands of people, does this seem like a daft idea?
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Re: What if?

Postby atticus » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:14 pm

To get any answer other than "yes, typical hairy daftness" you will have to demonstrate how that can work in a country with a large and diverse population of 60 million plus.
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Re: What if?

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:55 pm

No, it only has to work in a constituency that elects a representative who adopts that policy. And it only has to work better than the system which we currently have.

Consider how it works now. Imagine 100 constituents write to the MP on an issue, he writes 100 similar replies. Some will be satisfied with the reply, but others will write back and continue the debate, perhaps over multiple letters.
Isn't it better if one constituent writes and gets the reply on the board, where all 100 can see it?
They can discuss the issues amongst themselves with appropriate interjections from the MP if he is minded to. He does less work but is better connected to his constituents.

The thing is, more and more MP's are using facebook and twitter which are truly dreadful platforms for this task, so they are beginning to do this in an ineffectual way. Also these platforms have the underlying purpose of harvesting information for commercial purposes, which is not really a good thing to combine with politics.
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Re: What if?

Postby dls » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:27 am

Surely an MP can do this now if they want in ten minutes. Surely it would not make sense to oblige any MP to do this. What is the discussion?
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Re: What if?

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:33 am

dls wrote:Surely an MP can do this now if they want in ten minutes.

It would take more than ten minutes to set up a decent platform, and much longer to establish a wide participation, but yes, they could do it.

Surely it would not make sense to oblige any MP to do this. What is the discussion?

There was no suggestion of obligation. The discussion stemmed from a point about Momentum and their claim to the "grass roots" and how they might connect to them.
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