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  • Showing only topics with the tag "elections". Back to normal view
    1. Could "fuzzing" voting, election, and judicial process improve decisionmaking and democratic outcomes?

      Voting is determinative, especially where the constituency is precisely known, as with a legislature, executive council, panel of judges, gerrymandered electoral district, defined organisational...

      Voting is determinative, especially where the constituency is precisely known, as with a legislature, executive council, panel of judges, gerrymandered electoral district, defined organisational membership. If you know, with high precision, who is voting, then you can determine or influence how they vote, or what the outcome will be. Which lends a certain amount of predictability (often considered as good), but also of a tyranny of the majority. This is especially true where long-standing majorities can be assured: legislatures, boards of directors, courts, ethnic or cultural majorities.

      The result is a very high-stakes game in establishing majorities, influencing critical constituencies, packing courts, and gaming parliamentary and organisational procedures. But is this the best method --- both in terms of representational eqquity and of decision and goverrnance quality?

      Hands down the most fascinating article I've read over the past decade is Michael Schulson's "How to choose? When your reasons are worse than useless, sometimes the most rational choice is a random stab in the dark", in Aeon. The essay, drawing heavily on Peter Stone, The Luck of the Draw: The Role of Lotteries in Decision Making (2011), which I've not read, mostly concerns decisions under uncertainty and of the risk of bad decisions. It seems to me that it also applies to periods of extreme political partisanship and division. An unlikely but possible circumstance, I'm sure....

      Under many political systems, control is binary and discrete. A party with a majority in a legislature or judiciary, or control of the executive, has absolute control, barring procedural exceptions. Moreover, what results is a politics of veto power, where the bloc defining a controlling share of votes effectively controls the entire organisation. It may not be able to get its way, but it can determine which of two pluralities can reach a majority. Often in favour of its own considerations, overtly or covertly --- this is an obvious engine of corruption.

      (This is why "political flexibility" often translates to more effective power than a hardline orthodoxy.)

      One inspiration is a suggestion for US Supreme Court reform: greatly expand the court, hear more cases, but randomly assign a subset of judges to each case.[1] A litigant cannot know what specific magistrates will hear a case, and even a highly-packed court could produce minority-majority panels.

      Where voting can be fuzzed, the majority's power is made less absolute, more uncertain, and considerations which presume that such a majority cannot be assured, one hopes, would lead to a more inclusive decisionmaking process. Some specific mechanisms;

      • All members vote, but a subset of votes are considered at random. The larger the subset, the more reliably the true majority wins.
      • A subset of members votes. As in the court example above.
      • An executive role (presidency, leader, chairmanship) is rotated over time.
      • For ranged decisions (quantitative, rather than yes/no), a value is selected randomly based on weighted support.

      Concensus/majority decisionmaking tends to locked and unrepresentitive states. Fuzzing might better unlock these and increase representation.


      Notes

      1. A selection of articles on Supreme Court reforms and expansion, from an earlier G+ post: https://web.archive.org/web/20190117114110/https://plus.google.com/104092656004159577193/posts/9btDjFcNhg1 Also, notably, court restructuring or resizing has been practiced: "Republicans Oppose Court Packing (Except When They Support It)".
      14 votes
    2. 2020 US Presidential Election Results - Discussion Thread

      This will be a noisy thread. Please use the ignore feature if you do not want to see it in your feed. This is a continuation of the original thread from election day, which was here. These threads...

      This will be a noisy thread. Please use the ignore feature if you do not want to see it in your feed.


      This is a continuation of the original thread from election day, which was here.

      These threads are intended as more conversational spaces to process the day and results. Consider this an open forum for your own thoughts and feelings.


      There is also a thread here in ~news that's more focused on articles and events.

      30 votes
    3. 2020 US Presidential Election Day - Discussion Thread

      This will be a noisy thread. Please use the ignore feature if you do not want to see it in your feed. We have a thread here in ~news that's more focused on articles and events, but I also want us...

      This will be a noisy thread. Please use the ignore feature if you do not want to see it in your feed.


      We have a thread here in ~news that's more focused on articles and events, but I also want us to have a more conversational space to process the day. Consider this an open forum for your own thoughts and feelings.

      50 votes
    4. Trump/Biden 2020 Presidential Debate #2 Discussion Thread

      This will be a noisy thread. Please use the ignore feature if you do not want to see it in your feed. Watch on YouTube Other viewing options Debate starts ~90 minutes from the time of this...

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      Watch on YouTube
      Other viewing options

      Debate starts ~90 minutes from the time of this posting.


      Info from The Washington Post:

      Location: Belmont University in Nashville

      Moderator: Kristen Welker, NBC News White House correspondent and co-anchor of “Weekend Today”

      Details: The debate will be 90 minutes long and have no commercial breaks. It will be divided into six 15-minute segments that the moderator has chosen. They are: fighting covid-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security and leadership.

      Trump’s campaign has criticized the topics, saying they thought this was supposed to be a foreign policy debate. The head of the Commission on Presidential Debates said that’s not true.

      Trump has criticized the moderator, Welker, as being biased, as he has other moderators. The commission and even a Fox News host have defended Welker’s integrity.

      The commission also announced days before the debate that in light of Trump’s frequent interruptions during the first one, it will silence the microphone of the candidate who is not speaking during the two-minute opening segment for each candidate. After each candidate has two minutes, there will be an open discussion where both microphones will be on, but the commission urged civility in a statement: “It is the hope of the Commission that the candidates will be respectful of each other’s time.” The Trump campaign said it still will participate, despite the president criticizing a potential virtual debate as a forum where it would be too easy to silence his microphone.

      21 votes
    5. Trump & Biden 2020 US Presidential Town Halls Discussion Thread

      This will be a noisy thread. Please use the ignore feature if you do not want to see it in your feed. Watch Trump's Town Hall on YouTube Begins approximately ~2 hours from the time of this...

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      Watch Trump's Town Hall on YouTube
      Begins approximately ~2 hours from the time of this posting. Runs for one hour.
      Watch Biden's Town Hall on YouTube
      Begins approximately ~2 hours from the time of this posting. Runs for an hour and a half


      More information from CNN.

      In case you're wondering why there are two separate town halls happening instead of Debate #2 tonight, @3d12 has the recap here.

      25 votes
    6. Trump/Biden 2020 Presidential Debate #1 Discussion Thread

      This will be a noisy thread. Please use the ignore feature if you do not want to see it in your feed. Watch on YouTube Other viewing options Debate starts ~10 minutes from the time of this...

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      Watch on YouTube
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      Debate starts ~10 minutes from the time of this posting.


      Info from The Washington Post:

      Location: Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. (This was originally scheduled to be held at the University of Notre Dame. Notre Dame withdrew, saying the fact that it would have to limit student attendance and volunteer opportunities because of the pandemic erased the reason to host a debate at the university.)

      Moderator: Chris Wallace, anchor of “Fox News Sunday”

      Details: The debate will be 90 minutes long and have no commercial breaks. There will be no opening statements. Wallace will dive right in with the first question to Trump. It will be divided into six 15-minute segments that Wallace has chosen. They are:

      1. the Trump and Biden records
      2. the Supreme Court
      3. the coronavirus pandemic
      4. the economy
      5. race and violence in cities
      6. the integrity of the election
      56 votes