At a guess, I’d say that most people who read my suggestions for tweaking democracy will have some ‘little quibbles’, hmm?
Well that’s good, because I had a few of my own. Might give those of you who thought I was 100% brilliant a pause for thought. Go ahead, criticise me!
1.) His argument is rubbish!
You may see more, but these are the argument points that look vulnerable to attack:
“P2, electorate not acting with its best interests at heart.–>Democracy is favoured erroneously”
Despite my general points on voting psychology, you can probably marshal multiple examples of electorates largely acting decisively and ‘rationally’. I don’t know if this undermines my general point, but it certainly weakens it if you argue that electorates largely operate effectively, and that the dislocation of effecting my changes would therefore be negative in the short term, which would outweigh small potential longterm improvements.
“C: The political class should examine, debate and experiment with such new systems that attempt to improve on modern democracy.”
Again, you could make a case that previous attempts to ‘build on’ democracy have met with little success, the conclusion is flawed. This is difficult, because I hedged my bets language-wise, and it’s pretty hard to disagree with the segments ‘examine’ and ‘debate’.
2.) His proposals are evil!
(Doesn’t really affect proposal 1.)
The good people of the University of Central Lancashire focused on this one – largely that points 2 & 3, which both limit the franchise to those who can pass an exam, are anti-democratic/classist. I completely understandthis criticism, but given that my proposal includes considerable effort in freely educating anyone who wants to pass said exam, I don’t see it as especially as classist, and given that it is explicitly designed to cut out the flaws in democracy, I don’t see ‘anti-democratic’ as a criticism. Just a description. Ho-humm.
3.) Some elements of government require interpersonal skills (e.g. foreign diplomacy, dealing with the civil service), so our leaders must be eloquent and persuasive in a face-to-face setting, meaning ‘charisma’ is a valid facet to elections.
(Doesn’t affect proposals 1. or 3.)
Yes. True. Although in an ideal world, I’d like all countries, and the international system to work in my ‘logical format’, but assuming I can’t, this problem is soluble. Note – if you do credit this point of opposition, you might still concede that the current Western election model is not ideal for finding the best ‘interpersonal persuader’. I probably should have put this as a kind of caveat in the main proposals, but oh well:
– Beyond the current Foreign Corps, picking good ‘interpersonal persuaders’ would probably be best achieved by having a big debating competition. In which the contestants had to argue motions they disagreed with. And were judge by the public. Yay.
These master rhetoricians can be ‘figureheads’ of the government, taking policy direction on (for example) the country’s International Relations aims by this mechanism. Any agreements of treaties these figureheads make would need to be ratified by the blindly-elected representatives.
4.) You don’t mention the queen?
Yeah, you’re right. I didn’t want to make it more contentious than it was. I don’t see the queen’s existence as that important, compared to virtually any other issue, especially given how difficult it is to calculate the income from tourismetc. derived from her existence. But since you’re hypothetically pressing me, OK:
I would strip the queen of all constitutional power, what little she has left, but allow her to remain symbolic figurehead and perform ceremonial functions. I would attempt to codify an essentially republican constitution, which would also create total cleavage between the government (not Her Majesty’s Government) and the C of E.
5.) This is impossible to implement
(Probably applies more to each proposition)
Yeah, I recon it would be pretty tricky. It would certainly not be something to rush into. I haven’t set out how I’d pay for the extra (~different) education and public service provisions, or the technology parliament and polling stations would need. I haven’t taken into account the considerable opposition all main parties would likely mount, and the electoral unpopularity of suggesting the electorate should be limited.
I think supporters of my thinking would have to play the long game. Highlight all the mental shittitudes, and push just for proposition #1, better voter education. Few parties could oppose that, in honesty. At least, if they do, they’d be labelled the “Ignorant Bastards and Liars Party” (or similar). There’s a fair chance that blocs such as the scientific community, intelligentsia and educational establishments could get behind it. And those communities are moderately important, since they influence both the future middle class and the media. So who knows? Proposition #1 could come fairly quickly. At least advocating it would spark a good debate, and greater public awareness about human shittitude.
With a bit of education, there is a palpable chance that support for candidate-exams and even franchise-exams grows concurrently. Presumably people sympathetic with my argument will be disproportionately represented within the current ‘political class’, so will have a disproportionate sway. If an opposition arises from those previous politically apathetic, then there will be more people meaningfully engaging in politics, which was my goal all along. Hooray!
[I’ll add to this as more counterarguments arise. Go on. You know you want to.]