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Democracy

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Do we like democracy?
Yes
54%
 54%  [ 17 ]
No
6%
 6%  [ 2 ]
Meh...
38%
 38%  [ 12 ]
Total Votes : 31

Mr Grue
51844.  Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:00 am Reply with quote

"Democracy is a system of Government led by the largest minority."

Me.

 
Twopints
67484.  Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:18 am Reply with quote

I remember reading a quote on Democracy recently

Quote:
Democracy should be more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.


I can't remember who it was attributed to, can anyone enlighten me?

 
mckeonj
67522.  Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:24 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Democracy should be more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.

I don't know who, but to me it has the flavour of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens).

 
Gray
67525.  Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:45 pm Reply with quote

Dairy Farmer's Guide To Governments
Ever wondered what all those 'isms' are about?

Quote:
FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and as many eggs as the regulations say you should need.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

SINGAPOREAN DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment.

MILITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair "Cowgate".

BRITISH DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. You feed them sheeps' brains and they go mad. The government doesn't do anything.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows..

ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to kill you and take the cows.

CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

HONG KONG CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly - listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother - in - law at the bank, then execute a debt / equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the rights to all seven cows' milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because the fung shiu is bad.

ENVIRONMENTALISM: You have two cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them.

FEMINISM: You have two cows. They get married and adopt a veal calf.

TOTALITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.

COUNTER CULTURE: Wow, dude, there's like... these two cows, man. You got to have some of this milk.

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

LIBERTARIANISM: You have two cows. One has actually read the constitution, believes in it, and has some really good ideas about government. The cow runs for office, and while most people agree that the cow is the best candidate, nobody except the other cow votes for her because they think it would be "throwing their vote away."

 
samivel
67533.  Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:28 pm Reply with quote

Twopints wrote:
I remember reading a quote on Democracy recently

Quote:
Democracy should be more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.


I can't remember who it was attributed to, can anyone enlighten me?



I think it was Benjamin Franklin.

 
Quaintly Ignorant
67547.  Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:41 pm Reply with quote

And I thought Voltaire....

If I remember I know someone to ask.

</pointless post>

EDIT:
Quote:
"A democracy is a sheep and two wolves deciding on what to have for
lunch. Freedom is a well armed sheep contesting the results of the
decision."
Benjamin Franklin

 
djgordy
67548.  Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:58 pm Reply with quote

It was Ben Franklin and the entire quote is:

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"


He also said the following, which some people may find relevant to the Patriot Act in the US and the introduction of ID cards and various 'anti-terror' laws in the UK.

"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety."

 
sappho
70197.  Wed May 17, 2006 2:27 am Reply with quote

My main issue is that we only use it for voting purposes and as a means for the public to gain access to politicians. We do not use democracy as it was intended.

Take for example the two party preferred system. Where is the democracy in that. One group of people aim to appose the other whether or not the idea on the table is good or not. More than that, should I vote for a person that did not make it into power, then my vote no longer counts for very much as my representative no longer has a vote.

Democracy does not work that way. Democracy would want for the idea to be discussed and then for the decision to impliment to go to the vote of all who were voted to represent the people.

Take the two party system again. There is a head of the party who decides what goes and what doesn't. Agreed that the head is influenced by his/ her party, but that the head is head and decides the course of the party is not disputable. This is unfair voting privilage, that one has over the other. Is the head's constituancy better than the rest - more superior maybe? Is that why he has more democracy that the rest?

And so it goes. Ultimately for democracy to work is cannot have a party system or two to undermine the power of the vote. It must have in its ranks individuals who work for their constituants exclusively, who vote for their constituants exclusively, who have the power to act for their constituants.

 
Linda
70225.  Wed May 17, 2006 5:07 am Reply with quote

I tend to agree with what Sappho said.
Also one of my favorite sayings is "Don't vote....the government might get in!"

Linda

 
roamingfree
70226.  Wed May 17, 2006 5:08 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:


During the course of an attempt to construct an idealised system of government for a role playing game it occurred to me that I was creating a vast bureaucracy to ‘ensure’ that my perfect system ran without untoward influences and that this was probably counter-productive.


I believe there is a mathematical proof that no "fair" voting system can exist - I remember reading about it in a mathematical logic course I once took.

 
suze
70236.  Wed May 17, 2006 5:51 am Reply with quote

There is indeed. It's called Arrow's Theorem, named after the American mathematical economist who devised it for his PhD.

It's explained reasonably well here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A520372

but be warned that it's rather mathematical.

What it basically shows is that if one takes these four premises:
1. An individual is at liberty to place the various parties (or whatever) in any order of preference he chooses
2. Irrelevant alternatives are independent (this is a bit complicated, but very roughly, if an individual is only going to vote either Conservative or Labour, his decision between the two is not influenced by anything the Liberals say or do)
3. The party for which the most people vote will win the most seats in the election
4. There is no one person who can determine the result of the election alone

it is impossible to devise a voting system which satisfies all of them.

 
Tas
70240.  Wed May 17, 2006 6:04 am Reply with quote

You can't please all the people, all of the time. But, in a Democracy, at least you have a voice to raise your concerns and voice a difference of opinion. One person can change things, if he or she gets enough votes.

:-)

Tas

 
QI Individual
70269.  Wed May 17, 2006 7:57 am Reply with quote

Tas wrote:
One person can change things, if he or she gets enough votes.

Which can be rather worrying if for instance that person is George Dubya.

 
mckeonj
70324.  Wed May 17, 2006 12:32 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
4. There is no one person who can determine the result of the election alone.

I recall a SF story read many years ago, can't remember the title, but it might have been by Asimov, because it involves a global computer system called Multivac. That dates the story to vacuum tube technology, around 1948, oddly the publication date of Orwell's '1984'.
The central character is a 'Joe Citizen' type who has been selected by Multivac to be The Typical Voter. All he has to do is be interviewed by Multivac and answer a number of questions. Multivac then analyses his responses and selects a government which will carry out the measures which Multivac has formulated from those responses.
In other words, democracy by single elector.
It's just as frightening as '1984'.

 
Tas
70361.  Thu May 18, 2006 3:40 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Which can be rather worrying if for instance that person is George Dubya.


I thought he did not get enough votes......allegedly!

:-)

Tas

 

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