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Democracy isn’t dying, but perhaps the two-party system is. (how about the “coalition government” approach?)

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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05 October 2019 08:27
 

I have a hunch that many of the U.S.‘s extreme ills are being exacerbated (if not created), by what’s become of our two-party system. Many democracies around the world have a multi-party “coalition government” approach. My sense is that the coalition style allows for a far nimbler and nuanced, and far less entrenched implementation of democracy.

 
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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05 October 2019 08:53
 

A ranked-choice voting system with parties not holding primaries would probably solve all problems: it makes no sense whatsoever to go hardline partisan if instead to can siphon of a few secondary and tertiary votes from the other side being catering to the moderates.

 
 
icehorse
 
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05 October 2019 08:57
 
Twissel - 05 October 2019 08:53 AM

A ranked-choice voting system with parties not holding primaries would probably solve all problems: it makes no sense whatsoever to go hardline partisan if instead to can siphon of a few secondary and tertiary votes from the other side being catering to the moderates.

I suspect a few typos here - can you clarify?

 
 
Twissel
 
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05 October 2019 09:19
 
 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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05 October 2019 10:11
 

So the video explains the “alternative vote” approach. Seems plausible, haven’t thought about it much. But it also relies on a multi-party system.

 
 
Twissel
 
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05 October 2019 13:40
 

Yes, but it doesn’t require it.
More importantly, it actively disincentivizes partisanship: just getting your core voters first vote isn’t enough when your opponent might get their second or third vote.

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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06 October 2019 12:38
 
icehorse - 05 October 2019 08:27 AM

I have a hunch that many of the U.S.‘s extreme ills are being exacerbated (if not created), by what’s become of our two-party system. Many democracies around the world have a multi-party “coalition government” approach. My sense is that the coalition style allows for a far nimbler and nuanced, and far less entrenched implementation of democracy.

Maybe, but multiparty systems are far from perfect. Just look at the UK right now, or Italy since WWII. I’ve come to think that the real, underlying problem with any form of government run by human beings is the human element. Human beings are too greedy and easily corruptible. So you get what we have here today, which is the way our political parties want.

By that same token, if humans weren’t so greedy and easily corruptible, almost any form of government would probably yield better results than the current state of affairs.

Bring on the benign AI dicatatorship.

 
 
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06 October 2019 15:12
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 06 October 2019 12:38 PM

By that same token, if humans weren’t so greedy and easily corruptible, almost any form of government would probably yield better results than the current state of affairs.

Bring on the benign AI dicatatorship.

This.  Government is only partly to blame for the problems of government.

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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06 October 2019 21:23
 

I’m all for the Eschaton.

But until then, the goal must be to maintain the peaceful transition of government. That’s more likely in a multiparty system.

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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06 October 2019 21:35
 

Weimar Germany was a multiparty democracy, but that didn’t stop the National Socialists from coming to power politically. How do you know that peaceful transitions of power are more likely in a multiparty system?

 
 
Twissel
 
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06 October 2019 21:55
 

Hitler never got a majority vote.

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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07 October 2019 00:09
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 06 October 2019 09:35 PM

Weimar Germany was a multiparty democracy, but that didn’t stop the National Socialists from coming to power politically. How do you know that peaceful transitions of power are more likely in a multiparty system?

I don’t think there any guarantees built into political theory or structure. I think we’ve seen totalitarianism emerge from just about every kind of state. The check against this isn’t authority but rather the ethos of the people. It’s why I think a certain animosity toward heads of state is a good thing. I do agree with those who suggest we’d like more parties rather than fewer. I’m willing to trade a certain efficiency and even prosperity for a state that is on its guard against chauvinistic leadership.

This is why I’m not open minded about Trump. He hits too many notes and makes too many plays from the jackboot handbook. The reason he won’t become Stalin is not because he doesn’t have that kind of ambition. It’s because (I hope) we aren’t going to allow it.

 
Twissel
 
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07 October 2019 02:17
 

..or because he is very incompetent.

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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07 October 2019 14:20
 
Twissel - 06 October 2019 09:55 PM

Hitler never got a majority vote.

Huh? You’re wrong about that, but I don’t see how it’s even relevant. How do you support your claim that multiparty systems are more likely to promote peaceful transitions of power? Is it based on empirical evidence? Or does it just seem intuitively obvious to you?

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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07 October 2019 15:25
 

Totalitarian states are thankfully rare, and the exact conditions out of which they emerge, and their causes, are unclear—at least to me.  But one precipitating factor they all have in common is the lack of an antecedent, stable republican tradition, what we today call democratic representation, or just democracy.  In fact, the three main ones (China, Germany and the Soviet Union) were preceded by weak, feeble attempts to instantiate just such a tradition, suggesting that totalitarian states are the result of a transitional phase, and a failed one at that, not a natural endpoint per se

In any case, with this in mind I think it’s next to impossible that one could ever emerge here, regardless of the political leader.  Crudely put, all totalitarian states are ultimately founded on consent—not consent of the governed, of course, but consent among those working in concert to seize power at the behest of the leader.  Even if Trump had the intelligence and political ability of Mao, Hitler, or Stalin—which he most emphatically does not—and even if his supporters wanted such a thing—which they most emphatically do not either—I don’t think he could get a totalitarian state off the ground.  And I mean off the ground.  There are just too many buttons and levers in the machine to push and pull against nearly insurmountable political, cultural, and social norms, all aligned against just such a thing happening.  To borrow a medical analogy, I don’t think totalitarian states are like a cancer that grows in an otherwise healthy body, but rather more like an unstable body that metabolically collapses into a primitive, low functioning state because the convergence of factors leading to health failed.  Pressing the analogy, Trump might be a tumor, but the systems in the body are otherwise working, so get rid of the tumor and one gets rid of the problem.

To this point consider how this Ukraine whistleblower scandal is gaining momentum.  It exemplifies that there are just too many actors in government who won’t even tolerate the kind of corruption that might lead to a totalitarian leader, much less the kind that would support one with the requisite consent within the government for totalitarian control.  Heck, the Joint Chiefs and/or the Pentagon stonewalled Trump out of his stupid military parade (dictators love those), the Mueller investigation ran its timely course (they hate those), and now an impeachment inquiry is well under way (this gets rid of them).  No, I think the probability of a totalitarian state even with a politically competent Trump is—as political certainties go—impossible here, which is why I don’t perspire even a drop of sweat about it.  As I see it, there are plenty of bad policies to worry over, policies that thankfully the next President can undo as easily as this one has done.

[ Edited: 07 October 2019 15:56 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
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07 October 2019 17:12
 

We’ll put, Anal.  Machiavelli wrote in “The Prince” about the difficulty of a foreign king or dictator taking over a republic, for not only is conquering a republic difficult because all the people will join the fight to preserve their liberty, even if successful, a king or dictator can never be comfortable holding the former republic since the people will be bitter over their loss and continue to resist, while waiting for a moment of weakness to depose the king and return to the freedoms of a republic. 

On the other hand, after conquering a monarchy or dictatorship, holding it is easier since the people will have only traded one king for another and can easily shift loyalty to the new king as long as they are treated fairly and there are few changes to their living conditions.

Americans are too long into a Republican system of government to just hand it over to a bloated blowhard dictator like Trump.  Trump is only milking the stupid ones of America while he can.

 
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