Sunday, March 21, 2010

Selecting Leaders, Discussion (2)

The initial phase of the process is dominated by participants with little interest in advancing to higher levels. They do not seek public office; they simply wish to pursue their private lives in peace. Thus, the most powerful human dynamic during the first phase (i.e., Level 1 and for some levels thereafter) is a desire by the majority of the participants to select someone who will represent them. The person so selected is more apt to be someone who is willing to take on the responsibility of going to the next level than someone who actively seeks elevation to the next level, but those who do actively seek elevation are not inhibited from doing so.

As the levels increase, the proportion of disinterested parties diminishes and we enter the second phase. Here, participants that advance are marked, more and more, by an inclination to seek further advancement. Thus, a powerful human trait is integrated into the system.

Those who actively seek selection must persuade their group that they are the best qualified to represent the other two. While that is easy at the lower levels, it becomes more difficult as the process moves forward and participants are matched with peers who also wish to be chosen.

Each participant must make a choice between the other two people in the group knowing that they must rely on that person's integrity to guide their future actions and decisions. Since they are unable to control the person selected, they must choose the person they believe most likely to conduct public business in the public interest.

However, they do not make their choices blindly. Elections are a periodic process. The majority of those seeking advancement will do so each time the process recurs. Some will be successful. They will achieve public office and their performance will be a matter of public record. When they participate in subsequent occurrences of the process, their peers can evaluate that record to help them decide the candidate's suitability for advancement. Furthermore, the names of advancing candidates are announced as each level completes. Members of the public with knowledge of unseemly acts by an advancing candidate can present details for consideration at the next level. Since, after the initial levels, the peers also seek advancement, they won't overlook inappropriate behavior.

Face-to-face meetings in three-person groups eliminate any possibility of voting machine fraud. Significantly, they also allow participants to observe the non-verbal clues humans emit during discourse and will tend to favor moderate attitudes over extremism. The dissimulation and obfuscation that are so effective in media-based politics will not work in a group of three people, each of whom has a vital interest in reaching the same goal as the miscreant. Thus, the advancement of participants will depend on their perceived integrity as well as the probity with which they fulfill their public obligations.

This is a distillation process, biased in favor of the most upright and capable of our citizens. It cannot guarantee that unprincipled individuals will never be selected ... such a goal would be unrealistic ... but it does insure that they are the exception rather than the rule.

The process is inherently bi-directional. Because each elected official sits atop a pyramid of known electors, questions on specific issues can easily be transmitted directly to and from the electors for the guidance or instruction of the official.

The cost of conducting an election by this method is free to the participants, except for the value of their time, and minimal to the government. Thus, it removes the greatest single cause of corruption in our current system ... the need for campaign funds.

I originally thought to buttress this presentation by citing two newspaper articles that discuss the (apparent) lack of interest in the election process among the majority of the electorate and the working of corruption in our system. I've decided that to do so would be superfluous.

2 comments:

Urbano dela Cruz said...

fred,

your system is way more atomized -and more intensive than I ever imagined.

some questions:

how do you select the triads at each level? can I game the system by having accomplices? -I can see how it would be possible to do that in the first, 2nd or even third iterations. then it become increasingly difficult as the chain progresses.

nevertheless, what if I can game the system at the start by getting two accomplices to pair up with a person I want to eliminate? they vote him out early in the game.

the counter game might turn into some sort of institutionalized swift-boating. finding collaborators whose job is to eliminate people at certain levels to make sure they do not move forward.

...

you require that a person can't vote for himself in a triad so there is the possibility of a three way tie each time. how do you resolve that?

...

what if the worthy ones lose interest early?

will the process of self-selection defeat the intent? i.e. -the more determined ones will keep moving forward -with no accounting for actual abilities?

koikaze said...

Good Afternoon, Urbano

Instead of respondng here, in the comments, I've copied your questiong and am responding to them at the "upper" level. You can find one at:

http://whither-democracy.blogspot.com/2010/03/urbano-2.html

Fred