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  1. #1131

  2. #1132
    Quote Originally Posted by Feannag View Post
    I don't see anything in particular.

  3. #1133
    The pic's not showing up? It's working fine for me.

  4. #1134
    Quote Originally Posted by Alaris View Post
    I'm neither for blanket trust or distrust of the government.
    In this case, I'm not sure there's much middle ground. There isn't a lot of freely available expert military analysis on US prospects in Syria and the results thereof.

    As for "representative democracy", people are involved by selecting their representatives, yes. And if those representatives actually represent them, it works fine. But people can be involved in other ways, via polls, petitions, and protests. It's too late to bring up Syria as a talking point for votes. But it's never too late to sign petitions or protest if the leadership acts against the wishes of the population.
    That's absolutely right. It's not that politicians never stray from the will of their constituencies, it's that when they stray enough they can be brought back on track by the things you mention: polls, petitions, and protests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raspberry jam
    Indeed they are, but there it ends. No one is asking those 300 million people you talked about as to their opinion on invading Syria
    Of course they are. That asking is in the form of opinion polls, petitions, and protests, as Alaris rightly pointed out. Before you ran into the "representative" part of "representative democracy." Now you're running into the "democracy" part.

    Also, I noticed that you don't have the guts to reply to my questions.
    Your last post was full of nothing but irrelevancies. It did not merit a response. I do appreciate this juvenile attempt to bait me though. Jmervyn would have been proud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mixed Variety
    We are supposed to be satisfied with the idea that those politicians we voted to represent us are, in actuality, doing just that. The problem is, it seems that once a rep is hired, their interests turn from those citizens they represent to furthering their own interests and playing the game so they'll keep being voted back in.
    MV, this is contradictory. If a politician keeps getting reelected, how can we say they aren't representing their constituency? By the only real metric they have, the people still want them doing the job they've been doing. Not everything a politician does will reflect the will of any given voter, but it's not supposed to. The question is whether, on aggregate, a politician represents the will of the electorate. If they keep picking him for the job, how can we say he isn't?

  5. #1135
    Quote Originally Posted by Feannag View Post
    The pic's not showing up? It's working fine for me.
    For me it's a dark grey box that says image no longer exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Holtzman View Post
    Of course they are. That asking is in the form of opinion polls, petitions, and protests, as Alaris rightly pointed out. Before you ran into the "representative" part of "representative democracy." Now you're running into the "democracy" part.

    Your last post was full of nothing but irrelevancies. It did not merit a response. I do appreciate this juvenile attempt to bait me though. Jmervyn would have been proud.
    So link me to a poll asking all 300 million Americans about their opinion on Syria, a poll that is legally binding for the government.

    Or for that matter, answer the question whether you would be ok with 1% of the population being allowed to vote for president.

  6. #1136
    Quote Originally Posted by raspberry jam View Post
    So link me to a poll asking all 300 million Americans about their opinion on Syria, a poll that is legally binding for the government.
    Uh... why would I need to do that?

  7. #1137
    Quote Originally Posted by David Holtzman View Post
    Uh... why would I need to do that?
    You claimed that 300 million American's opinion on the invasion of Syria counted. It's the only way you can prove that that is the case.

  8. #1138
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Holtzman View Post
    In this case, I'm not sure there's much middle ground. There isn't a lot of freely available expert military analysis on US prospects in Syria and the results thereof.
    Because the USA has privatized it? I'm sure there's plenty of paid-for available expert military analysis on US prospects in Syria and the results thereof.

    One huge problem with US democracy is that through reduced transparency and junk journalism, the people are effectively kept out of the decision loop. And even if they see through the propaganda and the lies, polls and protests often fail to be effective measures. It's a fight that people need to realize they need to keep fighting if they want to be part of the decision protest - both the fight to get informed, and the fight to have their will enforced.

    That being said, I don't buy the line given by Obama, and I am happy that it looks like it's going into a peaceful resolution (hopefully).

    Quote Originally Posted by David Holtzman View Post
    The question is whether, on aggregate, a politician represents the will of the electorate.
    Agreed, but here's the kicker: I would argue that this depends on the electorate being informed properly, much like there are rules protecting consumers from false advertising. Take for example the politician who convinces people that what he's doing is creating jobs, when in fact he knows full well that what he's doing is destroying jobs while making the super-rich even richer. He might get the votes, and if he's skilled, he might get re-elected a few times too. But I would argue he's not representing the will of the electorate.
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  9. #1139
    Quote Originally Posted by raspberry jam View Post
    You claimed that 300 million American's opinion on the invasion of Syria counted. It's the only way you can prove that that is the case.
    No, it's the only way I can prove to you that it's the case. That's your fatal error: I don't really care if you accept proof or not. Especially not such insipid proof. Honestly, can you even tell the difference between representative and direct democracy? Because you asked for proof derived from the latter as if it said anything about the former.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaris
    Because the USA has privatized it? I'm sure there's plenty of paid-for available expert military analysis on US prospects in Syria and the results thereof.
    Because the US is in the habit of keeping its military projections secret (not private, which refers to non-governmental entities). You could probably buy a think-tank's analysis of the situation, though without access to US intelligence I'm not sure how valuable it would be. Still, if you have a spare million or so lying around and want to commission a study, I would be very interested.

    And even if they see through the propaganda and the lies, polls and protests often fail to be effective measures.
    If they gain enough support they tend to be pretty damn effective. Look at SOPA for a big, recent example. Obviously the low support petitions aren't very effective, but there's no reason to think they should be otherwise.

    He might get the votes, and if he's skilled, he might get re-elected a few times too. But I would argue he's not representing the will of the electorate.
    I think you are probably right about this, but that only shows the system isn't perfect. I think it was Churchill who said that democracy is the worst system of government ever tried except for all the others.

  10. #1140
    Quote Originally Posted by David Holtzman View Post
    MV, this is contradictory. If a politician keeps getting reelected, how can we say they aren't representing their constituency? By the only real metric they have, the people still want them doing the job they've been doing. Not everything a politician does will reflect the will of any given voter, but it's not supposed to. The question is whether, on aggregate, a politician represents the will of the electorate. If they keep picking him for the job, how can we say he isn't?
    Things I've noted are:

    1. Politicians will do the bare minimum required to at least garner an insipid appreciation of their performance, ensuring that lackluster voters will be willing to re-vote them into office, and

    2. They keep getting voted back in not because they're doing a great job representing their constituents, but because the opposition looks even worse.

    3. They're good at lying and making promises to easily swayed voters, e.g. the idealistic young and/or the ignorant. Snake oil gimmicks performed by expert salesmen.


    These are, of course, my own opinions. I've seen the kind of political antics performed by bureaucrats in corporations, and can only imagine big government is even worse.
    mv

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