17
   

A MODEST PROPOSAL

 
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2021 08:46 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

And that reflects the anti-democratic premise by Trump and many of his supporters that some citizens' votes are worth more than others - contrary to the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment.


If mail-in ballots made it more likely for Trump to win the election... I bet everyone here would be ranting about how "anti-democratic" they are.
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2021 09:01 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
If mail-in ballots made it more likely for Trump to win the election... I bet everyone here would be ranting about how "anti-democratic" they are.
I can only imagine that this, too, would be solely due to the fact that in the US you can practically only vote between parties.
I just applied for my ballot papers for our federal election on 29 September - every party here is advertising to vote ... also and especially by post (or early voting).
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2021 09:22 am
@Walter Hinteler,
There are pros and cons of each system.

You don't get to vote directly for your head of state. You vote for a party (rather than for a person). We have the electoral system (which is no longer the check on democracy that it was designed to be).

I voted for Joe Biden, by name... and I had the option of voting for Republican representatives at the same time.

If it were my choice, I would get rid of the electoral college and decide the president by popular vote. This would make us even less like Germany.
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2021 09:30 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
You vote for a party (rather than for a person).
We vote for a person with our first vote and for a party with our second - that's a system of personalised proportional representation.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2021 09:41 am
@Walter Hinteler,
My understanding is that the National Government, and the Chancellor, in Germany are chosen by elected representatives. The popular vote doesn't matter in choosing the government (other than choosing the representatives).

You have an equivalent of our electoral college, but on steroids. Your chosen representatives can vote for whatever Chancellor they want without your input.

You cast votes for MP (your local representative) and for Party. You don't cast a vote for Chancellor. The Federal government is chosen for you.

Am I wrong?
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2021 09:58 am
@maxdancona,
Well, we receive a deceptively simple ballot with two choices — one for a district representative and one for a party.
The first vote or "Erststimme" for the district representative, follows a first-past-the-post system like elections in the United States. The voter selects his or her favorite candidate to represent their district in the parliament. Every candidate who wins one of Germany's 299 constituencies — one constituency for 250,000 inhabitants — is guaranteed a seat.
(I'm leaving out the so-called "'overhang' seats" but just mention the 5 percent hurdle: in order for a party to enter the Bundestag, it has to win at least 5 percent of the second vote.

The federal chancellor is the head of the federal government. (The head of state is the federal president, who's elected by the federal assembly.)
The new federal parliament must convene for the first time no later than one month after the vote.The top candidate from the party that wins the most votes usually manages to forge a coalition by that time.
The federal president then presents this person as candidate for federal chancellor, who the newly-elected members of parliament then approve in a secret ballot.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2021 10:17 am
@Walter Hinteler,
My point is that my vote for Joe Biden is closer to direct democracy (at least on the Federal level) than your votes for a "district representative" and a party.

There are pros and cons to both system. But a popular vote for the head of state (getting rid of the intermediary) is attractive to me.

As I said, I would get rid of the electoral college in the US. A change would to the German system would be a move in the opposite direction (something that wouldn't interest me).

I like to be able to cast a direct vote for the head of state.
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2021 10:29 am
@maxdancona,
We don't have a system where the president is the head of state and the head of government.

The German federal parliament the federal representative body that is directly elected by the German people.
And who's got the majority of votes elects the chancellor.


As for voting our head of state (which has nothing to do with the federale election and electing the chancellor as head of government), we'll perhaps get a change of constitution in some time allowing such.
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2021 10:44 am
@Walter Hinteler,
My state's Prime Minster ("Ministerpräsident") is the head of state and government - and e elected by the state parliament, too.
We have one vote for this "personalized proportional representation".
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2021 10:53 am
@Walter Hinteler,
I vote for my State's governor directly. It is direct democracy in its purest form, the candidate with the greatest popular vote wins.

I live in Massachusetts. As a state, we support the Democratic party by a large margin. We have voted for a Republican presidential candidates only 2 times out of the 20 elections in the past 80 years.

However, we have a Republican governor who has an approval rating of over 70%, one of the most popular governors in the country.

I think that direct democracy has served my state pretty well.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2021 11:04 am
@maxdancona,
I'm not opposed to our proportional representation system at all - it translates votes cast into seats won. And it facilitate minority parties’ access to representation.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2021 07:04 am
@maxdancona,
And your idea of far left is anyone who doesn’t want paedophiles shooting up their schools and supports UHC.

You’re a far right white supremacist and you’re not fooling anyone.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2021 07:56 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

And your idea of far left is anyone who doesn’t want paedophiles shooting up their schools and supports UHC.

You’re a far right white supremacist and you’re not fooling anyone.


You are so silly, Izzy... (Max giggles coquettishly)

Izzy is flirting with me again.

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2021 07:58 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

I'm not opposed to our proportional representation system at all - it translates votes cast into seats won. And it facilitate minority parties’ access to representation.


As I said, there are pros and cons for each system. The electoral college in the US is sort of the same idea, sometimes the minority party can even win the presidency.

There is something elegant about direct democracy...

Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2021 08:07 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
The electoral college in the US is sort of the same idea, sometimes the minority party can even win the presidency.
I didn't mean the minority of just two parties here.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2021 08:10 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

There is something elegant about direct democracy...
I saw a bit about, in the only country where it is (in a very few places) done, namely in Switzerland: Landsgemeinde
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2021 08:10 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Good luck trying to explain PR to Max.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2021 08:19 am
@Walter Hinteler,
My point is this.

Direct democracy would mean that each voter would indicate who she would like to run the federal government (either the Chancellor or the President or any other executive head of any other government).

If you read American history, our founding fathers were afraid of direct democracy. It puts too much power into the hands of uneducated people (i.e. the common rabble). That is why we put a layer of elected representatives to stand between the voters and the power to choose a government.

I don't know German political history. But I imagine it is the same.

You don't have the power to cast a direct vote to indicate who you want running the federal government. I don't either... but the US system comes closer.

When I voted

1) I filled in an oval marked "Joe Biden/Kamala Harris" on my ballot.
2) I had the option to split my ballot between two parties. I could have voted for Joe Biden (the Democratic candidate for president) and still voted for the Republican candidate for Senate.

I think the second of these abilities, the ability to split a ballot, is actually a useful feature of the American system.

As I said, I favor getting rid of the electoral college and having a true direct democracy when it comes to electing a president. I don't favor the German system which puts more separation between the voter and the federal government.



maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2021 08:20 am
@izzythepush,
Izzy dear.... the grown-ups are talking now.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2021 08:26 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Direct democracy would mean that each voter would indicate who she would like to run the federal government (either the Chancellor or the President or any other executive head of any other government).
Unfortunately, I did not consider your singular definition but had the generally accepted one of science in mind.
 

 
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