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whip_lash : democracy   4

Lessons for Democracy in Virginia's Tied Election - Bloomberg
It's a fallacy to believe that "what the people want" is equivalent to "what a majority wants" -- let alone to "how a majority votes," given how hard it is to interpret voters' choices as indicating a preference for specific policies. This is most apparent in very close elections, in which trivial errors tabulating or even casting votes, or minor fluctuations in exactly which voters happened to show up at the polls, change the results.

Enthusiasm for or indifference to candidates and parties is something electoral outcomes are (presumably) supposed to measure. But how many voters had a flat tire that Tuesday, or got the flu, or unexpectedly had to work late, and wound up not voting despite their intention? It's hard not to believe that a large part of what determined the exact outcome was random fluctuation, not the will of the electorate.
politics  democracy 
december 2017 by whip_lash
Revolution U - By Tina Rosenberg | Foreign Policy
Just after the Jan. 25 protests began a 26-page pamphlet called "How to Protest Intelligently" -- authored anonymously, but widely attributed to the April 6 group -- began circulating in Cairo. It laid out the goals of the protests: taking over government buildings, winning over the police and Army, and protecting fellow protesters. It instructed people to carry roses, chant positive slogans, gather in their own neighborhoods, and persuade policemen to change sides by reminding them their own families could be among the protesters. It also gave practical advice on what demonstrators should wear and carry to protect themselves from tear gas and police batons. It suggested that they carry signs reading "Police and People Together Against the Regime."
revolution  revolt  democracy 
february 2011 by whip_lash
Succession in China: Next in line | The Economist
I see children peeing in the lotus pond under the approving gaze of the parent for a good relieving with 100 tourists looking on in the Garden while the public toilet is 50 meters away with clearly marked signs. Young college-looking students jump the queue ahead of me while claiming all the god-given reasons why it is a civilized act. Our own Indian "dalit" looking folks wandering the Wangfujing shopping heaven with spit flying unto many a tourist fragranced face. (Mind you these dalits, if you can call them such, are not hereditary, like their Indian counter-part, they have all the opportunity to educate themselves and climb up the social ladder in a few short years, if so they choose to.)

I dread giving the vote to such folks.

This country is ready for real universal vote only when I camp in the garden for a month and see no public peeing or shitting into the pond.
china  democracy  humor 
october 2010 by whip_lash

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