[LINK] Direct-Technocratic Party

Birch, Jim Jim.Birch at dhhs.tas.gov.au
Tue Aug 31 10:22:55 AEST 2010

> Put very simply, the DTPA would be a political party that features
policy determined by a weighted direct democratic system. You vote on
the issues you are the most knowledgeable about or which you have some
stake in.

As I see it, there's no clear method for determining which members of
the public are qualified to vote unless you require a formal
qualification of expertise.  (Which, mind you, I'd be just about willing
to go with.)

This proposal suffers from the classic unsubstantiated conceit of
democracy, that things will be great if we could only make choices about
them.  The primary problem with this proposal is voter stupidity; the
second major problem is that it would be taken over in minutes by
special interest groups who are typically self-interested and dishonest,
and often stupid as well.

Surely, the object of the political system should be to make good
decisions, not to offer people relentless choices about things they
don't understand (so they respond emotionally.)  If you think about our
great institutions - eg, the independent court system, the education
system, universities, CSIRO - you will notice that they have a firstly a
prosocial mission and tradition, and, secondly, that they are allowed to
apply their expertise without every idiot putting in their 2 cents.
Suppose CSIRO's research agenda was set by a public vote, or interest
rates were set by voters: it wouldn't work.  Independent bodies - like
central banks, courts, and the like - can't be guaranteed to always make
good decisions but they are a dead cert to make better decisions more
reliably than Joe Average in TV land.  Democratic oversight is desirable
but extreme democracy is a recipe for disaster. 

We are all programmed with the belief "I know better than you" by our
biology, but that doesn't make it true, it just makes it seem true.

- Jim

Further reading, funny or scary: Greetings from Idiot America

or, in short form, there's the H L Mencken quote:

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and
more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious
day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last
and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.


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