There are real world examples of success and failure.

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There are real world examples of success and failure.

Post by SaintNuke on Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:19 am

I have a suggestion for anyone who is willing to help research. (TLDR at bottom in bold)

We don't have to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch on any proposal from the declaration. There are real examples of successful and failed systems of every type all over the world. The problem is doing the legwork to find out which systems are the most successful, where their pitfalls are, and what to avoid (judging by failed systems).

Other countries have real working models for success in the areas we'd like to see fixed. There's no reason to ignore the important lessons around us. It would be like building a car from scratch and ignoring a shelf full of books on how to build cars.

Here's an example of countries we can learn from:
1) Education: Finland - Their test scores are the highest in the world.
"Children are actually given very little homework to do. Teachers work about 40% less class hours than US teachers do. Both of these surprised me, but it stands to reason that a happier, friendlier and more effective school environment that does the job well, with less teaching hours and less homework, makes for happier teachers and children."

2) Campaign Finance Reform: Australia, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands - all have over 80% voter participation rate.
Many of them also have what's called "PR" or Proportional Representation.

From accuratedemocracy:

Merits of Proportional Representation

Some merits have been mentioned: PR improves the accuracy, fairness and legitimacy of elections. In the North Carolina case, 4 PR districts of 3 reps each would tend to elect 9 or 10 whites and 2 or 3 blacks.
PR can lessen regionalism because some conservatives can win seats even in the most liberal cities and states.

Women usually win more seats on PR councils than on councils elected by older rules. The U.S. and England, for example, use the ancient plurality rule and only 10% of their reps are women. In contrast, the oldest democracies in Europe use PR rules adopted in the last century and 30% of their reps are women. Nations that use both rules elect more women by PR than by plurality.

Why? Because most parties nominate some women in each PR district to attract particular voters. A party that offers an all-male slate of nominees looks corruptly sexist. But one man campaigning in each one-winner district does not look as sexist. A PR party's slate also may reveal any ethnic or religious bias.

In a multi-winner district, a woman is not seen as running against a man or against an incumbent. She is likely to be seen as running for her issues and policies.

Women in some PR countries considered starting their own parties. Under plurality rules, new parties divide a side and lead to certain defeat. But PR promptly gives seats to a new party supported by a large minority. This reasonable threat forced the old liberal parties to decide that political experience was not as important as gender balance. They dropped some experienced men to make room for women on their lists of nominees. And they won. They are now incumbents with experience, power and allies.

Inclusive rules elect a broad variety of reps and thus invite a wide range of candidates and issues, attracting a great turnout of voters -- Australians see 90% vote compared with the USA's 50%. Turnout is high also because 83% of the voters help pick the winners.

(The quota for five majority winners is just 50% of each district and thus 50% overall. So at least half of U.S. votes are wasted on winner surpluses or on losers; they do not affect the results. The share of votes needed to win a Senate seat in Australia is only 16.7% for each of five seats; 5 × 16.7% = 83.5%. So in Australia, five ballots out of six are “effective”. That means it turns one of the voter's choices into a rep. High turnouts prove that Australia's ranked ballots are easy and worthwhile.)

Turnout for many U.S. primaries is only 20%. Most voters ignore primaries. But later, many feel the two finalists offer little choice. Indeed, in the “safe seat” districts drawn to favor the liberal or conservative party, there is no choice; that party's nominee is certain to win.

Some forms of PR combine the primary with the general election: Each party offers more nominees than it can elect and voters in the general election decide which nominees are best. A liberal rep must compete against similar reps and challengers for the favor of liberal voters. This lets voters have real choices.

These are just two examples of other countries paving the way with functional, and extremely effective REAL WORLD WORKING MODELS for success. We don't need to hammer each other over details when all we have to do is see if we can find living models for our ideas, and their successes and failures.

Those of us interested in a certain topic come together and research what makes OTHER COUNTRIES so successful in these fields. Perhaps contact people in those systems as advisers to help us shape meaningful, effective changes. Every topic could have a "lessons learned in other countries" thread, where can critique and build.


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Join date : 2011-10-19
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