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Jan 27, 2012                   

Democracy-plan: Educated democratic voting

I made some changes on the site around the opening pages and then undid them again for the most part. If you have trouble with the opening pages, either I made a mistake or you were familiar with the previous one. Well... more changes to follow, perhaps visibly so. On the moment, you should not notice much of a difference.

I have a brief continuation of the previous Nederlog:

1. Democracy-plan: Educated democratic voting
2. Guiccardini quoted

1. Democracy-plan: Educated democratic voting

This continues yesterday's

     - Democracy-plan: Mark Twain was there first (and better)

which includes a nice short story by Mark Twain on voting principles. I ended myself on this note:

The main practical problem is how to get a system where the votes of the competent are more important than the votes of the incompetent, and how to make that a fair system that also does not allow its own dictators to be elected democratically.

There are no obviously valid answers, but the current system of one-man-one-vote is obviously fit for getting Hitlers and Mussolinis elected by democratic majority, and therefore not fit for maintaining and furthering a civilized society or for electing intellectually and morally competent governors of various kinds.

Now here is a simple plan for educated democratic voting:

In theory:

Here is the theory - which is neither intricate nor mathematically difficult:

Assume that each year of finished education - that one may in fact take two or three years to complete, or maybe half, if one is a good student - counts as 1.
Establish the numbers of all the adults in the society who completed k years: One gets groups consisting of #A1 - the number of A1 adults with 1 year of completed education - and so on till #An
- the number of An adults with n years of completed education.
All in all there will be #A = #A1 + ... + #An adults and one can now calculate the proportional numbers of each group in the total population of adults thus: a1= #A1/#A and so on till an=#An/#A.
Now multiply each vote of any member of any group Ai with 1:ai aka the weight of education: This is the voting power that any member with Ai years of education has, simply by reference to the years of completed education of that member. It is the inverse of the proportional number of people in the society of the class of years of education he belongs to.

One way of simplifying this is to consider all adults in any case starting at 1, corresponding to the minimal education everybody in the society must take, and start counting the years from there. (See Mark Twain.)

An example:

Suppose there are 10 classes, with 0 to 9 years of completed education on top of the basic education that makes one's vote 1. Suppose the proportional numbers, from low to high are these:

a1=15, a2=15, a3=15, a4=15, a5=10, a6=10, a7=10, a8=3, a9=2 a10=1
2=v3=v4=6.66,  v5=v6=a7=10,  v8=33.33, v9=50, v10=100.

In US terms the a1 level might correspond to those who finished high school; the a7 level to those with college; the a8 with a B.A.; the A9 with a M.A. and the a10 to those with a Ph.D. - but this is just remarked for illustrative purposes: In the end what counts are years of completed education.

It follows that one who was best educated - 10 years of education after what everyone got - gets under the schema presented and with the numbers assumed a vote which is 16 times as much worth as those who got 1 to 4 years extra education, but only twice as much as one who completed a year less in education than the best educated.

But then from the way the schema was set up, each group has an equal proportional weight as each other group, in the total number of votes in this system (where one voter can vote in for 1 or for more votes, depending on his or her years of completed education), and so the lowly educated have collectively as much voting power by voting as the highly educated, though indeed the better educated have more votes and thus more personal influence than the less well educated.

Then again, those with more votes are those with better education, and if the education the society provides is any good, it must be considered good, on the whole, if the numerically fewer better educated get more personal influence through voting than the numerically more numerous who have less education.

Note that the problem is not to get a supposedly "fair" system, for any system one can think of will be fair in some respects, unfair in others, (1 man 1 vote is fair to the egoism of the average, but unfair to the interests of the average themselves or to the interests of their children, namely to have good governors, rather than clever crooked ones, for example). In fact, the problem is to find a voting system that gives everybody some voice in who will govern society, but without thereby making the effective majority of the votes those of the uneducated, the ignorant and the easily deceived, and also it is well note that the rationale for giving more weight to the votes of the better educated is that in the end it is in the interest of all if the best men and the best plans have a realistic chance of being elected to govern - which they do not have in the 1 man, 1 vote kinds of elective democracies, for there the majority tends to vote for plans and for men they have do not the knowledge or wit to judge properly, and thus what sounds fair - 1 men, 1 vote - tends to give unfair advantage to the rich or to the corrupt, who will buy popularity or who will cleverly deceive the majority.

2. Guiccardini quoted

Indeed, on a personal note: I would be willing to vote on this schema, but have refused to vote since 1971, when voting ceased to compulsory in Holland, because I did not want to engage in a hypocritical ritual where my own vote was weighted away by stadiums full of hardly educated soccer fans, who voted for the political careerists with the most appealing propaganda and lies.

George Carlin explains why he does not vote (Youtube 4.20)

Or as Guiccardini - a good friend of Machiavelli - put it in his "History of Italy" ("Storia Italia"), first published in 1560, on occasion of a schema akin to "one man one vote" being strongly recommended by some in Florence, in the year 1495 AD:

"Guidantonio Vespucci, a famous lawyer and a man of remarkable intelligence and skill, spoke as follows:

'If, most worthy citizens, a government organized in the manner proposed (..) produced the desired results as easily as they are described, it would certainly be perverse of anyone to wish for any other form of government for our country. It would be a wicked civilian who did not passionately love a form of republic in which the virtues, merits and abilities of men were organized above all else.

But I do not understand how one can hope that a system placed entirely in the hands of the people  can be full of such benefits.

For I know that reason teaches, experience shows and the authority of wise men confirms that in so great a multitude there is not to be found such prudence, such experience and such discipline as to lead us to expect that the wise will be preferred to the ignorant, the good to the bad, and the experienced to those who have never handled any affairs whatever.

For as one cannot hope for sound judgement from an unlearned and inexperienced judge, so from a people full of confusion and ignorance one cannot except - except by chance - a prudent and reasonable election or decision.

Are we to believe that an inexpert, untrained multitude made up of such a variety of minds, conditions and customs, and entirely absorbed in their own personal affairs, can distinguish and understand what in public government wise men, thinking of nothing else, find difficult to understand?

Quite apart from the fact that each person's self-conceit will lead them all to desire honours - and it will not be enough for men to in the popular government to enjoy the honest fruits of liberty - they will all aspire to the highest posts and to take part in the decisions on the most difficult and important matters.

In us less than in any other city there rules the modesty of giving way to the man who knows best or who has the most merit.

But if we persuade ourselves that we must be by right all equal in all things, the proper positions of virtue and ability will be confused when it rests with the judgments of the multitude.

And this greed spreading to the majority will ensure that the most powerful will be those who know and deserve least; for as they are more numerous, they will have more power in a state organized in such a way that opinions are merely numbered and not weighed.'"

Actually, what Verspucci missed - or feigned not to see: he did belong to the ruling Úlite of Florence - was that under such a schema it will  not be "the many" who will rule, because "the many" never rule, except through representatives, but those will rule, usually and normally, who most successfully courted "the many" by deceptions and false promises, and thus got elected as their representatives - by the many who are not well able to judge, but do have the majority in any schema where one man has one vote, regardless of his personal merits and qualifications.

The above mathematical schema of educated democratic voting is a way to measure votes simultaneously by weight and by number: one's vote gets a weight proportional to one's education.


Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.


As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):
1.  Anthony Komaroff Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)
3.  Hillary Johnson The Why
4.  Consensus of M.D.s Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5.  Eleanor Stein Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)
6.  William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7.  Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8.  Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
 Maarten Maartensz Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Short descriptions of the above:                

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:

7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
9. I tell my story of surviving (so far) in Amsterdam/ with ME.
10. The directory on my site about ME.

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.

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