• wethepeopleofhk

The lesson of Trump: build 'Trump-proof' all party power-sharing democracies

Because of our information technologies (IT) many people in the democratic world have relatively good access to send and receive free speech - so it is not surprising that people are increasingly voicing out and acting more diversely.

The caveat is that our human selves of feelings, ethics, empathy, compassion, inter-dependency, etc. and how 'ourselves' deal with the explosion of information has for many people not kept up with the pace of IT. 2019 we went through a paradigm shift.

Across the board we have to urgently make changes that support our wholistic (holistic) development as human beings growing in awareness and interdependency around the world.

WTPOHK supports, encourages and thanks people like Peter Emerson and all others who are constructively seeking real and lasting changes for humanity on Earth by upgrading the experiment we call 'democracy.'


By Peter Emerson www.deborda.org 10.01.2021

The Achilles heel of western democracy is its dependence on the usually primitive, often divisive, sometimes inaccurate and always Orwellian binary vote.

The two-party system “has perpetrated the most horrid enormities [and] is itself a frightful despotism.” George Washington, farewell address, 1796.

Trump is only the denouement of a divisive polity. He became an all-powerful President, in part because: + majority rule allows so much power to be in the hands of just one, Nixon, Trump, whoever; + indirect Presidential elections, the people and then the Electoral College, both use first-past-the-post fptp, which, in a two-party system, is almost binary, Orwellian even: ‘this candidate’ good, ‘that candidate’ bad; + US politics is binary majority rule, so the winner wins everything and the loser gets nothing; + over the years, the Executive has amassed too much legislative power. ___________________ So what’s wrong? Using simplistic voting procedures; majority voting in decision-making and fptp in elections. Both facilitate the populist. Thinking that a democratic majority opinion can be identified in a majority vote. It cannot, not least because it has to be identified earlier if it is to be already on the ballot paper. Believing the US presidential electoral system is “free and fair.” But the voter who might want to vote for Bernie Sanders, for example, is not “free” to do so. Which is unfair. Pretending that he who wins first the ‘X’ party nomination by 51% and then the vote by 51%, has majority support; but he has only 26% support. Majority voting does not always give a majority verdict. ___________________ So what could be better? In the founding fathers’ electoral system, the winner became the President AND the runner-up became the Vice-President.[i] ⌘ A democratic majority opinion may be identified in a multi-option vote, e.g., - maybe in a plurality vote (as used in the Danish Parliament); and definitely, perhaps, in - a two-round system (as in France and some referendums, e.g., in New Zealand); - an alternative, ranked choice or single-transferable vote av/rcv/stv (as in Australian and, with pr, Irish elections); - a modified Borda count mbc (a form of which is used in Slovenian elections) and - the Condorcet rule. The last two are the only methodologies which take all preferences cast by all into account; they are arguably the most accurate. Furthermore, the mbc is non-majoritarian: it can identify the option with the highest average preference, and an average, of course, involves every member of Congress, not just a majority of them. The mbc is literally an inclusive methodology. If it were the norm, there would be no further justification for binary majority rule; instead, governance could be based on a bi-partisan or even a multi-partisan polity, i.e., all-party power-sharing.[ii] ___________________ The basis of a ‘Trump-proof’ polity could be: ✓ a preferential and proportional electoral system in each state, with a national pr top-up;[iii] ✓ preferential decision-making in Congress, based on free, un-whipped votes; ✓ bi-partisan, multi-partisan power-sharing: so the people elect the Parliament, by pr; and Parliament then elects the Government, by a matrix vote;[iv] ✓ democracy returns to its original concept whereby the Legislature legislates and the Executive executes.

___________________ Peter Emerson Director, the de Borda Institute 36 Ballysillan Road Belfast BT14 7QQ 10.01.2021 www.deborda.org

+44(0)7837717979 References: [i] US Constitution 1787: Art. II, Section I, para 3. [ii] Not unlike the Swiss seven-person Federal Council. [iii] pr-stv (or pr-rcv) is an excellent system; qbs, the Quota Borda System is even more consensual. [iv] A tabular matrix vote would allow every Member of Congress to choose, in order of preference, not only whom they want in the Executive, but also in which portfolio. See http://www.deborda.org/home/2020/3/25/2020-06-matrix-vote-dail-elects-a-cabinet.html In normal politics, the outcome is bound to be proportional.


Please see our other Peter Emerson blogs:

Please see our blogs on referendums:

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