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2 Pages<12
What is Democracy?
tycho
#21 Posted : Saturday, November 19, 2016 2:22:39 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 6,555
Location: Nairobi
masukuma wrote:
Swenani wrote:
Democracy is electing the least popular guy among the poor but the most popular guy among the rich

To a hammer all problems look like nails! What we have is democracy in it's rawest form... it's called WINNER TAKES ALL or FIRST PAST THE POST. in the long run, First past the post always ends up with a two party system. A system driven by hate for the other guy/party. In Kenya that is bound to happen soon. People are already congregating around 2 parties and any 3rd party is considered a 'spoiled vote' - you may actually like the guy (KARUA for me in 2013) but you start thinking... how will @hardwood vote? and thus you change your vote driven not by liking Karua but by hating who @hardwood will vote for. We end up with akina dida not running or karua, Kiyapi, mudavadi and Kenneth being mezwad


There are alternative systems out there... especially in Europe! they have been able to hack this problem. there is the altenative vote (AV) system. Where people vote for more than one candidate. So you get a ballot and you rank them and state who is your number 1, number 2, number 3... upto the point you want. you can do only one or you can rank all the candidates. this is called the Alternative Vote. think of it as an instant run off - the rule is that you must have majority to win (50+1 in our case) and so @swenani likes Karua and can tolerate Raila. he puts 1 on Karua and 2 on Raila. when no one gets to 50%+1 - the voters who voted for the lowest ranked person (say Kiyapi) get examined and we deduce who they voted for as no. 2. if it's Raila - they are all added to Rao and if Rao gets to 50%+1 - he becomes president... instant run off!


The third system is the single transferable vote (STV) - in this system there are no primaries. Parties can have multiple candidates on the ballot. So JP can have Sonko, Wanjiru, Waititu, Kenneth e.t.c. and CORD can have Kisia and Kidero and Miguna would run as an independent. in a first past the post - JP would have "haribud Kura" by having multiple candidates on the ballot and Kidero would pita katikati yao. however the STV has an element of the Alternative vote (AV) where you must get to a threshold to get elected. if no one gets to that threshold the greatest loosers votes are caniblaized by their second choices. We end up with people who we really like or at least we had on our ballots.


there are other systems propotional representation systems - especially for parliamentary systems,


here is the mixed member propotional systems


All voting systems are equivalent in that they all confirm Arrow's 'Impossibilty theorem'.

kaka2za
#22 Posted : Saturday, November 19, 2016 2:23:03 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 10/3/2008
Posts: 2,270
Location: Gwitu
What we call elections in Kenya are more of tribal census than democracy
masukuma
#23 Posted : Saturday, November 19, 2016 4:37:07 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 10/4/2006
Posts: 10,812
Location: Nairobi
kaka2za wrote:
What we call elections in Kenya are more of tribal census than democracy

What we have is democracy driven by ethnic consensus.
https://migunamiguna.com/ MAke Nairobi Great Again #MANGA #TeamMigunaMiguna #DrainNairobiSwamp 💪💪💪💪💪💪💪
tycho
#24 Posted : Wednesday, January 11, 2017 7:34:21 AM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 6,555
Location: Nairobi
An election decision appears to have at least two components: an idea/ideas to be implemented, and the people to implement those ideas.

But when we're voting we tend to impute the idea(s) needed to one person who then invites other persons to the implementation phase without these other people being voted for by the people.

To me this is problematic. Firstly, it's not optimal to expect that the best idea(s) for the body politic are partisan or even can come out of a single person. The creation of ideas is more dynamic and exacting than that.

Would it then be better if citizens first interacted with possible ideas and solutions they need, vote for a set of ideas, then after that people/politicians can form their preferred teams and present themselves and the teams as the proposed implementers of the chosen ideas?
Wakanyugi
#25 Posted : Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:15:37 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 7/3/2007
Posts: 1,122
masukuma wrote:
kaka2za wrote:
What we call elections in Kenya are more of tribal census than democracy

What we have is democracy driven by ethnic consensus.


Has it ever been different?

We just saw the Rednecks clan of the White tribe vote in their own in Amerika. As long as people tend to support 'their own' politics will always be tribal - any sanitising semantics not withstanding.
"Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you." (Marianne Williamson)
masukuma
#26 Posted : Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:47:21 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 10/4/2006
Posts: 10,812
Location: Nairobi
Wakanyugi wrote:
masukuma wrote:
kaka2za wrote:
What we call elections in Kenya are more of tribal census than democracy

What we have is democracy driven by ethnic consensus.


Has it ever been different?

We just saw the Rednecks clan of the White tribe vote in their own in Amerika. As long as people tend to support 'their own' politics will always be tribal - any sanitising semantics not withstanding.

it's always been by congregations of people. humans are interesting beings - we can compute lot's of stuff but our brains prefer heuristics. these are like shortcuts. let me give you an example - when in a foreign country and you are walking in an all white country what happens when you see an african brother walking in your direction? you at least give him the "nod" and a smile and if the last african you saw was on the plane leaving Kenya 2 months ago - you will stop and say 'hi!'. Akiwa mkenya? you will feel like you struck the motherlode! it won't matter where he is from in Kenya - that guy says 'i recommend this restaurant - it has great food'. I bet $1000 you will go to the refered restaurant! why? coz we have a heuristic that runs in us that tells us - this guy is from the same setting i am from and he knows my concerns and what i may like. Akiwa mTanzania? you will struggle to correct your swahili as much as you can. you will find yourself calling him 'kaka' e.t.c. why? because inately we believe these people may know our needs better that the random white faces. I have found myself hanging out with african americans in a 3rd country coz we share something... as soon as i discover a continental african - i move hata kama ni west african. an east african? you do the same!!
\the debate on 'manual' and 'electronic' is the same - people ask themselves (subconsciously), i really don't understand this BUT WHAT IS FULANI WA FULANI SAYING ABOUT THIS? wanakufa huko! voting is the same! we run heuristics!

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Wakanyugi
#27 Posted : Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:57:50 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 7/3/2007
Posts: 1,122
tycho wrote:
Wakanyugi wrote:
tycho wrote:
Wakanyugi wrote:
tycho wrote:
Wakanyugi wrote:
Lolest! wrote:
Or rather how do you determine a country is democratic or not?

US have had their Trump elections. Loser of the popular vote is declared winner. Yaani, the minority have decided for the majority.

In UK, the High Court has ruled that the Brexit referendum is only advisory. Parliament will be the final decision making organ. Not the people. And yes, they could decide to stay in EU!

Me thinks hakuna demokrasia Brito na Stato!


There has never been a pure democracy anywhere on Earth. Even the Athenian version, hailed as direct democracy, only permitted freemen to vote (no slaves or women).

That said, in my opinion, a system that allows majority will to prevail, no matter how flawed, is an acceptable definition of democracy. Thus the UK and US are not perfect democracies but in both cases the will of the majority prevails, even when the decisions (as in Brexit, Trump etc) are clearly objectionable.

The European version, on the other hand, is the real joke. If Brexit had been a European plebiscite, they would have forced the British to vote again until they came up with the desired result.


@Wakanyugi, are you a 'Platonist' by any chance?


Only up to a point. As in for instance, the belief that most of what we call reality is abstract and immutable - existing beyond the spcetime frame of reference - yet still objectively perceivable by those who desire to 'know.' That I believe.

As for leadership, Plato favored the idea of philosopher Kings, whose role was partly to modify poor decisions that the plebeian hordes may make in the practice of democracy. According to him it would have made sense for US/UK leaders to reverse the recent Brexit/Trump decisions seeing as they are likely to be harmful to a large majority, including those who voted for them. Ayn Rand would agree.

As for me, I say with Achebe "the will of the people is the will of God" and democracy includes the right to be wrong.


My question about Plato is mostly directed to your first paragraph in your response. It's related to 'forms' and in this case one would infer that 'democracy' is a form out there that is accessible in varying degrees.

@Lolest also seems to have similar sentiments.

I suspect that formism is outdated or untrue and probably the question posed by @Lolest is not properly stated...


In that case yes, you could say I am a Platonista. Where he uses the term 'form' I use 'pattern' - same difference.

The discussion we are having would seem to indicate that formism is not outdated at all

Democracy is an ideal in conceptual form - more real in our mind than outside it. Our frustration with the concept comes largely from the difficulty we have in reproducing it into the perceptual world of space and time, human relations and other 'imperfections' that attend Earthly reality.

But Plato would also say that the it is not in realizing democracy that we achieve greatness but rather in the striving towards the unattainable. The effort is more important than the reward.


How do things get outdated? When their usefulness is depleted, not when their names are 'unuttered'. So talk about forms doesn't make forms relevant, at least in practical conduct.

Your last paragraph is about Plato being a champion of fantasy. And that, he recommends fantasy, or action driven by fantasy. Why? Because one kind of fantasy is better than another?

There must be a way that goes beyond fantasy.In making democracy a fantasy, and insisting that it's also not a fantasy, is a ridiculous position.



I will assume that by fantasy you mean 'imagined'

All that we call reality is fantasy. That includes the wall you are sitting on or the chair you are looking at. You can imagine it different and you often do. In fact that is how you create your reality.

Therefore taking the democratic idea from 'ideal' to 'reality' simply means perceiving the same fantasy from one frame of reference to another. The frames may be different, making the paintings enclosed within look different, but they are the same.

So why does 'reality' often look so different from the imagined? One reason is we tend to imagine things sans time. Let me explain:

Lets us say you are in love. When you think about the girl you love what do you see? Perfection, completion - the object of you imagination in all her glory, all grown up and tastefully dressed I assume. But the truth is there is no such a being. Your imagination misses the entire 'messy' process of growth and development that has brought the girl you love to this point in time where you idolize her. A process that is still going on.

Same with democracy. In our mental frame democracy is perceived as complete while in the 3D frame it is still becoming. But it is the same thing, only seen from different frames of reference.
"Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you." (Marianne Williamson)
Wakanyugi
#28 Posted : Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:33:55 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 7/3/2007
Posts: 1,122
masukuma wrote:
Wakanyugi wrote:
masukuma wrote:
kaka2za wrote:
What we call elections in Kenya are more of tribal census than democracy

What we have is democracy driven by ethnic consensus.


Has it ever been different?

We just saw the Rednecks clan of the White tribe vote in their own in Amerika. As long as people tend to support 'their own' politics will always be tribal - any sanitising semantics not withstanding.

it's always been by congregations of people. humans are interesting beings - we can compute lot's of stuff but our brains prefer heuristics. these are like shortcuts. let me give you an example - when in a foreign country and you are walking in an all white country what happens when you see an african brother walking in your direction? you at least give him the "nod" and a smile and if the last african you saw was on the plane leaving Kenya 2 months ago - you will stop and say 'hi!'. Akiwa mkenya? you will feel like you struck the motherlode! it won't matter where he is from in Kenya - that guy says 'i recommend this restaurant - it has great food'. I bet $1000 you will go to the refered restaurant! why? coz we have a heuristic that runs in us that tells us - this guy is from the same setting i am from and he knows my concerns and what i may like. Akiwa mTanzania? you will struggle to correct your swahili as much as you can. you will find yourself calling him 'kaka' e.t.c. why? because inately we believe these people may know our needs better that the random white faces. I have found myself hanging out with african americans in a 3rd country coz we share something... as soon as i discover a continental african - i move hata kama


Very good argument

So my question is: why do we waste so much energy demonizing a universal human trait? For instance a common narrative used to demonize Kikuyus is that they vote only their own. Who doesn't? In fact even those who don't vote their tribe do (always the first choice) will defer to the next best alternative that promises to meet their needs.

And by the way I think this tribal trait is more than a heuristic. More like an evolutionary survival mechanism. A hold over from a time when wondering too far from the cave or failing to identify your own in a mixed group meant a high risk of becoming past tense.





"Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you." (Marianne Williamson)
hardwood
#29 Posted : Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:53:04 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/28/2015
Posts: 3,256
This is democracy according to USA.


Hillary 65,844,954 votes (48.2%)
Trump 62,979,879 votes (46.1%)

Hillary led by 2.9 million votes but that doesn't matter in the leading democracy in the world.
#Awiti4Governor001 www.awiti001.com
Wakanyugi
#30 Posted : Wednesday, January 11, 2017 7:10:07 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 7/3/2007
Posts: 1,122
hardwood wrote:
This is democracy according to USA.


Hillary 65,844,954 votes (48.2%)
Trump 62,979,879 votes (46.1%)

Hillary led by 2.9 million votes but that doesn't matter in the leading democracy in the world.



It is a perverse system for sure where the looser is declared the winner.

But no more perverse than Kenya yetu hii, where a fellow who lost by almost 800,000 votes last time still sings that he won. Democracy is what you say it is.
"Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you." (Marianne Williamson)
2012
#31 Posted : Wednesday, January 11, 2017 7:35:07 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 12/9/2009
Posts: 4,298
Wakanyugi wrote:
hardwood wrote:
This is democracy according to USA.


Hillary 65,844,954 votes (48.2%)
Trump 62,979,879 votes (46.1%)

Hillary led by 2.9 million votes but that doesn't matter in the leading democracy in the world.



It is a perverse system for sure where the looser is declared the winner.

But no more perverse than Kenya yetu hii, where a fellow who lost by almost 800,000 votes last time still sings that he won. Democracy is what you say it is.



Boss, ni hallucinations ama?
You are right, baba lost by 800,000 and he is not President.

Criticism is the fuel that drives winners forward
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