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Carol the Dabbler

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We have the petitions system in Scotland, which allows issues to be brought to parliament.

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2 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Y'know, that's an interesting thought.  Now I'm trying to decide whether I would prefer to have my future decided by some power-hungry sociopath or by a (presumably) random assortment of people who don't give a damn, they just want to get back to their own lives.

Well, unpaid might be a little strong, but certainly only a basic living wage and then the term should only be 6-12 months and they would only ever be allowed to do it once.

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1 hour ago, Sheerluck said:

... only a basic living wage and then the term should only be 6-12 months and they would only ever be allowed to do it once.

You're basically saying that we should draft our lawmakers, right?  In my opinion, the only reason the military draft works at all is that it targets young people, most of whom are still getting their life together.  I'm guessing that your proposal wouldn't be limited to any specific age group, it'd be more like jury selection, so most of those drafted would experience a huge disruption in their lives -- most of them would need to move away from home, just for starters, to the state capital or even Washington.  Their jobs would be interrupted, to say nothing of their family life.  The first thing they'd probably do would be to dismantle the political draft!

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Having worked in government (and yes, it was only local government, but still) I find I still have a kneejerk reaction when elected officials are labelled as being only interested in power. That was never the vibe I got from most of the ones I worked with, or the couple I still work with. What they were interested in … even the ones I heartily disagreed with … was public service, for the most part. I know that's hard for many people to believe (and many people probably think I'm merely naïve) but I still stand by my impression. There's always a few jerks in ANY field, to be sure … but the most power-hungry person I've ever met personally was not a politician but a PR person. (Although no doubt some people think there's not much difference.)

I'm one of those (few?) who would FAR prefer an experienced, professional politician working for me than some ill-informed amateur who doesn't even know what the Constitution says. Oh, wait … that's what we have in the White House now, isn't it? Well then … I rest my case. :D 

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4 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Having worked in government (and yes, it was only local government, but still) I find I still have a kneejerk reaction when elected officials are labelled as being only interested in power. That was never the vibe I got from most of the ones I worked with....

I'm perfectly willing to believe you, at least as regards the local level.  Until you get up to, say, the mayor of a large city, there really isn't much power to be had.

4 hours ago, Arcadia said:

... the most power-hungry person I've ever met personally was not a politician but a PR person....

The two most officious individuals I can remember ever encountering were a small-town cop with a Barney Fife complex and an HR guy (only one letter away from being a PR person!).

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On 12/18/2019 at 2:21 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

But what would you propose as an alternative system?

Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune?  :P 
 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Sheerluck said:

Well, unpaid might be a little strong, but certainly only a basic living wage and then the term should only be 6-12 months and they would only ever be allowed to do it once.

Ancient Athens had a system similar to that, btw: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sortition (there is, in fact, very little new under the sun). No idea how well (or not) that one worked, though, sorry, my Greek is rather rudimentary.

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14 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

You're basically saying that we should draft our lawmakers, right?  In my opinion, the only reason the military draft works at all is that it targets young people, most of whom are still getting their life together.  I'm guessing that your proposal wouldn't be limited to any specific age group, it'd be more like jury selection, so most of those drafted would experience a huge disruption in their lives -- most of them would need to move away from home, just for starters, to the state capital or even Washington.  Their jobs would be interrupted, to say nothing of their family life.  The first thing they'd probably do would be to dismantle the political draft!

Well, it is a rather socialist idea where people know they are working for the good of the whole and accept it and try to make it work. Maybe I've read too much Iain Banks.

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48 minutes ago, Sheerluck said:

... it is a rather socialist idea where people know they are working for the good of the whole and accept it and try to make it work....

I am skeptical of any plan based solely on "working for the common good," with nothing to enforce it.  Even if you start out with a group of dyed-in-the-wool idealists, sooner or later some of them (or failing that, their kids) will unwittingly take more than their share and/or put in less (which is why the Plimoth colony switched to a "work or you don't eat" policy in their second year), or else certain people will decide that the other folks are idiots and therefore need someone (guess who) to tell them what to do.  In either case, there goes your worker's paradise.

I do think an anarchic society could work, if only on a small scale, if it were based on people being responsible for taking care of themselves.  That's kind of how small villages used to work.  Unfortunately, though, I don't see how our current techno-society could survive in a small-scale environment.  Maybe something similar could have arisen in that sort of society, but that's not what we have now, so I suspect we're stuck with a certain amount of government.

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"Stuck with." 😄 

Given the attitudes of many people around here … "I have a gun and I'm not afraid to use it" --- I'm happy to have a government.

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In Germany it's "I have a big over-motorized car that can drive at 250 kmh and I'm not afraid to use it". It feels more and more like German car industry is the pendant to NRA. It's a wonder that the right for speeding isn't written in our Constitution.
But I digress…

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Digress away. It's what we do. :D 

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Most of the benefits of government are taken for granted, I think, and therefore not so obvious as the drawbacks.  And of course the dividing line varies, depending on who's assessing the situation.

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Sorry, have to share it here. I couldn't believe my eyes and double checked that. It's true
US department deletes Wakanda from list of free trade countries
I wonder when DT realizes why he still haven't got an answer re. his Space Force from the Empire. I bet he dreams about being called Darth Trump.

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Wakanda is fine, it still has Zamunda as a trade partner. Bonus points to everyone who recognizes my reference.

 

BTW, I read Boris Johnson finally got the approval he needed to leave the EU, I'm guessing the pro bexit crowd must be really pleased with themselves.

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On 12/19/2019 at 11:30 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Until you get up to, say, the mayor of a large city, there really isn't much power to be had.

Oh, I don't know about that.

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On 12/22/2019 at 9:21 AM, J.P. said:

Sorry, have to share it here. I couldn't believe my eyes and double checked that. It's true
US department deletes Wakanda from list of free trade countries

According to several sources (e.g., Snopes, which is pretty good about verifying what they print), Wakanda had been one item of the test data that was used to check out a feature of the USDA website before it went live online, but when they removed (most of) the test data, Wakanda was somehow left in place.

As someone commented on Twitter, "...using fictional regions for testing purposes is smart; that way. if it goes live, it doesn't matter. The Census uses locations in Atlantis and Lemuria for training."

The Department apparently has a sense of humor -- they recently tweeted "While we removed the Kingdom of Wakanda from our list of US free trade partners, our relationship will always be strong #WakandaForever"

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Yep, read this too. But hey, nobody noticed it's still there. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It's not a scandal, it's rather funny, but somehow fits in the whole picture.

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The thing that a lot of people dreaded has happened, the UK has officially left the EU, now all that needs to be done is to arrange a deal with the EU about trade and and freedom of movement all within a year, and knowing how long it took for the UK to get this far, it will probably take another 4 years for the Brexit to be finished, hurray .

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They are, especially since Scotland is considering holding a second referendum on their independence and Northern Ireland is considering a reunification with Ireland.

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And would Scotland join the EU, you think? Ireland's already a member, right? Something tells me this will not end well.....

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