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The Real Slow Politcal Process Idea  
folder icon   05-27-2009, 01:42 AM
The Real Slow Politcal Process Idea Post #1
Ultra_punk

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As I'm feeling philosophical right now here's one of the many thoughts I was going through tonight.

The political process right now is at a point where a politician is considered good if they don't run attack ads. It is about as effective as saying "Wow you didn't commit murder? You're an upstanding citizen!". Which is of course, my lamenting of the poor campaign tactics exhibited by almost all parties in western democracy. It is not a new strategy of course, the Romans were running attack ads back in the day, it just had a different name.

The concept is simple. The Neutral Party "We don't feel one way or the other about any issue". Actually that's not true, but the idea is just to change the landscape of politics. The best example is state media. CBC (or BBC as a better international example) changes the landscape of journalism and media in its respective countries. For instance, Fox News likes to state that all the 9/11 terrorist came from Canada and Mexico (in reality, none of them did) and that Iraq has/had weapons of mass destruction (in reality, it did not). In the United States, 2/3 of Americans believe at least one of those lies according to a survey done a few years ago. So, why is it in Canada, everybody knows that is wrong but in America they do not? The simple answer is credibility. State media is non-partisan jouranlism, which receives funding irrespective of its findings. CBC is just as willing to slam the Liberal party over the sponsorship scandal as it is to slam the Tories for the recent Cadman bribery attempt (I don't expect non-Canadians to know what issues im talking about), but the point is that they've credibility. Non-state news media has to prove what they say if they run counter to CBC. For instance, right-wing news station CTV isn't going to talk about how the Cadman bribery is nothing but liberal lies because it is unable to prove such a statement because that would be a lie. Due to the credibility of the CBC, CTV has no choice but to report the same news.

The same can be said for the political process. So long as there is a single party capable of running a proper campaign and garnering media attention, major political parties have no choice but to follow suit or lose votes. The only reason attack ads and demagoguery exists is because it is easy to garner votes in such a manner. A police shot a minority kid in a poor working class borough? Use good ole xenophobic reactionary propaganda to gain votes over the issue. Never mind actually solving what the problem was (if there was one).

Say that you had university-style forums:
-Each university decides on its style and inclusiveness
For example, say that University of Waterloo is elitist and only lets experts, professors and other people who have credibility and awarded merit in their fields to join into the discussion but York University lets any ole person into the discussion even if they don't go to the university

-The discussions are public, the questions are known beforehand
The point is to eliminate the hot-seat issue, talking-point answers and personal attacks. You have a somewhat focused question posted long beforehand so that political parties can come up with rational policies with effective forethought.

In quick townhall style or media-crazed question sessions, you effectively have only a limited time, like say an hour, to fire off a half dozen questions each garnering around a few minutes for an answer with little to no follow up. For instance, if asked a question on say "What would you do for the American economy?", and I answered "I will provide jobs for Americans, I will make the tax system better, I will reduce porkbarrelling and I will make the sun rise from the North", that might get a small follow-up from the other guy, "I think your 3% titanium tax doesn't go far enough!"... "Well I think your 3% titanium tax goes too far!"

Basically, you answer a question with your economic policy. If you had nothing but talking points or attack ads, you fail in any sort of follow up.

A: "I think the fundamentals of our economy is strong and we should stay the course"
Q: "Okay, what does staying the course mean? What is the status quo economic policy? How did you determine that the fundamental of our economy is strong?"
A: "I think the Liberal party is stupid."
Q: "You didn't answer any of my questions."
A: "Vote for me, the other guy sucks."
Q: "That doesn't mean anything about what hte status quo eocnomic policy or how our economy is found to be fundamentally strong"

Then there's good ole Obama

Q: "WHat are you going to do about Veteran benefits?"
A: "Well, last month I had the unique opportunity to attend a memorial service for our fallen heroes.... (5 hours later)... and then that's how I will fix America"
Q: "I don't even know what the fuck i asked earlier but obama is awesome"

If there is the opportunity for individuals to see how much better politics can be via a party that deals with it properly then the political field has to change. People will want to hear about not just policy ideas but justifications for it.

Even the most well-respected politicians in today's time have zero justifications for their policies, they're just willing to talk about them in public rather than resort to attack ads. That's not effective political process if there is no vetting process for bad ideas. As it stands, we vote for whatever the hell or just give up and not vote. For one thing, America needs to have a multi-party system and for the rest of western democracies, we need to use the multi-party system more effectively.

If I state that I will lower personal income taxes via the lower two brackets and that's my tax idea, i should have a fair bit of knowledge as to why I'm doing that. Then a forum is formed around tax policies, the question is known aabout a week beforehand. Political parties formulate their ideas and justifications and go into the forum, state their ideas and then proceed to have follow-up analysis. There is a core group of experts in the field watching and listening, posing hard questions.

As an engineer, I had to, with a team of four, design and plan a fourth year design project. Then, after coming up with not just the idea, but with a preliminary design and an implementation roadmap to show that it was feasible and within the constrain resources at our disposal, we show case this to a panel of professors. Then they ask us, what is the social purpose of this? How is it useful? What is the utlity? Are there alternatives that are better? Is it actually possible to do this? Are we wasting or expecting too much resources? I had to do this for a 4th year project that nobody gives a shit about. Our Prime Minister doesn't have to do this but he gets to run our whole fucking country?

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folder icon   05-27-2009, 08:48 PM
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Initially I felt like responding since you interjected a Futurama quote into your argument, yet I feel compelled to expound upon your original philosophy.

While I think it is rather obvious to anyone who would open their eyes to current politics that the current system is messed up, I think it is somewhat more obscured that the political climate follows public attitude.

I feel as the current self-gratification generation encourages only political blather, with no true interest in what results unless it is interesting. Honestly, ask yourself how many people you've talked to about politics who only support a candidate ONLY because they dislike the other's issues. Or they back a politic for this reason or another, but not because this person has excellent qualifications and a well thought out vision.

Before you can expect any change in political climate, I argue that you ultimately need a cultural, if not entirely social change.

Also the comparisons of Canadian journalism and American journalism is unnecessary, everyone knows that American journalism is being run by some sort of political motive be it conservative or liberal. It has always been that way.

And be careful of what which point of journalistic integrity you exalt!

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folder icon   05-29-2009, 01:35 AM
Post #3
Ultra_punk

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Indeed.

Well, actually the intention of the public forum was to convince the public of a better method, not of politicians. Unless people want to have a better government and are shown an avenue to go down to get it, they probably won't do anything. We've a large number of intellectuals, supposedly the strong point of western society, but we're wasting their talent in political decisions because people have fallen into the belief that we don't need experts in power, we need people with sly mouths.

The idea would start slowly but given some media attention, or some kind of public awareness, it can grow. People might read on the news during election time and then see some summarized articles about these things. A percentage of intellectuals in the country can go ahead and read transcripts of forums and see, well hey, these economists believe this about income tax... or perhaps... these doctors believe this about healthcare policy.

Largely, the effect in the long-term is to spread out power further (likely it trickling down mostly to just intellectuals). People can start to say "Hmm... this guy said that he wanted to lower sales tax but most of the forums are saying that our saving rate is low and that would be a bad idea. Why is he still saying something like that if the experts think its stupid?" Right now the only experts you see are hacks for a party, whether they're stating an accurate analysis or not. It also makes it rather easy to mudsling. "Oh the Democrats? They're tax and spend liberals!" (I also require no evidence in order to state this!)

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a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
Urin Bloodface: i know ontario
Urin Bloodface: ive even been to vancover
Posts: 9,387 posposposposposhighposhighpos
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