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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    Yeah, but like I said, I'm mostly a supporter of democracy. Most of what I can think of to "fix" it will be trying to brace up and bandage the dying corpse of democracy.

    I'm questioning if that support is justifiable, looking forward, but I don't have an easy answer for what else to turn to. I don't have the answers, here, I'm just stating I'm open to being part of the conversation on the topic.
    My edit was too slow, but I think some of your fixes are bad. For historical reasons, mostly. But also human nature. Just as an example: Immunity for politicians doing something while executing their office as part of their charge of the office is important. An easy example is the politician that blatantly lies to a committee about some top secret mission where agents' lives are still at stake and/or it's in the public interest that the committee doesn't find out about what's going on right at that time. Removing immunity for false testimony would absolutely lead to very awkward situations.

    It's one thing where I'm not on board with the hyper transparency train we're riding in Germany. To some degree too much transparency can actually turn you from an asset to your allies into a liability for your allies. We do not want that.

    Just as an example, you bring up a lot of stuff and I have a lot of reasons to go into, but that would probably exceed the confines of this thread. Feel free to open up a thread where we can discuss democracy fixes and/or a possible replacement, however. I think that topic comes up all the time and it wouldn't hurt seeing if a thread sticks to collect it.
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  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    I have a couple theories competing for attention in my head. I'll just briefly list them here in no special order:

    1. People are bored and like drama. This comes from a general feeling of "We're actually doing too well, people lose the fundamentals out of sight and start focusing on dumb shit."
    This seems to describe the US quite accurately. I can't say if it also holds in EU.

    In the Middle East, after we took out Hussein, we COULD have done the boring thing and just rebuilt the country, which is one of the things I agree with about PC2. Except, as President Bush said "We don't do nation building.". Nation building is boring. Military confrontation is dramatic. Our TV shows and movies are filled with dramatic violence. Disney is adding R rated content - absolutely no sex, just more and more brutal violence. Blacklist is a movie where torture is common, and the expected result is that after you torture someone and get the information you want from him, the next step is to basically execute him.

    Dramatic violence is valued a LOT. Building up cities is valued quite a bit less. We DO have HGTV which has shows about flipping houses, which basically entails taking a run down house and rebuilding it and making it beautiful and valuable. We DO have the cooking channel that talks about how to make good food. But mostly we have dramatic shows that are quite violent.

    Wanna write a beautiful love story? Figure out a way to make the characters engage in violent combat with lots of bad guys, and include the love story in between the violence.

    In another thread, Rasulis I think it was talked about things that California has done to reduce water usage, and by quite a bit. Each individual project did a little piece of the total effort. Totally boring, exactly zero media discussion or credit.

    And the focusing on dumb shit is also very appropriate. This has been discussed to death for years, and is sort of a corollary of the first statement.

  3. #23
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    My edit was too slow, but I think some of your fixes are bad. For historical reasons, mostly. But also human nature. Just as an example: Immunity for politicians doing something while executing their office as part of their charge of the office is important. An easy example is the politician that blatantly lies to a committee about some top secret mission where agents' lives are still at stake and/or it's in the public interest that the committee doesn't find out about what's going on right at that time. Removing immunity for false testimony would absolutely lead to very awkward situations.
    I disagree that they need to be able to lie. A refusal to answer is all that's required, generalized enough to make it non-specific; the committee asks about a mission, and you give them the "Neither I nor my office will comment on any ongoing missions to confirm or deny any particulars, not unless we're in a closed session and everyone in-session has clearance. Asking the question is inappropriate."

    It's one thing where I'm not on board with the hyper transparency train we're riding in Germany. To some degree too much transparency can actually turn you from an asset to your allies into a liability for your allies. We do not want that.

    Just as an example, you bring up a lot of stuff and I have a lot of reasons to go into, but that would probably exceed the confines of this thread. Feel free to open up a thread where we can discuss democracy fixes and/or a possible replacement, however. I think that topic comes up all the time and it wouldn't hurt seeing if a thread sticks to collect it.[/QUOTE]


  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega10 View Post
    This seems to describe the US quite accurately. I can't say if it also holds in EU.

    In the Middle East, after we took out Hussein, we COULD have done the boring thing and just rebuilt the country, which is one of the things I agree with about PC2. Except, as President Bush said "We don't do nation building.". Nation building is boring. Military confrontation is dramatic. Our TV shows and movies are filled with dramatic violence. Disney is adding R rated content - absolutely no sex, just more and more brutal violence. Blacklist is a movie where torture is common, and the expected result is that after you torture someone and get the information you want from him, the next step is to basically execute him.

    Dramatic violence is valued a LOT. Building up cities is valued quite a bit less. We DO have HGTV which has shows about flipping houses, which basically entails taking a run down house and rebuilding it and making it beautiful and valuable. We DO have the cooking channel that talks about how to make good food. But mostly we have dramatic shows that are quite violent.

    Wanna write a beautiful love story? Figure out a way to make the characters engage in violent combat with lots of bad guys, and include the love story in between the violence.

    In another thread, Rasulis I think it was talked about things that California has done to reduce water usage, and by quite a bit. Each individual project did a little piece of the total effort. Totally boring, exactly zero media discussion or credit.

    And the focusing on dumb shit is also very appropriate. This has been discussed to death for years, and is sort of a corollary of the first statement.
    Thomas Mann's novel "Buddenbrooks" basically describes the concept in small scale of a family and subsequent generations. It's supposedly an interesting read, although I've never actually read it. But the concept is easy enough to understand, rich family gets lost in galmour and decadence and that turns into decline until the family is destitute and supposedly the cycle begins anew with a poor schmuck making a fortune because he wants to escape poverty etc.

    We're on the declining side of that story. After WW2 the world rebuilt itself and I think the height of the success was the 90s. Anything after that is challenge after challenge to the West and we're beginning to focus on dumb shit to make ourselves happy while losing out of sight that we're actually losing grounds. This will continue for a while until some sort of unrest or civil war ruins everything and we're reshaped as different nations. Probably a civil war in the US within the next 50 years, while the EU is still on the upswing, with a chance to become a nation until the same fate hits us and we splinter up again etc. it's an endless cycle of Empires rising and falling. And the only thing that makes this amusing is that Americans do not realise they're one of those "empires" and absolutely not immune from falling.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    I disagree that they need to be able to lie. A refusal to answer is all that's required, generalized enough to make it non-specific; the committee asks about a mission, and you give them the "Neither I nor my office will comment on any ongoing missions to confirm or deny any particulars, not unless we're in a closed session and everyone in-session has clearance. Asking the question is inappropriate."
    It depends on the situation. I'm sure you're aware I could make up any kind of random scenario where you'd be forced to accept politicians breaking the law. But I don't even have to do that. It's just the threat of a law suit that can influence decisions for some people. Part of immunity is giving politicians peace to do their job, without fearing relatiatory law suits about parking tickets or some other nonsense. Unfortunately, that is just one detail and I really don't want to invest a lot of time into immunity, cos that's one of the more boring things.

    Let's talk about Government bodies. You suggested that there may be a period without a Government. Well, that is the perfect time to attack that country then. We can't mix up legislative duties and executive duties. The Government exists as the head of the executive to offset the weakness of democracy that it's slow to act. That's one reason why every constitution I know goes out of its way to ensure that there's always a chain of command, always ONE person that can make an executive decision and get the country to act immediately, without waiting for the approval of the legislative body.
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  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    Hmm, I hope this kind of stupid dies out soon. Getting sick of reading that literal retards managed to get voted into power.
    It's not stupid, it's malevolent. They know what they're doing, they're just totally evil scum of the earth.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by zorkuus View Post
    It's not stupid, it's malevolent. They know what they're doing, they're just totally evil scum of the earth.
    I didn't mean the guys getting into power with "stupid". I meant the voter base, that stupid voting behaviour has to die out. They have to realise that voting these retards into office is not going to benefit them at all. Quite the opposite.
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  7. #27
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    It depends on the situation. I'm sure you're aware I could make up any kind of random scenario where you'd be forced to accept politicians breaking the law. But I don't even have to do that. It's just the threat of a law suit that can influence decisions for some people. Part of immunity is giving politicians peace to do their job, without fearing relatiatory law suits about parking tickets or some other nonsense. Unfortunately, that is just one detail and I really don't want to invest a lot of time into immunity, cos that's one of the more boring things.
    Seriously, Canada has no such immunity for sitting MPs. If Justin Trudeau got charged with any kind of crime tomorrow, he'd be out of office before the end of the day, and a new election for his riding would have to be set up to replace him. It doesn't even matter if he's eventually found guilty; if he's not being prosecuted, he can run in the next election, but he doesn't get his seat back, let alone the Prime Minister position.

    The only real privilege MPs enjoy in this regard is freedom from arrest for civil cases. If someone's suing you for $20,000 for breach of contract, the courts can't send police to cuff you and drag you to court. They can still sue you, and the courts can find you in contempt for non-appearance and rule against you accordingly, though.

    https://www.ourcommons.ca/marleaumon...Sec=Ch03&Seq=6

    Let's talk about Government bodies. You suggested that there may be a period without a Government. Well, that is the perfect time to attack that country then. We can't mix up legislative duties and executive duties. The Government exists as the head of the executive to offset the weakness of democracy that it's slow to act. That's one reason why every constitution I know goes out of its way to ensure that there's always a chain of command, always ONE person that can make an executive decision and get the country to act immediately, without waiting for the approval of the legislative body.
    This is where the "strong civil service" comes in. You've still got star generals and admirals, right? There are, I presume, drafted plans for responses for invasion. The military can handle itself in that regard. They can't make decisions on attacking a foreign power, since they have no authority to declare war, but they can levy the full strength of the military in the nation's defense.

    Same applies to every branch of the civil service. If there's no government, and no Minister of Health, nothing gets shut down. If it happened right now, our vaccine rollouts would continue, and continue adapting to new circumstances. The lack of an elected Minister means there's no capacity for the civil service to change their own mandate, but serving their existing mandate, that's not something the elected Minister is required for. Indeed, their input is often unwanted, as they generally have far less experience than the senior professionals in the service branch.

    An inability to shift policy direction is not an inability to effect current policy.


  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Yas-Queen Rochana View Post
    Chances are it is going to happen more often in the near future as people get fed up with liberalism and democracy both only playing pretend at being 'useful' or 'the best option' without solving actual severe societal issues.
    This reminds me of that old Nickelodeon show “You can’t do that on television “ and we just hit the Introduction to the Opposites section of the show…
    Since we can't call out Trolls and Bad Faith posters and the Ignore function doesn't actually ignore it. Add
    "mmo-champion.com##li.postbitignored"
    to your ublock or adblock filter to actually ignore ignored posters. Now just need a way to ignore responses to them as well.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Low Hanging Fruit View Post
    Tend to agree. "Well they are the lesser of two evils" has become to normal for to long and its adding up.
    What the hell are you even saying? Choose the bigger evil?

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    I have a couple theories competing for attention in my head. I'll just briefly list them here in no special order:

    1. People are bored and like drama. This comes from a general feeling of "We're actually doing too well, people lose the fundamentals out of sight and start focusing on dumb shit."

    2. People are simple and get manipulated by dumb fucks too easily. Ie. we need to step up our education game. Big time. The more time moves on, the more accumulated knowledge we need to cram into kids heads. And we're getting progressively more shite at it. Which bits of history can we skip? Why do we still teach wrong maths if university basically tells you to delete high school knowledge and start over at 1+1 in first semester? What do words mean, why is it important to not be lazy about word definitions? Etc.

    3. People are getting more and more emotional about shit. Why?

    4. What if... crazy thought here, but what if people actually dig the idea of a dystopian Blade Runner style society? What if people actually want to live in dictatorships where their every thought is dictated? With the internet you have so much information pouring in, it's actually hard to filter the bullshit from the real thing. It's convenient if you can just rely on a supreme leader telling you what to think. It's simple. Sure, you give up freedoms, but is that so bad if you're lazy and just want to get on with your life on the small scale?

    5. Empires rise and fall... there's a pattern in history where nationalistic entities grow and grow and then collapse. There seems to be a natural size of society that humanity can cope with before that society becomes unstable. There's like a billion variables to this that we typically sum up as "culture", but what if our nation states currently are just too big? What if we as a species want to fall back on a more communal level of communication where you can talk to the "ruler" in person and if necessary punch him in the face if he fucks up?

    Taking the US as an example, I think the US would be more healthy if it split up into West cost state, middle nothing state, east coast state and well... Texas, I guess.

    etc... lots of interesting angles to look at. Some may be fantasy bullshit, some may not be too far off the mark.
    I think if you put some of these together, you're probably incredibly close to an answer.

    People absolutely are bored and need the drama to get through the day. We're now people that live with a phone in front of our faces at all times, we need constant entertainment to keep us going. Add the fact people are definitely simple, are so incredibly easy to manipulate, and then the people that just want to see the world burn out of spite (we have some of those on this forum!), and that all eventually would end up leading to your #5, the fall of X empire.

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    Hmm, I hope this kind of stupid dies out soon. Getting sick of reading that literal retards managed to get voted into power.
    Let me introduce you to something called populism and how effective it is...
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadoowpunk View Post
    Take that haters.
    IF IM STUPID, so is Donald Trump.

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    Thomas Mann's novel "Buddenbrooks" basically describes the concept in small scale of a family and subsequent generations. It's supposedly an interesting read, although I've never actually read it. But the concept is easy enough to understand, rich family gets lost in galmour and decadence and that turns into decline until the family is destitute and supposedly the cycle begins anew with a poor schmuck making a fortune because he wants to escape poverty etc.

    We're on the declining side of that story. After WW2 the world rebuilt itself and I think the height of the success was the 90s. Anything after that is challenge after challenge to the West and we're beginning to focus on dumb shit to make ourselves happy while losing out of sight that we're actually losing grounds. This will continue for a while until some sort of unrest or civil war ruins everything and we're reshaped as different nations. Probably a civil war in the US within the next 50 years, while the EU is still on the upswing, with a chance to become a nation until the same fate hits us and we splinter up again etc. it's an endless cycle of Empires rising and falling. And the only thing that makes this amusing is that Americans do not realise they're one of those "empires" and absolutely not immune from falling.
    I AM NOT AMUSED. Well I live here. Intellectually it actually quite interesting. But my children and grand children and great grandson will have to live in the results of this. For me? I got to live while the US was strong, although watching it slowly decay has been unpleasant. I saw the decline accelerate quite a bit after 9/11 - THE EVENT THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING, although I recognized back in the 1980s that Reagan firing the air traffic controllers was a bad sign for the future. I have accepted this decline as what else can be done? For younger people - well see your bullet point about wondering why people are so angry.

    Isaac Asimov wrote a 6 book trilogy - the Foundation Series - that basically very strongly makes the case that when groups of people get to be over about 200 people then their actions become quite predictable. How does this affect the US? It means that changing its downward trajectory is just not going to happen. The ultra rich in the US in 2021 act quite similarly to how the rich acted in Rome what 2000 years ago. Or close enough - the modern day versions of these behaviors. Technology changes over time, but basic human behaviors and impulses do not.

    To answer question number 3: Why are people so angry? In the US there are 3 fundamental reasons: 1) The US really is declining. Economically people are losing ground as compared to the rest of the world, and people no longer ask "WHY DO THEY HATE US SO MUCH?". We KNOW why. 2) Climate Change. It is undeniable. And yeah the climate deniers were right - the climate change scientists DID make mistakes. They underestimated how quickly it would hit us, and did not see coming some of the changes like the polar vortexes moving arctic air over the US causing bitter cold winter spells. 3) In the US, Christianity is losing its influence. Gay marriage is accepted, violence against gays is not. Racism against blacks is no longer acceptable, and cops that kill blacks are no longer the good guys. Civil war heros are now thought of as traitors. This is a lot of cultural change that has happened in the last 30 years. Instead of accepting it and moving on, people are using second amendment rights language to justify unpleasant behavior, including the wide spread use of death threats against politicians that do things they do not like.

    So we started talking about issue number 1, and this led to talk about issues 2 and 3. This suggests that your 5 points are very much inter related. Or at least the first 3 issues
    Last edited by Omega10; 2021-07-05 at 06:33 PM.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    My edit was too slow, but I think some of your fixes are bad. For historical reasons, mostly. But also human nature. Just as an example: Immunity for politicians doing something while executing their office as part of their charge of the office is important. An easy example is the politician that blatantly lies to a committee about some top secret mission where agents' lives are still at stake and/or it's in the public interest that the committee doesn't find out about what's going on right at that time. Removing immunity for false testimony would absolutely lead to very awkward situations.

    It's one thing where I'm not on board with the hyper transparency train we're riding in Germany. To some degree too much transparency can actually turn you from an asset to your allies into a liability for your allies. We do not want that.
    A politician could just say for matters of national security, I cannot answer that question. Most people accept that there are some stuff going on behind the scenes that the general public don't need to know about and cannot be discussed in public.

    An inability to punish dodgy behaviour in politicians is a handicap on a democracy in my opinion. In the UK for example, the antics of the current government astound me. We have ministers who just go out and lie and there is no accountability. They give out billions in public contracts to their mates with no tender, no oversight and no accountability. At PM's questions he just avoids answering any questions. Ministers, even civil servants, are often in a revolving door with big finance, blocking tax reforms while in office, then leaving to go to companies and tell them how to exploit loopholes. Heck the PM has even broken the law whilst the sitting PM. There are serious conflicts of interest in play in UK politics, and it seems there are no formal mechanisms to fight it and it seems the incentives only point towards not doing anything.

    This is made worse by the public seemingly not caring, at least not to a large enough degree. It seems many will forgive it because they are sticking it to Gerry and the other foreigners, or they are politically aligned and might not agree with it but because it is their team they will let it slide. Bad behaviour gets normalised, trust in political institutions is diminished. Meaningful changes become impossible, the entire thing becomes a gravy train, and with no way to hold them to account they can just blame immigrants and poor people and get away with it. I am a big believer in consistency, especially in standards. We currently do not appear to have any formal mechanisms that can be used, regardless of who is in power, to enforce transparency and accountability, it seems entirely reliant on the whims of serving politicians and whether it suits them and in the end so many just feel powerless and angry and ultimately exploited.

    The way that Boris Johnson and Donald Trump exploited existing grievances, in many ways is actually impressive, given their blatant character flaws. It isn't simply a case of saying to voters "vote smart". There is a lot of disillusionment. A sense of the system working against them, not for them. A sense that established power structures do not give a fuck and work only in their on self interest. In many places a sense of loss regarding community, places where generations of families could live in the same area and build strong ties, but no it is no longer economically viable due to a lack of opportunities. The financial services sector tank the economy by engaging in highly unethical and in some cases almost certainly illegal activity (fuck, HSBC got caught money laundering for Mexican cartels, no one went to jail, and why would the system want to go after them, when so many end up working for them when they leave office) but it isn't the villains who get punished. A sense of one rule for them, another for us.

    In situations like this, perceived wrecking balls can be attractive, no matter how out of touch with reality that perception is. Without strong institutions to uphold standards, ensuring transparency and accountability, I am not convinced that populism can be quelled.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gelannerai View Post


    Remember, legally no one sane takes Tucker Carlson seriously.

  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by tehealadin View Post

    An inability to punish dodgy behaviour in politicians is a handicap on a democracy in my opinion.
    If you think corruption and dodgy behavior is a problem in democracies, allow me to burst your bubble...autocracies by their very nature are oligarchical and kleptocratic to a much higher degree than even the dodgiest and crappiest democracy. At least in a democracy a truly fed up populace and elect a different government, possibly even prosecute the worst abuses.

    In autocracies the kleptocrats and the corrupt thieves prosecute you for being discontent with the scraps off the table.
    Quote Originally Posted by Orlong View Post
    It doesnt destroy the land to bury styrofoam 25 feet below the ground
    Today Obama once again kneeled at the altar of environmental naziism and hurt this once great country. He has now banned all drilling in the Atlantic Ocean

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    Seriously, Canada has no such immunity for sitting MPs. If Justin Trudeau got charged with any kind of crime tomorrow, he'd be out of office before the end of the day, and a new election for his riding would have to be set up to replace him. It doesn't even matter if he's eventually found guilty; if he's not being prosecuted, he can run in the next election, but he doesn't get his seat back, let alone the Prime Minister position.

    The only real privilege MPs enjoy in this regard is freedom from arrest for civil cases. If someone's suing you for $20,000 for breach of contract, the courts can't send police to cuff you and drag you to court. They can still sue you, and the courts can find you in contempt for non-appearance and rule against you accordingly, though.

    https://www.ourcommons.ca/marleaumon...Sec=Ch03&Seq=6


    This is where the "strong civil service" comes in. You've still got star generals and admirals, right? There are, I presume, drafted plans for responses for invasion. The military can handle itself in that regard. They can't make decisions on attacking a foreign power, since they have no authority to declare war, but they can levy the full strength of the military in the nation's defense.

    Same applies to every branch of the civil service. If there's no government, and no Minister of Health, nothing gets shut down. If it happened right now, our vaccine rollouts would continue, and continue adapting to new circumstances. The lack of an elected Minister means there's no capacity for the civil service to change their own mandate, but serving their existing mandate, that's not something the elected Minister is required for. Indeed, their input is often unwanted, as they generally have far less experience than the senior professionals in the service branch.

    An inability to shift policy direction is not an inability to effect current policy.
    So all I need to do to incapacitate the Canadian Government is to convince a state attorney to charge Trudeau with any random crime? That sounds too easy, I'm not buying it. It can't be that easy. Sure, you have Generals who can command the forces. But who tells them what to do when you need to make difficult decisions? Freeing Canadians in foreign territory? A General is not equipped nor does he have the authority to just go and essentially breach a foreign nation's sovereignity on his own accord. That's not how we run Western democracies. That's how you run military juntas. There's a reason we have this strong separation of power. Why the political class is calling the big shots and not the guys who have the guns in their hands.

    Your options so far sound very dangerous to me. And the reason why they're typically blocked is because of historic evidence of these routes being abused. What prevents the General from declaring some bogus state of emergency and assuming political power? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Nonono, it's much cleaner and more more in line with the democratic idea of implementing the will of "most" of the population to have political power be always well defined. If the President dies, the Vice President automatically moves up. then the state secretary and so on.

    Services can continue for a while on automatisms, I'm fine with that. But there's a reason we distill political power to a fine point.

    It's the old discussion... the balance between fast decisions and "right" decisions. Dictatorship vs. direct democracy. One is really good at making fast, efficient decisions, but the people may not agree with them, the other is good at getting everyone to agree on something, but the decisions have to be compromised and watered down so they are essentially useless. One is fast, the other is slow as heck.

    Seems that you'd rather move to direct democracy and automatisms, bureacracy in its literal sense, basically. Let the bureaucratic process take over for an indefinite time. It works for simple stuff, but as soon as something doesn't fit the pattern that bureaucracy can deal with, your system fails and breaks down.
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  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Mihalik View Post
    If you think corruption and dodgy behavior is a problem in democracies, allow me to burst your bubble...autocracies by their very nature are oligarchical and kleptocratic to a much higher degree than even the dodgiest and crappiest democracy. At least in a democracy a truly fed up populace and elect a different government, possibly even prosecute the worst abuses.

    In autocracies the kleptocrats and the corrupt thieves prosecute you for being discontent with the scraps off the table.
    I think you missed my point, sorry if I wasn't clear, I wasn't saying that it was an exclusive problem, or a feature with democracy (hence the use of an indefinite article), simply something that can weaken them when they occur.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gelannerai View Post


    Remember, legally no one sane takes Tucker Carlson seriously.

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by tehealadin View Post
    A politician could just say for matters of national security, I cannot answer that question. Most people accept that there are some stuff going on behind the scenes that the general public don't need to know about and cannot be discussed in public.

    An inability to punish dodgy behaviour in politicians is a handicap on a democracy in my opinion. In the UK for example, the antics of the current government astound me. We have ministers who just go out and lie and there is no accountability. They give out billions in public contracts to their mates with no tender, no oversight and no accountability. At PM's questions he just avoids answering any questions. Ministers, even civil servants, are often in a revolving door with big finance, blocking tax reforms while in office, then leaving to go to companies and tell them how to exploit loopholes. Heck the PM has even broken the law whilst the sitting PM. There are serious conflicts of interest in play in UK politics, and it seems there are no formal mechanisms to fight it and it seems the incentives only point towards not doing anything.

    This is made worse by the public seemingly not caring, at least not to a large enough degree. It seems many will forgive it because they are sticking it to Gerry and the other foreigners, or they are politically aligned and might not agree with it but because it is their team they will let it slide. Bad behaviour gets normalised, trust in political institutions is diminished. Meaningful changes become impossible, the entire thing becomes a gravy train, and with no way to hold them to account they can just blame immigrants and poor people and get away with it. I am a big believer in consistency, especially in standards. We currently do not appear to have any formal mechanisms that can be used, regardless of who is in power, to enforce transparency and accountability, it seems entirely reliant on the whims of serving politicians and whether it suits them and in the end so many just feel powerless and angry and ultimately exploited.

    The way that Boris Johnson and Donald Trump exploited existing grievances, in many ways is actually impressive, given their blatant character flaws. It isn't simply a case of saying to voters "vote smart". There is a lot of disillusionment. A sense of the system working against them, not for them. A sense that established power structures do not give a fuck and work only in their on self interest. In many places a sense of loss regarding community, places where generations of families could live in the same area and build strong ties, but no it is no longer economically viable due to a lack of opportunities. The financial services sector tank the economy by engaging in highly unethical and in some cases almost certainly illegal activity (fuck, HSBC got caught money laundering for Mexican cartels, no one went to jail, and why would the system want to go after them, when so many end up working for them when they leave office) but it isn't the villains who get punished. A sense of one rule for them, another for us.

    In situations like this, perceived wrecking balls can be attractive, no matter how out of touch with reality that perception is. Without strong institutions to uphold standards, ensuring transparency and accountability, I am not convinced that populism can be quelled.
    Maybe I'm not explaining well what I mean by trying to come up with bad examples.

    The whole point of this is that the political process, with all its extremes and dodgy behaviour has to be protected. Something like Trump or Brexit need to be possible, for ill or for good. In all the drama we've had in recent years, the only thing I can say with good conscience where the Trumpkins were right is... he legit won the election according to the rules in the US constitution. I don't give a shit about head counts vs. electorate. The US has a shite system of voting someone into power, but it is what it is and all of that needs to be protected. Do I think Trump should be charged with something because of what he did in office? Kinda, yeah.. but we don't have a law for that. There is no law that says "You're not allowed to trick the entire nation into giving you a carte blanche on our national assets and cause a major ruckus with your Twitter account." There is no law that forbids Farage and Jacob Reese-Mogg from essentially committing fraud on a national level. We have no concept of "a nation has been defrauded". It's literally a crime so big it can't be dealt with. Mostly that's because our imagination hasn't been able to come up with that giant heap of idiocy in our wildest dreams.

    But there you go, perhaps we should make it a law. Perhaps we should scale it up and essentially think of it as a proper and well defined crime that can be punished. Cos that's what this is. JRM made millions from Brexit. But still, to this day nobody seems to think that's an issue we should do anything about.

    Oh, we'll happily upgrade petty criminals like the ISIS gang warlords to a quasi military opponent to justify sending billion dollars worth of assets their way (and make no mistake, they are murderers, rapists, thieves and fraudsters, nothing else... religion has ZERO to do with their organised crime activity), but somehow we're not upgrading what the Brexit gang did for personal gain to fraud... that's on us.

    HOWEVER, it must be possible to have extreme and stupid views and represent them in the political arena. In its most extreme form, it should even be possible to say "I want to plunder the entire budget and buy free beer for everyone." and nobody should be able to do anything about that. And that needs to be protected!

    (Fun fact, the beer party in Germany actually has that as their sole program point. They regularily get about 1% of the votes... god bless Germany's thirst...)

    Edit: Godamn, I'm rambling like a madman today. My point is buried somewhere in that rant.. fuckit, can't be arsed to clean this mess up. :P
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  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    Maybe I'm not explaining well what I mean by trying to come up with bad examples.

    The whole point of this is that the political process, with all its extremes and dodgy behaviour has to be protected. Something like Trump or Brexit need to be possible, for ill or for good. In all the drama we've had in recent years, the only thing I can say with good conscience where the Trumpkins were right is... he legit won the election according to the rules in the US constitution. I don't give a shit about head counts vs. electorate. The US has a shite system of voting someone into power, but it is what it is and all of that needs to be protected. Do I think Trump should be charged with something because of what he did in office? Kinda, yeah.. but we don't have a law for that. There is no law that says "You're not allowed to trick the entire nation into giving you a carte blanche on our national assets and cause a major ruckus with your Twitter account." There is no law that forbids Farage and Jacob Reese-Mogg from essentially committing fraud on a national level. We have no concept of "a nation has been defrauded". It's literally a crime so big it can't be dealt with. Mostly that's because our imagination hasn't been able to come up with that giant heap of idiocy in our wildest dreams.

    But there you go, perhaps we should make it a law. Perhaps we should scale it up and essentially think of it as a proper and well defined crime that can be punished. Cos that's what this is. JRM made millions from Brexit. But still, to this day nobody seems to think that's an issue we should do anything about.

    Oh, we'll happily upgrade petty criminals like the ISIS gang warlords to a quasi military opponent to justify sending billion dollars worth of assets their way (and make no mistake, they are murderers, rapists, thieves and fraudsters, nothing else... religion has ZERO to do with their organised crime activity), but somehow we're not upgrading what the Brexit gang did for personal gain to fraud... that's on us.

    HOWEVER, it must be possible to have extreme and stupid views and represent them in the political arena. In its most extreme form, it should even be possible to say "I want to plunder the entire budget and buy free beer for everyone." and nobody should be able to do anything about that. And that needs to be protected!

    (Fun fact, the beer party in Germany actually has that as their sole program point. They regularily get about 1% of the votes... god bless Germany's thirst...)

    Edit: Godamn, I'm rambling like a madman today. My point is buried somewhere in that rant.. fuckit, can't be arsed to clean this mess up. :P
    I take your point that views need to be represented, I personally think all political parties should be allowed to exist. But take some of the examples I listed, I am not even talking about the lying on the Brexit campaign, but examples with ministers giving billions of tax payer money to their friends with no tender or oversight, even in cases where they had no experience, or even when the service wasn't actually provided. They are clearly enriching their circle of friends, I am not sure what the law has to say about this in its current form, if it says nothing so nothing can be done, or it does, but there isn't the will to go after them, but this is a tangible abuse of power and it isn't a stretch to have mechanisms in play to stop that. We have ministers seemingly taking bribes to allow planning permission to property developers and party donors. Ministers can mislead parliament, but because of a majority they get away with it.

    My point is there needs to be standards in public life. Current mechanisms relating to conflicts of interest are clearly too weak. None of this would prevent the functioning of a government or civil service.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gelannerai View Post


    Remember, legally no one sane takes Tucker Carlson seriously.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    Maybe I'm not explaining well what I mean by trying to come up with bad examples.

    The whole point of this is that the political process, with all its extremes and dodgy behaviour has to be protected. Something like Trump or Brexit need to be possible, for ill or for good. In all the drama we've had in recent years, the only thing I can say with good conscience where the Trumpkins were right is... he legit won the election according to the rules in the US constitution. I don't give a shit about head counts vs. electorate. The US has a shite system of voting someone into power, but it is what it is and all of that needs to be protected. Do I think Trump should be charged with something because of what he did in office? Kinda, yeah.. but we don't have a law for that. There is no law that says "You're not allowed to trick the entire nation into giving you a carte blanche on our national assets and cause a major ruckus with your Twitter account." There is no law that forbids Farage and Jacob Reese-Mogg from essentially committing fraud on a national level. We have no concept of "a nation has been defrauded". It's literally a crime so big it can't be dealt with. Mostly that's because our imagination hasn't been able to come up with that giant heap of idiocy in our wildest dreams.

    But there you go, perhaps we should make it a law. Perhaps we should scale it up and essentially think of it as a proper and well defined crime that can be punished. Cos that's what this is. JRM made millions from Brexit. But still, to this day nobody seems to think that's an issue we should do anything about.

    Oh, we'll happily upgrade petty criminals like the ISIS gang warlords to a quasi military opponent to justify sending billion dollars worth of assets their way (and make no mistake, they are murderers, rapists, thieves and fraudsters, nothing else... religion has ZERO to do with their organised crime activity), but somehow we're not upgrading what the Brexit gang did for personal gain to fraud... that's on us.

    HOWEVER, it must be possible to have extreme and stupid views and represent them in the political arena. In its most extreme form, it should even be possible to say "I want to plunder the entire budget and buy free beer for everyone." and nobody should be able to do anything about that. And that needs to be protected!

    (Fun fact, the beer party in Germany actually has that as their sole program point. They regularily get about 1% of the votes... god bless Germany's thirst...)

    Edit: Godamn, I'm rambling like a madman today. My point is buried somewhere in that rant.. fuckit, can't be arsed to clean this mess up. :P

    Up to a point. But the US lost a lot of ground under Bush, and even more under Trump in half the time. Bush's lies regarding the US attacks on the Middle East and the Mancession of 2008 caused a LOT of hardship in the US. The lying about the size of our annual deficits masking just how bad he was regarding the deficit is just one of many daggers that Bush flung at US honesty and integrity.

    Bush started the idea of flat out lying as President of the US - 8 years later Trump took this to its logical extreme. The US is a LOT worse off because of this. And the problems are static in nature meaning they are not going away easily. And 20 years later our infrastructure continues to deteriorate gradually and inexorably.

    Giving them a platform is one thing. Giving them power - we tried that and it turned out worse than could possibly have been realistically imagined.

  20. #40
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    So all I need to do to incapacitate the Canadian Government is to convince a state attorney to charge Trudeau with any random crime? That sounds too easy, I'm not buying it. It can't be that easy.
    It wouldn't incapacitate the government in any way. We'd have a new Prime Minister likely by the end of the week at the latest, and potentially, by the end of the same day. The PM isn't elected by the people, he's chosen by the party that formed the government; in the case of a PM being charged and removed from office, that party would just . . . pick a new Member to take the position.

    Sure, you have Generals who can command the forces. But who tells them what to do when you need to make difficult decisions?
    That's why we have Generals. They can make those calls, in most cases, and should. In loose terms, the government gives the military a direction, and a set of standing orders, and how the military goes about achieving those is up to the heads of the military branches. That's what their expertise is for.

    Freeing Canadians in foreign territory? A General is not equipped nor does he have the authority to just go and essentially breach a foreign nation's sovereignity on his own accord. That's not how we run Western democracies. That's how you run military juntas.
    In the question of initiating hostilities against a foreign power, you'd be correct. Not in effecting standing orders, including maintaining the defense of the nation itself.

    The Canadian military isn't going to just up and invade China to get Canadians out of prisons there (an issue that's currently going on). If Chinese troops started pushing into Canadian waters, though? Our military would absolutely mobilize and interpose, challenging their movement. It's happened before with Russian military pressure. If our military leaders needed to ask political leadership to approve every decision they made, why would we even have star-rank staff in the military? The entire point is to empower those officers to act according to their expertise and their standing orders.

    Your options so far sound very dangerous to me. And the reason why they're typically blocked is because of historic evidence of these routes being abused. What prevents the General from declaring some bogus state of emergency and assuming political power? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    A pretty wide swath of laws, particularly that declaring a state of emergency gives the military no political power whatsoever, and that declaring such a state is a political issue in the first place.

    I'm honestly pretty baffled that you're arguing against the separation of powers you yourself brought up earlier; I was never making a case that the powers weren't separated. I was making the case that a clear separation of powers can leave the civil services and military entirely functional without giving them any political influence whatsoever. It's only when you blur those lines, as the USA does, that you run into serious issues.

    Nonono, it's much cleaner and more more in line with the democratic idea of implementing the will of "most" of the population to have political power be always well defined. If the President dies, the Vice President automatically moves up. then the state secretary and so on.
    In Canada, it's unnecessary. The Canadian Parliament isn't even in the military chain of command. Nominally, chain of command goes from the sovereign (Queen Elizabeth) to her Governor General, to the Chief of the Defence Staff, but in practice, neither the Queen not the GG are actually serving any practical role. The Chief of the Defence Staff works under the Minister of National Defence, but it isn't like the USA where the head of government is also the Commander-in-Chief. It's never been that way, in Canada. Works fine.

    Seems that you'd rather move to direct democracy and automatisms, bureacracy in its literal sense, basically. Let the bureaucratic process take over for an indefinite time. It works for simple stuff, but as soon as something doesn't fit the pattern that bureaucracy can deal with, your system fails and breaks down.
    That depends entirely on how resilient that bureaucracy and its systems are, and how much self-direction it's empowered to make use of. The people at the top of the Canadian Civil Service branches are the experts in their fields, better-trained and better-educated in their respective fields than the ministers over them, generally. To the point that a Minister trying to issue orders that are deemed unethical or unlawful will, generally, get called out publicly by those civil service agents, who will refuse to comply. There was a big stink here under Harper, where he was pressuring government scientists not to talk to the press regardless of their complaints, and that did not go over well for the Conservatives.


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