[FoRK] interesting electoral concept

Jebadiah Moore jebdm at jebdm.net
Tue Aug 30 07:50:19 PDT 2011

On Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 9:59 PM, Gregory Alan Bolcer <greg at bolcer.org>wrote:

> I'm even more opposed to restricting political speech.  Who would have the
> right to enforce it?

For clarity, I generally am too (hence, "if you could somehow make that not
backfire or fail"), though I wouldn't use the "rights" concept to argue
against it.  Rather, I'd say that a society needs to be tolerant of things
happening that they consider bad but which others consider good--things like
speech against their causes, for instance--to allow for variance in world
view, which seems to have for nearly everyone in the society gains vastly
larger than the negatives of the things which are tolerated.  This effect is
especially large with ideas and speech, because the more ideas you have been
exposed to already the more ideas you have to use and synthesize and analyze
and prepare for.

It's usually not even a good idea to restrict false speech, because you
can't be completely certain that it actually is false.  Otherwise, I'd say
that it might be a good idea to more closely restrict libel in political
speech, but unfortunately it's not too unlikely that a politician could get
a judge or even a jury to declare something libelous when it was actually

I have a better idea.  Eliminate Washington DC.  Make every single elected
> representative in congress stay in their own district.  In this day of
> technology, internet, video conferencing, online social and collaboration,
> why is there any need for any of them to travel there again?  Can you
> imagine lobbyist having to fly to 50 states or 400-something districts to
> lobby?  They'd scream bloody murder.

Perhaps this would help, but I don't think it'd fix the problem (the
lobbyists could use similar tools, as Damien points out).  I think the
combination of this and increasing the number of representatives would help
even more (harder to lobby more representatives, and the tooling would be
easy to extend to make having more representatives workable).

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