This page is a reaction to AboutVoting. I feel that the arguments against voting are just used to attack the democratic system in a hidden way. This is IMHO logically invalid and counterproductive. It's invalid because faulty (technically incorrect or unfair) decisions are the problem and not how you reach them. A monarch may be a good solution to a country if he is wise, but the problem is that there is no guarantee for the quality of a single chosen man or woman. Democracy is not about people voting or having power (that's part of the myth), it is basically about a mechanism to change leadership without the extreme costs of a revolution. This is done by a system where the old leader does neither loose his face nor his head nor his existence - he may work on and even regain leadership. Power is not given without control and only for a certain amount of time and power has to make decisions according to given laws and constitutions. Although this was a big step forward for society, it is by far not enough. Pretty much every term in the previous sentence has its own problems: power has been shifted from political functions towards economy and so moved out of politics, control depends on transparency which is often held incomplete by politics and mass media, and decisions are handled in a way to advance personal interests instead of community interests. One has to see that the problems are not bound to democracy, but are intrinsical to any large social system of individuals. Any political system will have to distribute power, to allow control, to make decisions and handle interests. Any political systems will have problems with control. The decision process (as an important part of any constitution) is fundamental to this. Therefore we should think AboutDecisions to improve the process. To fight democracy is counterproductive because it threatens to destroy the small steps forward that have been made painfully during centuries. – HelmutLeitner

das ist alles schnee von gestern. wir haben die beste demokratie, die mensch haben kann. wir sind diese demokratie. und soweit ich das überblicken kann, sind wir durchaus fähig, hier entscheidungen zu treffen (und das nicht zuletzt auch deshalb, weil wir hier einen helmut leitner haben (das sage ich dir jetzt schon zum zweiten mal)). → WikiFolks | AboutVoting

This is a straw-man argument. You've decided that any discussion of voting is a hidden attack on democracy, and since everyone hates hidden attacks on democracy, any discussion of voting is fundamentally wrong.

It may instead be better to AssumeGoodFaith or at least to lean upon HanlonsRazor in this instance. I wish no one harm by positing the idea that voting may not be the best decision-making process in all situations. I may be saying that out of stupidity – it may very well be optimal in all situations – but I'm not saying it to destroy democracy.

I will cop to the mistake of having put the page about voting's faults at VotingIsEvil. My only excuse is that the LinkLanguage had been used before, and I thought that putting a more thorough description of problems with voting there would be a better endpoint for that link than the ArrowsTheorem article on MeatBall. That was a bad idea – the weighted term "evil" has been taken in its more fundamental sense rather than in the JargonFile hackerish sense that I saw in it (see http://www.catb.org/esr/jargon/html/E/evil.html).

I've tried to mitigate that error, first by creating some content at VotingIsGood, then by merging the two pages into the more neutral AboutVoting. Maybe it's time to ForgiveAndForget, so we can make AboutVoting into a useful page about the process.

Evan, I don't see a reason for so dramatic words. You've put forward an idea and I tried to balance it. It will be reworked by us and others and will become a useful set of pages. I think we both trust the evolutionary wiki process.

If someone has to apologize then it is me. For the CommunityWiki cares to create an encouraging and brainstorming-friendly athmosphere for ideas and my harsh arguments - not even from a member position - really don't fit in. I'm sure the majority of cw members will share your position.

So why then did I do it? Maybe because I deeply believe in evolutionary processes which bring improvements in small steps that are observable and reversible. You can plan them, measure them, reflect on them. They are in a way save. ChristopherAlexander builds his Architecture on them, Wards built XP on them, we are building wiki on them. CA says it's the process of life.

Democracy is a system that is built to evolve. People have to observe and say what they dislike. People have to think about new rules and put them forward backed by good arguments. Wiki has the potential to be a reflection community for that.


EditNearLinks: MeatBall JargonFile ChristopherAlexander