8values political quiz

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Re: 8values political quiz

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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Pabappa »

there is now also
https://leftvalues.github.io/
and
https://rightvaluestest.github.io/

I took both. My results are below (click for fullsize image)

Image

Neither of the projects produces a hotlinkable image so I decided to download both and combine them into one.

I find it interesting that my score on the bottom row of the Leftist test is within a tenth of a percent of my score on the top row of the Rightist test, which at first seems unsurprising since those two rows are testing for the same thing ... right vs left wing. What surprises me though is that none of the questions on the tests were the same. I think it's a coincidence that I got very nearly the exact same score but it is an interesting coincidence.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Khemehekis »

Did they seriously spell "separation" with an E?
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Re: 8values political quiz

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and yet another one:

https://itsperceval.github.io/Perceval-index/

Im really considering writing my own, but Ive never used Github and am not sure what the approval process is .... a political values test for a fictional planet (because thats what I'd be doing) isnt likely to be valuable to the average user.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Khemehekis »

Your results:

You are approximately 47.09% left-wing, and therefore 52.91% right-wing.
63 political freedom index (naturalism vs statism)
56 economical freedom index (privatism vs centralism)
74 social freedom index (individualism vs collectivism)
19 identity index (localism vs globalism)

1. 91.82% Archeofuturism
2. 90.57% Meta-right
3. 89.32% Nouvelle droite
4. 89.16% Tribal communitarianism
5. 88.45% New right

Explanation of the dots:
The red dot shows the ideology that is closest to your personal beliefs.
The black dots show your second to fifth closest ideologies.
The white dots strictly show your index on each scale.
The political segments of the octagon are as follows:



https://itsperceval.github.io/Perceval- ... p=4&voic=1




I'm closest to naturalism, somewhere between naturalism and anarchism.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Pabappa »

Im a bit suspicious of this one, since the person who showed it to me got placed in the exact same spot that I did, and because there are a few loaded questions. So I'll just post a link to my results instead of the image:

http://pabappa.com/pics/octagon.png

The red dot is hard to see because it's almost on the red territory. The person who showed me the test got the same placement for the red dot down to the pixel level, but the other dots were not aligned the same. I dont expect his opinions to actually be much like mine because he's a young never-Trump Republican but perhaps certain things canceled out.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by sangi39 »

So I decided to take the 9Axes test again, just to see if anything had changed over the past year, and I quite liked looking at what's more or less stayed the same, and where the big jumps are.

Image

I think the big jumps (Federal vs. Unitary, Militarist vs. Pacifist, Security vs. Freedom, and Assimilationist vs. Multiculturalist, which all saw jumps of 10% or more) might be down to hitting the "strongly agree" and "strongly disagree" options this time round. It definitely felt like I was going for them more than I did back in April 2020, and looking over online conversations with friends, it does seem like my opinion changed much, even though those topics gradually came up more and more although).



I also took the Left Values test around the same time last year, and decided to take that again. Only 72 questions, so not as in-depth, but given the questions you're asked, it seems like once you're there, the people who wrote the questions have largely already assumed that you have some underlying left-leaning biases. I would like to see something a bit more in depth somewhere down the line, but it still has the same basic feel as other "political compass" quizzes, and it's always fun to get asked questions you've never really thought to ask before, and having the chance to give it at least some thought.

Image

Again, as with the 9Axes test, I feel like some of the jumps (Scientific vs. Utopian, and Party vs. Union especially in this case) were more down to feeling more intensely about something, as opposed to a proper change in opinion.

The pretty massive shift away from neutral on the Revolution vs. Reform axis could in part be down to that as well (I remember pressing the "neutral" option for that a lot last year - so basically at least some of the shift came from "picking a side"), but then looking over conversations with friends again, yeah, I don't think it's just down to that. I do think the "reform" questions were pretty thin on the ground though, where the options the creators of the quiz had in mind, as far as I could tell, were violent revolution vs. participation in liberal democracy, without any mention of, say, non-violent "dual power" strategies. So if you hit "strongly disagree" on a question that asked if you favoured taking part in democracy, I suspect it bumps you in the Revolution direction in more of a "not that kind of reform" sense which just gets lumped in with violent revolution because, yay, one-dimensional axes.

The big one for me, I think the only one that saw me "switch sides", in both quizzes, was the Party vs. Union axis, so that was interesting to see. I can't remember how I answered any questions that might have affected that, though, and I can't see anything in online conversations that indicate a shift in opinion, so I suspect part of it is down to hitting "neutral" a lot less (as with Revolution vs. Reform).


I wonder if these will change again in another year or so.

Oooo, there's a Right Values quiz as well. Time to do that one! [:D]


EDIT: Took the Right Values test, and got the following results:

"Technocracy: Technocracy is a ideology that promotes the idea of people who are experts of technology should rule the nation"

Image


I was definitely hitting the "strongly agree" and "strongly disagree" options a lot in that one, and where I did hit "neutral" is was more like "well I don't like either of the options you gave very much, and view them about as bad or as good as each other".

I can't say I completely disagree with the "technocracy" result, but I think it's done the same thing the "Left Values" quiz has done and assumed by default that you're at least some form of supporter of capitalism (so, you know, you don't get questions regarding collective control/ownership of the means of production, nationalisation of natural resources, etc.) so it takes your answers and fits you into a box of "right" ideologies, rather than saying "oh, damn, a communist came here? You're a communist".
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Khemehekis »

sangi39 wrote: 01 Jul 2021 00:29 The pretty massive shift away from neutral on the Revolution vs. Reform axis could in part be down to that as well (I remember pressing the "neutral" option for that a lot last year - so basically at least some of the shift came from "picking a side"), but then looking over conversations with friends again, yeah, I don't think it's just down to that. I do think the "reform" questions were pretty thin on the ground though, where the options the creators of the quiz had in mind, as far as I could tell, were violent revolution vs. participation in liberal democracy, without any mention of, say, non-violent "dual power" strategies. So if you hit "strongly disagree" on a question that asked if you favoured taking part in democracy, I suspect it bumps you in the Revolution direction in more of a "not that kind of reform" sense which just gets lumped in with violent revolution because, yay, one-dimensional axes.
I've always been a revolution-over-reform type. I didn't shriek at the siege of the Capitol earlier this year, because it was basically the same thing as happened in the backstory to Inner Bruise, except from the opposite end of the political spectrum, and for many years I've had my doubts that democracy really has a future in this world, or will be able to save the planet from the ravages of global warming.
I can't say I completely disagree with the "technocracy" result, but I think it's done the same thing the "Left Values" quiz has done and assumed by default that you're at least some form of supporter of capitalism (so, you know, you don't get questions regarding collective control/ownership of the means of production, nationalisation of natural resources, etc.) so it takes your answers and fits you into a box of "right" ideologies, rather than saying "oh, damn, a communist came here? You're a communist".
In other words, it's one of those quizzes whose audience is limited to people who are already in a certain ballpark. Like the What Kind of Bush Hater Are You? quiz, which assumed as a premise that you already hated Bush (I was an Anarchist Dude, in case you're wondering). Or the "What kind of hipster quiz are you?", which had no result options for non-hipsters.




. . . And I notice the quiz still misspells "separation".
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Re: 8values political quiz

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Khemehekis wrote: 01 Jul 2021 03:19 I've always been a revolution-over-reform type. I didn't shriek at the siege of the Capitol earlier this year, because it was basically the same thing as happened in the backstory to Inner Bruise, except from the opposite end of the political spectrum,
And they're still shrieking. Just never about any of the same kinds of things they're own side gets up to.

and for many years I've had my doubts that democracy really has a future in this world,
I'm pretty sure democracy (as it's understood and practiced in the US) is a sunk ship. Let the band play on to the bitter end! It's been attacked for quite a while and is recently being dismembered.

I am curious: what are your thoughts on democracy's future?

or will be able to save the planet from the ravages of global warming.
Which kind? Even if every country in the world simply shut down every factory, every vehicle, every power plant, every fireplace and backyard grill --- every kind of airborne pollution, we'd still have to come to grips with the fact that we are in the middle of an ice age, just in an interglacial period. It's possible the "man-made" aspect of warming could possibly stave off the advance of the Rime Giants. Or maybe it won't. (This of course doesn't mean nothing should be done, only that reason should lead the discussion, not emotions!)

As for global warming, we've had polar forests before, after all!
In other words, it's one of those quizzes whose audience is limited to people who are already in a certain ballpark. Like the What Kind of Bush Hater Are You? quiz, which assumed as a premise that you already hated Bush (I was an Anarchist Dude, in case you're wondering). Or the "What kind of hipster quiz are you?", which had no result options for non-hipsters.




. . . And I notice the quiz still misspells "separation".
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Re: 8values political quiz

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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Khemehekis »

elemtilas wrote: 01 Jul 2021 04:46
Khemehekis wrote: 01 Jul 2021 03:19 I've always been a revolution-over-reform type. I didn't shriek at the siege of the Capitol earlier this year, because it was basically the same thing as happened in the backstory to Inner Bruise, except from the opposite end of the political spectrum,
And they're still shrieking. Just never about any of the same kinds of things they're own side gets up to.
How true.

I remember back in 2016, when Merrick Garland was nominated by Obama, the Republicans were howling, "Let's see who wins the 2016 election first! It's so close to the election wire!" The Democrats, on the other hand, were saying, "Let President Obama do his job in nominating a potential Supreme Court justice". Then came Amy Coney Barrett in 2020, after Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away shortly before the 2020 election. This time, the Democrats were saying, "Let's see who wins the 2020 election first!", and the Republicans were saying, "The opening in SCOTUS needs to be filled now".
and for many years I've had my doubts that democracy really has a future in this world,
I'm pretty sure democracy (as it's understood and practiced in the US) is a sunk ship. Let the band play on to the bitter end! It's been attacked for quite a while and is recently being dismembered.

I am curious: what are your thoughts on democracy's future?
I think the way American democracy is set up will prove the rattlesnake's bite to democracy, the kiss of death. The electoral college, nonproportional representation in the Senate, gerrymandering, and voter suppression have all slanted electoral representation in America towards the Republicans, although the majority of voters prefer Democrats. In the next few years, I see the Republicans tilting the system more and more towards themselves. More and more people on the Left will realize that the system is too far rigged to be rectified from within, and the future of our planet is at stake. Recently I've been hearing more and more non-Republicans (including some ex-Republicans) saying that the Republicans in Congress are "bad guys" who are taking America and her government hostage. I even received an email from Bernie Sanders the other day . . . it was quite an interesting email, as it cited polls finding that the majority of Republicans, as well as the majority of Democrats, support Medicare covering dental insurance, support legal marijuana, support gun control checks. And yet the Republicans in Congress, beholden to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, won't budge. Tactics more revolutionary than the ballot box will be used by the Left. Trump will continue to be the Great White Hope of his base, and the January 6 siege of the White House will just be the beginning. There will be civil war between the Left and the Right, and although millions will die during those few years, in the end Good will triumph over Evil.

But that Good will not be liberal democracy. A leftist oligarchy will shut out conservatives, especially Trumpists, and make decisive actions on climate change and other issues, in what will in effect be a one-party system.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by sangi39 »

Khemehekis wrote: 11 Jul 2021 02:35
and for many years I've had my doubts that democracy really has a future in this world,
I'm pretty sure democracy (as it's understood and practiced in the US) is a sunk ship. Let the band play on to the bitter end! It's been attacked for quite a while and is recently being dismembered.

I am curious: what are your thoughts on democracy's future?
I think the way American democracy is set up will prove the rattlesnake's bite to democracy, the kiss of death. The electoral college, nonproportional representation in the Senate, gerrymandering, and voter suppression have all slanted electoral representation in America towards the Republicans, although the majority of voters prefer Democrats. In the next few years, I see the Republicans tilting the system more and more towards themselves. More and more people on the Left will realize that the system is too far rigged to be rectified from within, and the future of our planet is at stake. Recently I've been hearing more and more non-Republicans (including some ex-Republicans) saying that the Republicans in Congress are "bad guys" who are taking America and her government hostage. I even received an email from Bernie Sanders the other day . . . it was quite an interesting email, as it cited polls finding that the majority of Republicans, as well as the majority of Democrats, support Medicare covering dental insurance, support legal marijuana, support gun control checks. And yet the Republicans in Congress, beholden to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, won't budge. Tactics more revolutionary than the ballot box will be used by the Left. Trump will continue to be the Great White Hope of his base, and the January 6 siege of the White House will just be the beginning. There will be civil war between the Left and the Right, and although millions will die during those few years, in the end Good will triumph over Evil.

But that Good will not be liberal democracy. A leftist oligarchy will shut out conservatives, especially Trumpists, and make decisive actions on climate change and other issues, in what will in effect be a one-party system.
I'm really not sure this is likely at all (although this is speaking as someone outside of the day-to-day goings-on of the US political landscape).

As far as I can see, the main problem in the US, as far as the democratic process there goes, is with the central focus on the presidency as both the head of state and the head of government (note that in the "developed world", "global north", whatever you want to call it, despite the usual rhetoric of "separation of powers", the US is the only republic within this group that is fully presidential), but also seemingly the be all and end all the US democratic process. Even state and local elections seemed to be framed within the context of satisfaction vs. dissatisfaction with the current president (the same is true in the UK as well, although how much of that is down to us using FPTP for a ton of different elections vs picking up on the political discourse used in the US, I don't know, since, only being 31, I'm actually relatively new to politics in the UK).

But, anyway, yeah, it seems like people in the US generally seem to believe, to varying degrees, that the office of president is one that should represent the American people as a whole, with the main differences being about how the President should be appointed. As an extension of that, pretty much everything in the US in terms of democracy is discussed within the context of elections, which are either "for the President" or "against the President". Yes, there are obviously issues in terms of gerrymandering and voter suppression, but, by and large, this usually seems to focus around how best to mitigate challenges to the Presidency (and while it's more apparently a Republican tactic, is does seem to occur within Democrat-majority areas as well, where "safe-guarding" their status promotes challenges to Republican presidents, the similarly prevents opposition to Democratic presidents).

But that's about as far as "democracy" seems to be framed in the US. Protests (literally the people speaking up), coming together to form unions or similar groups, etc. are seen as something on the "fringe" in the US, as far as I can tell, wholly separate from "the democractic process". So, at least in my eyes, looking at the US, while there's a hell of a lot of frustration at the moment, it looks like for a lot of people it's that "the constitution stands" but that there are other ways of paying attention to people that aren't being listened to.

Then again, the two parties in power aren't likely to make any significant changes until, I don't know, one of them suddenly notices that the current system might not actually be too good for them even though, locally, they're winning? Or the two main parties start to fracture beyond any point of coherence (this is a plan that's been suggested by some Labour voters in the UK, from what I've heard, that, due to "vote splitting", even though one area might have a "left-wing" majority, they lose out to right-wing parties thanks to FPTP, so Labour should draw up agreements with, say, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru to not stand against each other, in order to reduce the number of seats that Conservative Party candidates can gain).

Anyway, no, I don't think something like a "civil war" between the "right" and "left" will happen in the US, because, for the most part, it seems that the majority is either sympathetic or "positively apathetic" to the current system. It's just that "extreme viewpoints" (even those using democratic processes) are given a much louder voice, in part due to the current system of "the President is democracy" and the media.


If I had to make any prediction at all, it's that there might be a continued gain of third parties represented at local and state levels (mostly Libertarian Party and Green), some splintering of the Republican and Democratic parties (both moving further right, more "social democratic" Democrats moving to the Green party), and maybe some changes to the way district lines are drawn up, especially in states that have a strong third party presence, and, yeah, on-the-streets political discontent, but I can't see the majority of Americans just blindly supporting some "leftist" (doubt it) oligarchy (social progressive capitalist elite at best)

The (perceived or real) "high standard of living and income" in the US will probably do a lot to preserve some semblance of the current system as well. Most people aren't hugely likely to want to overturn a system that, even at its worst, can be seen as well, 37th is better than 195th" (which, yeah, probably depends on how much the media can spin it and how much the average person can be persuaded to care)
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Salmoneus »

sangi39 wrote: 17 Jul 2021 03:24 As far as I can see, the main problem in the US, as far as the democratic process there goes, is with the central focus on the presidency as both the head of state and the head of government (note that in the "developed world", "global north", whatever you want to call it, despite the usual rhetoric of "separation of powers", the US is the only republic within this group that is fully presidential), but also seemingly the be all and end all the US democratic process. Even state and local elections seemed to be framed within the context of satisfaction vs. dissatisfaction with the current president
Yes, this is broadly correct.

The traditional wisdom - backed up by a lot of statistical research - is that presidential systems fail. When I was at uni, the stat was that of the dozens and dozens of attempts, only two presidential democracies had ever survived longer than 25 years (the US and Chile), and only one had made it to the 50 year mark (the US); now, of course, many years later, the first half of that stat is no longer true, but off the top of my head I suspect the second half may still be. At least, few such systems are able to last any length of time without major crisis. The inferiority of presidencies holds true (or at least held true, I've not read modern research) even when controlling for continent, colonial power, age of democracy, GDP and other obvious factors (i.e. it's not just an accident of south american political eccentricity).

Which created two major political science questions: why do presidencies fail, and why hasn't the US failed yet?

There's no simple answer to either. But in broad terms, presidencies run into trouble because they aren't guaranteed support in parliament, and hence can't Get Stuff Done. Sooner or later, the president runs up against a hostile parliament, and there is deadlock. This leads to extreme polarisation (do you support parliament or the president?), stagnation, public unrest. Eventually, a charismatic outsider president uses that public unrest to conduct and autogolpe (a self-coup, in which the president remains in power but the political system is abolished). Alternatively, if not president is will to do so, the army can step in. Or, occasionally, parliament can pre-empt the autogolpe by asserting its own primary over the president, although this is much harder (as it lacks the executive tools to conduct a coup, and suffers from internal disagreements) - often such attempts (eg by impeaching the president) simply accelerate the autogolpe.

The main answer to why the US has survived has been its extreme political de-centralisation. It always used to be said that there aren't 2 parties in congress, there are 100 - each state party was relatively independent, both structurally and ideologically. There was generally a great deal of overlap between the two parties - as late as the 90s, something like 1/3 of congress members were on the 'wrong' side of the average member of the other side (that is, 1/3 democrats were more right-wing than the average republican, and 1/3 republicans were more left-wing than the average democrat). This meant that even when a Democratic President faced a Republican Congress, and (more often!) vice-versa, there was still always a good chance that a combination of party loyalty, ideological agreement, and individual bargaining could still deliver a majority to avoid deadlock. It also meant that split-ticketing was common - people who voted for the local Democrat for congress might vote for the national Republican for the presidency, and vice versa - diminishing the strength of party affiliations, and decreasing the association of particular parties with particular regions of the country (individual elections were often very geographically-determined, but the party-region links were more changeable between elections, depending on the candidates).

Over time, however, the US has experienced cultural nationalisation. People pay much less attention to local news, and much more to national or international news sources, whether that's the national broadcast networks and national newspapers, or modern social media sources. Political candidates in turn are much less reliant on local sources of campaign funding - as the price of a seat in congress has soared, candidates have turned to national fundraising (whether that's small donors of like mind across the country, or wealthy billionaires in las vegas or the like), and as a result have had to focus on the national political environment. The watershed moment was Gingrich's creation of the Contract with America in 1994 - the first detailed national party manifesto - but really this has been a gradual evolution over the decades, which Gingrich only accelerated. The result of this has been that working across the aisle has become far, far harder. There has been a great deal more gridlock, and a great deal more punting (eg leaving everything for the Supreme Court to decide) and a great deal more circumvention (eg the soaring use of executive decrees to, in effect, replace actual laws); it's also freed both sides to devote their time to showboating - since they know they can't get anything done anyway, they may as well posture for their sponsors.

There are other exacerbating factors, of course - parliamentary (the invention of the filibuster in the 1970s), technological (as people focus more attention on chosen communities online, rather than accidental communities in real geography, polarisation becomes easier to maintain), and structural (although the parties have nationalised, their internal hierarchies have weakened, exposing candidates to, in effect, market forces that drive them into centrifugal competition, accelerated by gerrymandering - centrists can no longer (either for ideological or pragmatic reasons) force their parties to remain centralised). The role of federalism is also important (previously, states could get stuff done to make up for gridlock in congress; but with nobody paying attention to state politics anymore, states have often now become a source of abysmal failures that are blamed on congress). It's also very unfortunate that ideological alignment has shifted toward an axis (rural-urban) that plays havoc with the electoral system. But the underlying narrative I think is that America has developed from a two-parties-in-name-only system to a genuine two-party system, and this does not play well with presidentialism.
(the same is true in the UK as well, although how much of that is down to us using FPTP for a ton of different elections vs picking up on the political discourse used in the US, I don't know, since, only being 31, I'm actually relatively new to politics in the UK).
Traditionally, Britain is much more polarised than the US (if you think the modern US is polarised, try reading up on the Thatcher vs Militant era!). However, we've had our own crises of the party system...

In any case, polarisation is far less dangerous here: with a parliamentary system, it's easier to have authoritarian majorities, but it's much harder to have a system failure, because the prime minister is virtually (except when really weird brexit shit happens!) guaranteed to have a majority in parliament. Hence, the system can bend with the political winds and remain intact, rather than snapping.
But that's about as far as "democracy" seems to be framed in the US. Protests (literally the people speaking up), coming together to form unions or similar groups, etc. are seen as something on the "fringe" in the US, as far as I can tell, wholly separate from "the democractic process". So, at least in my eyes, looking at the US, while there's a hell of a lot of frustration at the moment, it looks like for a lot of people it's that "the constitution stands" but that there are other ways of paying attention to people that aren't being listened to.
To be fair, the decline of political engagement - whether through parties, unions, protest movements, pressure groups and so on - seems to be a general trend in the West. We're moving to more of what we might call a 'like button' style of politics: you click 'like', and that's your political engagement done for the day. Even protests are increasingly ad hoc. This is probably because people have richer social lives now: historical political organisational engagement was hugely important as a source of identity and socialisation (the Young Conservatives and the Young Farmers in particular were often characterised as simply being dating agencies with a hobby attached). As other forms of social engagement opened up, party membership saw a catastrophic decline. That said, party membership is now increasing again, so maybe things will change once more.
Then again, the two parties in power aren't likely to make any significant changes until, I don't know, one of them suddenly notices that the current system might not actually be too good for them even though, locally, they're winning?
Yeah, electoral reform out of a two-party system is extremely rare, unfortunately. Nobody intentionally sets up an SP (simple plurality - 'first past the post') system, because it would be stupid; but once you've got one, it's hard to get rid of it, other than through a period of crisis, war, dictatorship, or rampantly corrupt one-party state. The only example I'm familiar with where an SP country simply switched to a better system voluntarily is New Zealand.

[it's not just SP, mind. It took Japan decades and a political seismic shift to get rid of their SNTV system, despite the fact that SNTV is palpably insane. (for decades, Japanese political parties had to effectively campaign against their own candidates, because they could lose a lot of seats by being too popular...*)]
Or the two main parties start to fracture beyond any point of coherence (this is a plan that's been suggested by some Labour voters in the UK, from what I've heard, that, due to "vote splitting", even though one area might have a "left-wing" majority, they lose out to right-wing parties thanks to FPTP, so Labour should draw up agreements with, say, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru to not stand against each other, in order to reduce the number of seats that Conservative Party candidates can gain).
A party system crisis can be motivation for electoral change. Australia adopted AV (the smallest change possible!) in response to vote-splitting on the right (which has in any case since ceased to be an issue due to the elimination of most small parties and the consolidation of the two big right-wing parties into one de facto party).

I thought there was a chance a few years ago, at the peak of our party system failure. But the system seems to be adapting.The Lib Dems crashed in 2015, and despite all logical reason, failed to make headway at the peak of their brexit opportunity (they gained members, but not many votes). The tories have effectively consumed (/been taken over by) the bnp/ukip/edl/nazi vote. The SNP problem (labour south of the border equates to snp north of it) looks like it will soon no longer be England's problem. The big weak point is still Labour, but they've gotten rid of Corbyn, they managed to get rid of the more hardcore blairites into that 'independent party' cul de sac, and the brexit issue is diminishing in saliency. They still have to choose between trying to return to the old system alignment (fighting the tories for the 'traditional labour' BNP vote in the north) and accepting the new one (fighting the lib dems for the 'cosmopolitan' vote in the south), but they look in much less danger of collapse now, so I think one way or another the system will endure (with or without the lib dems). Which makes electoral reform sadly unlikely.
Anyway, no, I don't think something like a "civil war" between the "right" and "left" will happen in the US, because, for the most part, it seems that the majority is either sympathetic or "positively apathetic" to the current system. It's just that "extreme viewpoints" (even those using democratic processes) are given a much louder voice, in part due to the current system of "the President is democracy" and the media.
It's true that polarisation isn't as bad as the media makes it look. But it's also true that it's very, very bad. Here's a 2017 network chart of the US portion of Facebook, for instance. Even basic common shared reality is crumbling - this is a country where at least one state (Tennessee) is now actively dissuading children from being vaccinated against polio because the satanist paedophiles are making children magnetic with vaccines.

Civil war doesn't require people to disaprove of the system - although anecdotally I think there is a historically low level of support for democracy on both left and right at the moment. It only requires that they disapprove of each other. And don't believe that compromise is attainable.

Is there going to be a civil war? Honestly: I think the US is currently on the path to civil war, and accelerating. This is what the run-up to a civil war looks like, historically speaking. Will it happen? I hope not. And I think not! Usually, people are able to realise that war is a bad thing, and take steps to avoid it. Historically, for instance, a lot of what's said about today's polarisation is also true of the 1890-1920 era, and that didn't result in civil war, or fascism (though it came worryingly close on the fascism front). But I think one or both parties (and their supporter base!) is going to have to do a massive course-correct to avoid war.

Ten years ago when I was planning out a SF conworld, I postulated that there'd be a US civil war at some point - but I thought it was a guess for the purposes of dramatic licence, and that it wouldn't be until the 21st century. Now the question is whether there'll be war in the next 50 years...

Actually, let's put that another way: whether there's a civil war happening at any given moment isn't as clearcut as people imagine. I don't think the civil war would be a matter of squares of pikemen marching over the plain: it would be guerilla warfare, police repression, and perhaps punctuated by controversial 'security' actions by the armed forces of a limited nature. And... in a way, it's already happening!

The republican bombing of Oklahoma was a civil war event. So was the republican storming of the capitol building. So was the democratic attempt to mass-assassinate 12 republican members of congress. You could also argue that Occupy Wall Street, the Battle of Seattle, and at least some of the various urban race riots over the years can be considered civil war events. "Having a civil war" need not indicate any clearly-demarcated change: rather, the frequency of such events would intensify, and the links between those events and organised political groups would strengthen (which we're already seeing on the right, with the calls for mass executions by people closely associated with the Republican Party.
If I had to make any prediction at all, it's that there might be a continued gain of third parties represented at local and state levels (mostly Libertarian Party and Green), some splintering of the Republican and Democratic parties (both moving further right, more "social democratic" Democrats moving to the Green party), and maybe some changes to the way district lines are drawn up, especially in states that have a strong third party presence, and, yeah, on-the-streets political discontent, but I can't see the majority of Americans just blindly supporting some "leftist" (doubt it) oligarchy (social progressive capitalist elite at best)
I don't think third party growth is that likely. Third parties are more common with centripetal competition - the two parties cluster in the centre, leaving a lot of room around the outside. In centrifugal competition, the new parties have to come from the centre, which is difficult, since centrists tend to lack the extremist zeal that brings about new political movements. In addition, antipathy is high - while it's true that much of the electorate dislikes both parties, many of them have a particularly intense hatred of one of those parties, and a reluctance to do anything (like vote for a third party) that would hand power to the hated party. In 2020, relatively few voters didn't care if Trump were re-elected or not!




*needless to say, the only electoral system I've worked out for my conworld is SNTV. It's too intuitive and historically plausible in its workings, yet gloriously insane in its consequences, to overlook...
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Re: 8values political quiz

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Salmoneus wrote: 17 Jul 2021 18:07
sangi39 wrote: 17 Jul 2021 03:24 As far as I can see, the main problem in the US, as far as the democratic process there goes, is with the central focus on the presidency as both the head of state and the head of government (note that in the "developed world", "global north", whatever you want to call it, despite the usual rhetoric of "separation of powers", the US is the only republic within this group that is fully presidential), but also seemingly the be all and end all the US democratic process. Even state and local elections seemed to be framed within the context of satisfaction vs. dissatisfaction with the current president
Yes, this is broadly correct.

The traditional wisdom - backed up by a lot of statistical research - is that presidential systems fail. When I was at uni, the stat was that of the dozens and dozens of attempts, only two presidential democracies had ever survived longer than 25 years (the US and Chile), and only one had made it to the 50 year mark (the US); now, of course, many years later, the first half of that stat is no longer true, but off the top of my head I suspect the second half may still be. At least, few such systems are able to last any length of time without major crisis. The inferiority of presidencies holds true (or at least held true, I've not read modern research) even when controlling for continent, colonial power, age of democracy, GDP and other obvious factors (i.e. it's not just an accident of south american political eccentricity).

Which created two major political science questions: why do presidencies fail, and why hasn't the US failed yet?

There's no simple answer to either. But in broad terms, presidencies run into trouble because they aren't guaranteed support in parliament, and hence can't Get Stuff Done. Sooner or later, the president runs up against a hostile parliament, and there is deadlock. This leads to extreme polarisation (do you support parliament or the president?), stagnation, public unrest. Eventually, a charismatic outsider president uses that public unrest to conduct and autogolpe (a self-coup, in which the president remains in power but the political system is abolished). Alternatively, if not president is will to do so, the army can step in. Or, occasionally, parliament can pre-empt the autogolpe by asserting its own primary over the president, although this is much harder (as it lacks the executive tools to conduct a coup, and suffers from internal disagreements) - often such attempts (eg by impeaching the president) simply accelerate the autogolpe.

The main answer to why the US has survived has been its extreme political de-centralisation. It always used to be said that there aren't 2 parties in congress, there are 100 - each state party was relatively independent, both structurally and ideologically. There was generally a great deal of overlap between the two parties - as late as the 90s, something like 1/3 of congress members were on the 'wrong' side of the average member of the other side (that is, 1/3 democrats were more right-wing than the average republican, and 1/3 republicans were more left-wing than the average democrat). This meant that even when a Democratic President faced a Republican Congress, and (more often!) vice-versa, there was still always a good chance that a combination of party loyalty, ideological agreement, and individual bargaining could still deliver a majority to avoid deadlock. It also meant that split-ticketing was common - people who voted for the local Democrat for congress might vote for the national Republican for the presidency, and vice versa - diminishing the strength of party affiliations, and decreasing the association of particular parties with particular regions of the country (individual elections were often very geographically-determined, but the party-region links were more changeable between elections, depending on the candidates).

Over time, however, the US has experienced cultural nationalisation. People pay much less attention to local news, and much more to national or international news sources, whether that's the national broadcast networks and national newspapers, or modern social media sources. Political candidates in turn are much less reliant on local sources of campaign funding - as the price of a seat in congress has soared, candidates have turned to national fundraising (whether that's small donors of like mind across the country, or wealthy billionaires in las vegas or the like), and as a result have had to focus on the national political environment. The watershed moment was Gingrich's creation of the Contract with America in 1994 - the first detailed national party manifesto - but really this has been a gradual evolution over the decades, which Gingrich only accelerated. The result of this has been that working across the aisle has become far, far harder. There has been a great deal more gridlock, and a great deal more punting (eg leaving everything for the Supreme Court to decide) and a great deal more circumvention (eg the soaring use of executive decrees to, in effect, replace actual laws); it's also freed both sides to devote their time to showboating - since they know they can't get anything done anyway, they may as well posture for their sponsors.

There are other exacerbating factors, of course - parliamentary (the invention of the filibuster in the 1970s), technological (as people focus more attention on chosen communities online, rather than accidental communities in real geography, polarisation becomes easier to maintain), and structural (although the parties have nationalised, their internal hierarchies have weakened, exposing candidates to, in effect, market forces that drive them into centrifugal competition, accelerated by gerrymandering - centrists can no longer (either for ideological or pragmatic reasons) force their parties to remain centralised). The role of federalism is also important (previously, states could get stuff done to make up for gridlock in congress; but with nobody paying attention to state politics anymore, states have often now become a source of abysmal failures that are blamed on congress). It's also very unfortunate that ideological alignment has shifted toward an axis (rural-urban) that plays havoc with the electoral system. But the underlying narrative I think is that America has developed from a two-parties-in-name-only system to a genuine two-party system, and this does not play well with presidentialism.
Ohhh, that makes sense, I think.

I remember being told in high school (so in the early 2000s) by one of our history teachers that, as you said, what were the Republican and Democratic parties were more like national conglomerations of smaller state parties, that tended to act in line with each other on a national scale, but there were times where one state's Republican Party could look more like the Democratic Party of another state that to the Republican Party of that other state, so there was a chance for a lot of overlap.

So, as it stands now, would it be fair to say that due, in part, to the increased nationalisation of both major parties (which I guess you could also attribute to things like increased connectively between states in recent decades due to changes in technology, in the same way that, as you point out later, people can connect with others over much greater distances), that the federal system that might have protected the US presidential system might be breaking down? And that, looking at other historical examples of presidential systems that didn't have relatively decentralised national political parties, the USA might not survive in its current political state for more than a couple of decades?




Salmoneus wrote: 17 Jul 2021 18:07
(the same is true in the UK as well, although how much of that is down to us using FPTP for a ton of different elections vs picking up on the political discourse used in the US, I don't know, since, only being 31, I'm actually relatively new to politics in the UK).
Traditionally, Britain is much more polarised than the US (if you think the modern US is polarised, try reading up on the Thatcher vs Militant era!). However, we've had our own crises of the party system...

In any case, polarisation is far less dangerous here: with a parliamentary system, it's easier to have authoritarian majorities, but it's much harder to have a system failure, because the prime minister is virtually (except when really weird brexit shit happens!) guaranteed to have a majority in parliament. Hence, the system can bend with the political winds and remain intact, rather than snapping.
Huh, fair. I guess I just didn't notice [:)] I'll have to look into that




Salmoneus wrote: 17 Jul 2021 18:07
But that's about as far as "democracy" seems to be framed in the US. Protests (literally the people speaking up), coming together to form unions or similar groups, etc. are seen as something on the "fringe" in the US, as far as I can tell, wholly separate from "the democractic process". So, at least in my eyes, looking at the US, while there's a hell of a lot of frustration at the moment, it looks like for a lot of people it's that "the constitution stands" but that there are other ways of paying attention to people that aren't being listened to.
To be fair, the decline of political engagement - whether through parties, unions, protest movements, pressure groups and so on - seems to be a general trend in the West. We're moving to more of what we might call a 'like button' style of politics: you click 'like', and that's your political engagement done for the day. Even protests are increasingly ad hoc. This is probably because people have richer social lives now: historical political organisational engagement was hugely important as a source of identity and socialisation (the Young Conservatives and the Young Farmers in particular were often characterised as simply being dating agencies with a hobby attached). As other forms of social engagement opened up, party membership saw a catastrophic decline. That said, party membership is now increasing again, so maybe things will change once more.
Yeah, that's true. I have seen ideas that take this on board, e.g. voting for policies, and appointing representatives on that basis, rather than appointing one representative to cover a host of policies (so, say, you'd have someone standing for "minister for economics" or "minister for health" within a given constituency).

And I guess that makes sense about party membership, or even just "club membership". There's more opportunity to travel to the nearest town or city for a night out, there are more ways to connect to people through computer games online, online forums, even just chatting on Facebook Messenger. Although saying that, number one thing to do round here is still "pub?", lol.




Salmoneus wrote: 17 Jul 2021 18:07
Then again, the two parties in power aren't likely to make any significant changes until, I don't know, one of them suddenly notices that the current system might not actually be too good for them even though, locally, they're winning?
Yeah, electoral reform out of a two-party system is extremely rare, unfortunately. Nobody intentionally sets up an SP (simple plurality - 'first past the post') system, because it would be stupid; but once you've got one, it's hard to get rid of it, other than through a period of crisis, war, dictatorship, or rampantly corrupt one-party state. The only example I'm familiar with where an SP country simply switched to a better system voluntarily is New Zealand.

[it's not just SP, mind. It took Japan decades and a political seismic shift to get rid of their SNTV system, despite the fact that SNTV is palpably insane. (for decades, Japanese political parties had to effectively campaign against their own candidates, because they could lose a lot of seats by being too popular...*)]
Yeah, I'd honestly rather see electoral reform within the current political system, but given how annoyingly difficult FPTP seems to be to move on from... Well, we'll just have to see I suppose.

I just had a look at SNTV, and that looks vaguely similar to how Hambleton District Council elections are held. There are X number of seats to be filled in each ward, a political party can field multiple candidates (up to the number of available seats in each ward), people can vote for as many candidates as there are seats (not preferentially, just "I want these people please"). The candidates with the highest number of votes and appointed to each seat, from highest to lowest number of votes, until each seat is filled. The only difference between that and SNTV seems to be that in STNV you only get to vote once. Given that both system can be rammed with multiple candidates of the same party, it's just FPTP with extra steps (I'd need to check again, but at least for the Hambleton example, but off the top of my head, the only time a party didn't win all the seats in a ward was when none of them fielded multiple candidates, except once where there was a Conservative/Labour split where the Labour candidate gained one more vote than the second Conservative candidate, thus gaining the second of the two available seats). That all to me just seems utterly maddening.




Salmoneus wrote: 17 Jul 2021 18:07
Or the two main parties start to fracture beyond any point of coherence (this is a plan that's been suggested by some Labour voters in the UK, from what I've heard, that, due to "vote splitting", even though one area might have a "left-wing" majority, they lose out to right-wing parties thanks to FPTP, so Labour should draw up agreements with, say, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru to not stand against each other, in order to reduce the number of seats that Conservative Party candidates can gain).
A party system crisis can be motivation for electoral change. Australia adopted AV (the smallest change possible!) in response to vote-splitting on the right (which has in any case since ceased to be an issue due to the elimination of most small parties and the consolidation of the two big right-wing parties into one de facto party).

I thought there was a chance a few years ago, at the peak of our party system failure. But the system seems to be adapting.The Lib Dems crashed in 2015, and despite all logical reason, failed to make headway at the peak of their brexit opportunity (they gained members, but not many votes). The tories have effectively consumed (/been taken over by) the bnp/ukip/edl/nazi vote. The SNP problem (labour south of the border equates to snp north of it) looks like it will soon no longer be England's problem. The big weak point is still Labour, but they've gotten rid of Corbyn, they managed to get rid of the more hardcore blairites into that 'independent party' cul de sac, and the brexit issue is diminishing in saliency. They still have to choose between trying to return to the old system alignment (fighting the tories for the 'traditional labour' BNP vote in the north) and accepting the new one (fighting the lib dems for the 'cosmopolitan' vote in the south), but they look in much less danger of collapse now, so I think one way or another the system will endure (with or without the lib dems). Which makes electoral reform sadly unlikely.
It's been an interesting few years to say the least, but yeah, it looks like the big crises are coming to an end, especially with the "end" of Brexit (I'm not even sure COVID-19 has really made much of a difference either to be fair). The next big one is probably Scottish independence, but I'm not even sure that will do much other than reduce the number of votes for the SNP in an independent Scotland, further consolidation of power by the Conservatives in the House of Commons (hell, even if Labour are in power at that point, I can't see them messing with electoral reform if it could mean they'd lose seats in response to it)




Salmoneus wrote: 17 Jul 2021 18:07
Anyway, no, I don't think something like a "civil war" between the "right" and "left" will happen in the US, because, for the most part, it seems that the majority is either sympathetic or "positively apathetic" to the current system. It's just that "extreme viewpoints" (even those using democratic processes) are given a much louder voice, in part due to the current system of "the President is democracy" and the media.
It's true that polarisation isn't as bad as the media makes it look. But it's also true that it's very, very bad. Here's a 2017 network chart of the US portion of Facebook, for instance. Even basic common shared reality is crumbling - this is a country where at least one state (Tennessee) is now actively dissuading children from being vaccinated against polio because the satanist paedophiles are making children magnetic with vaccines.

Civil war doesn't require people to disaprove of the system - although anecdotally I think there is a historically low level of support for democracy on both left and right at the moment. It only requires that they disapprove of each other. And don't believe that compromise is attainable.

Is there going to be a civil war? Honestly: I think the US is currently on the path to civil war, and accelerating. This is what the run-up to a civil war looks like, historically speaking. Will it happen? I hope not. And I think not! Usually, people are able to realise that war is a bad thing, and take steps to avoid it. Historically, for instance, a lot of what's said about today's polarisation is also true of the 1890-1920 era, and that didn't result in civil war, or fascism (though it came worryingly close on the fascism front). But I think one or both parties (and their supporter base!) is going to have to do a massive course-correct to avoid war.

Ten years ago when I was planning out a SF conworld, I postulated that there'd be a US civil war at some point - but I thought it was a guess for the purposes of dramatic licence, and that it wouldn't be until the 21st century. Now the question is whether there'll be war in the next 50 years...

Actually, let's put that another way: whether there's a civil war happening at any given moment isn't as clearcut as people imagine. I don't think the civil war would be a matter of squares of pikemen marching over the plain: it would be guerilla warfare, police repression, and perhaps punctuated by controversial 'security' actions by the armed forces of a limited nature. And... in a way, it's already happening!

The republican bombing of Oklahoma was a civil war event. So was the republican storming of the capitol building. So was the democratic attempt to mass-assassinate 12 republican members of congress. You could also argue that Occupy Wall Street, the Battle of Seattle, and at least some of the various urban race riots over the years can be considered civil war events. "Having a civil war" need not indicate any clearly-demarcated change: rather, the frequency of such events would intensify, and the links between those events and organised political groups would strengthen (which we're already seeing on the right, with the calls for mass executions by people closely associated with the Republican Party.
Ah, well, that's fair, yeah. So I suppose if things continue on the way they are, then, yeah, civil war might just be a thing (in the sense of "okay, yeah, this is definitely a civil war now" rather than the less clear-cut sense).

One of the one things actually that does worry me (might not be the best wording) is that US communists seem to be getting louder again. While the Democrat's base largely seems to be moving towards some sort of gun control (with even more extreme calls for the Second Amendment to be replaced all together), some(?) US communists are going down the route of the armed proletariat. If their voices get louder, and they get heard more, that could add to the escalation of tensions already going on, provoking further push back from those on the political right. And if that feeds back into itself...




Salmoneus wrote: 17 Jul 2021 18:07
If I had to make any prediction at all, it's that there might be a continued gain of third parties represented at local and state levels (mostly Libertarian Party and Green), some splintering of the Republican and Democratic parties (both moving further right, more "social democratic" Democrats moving to the Green party), and maybe some changes to the way district lines are drawn up, especially in states that have a strong third party presence, and, yeah, on-the-streets political discontent, but I can't see the majority of Americans just blindly supporting some "leftist" (doubt it) oligarchy (social progressive capitalist elite at best)
I don't think third party growth is that likely. Third parties are more common with centripetal competition - the two parties cluster in the centre, leaving a lot of room around the outside. In centrifugal competition, the new parties have to come from the centre, which is difficult, since centrists tend to lack the extremist zeal that brings about new political movements. In addition, antipathy is high - while it's true that much of the electorate dislikes both parties, many of them have a particularly intense hatred of one of those parties, and a reluctance to do anything (like vote for a third party) that would hand power to the hated party. In 2020, relatively few voters didn't care if Trump were re-elected or not!
I suppose that makes sense. The more divided their base becomes, and the less likely they are to work together, there's no real room for third parties as long as the main idea is "don't let them win", even among voters (probably goes some way to explaining the apathy as well - what's the point if everything is geared towards just "winning"?). And then working with a FPTP system, voting for anyone else at all on a national level could be worse (yay spoiler effect), and if fewer and fewer people are looking at local elections at all, most people might not even realise there even are third party candidates at all.





It is, in general, quite interesting to see how things play out. Frustrating as hell sometimes (most of the time), but still interesting.
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Salmoneus »

sangi39 wrote: 23 Jul 2021 00:05 Ohhh, that makes sense, I think.

I remember being told in high school (so in the early 2000s) by one of our history teachers that, as you said, what were the Republican and Democratic parties were more like national conglomerations of smaller state parties, that tended to act in line with each other on a national scale, but there were times where one state's Republican Party could look more like the Democratic Party of another state that to the Republican Party of that other state, so there was a chance for a lot of overlap.
Yes, exactly. Historically, a Democrat from Alabama would generally be to the right of a Republican from New York. In contrast, it's now often (though not yet always) even the case that a Democrat from a Red state may actually be further LEFT than the average Democrat - because rather than trying to appeal to the majority in their state, they're produced by passionate extremists (because you have to be a passionate extremist to be involved in Democratic politics in a Red state, and vice versa), and they appeal to their increasingly besieged urban Blue exarchates. So in the 2016 primaries, for instance, while Clinton did do well in the South (because of the large, centrist-Democrat Black population), Sanders generally did best in the heavily white Red states...
So, as it stands now, would it be fair to say that due, in part, to the increased nationalisation of both major parties (which I guess you could also attribute to things like increased connectively between states in recent decades due to changes in technology, in the same way that, as you point out later, people can connect with others over much greater distances), that the federal system that might have protected the US presidential system might be breaking down? And that, looking at other historical examples of presidential systems that didn't have relatively decentralised national political parties, the USA might not survive in its current political state for more than a couple of decades?
The federal system as a system isn't breaking down per se - the constitutional safeguards remain in place - but I do think that the protective effects of federalism are now much less than they were, yes.

Will it survive more than a couple of decades? Probably, yes. But I think "it might not survive" is technically true - and much more true than it's been for a hundred years or more. Catastrophic failure is now a viable option.
Huh, fair. I guess I just didn't notice [:)] I'll have to look into that
The fact "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead" reached #2 in the pop charts to celebrate the death of thrice-elected Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher perhaps illustrates the depth of antipathy... [I don't believe a simila thing happened in response to Reagan's death, for instance]
Yeah, that's true. I have seen ideas that take this on board, e.g. voting for policies, and appointing representatives on that basis, rather than appointing one representative to cover a host of policies (so, say, you'd have someone standing for "minister for economics" or "minister for health" within a given constituency).
I'm not sure how this would work - do you have specifics?

The obvious problem with this would seem to be that people would elect a Minister for Spending who promised to increase spending massively, and a Minister for Taxing who promised to slash taxes...
I just had a look at SNTV, and that looks vaguely similar to how Hambleton District Council elections are held. There are X number of seats to be filled in each ward, a political party can field multiple candidates (up to the number of available seats in each ward), people can vote for as many candidates as there are seats (not preferentially, just "I want these people please"). The candidates with the highest number of votes and appointed to each seat, from highest to lowest number of votes, until each seat is filled. The only difference between that and SNTV seems to be that in STNV you only get to vote once. Given that both system can be rammed with multiple candidates of the same party, it's just FPTP with extra steps (I'd need to check again, but at least for the Hambleton example, but off the top of my head, the only time a party didn't win all the seats in a ward was when none of them fielded multiple candidates, except once where there was a Conservative/Labour split where the Labour candidate gained one more vote than the second Conservative candidate, thus gaining the second of the two available seats). That all to me just seems utterly maddening.
This system is called 'MNTV', but is often just called 'the bloc vote'. It looks like it should be similar to SNTV - as you say, the only difference is that you can vote for more than one candidate - but in fact the results are exactly opposite. SNTV in a non-tactical election tends toward semi-proportionality, not that different from STV; it also tends, like STV, to encourage candidates who distinguish themselves from their party, often by doing constituency work (and/or corruption). MNTV, on the other hand, produces iron-fisted dictatorships, and penalises candidates who stand up to the Party Leadership (with the exception of a few candidates from minority parties who find ways to appeal more widely).

(Many) English local elections use, as you say, a ward-based MNTV system; this is better than a single-district MNTV (it doesn't guarantee total control), but has its own glaring opportunity for gerrymandering, because the number of seats per ward isn't fixed. In Hambleton, for instance, the Tories were able to minimise the effect of popular local independent candidate Andrew Robinson by isolating him in a single-seat ward, while sweeping the board in three-seat wards like Bedale and Easingwold. Guidelines, AIUI are for all districts to move toward uniform three-seat wards to avoid this problem, but they often haven't been followed.

The fewer seats per ward relative to number of wards in the district, the more MNTV approximates to 'only' SP - just SP with more politicians. Where ward sizes are big, however, it turns into something monstrous. Hambleton's pretty bad, but not THAT much worse than SP - 85% of seats from 60% of votes. [there's two independents, one labour and one lib dem]. And an even worse option is what's known as 'the general ticket', where you just vote for a party and the winning party gets all the seats and decides who will fill them.

The UK used to use MNTV - more accurately, it was simply unspecified how many MPs were elected from a seat, so while most seats were SP, some were MNTV. The US has used both MNTV and the general ticket.

MNTV also suffers from tactical voting problems, too - many supporters of minority parties don't realise that voting for a big party as a second vote actually massively reduces the chances of their preferred candidate getting elected. It also penalises parties who submit too many or too few candidates. However, SNTV is much worse in this regard. In SNTV, once tactical voting arises, the winning party is effectively the party that is best able to exactly evenly split the vote between all its candidates - which is usually the party in power.

Halfway between MNTV and SNTV is LV - where you have more than one vote, but fewer than the number of seats being filled.


...sorry, I get a bit geeky about electoral systems!



Anyway, yes, MNTV allows minorities to gain massive majorities. A famous recent example of this is the nominations for the Hugo Awards, which used MNTV. As a result, a small minority of highly-co-ordinated candidates, essentially acting as a political party, was able to gain a dominating percentage of nominations...
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Re: 8values political quiz

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Salmoneus wrote: 23 Jul 2021 17:27
sangi39 wrote: 23 Jul 2021 00:05 Ohhh, that makes sense, I think.

I remember being told in high school (so in the early 2000s) by one of our history teachers that, as you said, what were the Republican and Democratic parties were more like national conglomerations of smaller state parties, that tended to act in line with each other on a national scale, but there were times where one state's Republican Party could look more like the Democratic Party of another state that to the Republican Party of that other state, so there was a chance for a lot of overlap.
Yes, exactly. Historically, a Democrat from Alabama would generally be to the right of a Republican from New York. In contrast, it's now often (though not yet always) even the case that a Democrat from a Red state may actually be further LEFT than the average Democrat - because rather than trying to appeal to the majority in their state, they're produced by passionate extremists (because you have to be a passionate extremist to be involved in Democratic politics in a Red state, and vice versa), and they appeal to their increasingly besieged urban Blue exarchates. So in the 2016 primaries, for instance, while Clinton did do well in the South (because of the large, centrist-Democrat Black population), Sanders generally did best in the heavily white Red states...
That makes sense, I think. On the other hand, isn't there also a trend towards "not that party" as well? So where there is an increasing trend within the parties to move to the extremes in terms of individual candidates, there's also a strategy towards backing more "rooted" "centrists" because of "electability" (those on the outward extremes of one party can't win over the "centrist" votes of the other party, even if, for example, the one out on the extreme might actually manage to gain more votes by appealing to previously apathetic voters - there's a chance I'm underthinking that so much)




Salmoneus wrote: 23 Jul 2021 17:27
So, as it stands now, would it be fair to say that due, in part, to the increased nationalisation of both major parties (which I guess you could also attribute to things like increased connectively between states in recent decades due to changes in technology, in the same way that, as you point out later, people can connect with others over much greater distances), that the federal system that might have protected the US presidential system might be breaking down? And that, looking at other historical examples of presidential systems that didn't have relatively decentralised national political parties, the USA might not survive in its current political state for more than a couple of decades?
The federal system as a system isn't breaking down per se - the constitutional safeguards remain in place - but I do think that the protective effects of federalism are now much less than they were, yes.

Will it survive more than a couple of decades? Probably, yes. But I think "it might not survive" is technically true - and much more true than it's been for a hundred years or more. Catastrophic failure is now a viable option.
I suppose if the two main parties are becoming more nationally unified, and basically the same at all levels, even though the differentiation of state vs. federal power still remains in place in law, with nationally policy winning out at almost all levels, it's almost as if the federal government is in control (in practice, but not in name)




Salmoneus wrote: 23 Jul 2021 17:27
Huh, fair. I guess I just didn't notice [:)] I'll have to look into that
The fact "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead" reached #2 in the pop charts to celebrate the death of thrice-elected Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher perhaps illustrates the depth of antipathy... [I don't believe a simila thing happened in response to Reagan's death, for instance]
I know a few of my friends were sharing it online, but I just assumed it was my uni bubble (mostly left-leaning Labour voters, socialists, anti-capitalists, etc. who I keep in touch with online) and I just hadn't seen the reaction in the opposite side of things (by that point I'd been back in Richmond (Yorks) for a couple of years, and I think the most I heard from people round here was "have you heard the news?")




Salmoneus wrote: 23 Jul 2021 17:27
Yeah, that's true. I have seen ideas that take this on board, e.g. voting for policies, and appointing representatives on that basis, rather than appointing one representative to cover a host of policies (so, say, you'd have someone standing for "minister for economics" or "minister for health" within a given constituency).
I'm not sure how this would work - do you have specifics?

The obvious problem with this would seem to be that people would elect a Minister for Spending who promised to increase spending massively, and a Minister for Taxing who promised to slash taxes...
I wasn't sure about that either. I suppose, on the one hand, it could force co-operation and compromise, but it could also completely stall the process if neither side backs down, but I can't remember the details of it enough (or where I found it) to say anything properly specific about it.




Salmoneus wrote: 23 Jul 2021 17:27
I just had a look at SNTV, and that looks vaguely similar to how Hambleton District Council elections are held. There are X number of seats to be filled in each ward, a political party can field multiple candidates (up to the number of available seats in each ward), people can vote for as many candidates as there are seats (not preferentially, just "I want these people please"). The candidates with the highest number of votes and appointed to each seat, from highest to lowest number of votes, until each seat is filled. The only difference between that and SNTV seems to be that in STNV you only get to vote once. Given that both system can be rammed with multiple candidates of the same party, it's just FPTP with extra steps (I'd need to check again, but at least for the Hambleton example, but off the top of my head, the only time a party didn't win all the seats in a ward was when none of them fielded multiple candidates, except once where there was a Conservative/Labour split where the Labour candidate gained one more vote than the second Conservative candidate, thus gaining the second of the two available seats). That all to me just seems utterly maddening.
This system is called 'MNTV', but is often just called 'the bloc vote'. It looks like it should be similar to SNTV - as you say, the only difference is that you can vote for more than one candidate - but in fact the results are exactly opposite. SNTV in a non-tactical election tends toward semi-proportionality, not that different from STV; it also tends, like STV, to encourage candidates who distinguish themselves from their party, often by doing constituency work (and/or corruption). MNTV, on the other hand, produces iron-fisted dictatorships, and penalises candidates who stand up to the Party Leadership (with the exception of a few candidates from minority parties who find ways to appeal more widely).

(Many) English local elections use, as you say, a ward-based MNTV system; this is better than a single-district MNTV (it doesn't guarantee total control), but has its own glaring opportunity for gerrymandering, because the number of seats per ward isn't fixed. In Hambleton, for instance, the Tories were able to minimise the effect of popular local independent candidate Andrew Robinson by isolating him in a single-seat ward, while sweeping the board in three-seat wards like Bedale and Easingwold. Guidelines, AIUI are for all districts to move toward uniform three-seat wards to avoid this problem, but they often haven't been followed.

The fewer seats per ward relative to number of wards in the district, the more MNTV approximates to 'only' SP - just SP with more politicians. Where ward sizes are big, however, it turns into something monstrous. Hambleton's pretty bad, but not THAT much worse than SP - 85% of seats from 60% of votes. [there's two independents, one labour and one lib dem]. And an even worse option is what's known as 'the general ticket', where you just vote for a party and the winning party gets all the seats and decides who will fill them.

The UK used to use MNTV - more accurately, it was simply unspecified how many MPs were elected from a seat, so while most seats were SP, some were MNTV. The US has used both MNTV and the general ticket.

MNTV also suffers from tactical voting problems, too - many supporters of minority parties don't realise that voting for a big party as a second vote actually massively reduces the chances of their preferred candidate getting elected. It also penalises parties who submit too many or too few candidates. However, SNTV is much worse in this regard. In SNTV, once tactical voting arises, the winning party is effectively the party that is best able to exactly evenly split the vote between all its candidates - which is usually the party in power.

Halfway between MNTV and SNTV is LV - where you have more than one vote, but fewer than the number of seats being filled.


...sorry, I get a bit geeky about electoral systems!



Anyway, yes, MNTV allows minorities to gain massive majorities. A famous recent example of this is the nominations for the Hugo Awards, which used MNTV. As a result, a small minority of highly-co-ordinated candidates, essentially acting as a political party, was able to gain a dominating percentage of nominations...
Well, on the note of MNTV in Hambleton District, it won't exist for much longer (2023). It's been announced that the different local and district councils, as well as the county council, will be combined into a single unitary authority for North Yorkshire (with York City Council staying as is), as part of a series of changes local government across England. Really not sure how I feel about it, but, first reaction, I'm always iffy with increased centralisation at the expense of local authorities

I looked into the local elections here a few, and I'm still working on it (I stupidly didn't include Huby in my data, because the electoral results were listed on a different page because it was uncontested), but it seemed like keeping MNTV and combining the wards into (mostly) three-seat wards (one had two seats, one had four) would do little to change the results. I got: Con: 23, Lab: 2, Lib-Dem: 1, Green: 0, Independent: 1, which basically saw Labour gain one seat at the expense of one of the independents.

Combining the wards in the same way, and having people vote by party only (or, say, choosing from a list of candidates within a party, but seats are assigned based on the votes for the party), I came away with Con: 19 (+5.6%), Lab: 5 (+1.4%), Lib-Dem: 2 (-1.7%), Green: 1 (-3.7%), Independent: 1 (-1.5%) (it was STV using Droop, but I annoyingly just had to assume that people only that people didn't make any choices outside of one party, which was a bit of a pain). So still shows the overrepresentation of larger parties that I've always seen as being a feature of STV, but it's at least more proportional that just combining the wards and keeping MNTV
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Re: 8values political quiz

Post by Vlürch »

Honestly, the results I just got on these aren't surprising since I knew I've become a lot more moderate on most issues.

https://8values.github.io/results.html? ... 0.5&s=80.6
https://9axes.github.io/results.html?a= ... &h=84&i=42
https://leftvalues.github.io/results.ht ... 1.7&g=23.5
https://rightvaluestest.github.io/resul ... 7.5&g=50.0

Pics of the results:
Spoiler:
Image
Image
Image
Image
I should probably put the long ass explanation in a spoiler, too:
Spoiler:
On the leftism one, the big issue for me is that most of the questions were about workers' issues while I'm on disability retirement (for mental health issues), have never worked a day in my life, and any change to the status quo either to the left or to the right would force me into a job that'd end up killing me one way or another, so... yeah. I don't know what's best for workers, but I know what's best for me, and that's the status quo. Well, I mean, in theory UBI could remove that entire problem out of the equation, but unfortunately actual sufficient UBI will never be a thing. Not sure why it labels me as adhering to "left-wing nationalism", unless nationalism is used to mean "I'd prefer to focus progress on my own country but also help other countries with progress where possible".

On the rightism one... dunno.

I like the idea of increased automation in everything except the service sector in the future, but unfortunately IRL the service sector is the one sector where robots are replacing people the most... which sucks ass big time.

Generally on economic issues, I lean towards "globalist selfism": I wish I could buy things from other countries for cheap but also that the people who manufactured those things got paid sufficiently so that they could buy things from other countries for cheap. I mean, local production would be great in theory, but it'll never be realistic in practice and self-sufficiency leads to an increase in ethnonationalism so fuck that.

Rich people should pay more taxes to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. Also, VAT should be progressive, linked to income; rich people should pay more and poor people should pay less, in such a way that the current VAT is matched. Other measures to further economic equality could be undertaken, but the specifics aren't that important I think. As economic equality increases, taxes could be equalised again.

I don't think the government should just yank people's inheritance/property or anything. Even if it was exclusively literal millionaires targeted for inheritance/property yanking, it'd be a dick move by the government and I don't imagine anyone who's rich would ever support it. I believe winning over the rich would be the most certain way to guarantee improvement and a bright future, since they have the money to actually do things.

There should also be ethically produced options for things currently only produced unethically. That would also incentivise ethical production in the long run even in countries that currently use literal slave labour, I think. Not gonna screech about China for ten paragraphs, but like... some component of pretty much every product is made by literal slaves in China, and that sucks because slavery is inherently wrong I think.

The destruction of nature for short-term gains is among the few things I still feel really strongly about. If the destruction was to build affordable housing with green roofs and vertical farms and parks and other shit to help poor people (especially refugees) to move in and have better chances in society, with serious community building and good quality long-term education and whatnot programs all in the new neighbourhoods/cities, then I feel it'd be justifiable, but... well, it never is.

As for the multiculturalism/assimilationism thing, for me it depends on political views; if I got to decide, people who have socially conservative views wouldn't be allowed to immigrate while those who have socially progressive/liberal views would be. I know that would never be practically possible, but... I do think immigration is overall more beneficial than harmful, and of course the children of immigrants who grow up in Finnish society are often more progressive/liberal than their parents. I also put "agree" to the questions about immigrants learning the local language and stuff, but not "strongly agree" because I think in most cases English is enough when it comes to first-generation immigrants. It's just unrealistic to expect everyone to get fluent in Finnish. I mean, I've tried to learn several languages but have never gotten even to the level of a toddler in any of them and it'd be hypocritical to hold immigrants to higher standards.

On military issues, personally I got exempted from conscription (because I said I'd shoot myself if I was given a gun; I probably still would tbh, although not necessarily immediately) but I do acknowledge the importance of defence from Russian aggression. They do test our border all the time, so yeah, it seems necessary, even if hearing about all the macho bullshit, homophobia and ethnonationalism that's "inherent" to the military makes me emotionally wish the military could be abolished.

There wasn't anything about planned obsolescence, but FUCK planned obsolescence. It should be illegal to create technological products that are expected to break within a decade. Proprietary bullshit should be chucked and physical upgrades to products to improve their longevity and bring their functionality up to date, as well as more customisation with genuine user-friendly options, should be embraced.
So in a nutshell, at this point I'm officially a socdem I guess?😨 Party-wise I still prefer the Left Alliance or Greens to the SocDems, though, and generally get along better with libertarian socialists than socdems... but anyway, I'll rather settle for socdemisation than going down some rabbit hole again.

EDIT for slight clarification on details, in case someone starts "debating issues of being unemployed in a socialist state", which is something that happens often when I mention I'm on disability retirement for mental health issues. In my experience the farther left someone is, the less they have a problem with admitting that mentally ill people would have it worse in their dream socialist state than in the current capitalist state. Not that my mental health is that bad anymore, but still... well... maybe armchair psychologists who dream of gulags know better than actual psychologists, dunno.🤔
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Re: 8values political quiz

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Vlürch wrote: 04 Aug 2021 17:39 On the leftism one, the big issue for me is that most of the questions were about workers' issues while I'm on disability retirement (for mental health issues), have never worked a day in my life,
Presumably you can imagine the concept of workers, though?

Oddly, I just did the test to see what questions you meant, and I could only find two questions that mentioned workplace democracy (which isn't something you need to have actually been a worker to have opinions on!).
and any change to the status quo either to the left or to the right would force me into a job that'd end up killing me one way or another... I don't know what's best for workers, but I know what's best for me, and that's the status quo... In my experience the farther left someone is, the less they have a problem with admitting that mentally ill people would have it worse in their dream socialist state than in the current capitalist state.
I don't undestand your views here. Karl Marx was pretty clear on the necessity of supporting the disabled: "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need". If someone is unable to work, Marxism is very clear that their needs should nonetheless be met, even at cost to others. Generally, the futher left someone is, the more they support this Communist maxim (with the exception of some groups). Support of the disabled through welfare to the point of equality with the able is also a central, defining principle of liberal egalitarianism.

There are also attempts to incorporate some form of welfare into right-wing ideologies, though it is admittedly much more problematic over there.
I like the idea of increased automation in everything except the service sector in the future, but unfortunately IRL the service sector is the one sector where robots are replacing people the most... which sucks ass big time.
Why? If it's great to replace watchmakers and farmers with robos, why is it bad to replace lawyers and accountants with robots?
Generally on economic issues, I lean towards "globalist selfism": I wish I could buy things from other countries for cheap but also that the people who manufactured those things got paid sufficiently so that they could buy things from other countries for cheap.
Huh? You do understand that if you paid the people who made you things more, your things would no longer be so cheap?
Rich people should pay more taxes to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. Also, VAT should be progressive, linked to income; rich people should pay more and poor people should pay less, in such a way that the current VAT is matched.
If you don't mind me saying so, that seems like a regressive form of taxation that would increase inequality.

It's true that, because the poor spend more, there's an appeal to the idea of lowering consumption taxes for them. But the flip side of that is that consumption taxes would then be higher for the rich! This is a problem, because consuming is exactly what left-wingers should WANT the rich to do. If you want to reduce inequality, you need to move money from the rich to the poor - and the only way this happens, other than just directly taxing wealth, is by the rich buying things from the poor. Rich people wasting money by buying pointless things at inflated prices helps to move money away from the rich and toward the people who made those pointless things. Increasing taxes on consumption will encourage the rich to consume less - which means that they end up hoarding their wealth instead of spending it. And hoarding leads to increased inequality.

If anything, maybe the rich should be given anti-VAT - tax breaks whenever they buy something!
I don't think the government should just yank people's inheritance/property or anything. Even if it was exclusively literal millionaires targeted for inheritance/property yanking, it'd be a dick move by the government and I don't imagine anyone who's rich would ever support it. I believe winning over the rich would be the most certain way to guarantee improvement and a bright future, since they have the money to actually do things.
Although actually, the very rich are often in favour of taxes.
There should also be ethically produced options for things currently only produced unethically. That would also incentivise ethical production in the long run even in countries that currently use literal slave labour, I think. Not gonna screech about China for ten paragraphs, but like... some component of pretty much every product is made by literal slaves in China, and that sucks because slavery is inherently wrong I think.
There "should be" all sorts of things. But how are you going to make that happen? After all, the only reason slave labour is used is that Western consumers demand it.
The destruction of nature for short-term gains is among the few things I still feel really strongly about. If the destruction was to build affordable housing with green roofs and vertical farms and parks and other shit to help poor people (especially refugees) to move in and have better chances in society, with serious community building and good quality long-term education and whatnot programs all in the new neighbourhoods/cities, then I feel it'd be justifiable, but... well, it never is.
Then where SHOULD poor people live?
As for the multiculturalism/assimilationism thing, for me it depends on political views; if I got to decide, people who have socially conservative views wouldn't be allowed to immigrate while those who have socially progressive/liberal views would be.
Ironically, this is an incredibly socially conservative view!
There wasn't anything about planned obsolescence, but FUCK planned obsolescence. It should be illegal to create technological products that are expected to break within a decade.
Well there goes 90% of the economy. I guess everything will be built out of oak and granite in the future...
Proprietary bullshit should be chucked and physical upgrades to products to improve their longevity and bring their functionality up to date, as well as more customisation with genuine user-friendly options, should be embraced.
Companies don't create product with user-unfriendly options on purpose - nobody's sitting there saying "hey, how can we discourage people from buying our product?". Fining or jailing people for being bad at design seems a little punitive...
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Re: 8values political quiz

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FWIW, I took that leftist quiz, as I said, to see what questions vlurch was referring to, and it gave me 'Centrist Marxist', followed by 'Democratic Socialist' and 'Market Anarchist'. I'd guess the last of these three is most accurate in a theoretical sense, but I don't disagree with the other two in practical regards.
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Re: 8values political quiz

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Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Oddly, I just did the test to see what questions you meant, and I could only find two questions that mentioned workplace democracy (which isn't something you need to have actually been a worker to have opinions on!).
I mean, the stuff about unions, workers voting, etc. Admittedly "most" was an exaggeration, but that was the feeling I was left with after it.
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02I don't undestand your views here. Karl Marx was pretty clear on the necessity of supporting the disabled: "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need". If someone is unable to work, Marxism is very clear that their needs should nonetheless be met, even at cost to others. Generally, the futher left someone is, the more they support this Communist maxim (with the exception of some groups). Support of the disabled through welfare to the point of equality with the able is also a central, defining principle of liberal egalitarianism.
True in theory, but with the exception of maybe half of self-described anarchists, most of the leftists I've talked with about that stuff are like "but you're not disabled! in a socialist state you wouldn't have your mental health problems! you'd be able to work just fine!" even if I repeatedly explain that that's not how it works, that every therapist ended up basically declaring me a hopeless case as far as education/employment goes... that's what I meant with the thing about armchair psychologists knowing better, because clearly they think they do.
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Why? If it's great to replace watchmakers and farmers with robos, why is it bad to replace lawyers and accountants with robots?
Because of the human dimension. I believe it's important to have some human contact, but even if the emotional aspect was removed, there's still the fact that in many social interaction-type situations an AI wouldn't be able to understand a problem if there was one. Sure, they could be programmed to deal with a million variables, or summon a person to deal with it if it can't figure it out, but it'd be easier to just have a human there from the start.
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Huh? You do understand that if you paid the people who made you things more, your things would no longer be so cheap?
Not necessarily. If there was more globalism and poor people were incentivised to buy more expensive stuff thanks to lower VAT for poor people, then more poor people from around the world would buy things from other countries for cheap and the increased total should make up for the slight increase in price. Maybe that's not how it'd work in practice (probably with capitalism, it wouldn't...) but I imagine in theory there's no reason it couldn't.
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02If you don't mind me saying so, that seems like a regressive form of taxation that would increase inequality.
My logic was, if poor people don't have to pay as much VAT as rich people (and rich people have to pay more than currently), poor people can afford to buy more things while rich people still have their riches and aren't going to just stop buying things even if they have to pay more, so there would be a total increase in money the government gets from taxes, which could be put into welfare (or even UBI) and education and whatnot.
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02If you want to reduce inequality, you need to move money from the rich to the poor - and the only way this happens, other than just directly taxing wealth, is by the rich buying things from the poor. Rich people wasting money by buying pointless things at inflated prices helps to move money away from the rich and toward the people who made those pointless things. Increasing taxes on consumption will encourage the rich to consume less - which means that they end up hoarding their wealth instead of spending it. And hoarding leads to increased inequality.
Hmm, that's actually a good point. I do think it'd still be possible for it to help if there was significantly more globalisation, but what you said does make me reconsider that. Maybe something like that would only be worthwhile if it was with locally produced things.
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Although actually, the very rich are often in favour of taxes.
Really? Interesting...
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02There "should be" all sorts of things. But how are you going to make that happen? After all, the only reason slave labour is used is that Western consumers demand it.
Unfortunately, I don't know how pretty much any problems could be fixed in practice. Encouraging buying from countries/companies that don't use slave labour could only be a part of it, which could encourage countries/companies that do use slave labour to stop using it so that they could re-enter the market, but I don't know how that could be achieved at least with China since companies from all over the world rely on their slave labour...
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Then where SHOULD poor people live?
Where we currently live? I mean, I'm lucky to live in a place that almost magically turned from a crime-ridden hellhole into basically a literal paradise (I really don't know how that actually happened) that has quite a lot of nature still left, so I'm happy to live where I live, but I know many aren't as lucky... so hopefully governments could be convinced to do more stuff for poor people with the intention of making them less poor in the long run, and they do some stuff like that sometimes here, but the downside is that it's always environmentally destructive in the typical way: no green roofs, no vertical farms, no parks, etc. There's no balance to it, or thinking of the future, even if they claim to be thinking of the future.

Probably the best would be to redevelop already existing areas into a more environmentally friendly/restorative condition, with better local services focusing on poor people, but... that kind of things are only done where rich people live, unless it's done at the local level, but there isn't enough money at the local level to do it or to even incentivise doing it properly.
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Ironically, this is an incredibly socially conservative view!
I guess if you consider conservatism in the sense of wanting the status quo of progressivism to remain that way, it admittedly is. But with the long-term maximisation of progressivism and minimisation of conservatism that would result from it, I don't think it makes sense to call it a conservative view.
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Well there goes 90% of the economy. I guess everything will be built out of oak and granite in the future...
It's not like they'd have to last ten years, just that they wouldn't be expected to break within ten years. Currently at least France has made that kind of a thing into law but it's just two years, which I think is ridiculously short considering an older computer or phone can last literally a decade or more with very few issues and the problem becomes finding replacement parts if something breaks. I'm sure the economic impact could be softened at least a little bit by the technological industry focusing more on replacement parts with different varieties and whatnot and making things more repairable/recycleable, etc.
Salmoneus wrote: 05 Aug 2021 00:02Companies don't create product with user-unfriendly options on purpose - nobody's sitting there saying "hey, how can we discourage people from buying our product?".
They don't think that, of course, but planned obsolescence has been proven to be a thing enough times with enough products that at this point there's probably always someone going "we should make our products less durable so that people have to buy new ones more often".
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