So you want proportional representation, do you?

Re: So you want proportional representation, do you?

Postby hobbyguy » Mar 7th, 2018, 1:22 pm

twobits wrote:
Jflem1983 wrote:
Current governments seem to want to create a progressive hell . Agenda 21 is not for me


And unfortunately, capitalism has created this dilema to some extent. It has created wealth. Enough to be shared actually. What went wrong is that certain segments of the population realized they didn't actually have to contribute to share in the wealth. They actually became dependant on that wealth creation created by people that actually created the wealth and made it an industry called socialism. And when they had enough members, they formed a political party called the NDP.


Can't say as I agree with that perspective. Capitalism, like anything else, benefits from the basic reality of "everything in moderation". Capitalism can not function without rules and enforcement of those rules if it is to function.

One of the fundamental flaws of capitalism is that it can be very punishing and disenfranchising to folks for reasons beyond their control, especially during periods of technological upheaval. That basic flaw has been recognized for a very long time, to paraphrase Confucious - "if you do everything for profit, you will generate great resentment."

Therein lies a push-pull inherent in capitalism and the rules we apply to make it function. When the rules are properly balanced, "everything in moderation", then capitalism works very well for 80+% of folks (which is a far superior result to any other system that has been tried).

When the rules get out of balance, and too many folks do not have an opportunity to succeed, then the capitalist system is out of balance. It is ONLY at those times that the failed alternatives appear to be attractive, because for those left behind - there is nothing to lose.

Oddly enough then, true capitalists welcome rules that broaden opportunity for more folks and ensure that everyone has a shot at the benefits that flow from capitalism. The really smart capitalists - like Henry Ford - paid their workers as much as they could. Winston Churchill (a very conservative figure) believed in income redistribution. When those things are more broadly done, and folks have a shot at the benefits of capitalism (plus safety nets for the disabled etc.), then the anarchists and communists have very little chance to succeed.

I suppose the best way to put it is that capitalists, if they are smart (not just shrewd) pay attention to the prosperity of society. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates don't garner a lot of negatives, because they are smart enough to do this. The Kochs and Mercers garner a lot more negatives, and do more for the communistas and anarchists that anyone else, because they are very shrewd, but not very smart.

We are in fact witnessing the results of the shrewdness of the Kochs, Mercers and their ilk. Eventually, folks reach the point of "nothing left to lose", and will turn to populists, communistas, fascists and anarchists. We are seeing that in terms of Brexit, the German AFD, the FPO in Austria, 5 star in Italy, the NDP in Alberta and BC, the teachers strike in West Virginnia. That teachers strike in West Virginnia is especially of note - because they aren't unionized.

Face it, folks like the Mercers who are little more than swollen ticks on hide of capitalism, are sowing the seeds of destruction. The Mercers produce precisely nothing of value, they just game the system, and degrade it in the process.

The rise of the NDP and far left populism in western Canada is not a result of a better offering by the far left populists, but because shrewd but stupid capitalists have and are gaming the systems, including the political system, for no one's benefit but their own - and in the process destroying the prosperity of the many.

Thus it isn't folks like the misguided BC NDP that are the problem, they are only a symptom of the real problem, not a problem in their own right as left to their own devices for a bit - they fail and we see 77-2 type results. The real problem is the Mercers, Musks and Mnuchins of this world, those who game the systems cynically strictly for their own benefit, and produce nothing of value for society.

In context, it is really left to few remaining voices of reason to rebalance the system.

International trade is a good thing - if properly balanced.

Corporations can be a good thing - IF they recognize that they threaten their own existence when they adopt robber baron attitudes like "our only duty is to our shareholders". After all, if corporations have no loyalty to society, why would society be loyal to them - or even allow their continued existence? Corporations are institutions within society (they would not exist without it) and if an institution no longer benefits society, then society will shed that institution (eventually).

By gaming the political systems, corporations and others have generated a sense that the system itself is not serving the people. So we see some folks looking to PR electoral systems as a representation solution - when in fact that is an illusion, as PR systems are MORE prone to gaming and LESS representative than FPTP electoral systems.

So in BC we have elements that are advocating for a PR system - while ignoring the real problems. Paradoxically, in Western Australia, we have the reverse where folks who have a PR system are advocating for a FPTP system. Both groups have the positive motivation of somehow "taking back our democracy" - but both are misplaced in their focus of attention.

Instead, such folks should be aiming at reforming the political party system such that the level of gaming is substantially reduced. The existence of "party insiders and apparatchiks" is funded by the big money in politics and removes real political power from the purview of ordinary folks. Big money corrupts regardless of where it comes from. The big money in our politics has created a permanent political class - mostly political "scientists" - who are dependent on and beholden to that big money. IF as the BC NDP are doing, you simply move the deck chairs on the Titanic around by getting that big money by stealing it from taxpayers - then in reality you are enshrining those "party insiders and apparatchiks" as the permanent masters of our democracy, and in essence a bureaucracy within the government - which makes the situation worse, not better.

There is a solution that will provide a big step toward "taking back our democracy", and it has nothing to do with the electoral system (PR versus FPTP) at all. Force political parties to return to being very largely volunteer organizations (and therefore more responsive to ordinary folks) by defunding them. Cap political donations to $100/year (or maybe even $50). Make elections something anyone can participate by funding the election process from government coffers and independent of party finances (no reimbursements to parties). Instead, Elections BC actually runs and funds the elections, providing each candidate with the same access to advertising and mechanisms (like debates) to get their message out. 3rd parties are banned from advertising or funding any political discourse for 60 days before an election.

If we adopt that solution, then PR versus FPTP is an irrelevant issue. The balance of control over our democracy shifts back to the ordinary folk who will, as party members and volunteers, shape the platforms and policies of the parties to a much greater extent.

There are other things that need to be done, such a change in political party structure is not a panacea. The impetus for the further changes and improvements in our democracy can start there - by wresting the control of our politics away from big money during our elections and giving ordinary folks a fair shot.
We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Louis D. Brandeis
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Re: So you want proportional representation, do you?

Postby twobits » Mar 7th, 2018, 9:37 pm

hobbyguy wrote:
Can't say as I agree with that perspective. Capitalism, like anything else, benefits from the basic reality of "everything in moderation". Capitalism can not function without rules and enforcement of those rules if it is to function.



That is the only statement of your post that was really required. We all get it. That is what makes most of us on the right side of the electoral spectrum small c cons or liberals. I do not advocate pure capitalism. That is as sound as pure communism in it's eventuality.
All I am putting forth is that it is capitalism that has enabled society to have and afford a social conscience for those that are truly disadvantaged. Somehow however, and again, IMO, the benefits that capitalism and the revenue it produces have become an ever increasing target of of more and more people who choose to identify as being disadvantaged. A poor me syndrome of I can't afford my rent and why shouldn't I be able to even though I graduated high school.
A high school btw, that has created basket weaver programs that provide no real world skills, but a program that can proudly point out an increase in graduation rates. In a sad way, it is the "socialist","BCTF", mantra of "no child left behind" that has created a generation, or two, of ill equipped young adults that can actually contribute to their own success and our economy.
And then they become NDP members because the NDP are the Robbin Hood that will take from the people who made an effort to equalize all that made no effort when they could have.
Case in point, take a look at any news media photo of Kinder Morgan protests. From the photos alone it is starkly obvious if the protesters are contributors to the economy, or or consumers of an economy.
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

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