Stochocracy?

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Stochocracy?

Post #1  Postby Alexander941 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:57 pm

Do you think that a modern democratic state could function if one chamber of parliament would be elected stochocraticaly, meaning that we randomly choose the representatives out of the entire population (18+) ?

As far as i know the representation of all parts of society would be far better than the usual way, at least we wouldnt be stuck with those gusy who have served their party for decades by supressing their own mind.
A problem could be that you would have to force, maybe uninterested, people to do the job.

What do you think?
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #2  Postby Tom-Palven » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:24 pm

I think that I would prefer full emancipation rather than have anyone picked randomly or otherwise to control my nonaggressive actions.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #3  Postby OutOfBreath » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:45 pm

I think it would give the lobbies and civil servants a free hand, if all politicians are forever amateurs, which will be the consequence of this. Not to mention who orchestrates the random picking. If elected for four years, they'd spend one year just getting up to speed and getting any kind of ruling majority together and another learning the ropes.

In short, I think it's a bad idea.

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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #4  Postby Major Malfunction » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:00 pm

Shifting useless bureaucrats around a useless bureaucracy like peas under a cup only goes so far.

It's starting to annoy me.

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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #5  Postby Rob Lister » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:12 pm

Alexander941 wrote:Do you think that a modern democratic state could function if one chamber of parliament would be elected stochocraticaly, meaning that we randomly choose the representatives out of the entire population (18+) ?


The problem with that is the possibility, slim though it might be, that they'd pick me.  Once I assumed power, I would vanquish all 'wrong' thinkers.  Soon, I'd enjoy my solitude.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #6  Postby Poodle » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:55 pm

How ridiculous! Getting a gang of people who don't know what they're doing and have no great interest in doing it anyway to run a country?

Oh, wait ...

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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #7  Postby Flash » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:34 am

We could end up with a twenty years old suicidal, murderous, mother hating, maladjusted young fellow just waiting to get control of that nuclear red button. The school massacre in a small town would then be the least of our problems.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #8  Postby OlegTheBatty » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:58 am

Idi Amin. Robert Mugabe. Iosef Dzugashvili. . . .

Can random be worse?
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #9  Postby Alexander941 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:50 pm

Flash wrote:We could end up with a twenty years old suicidal, murderous, mother hating, maladjusted young fellow just waiting to get control of that nuclear red button. The school massacre in a small town would then be the least of our problems.


Only one chamber of parliament, and not everyone of them would be insane because we pick them randomly, we would have a lot of intelligent and capable people, also not all of our current politicians are sane, i would even say that we could rise the level of sanity in that way.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #10  Postby Martin Brock » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:53 pm

Tom-Palven wrote:I think that I would prefer full emancipation rather than have anyone picked randomly or otherwise to control my nonaggressive actions.

I'm with you. How the central committee is chosen is largely irrelevant. If a small committee exercises practically unlimited power over a much larger population, how the committee is chosen hardly matters.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #11  Postby Alexander941 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:05 pm

Thats all right, but what is with the aggressive actions?
Iam for maximum freedom if it is no threat for the rights of others, but anarchy doesnt work if a few members of society disrespect those rights, then you will need some sort of organized "violence" to protect other peoples rights, to administer judicative Power, and for that you need legislative and executive power...
I seriously hope we will be able to develop an AI some billion times more intelligent than a human being and ask that thing to do our politics and economie, it sure would be far better than we, and it may be able to do that all in a millisecond while doing other more important stuff like finding the theory of everything, or a cure for anything.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #12  Postby Tom-Palven » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:11 am

Professors  David Friedman and Butler Shaffer, among others, have writtten proposals as to how life might go on without the benefit of politicians and coercive bureaucracy.

http://www.amazon.com/Machinery-Freedom ... 0812690699

http://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-Order- ... B002C00P5G
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #13  Postby Poodle » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:14 am

That's an odd thing to wish for Alexander. A billion times more intelligent - how would we know? What if it decided that the most efficient thing to do was kill off, say, 50% of the population?

More to the point, what would we do when faced with tax demands of £10m per person per week? What would we do when it reached the conclusion that North Korea should be attacked with everything we had? How would we deal with its insistence that it spoke to you last week and now the allowed time has run out and you're in court next week to answer charges of tax evasion/money laundering/non-payment of last year's fines/non-repayment of the loan you never had?

Large governmental databases have an annoying habit of failing.

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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #14  Postby Alexander941 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:26 am

Also that thing should be sane, and know what is possible and also what is good for the people.
I also didnt think of this on a national stage but a global one.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #15  Postby mmmmmmm » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:31 pm

Despite that just being a really bad idea, the person elected at random will probably have no interest in going into politics and not want to do it. Most people who like politics and want to be an elected government official become politicians and run for office....everyone else doesn't because they don't want to. It is essentially a job, you can't randomly assign people jobs.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #16  Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:08 pm

I have already been in that situation, twice, albeit on a small scale.   I have twice been called to jury duty, and sat in judgment along with 11 other people selected pretty much randomly.

I can tell you clearly, that 12 people selected randomly, means 11 idiots plus me.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #17  Postby Austin Harper » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:39 pm

When I was selected for jury duty a couple of months ago I told them during the interviews before the case began that I ran the local skeptics group.  I was immediately dismissed.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #18  Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:07 pm

Yes.    Lawyers do not like smart people as jurors, since they cannot pull the wool over their eyes.   At the time I was called, I decided I wanted to be a juror for the experience, and I told them I was a salesman.   Not quite true, but who is judging, and salesmen were considered sufficiently stupid.

Does not really fill you with confidence about the jury system!
I was also told that if you are to be tried for a crime, and you are innocent, ask for a judge.   But if you are really guilty of that crime, ask for a jury, who can be fooled.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #19  Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:41 pm

Austin Harper wrote:When I was selected for jury duty a couple of months ago I told them during the interviews before the case began that I ran the local skeptics group.  I was immediately dismissed.


That sucks.  Lance is right.  The prosecutor and defence counsels want jury members who will follow their preconceived arguments.  I think it would be better to have brighter people in the jury and I think that a good judge could always direct the jury to ignore a point raised by a jury member if it had no material application to the case.  

I openly wonder if there is an unspoken "nod & a wink" between opposing counsels to keep pliable people on the jury so as to keep the cases fast and on track.  Perhaps it has just evolved this way.  I really don't know.  I can't imagine how you would even research to prove this is going on.    
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #20  Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:56 pm

My own view is that we should use professional jurors.    Imagine offering being a juror as a career.   Take newly hatched graduates, and test them to see if they have got the "right stuff", mainly meaning that they can use critical thinking.   Then put them through a year long post graduate course to teach them a little law, a little forensics, a little about interpreting evidence and so on.

With 'proper' jurors, you could use half the number (that is :  6 professionals in my country instead of 12 amateur dunderheads).  The trials would be faster since the lawyers and judges would have less to explain to idiot juries, while jury deliberation times would be less, if the jurors actually know what they are doing, and the results would be more accurate.

With faster trials, the whole process would definitely be cheaper, despite high juror salaries.   It might even be possible to clear courtroom back-logs.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #21  Postby Austin Harper » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:47 pm

Lance, when you were called did you spend most of the day having the judicial system explained to you over and over?  That's what happened for me before I even go to the interview part.  I was amazed how many people didn't get "innocent until proven guilty."
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #22  Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:38 am

Not quite, though they were pretty pedantic.   Everything seemed to progress in slow motion though.  I was told this was so the stenographer could get everything down.   In this day of high speed computers and speech recognition, I wonder.....
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #23  Postby Major Malfunction » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:56 am

Hundred years ago, not so long really, people who could do on-the-fly mental mathematics were called computers. It was a job description.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #24  Postby Alexander941 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:36 pm

I have a question about jury duty in the USA:
As a jury member, are you allowed to do any sort of investigation about the case on your own, like search archives, visit the crime scene, question people?
I heard that you are not even allowed to do a web search, is that so?
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #25  Postby Austin Harper » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:37 pm

No, you're not.  The only information you're allowed to use it what's given to you in the courtroom.  It's up to prosecution to provide all relevant evidence for their case against the defendant.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #26  Postby Alexander941 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:30 pm

{!#%@} that!
I think i would fake having the plague, or tell them that I am the reincarnation of Jesus Christs Brother, to avoid being part of such a nonsense.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #27  Postby Gord » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:46 pm

Alexander941 wrote:Thank Gord I dont live there.

You're welcome.

Although it might be even worse in Canada.  Here we have (or at least we used to have) "news blackouts", so that the jurors can't even accidentally see any information if they catch an unauthorized glimpse of a newspaper.  I remember during the Karla Homolka, some Americans were so horrified at the discovery of such a thing as a "news blackout" that they tried to smuggle American newspapers across the border into Canada to distribute them. :lol:

It's all part of having a fair trial:  Limit prejudicial information that isn't admissible in court.  Nobody wants to be convicted of a crime just because some juror got false information from the National Enquirer or Fox News.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #28  Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:56 pm

Yeah.

But that is not the problem.
The problem is that they choose 12 jurors at random, and end up with idiots.

Let me tell you about my first time as a juror.  (Yes, you can accuse me of being one of the idiots if you like).

The accused was stepfather of the plaintiff.   He was accused of sexually molesting her when she was about 11.   She was 17 at the time she accused him.   The accusation came from a Christian camp, where she went to a counselor and said she was "over-sexed"   (not a good thing for a good Christian girl, but not, IMHO, exactly surprising in a 17 year old with hormones buzzin' and poppin').   He decided that her problem stemmed from sexual molestation, and "counselled" her intensively until she "remembered" the incident.

Pressing charges against the poor bastard was the idea of the counselor - not the girl who actually loved her stepfather.   According to her mother, the stepfather was a gentle and loving man who would never do anything to hurt her.

Out of the 12 jurors, I was the only one who had even heard of 'recovered memory syndrome'.   If I had not been there to tell the other jurors, the guy would probably have been found guilty.   Even the idiot lawyer who was defending him never mentioned the problem,

Now, if we had properly trained professionals for a jury, that sorry situation would never have risen at all.

Of course, I was breaking the rules by having relevant knowledge not supplied by the court!
Last edited by Lance Kennedy on Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #29  Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:04 pm

Alexander941 wrote:I have a question about jury duty in the USA:
As a jury member, are you allowed to do any sort of investigation about the case on your own, like search archives, visit the crime scene, question people?
I heard that you are not even allowed to do a web search, is that so?


In Commonwealth courts the jury is forbidden to do any investigation on their own.  

It hinders the judge directing the jury to correctly assess evidence under the laws of evidence.   It also introduces new information unknown to either the prosecutor or the defence team.   The law requires a prosecutor, at a trial, to state exactly what he accuses the defendant of doing, naming the offence in the crime acts.  If a jury member makes a guilty decision from information not known to the prosecutor then the prosecutor's court accusation becomes redundant and a miss-trial occurs.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #30  Postby OutOfBreath » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:49 am

A question about the american jury system though.
Do they only have to declare guilty or not guilty, or do they have to cite the reasons for their verdict?
I know in Norway the jury can be overruled by the judge if he finds they have not understood the law in that case properly. And he can do so because the jury must give a reasoned statement for why they rule as they do.

In any case, jury trials are rare in Norway. We usually have a system of "co-judges", where laymen are appointed/asked by the local councils to be available for such duty for a defined period of time. The trials usually consists of a few professional judges, and some lay-judges. My mother-in-law is a lay-judge currently. (Also the regional leader of the food safety agency in Norway) She's scrubbing in for her second trial over the last 2 years.

(edit) I have now read up on how we do it, and turns out I was mixing it together a bit. In our district courts (1st level), there are no juries, and are normally presided over by a judge plus 2 lay-judges. In complicated cases it can be upped to 2 judges and 3 lay-judges (as in the Breivik case). Verdicts at this level are always reasoned and documented thoroughly.

At the next level, the appeals court, we have for cases risking less than 6 years in prison 3 judges and 4 lay-judges normally. For crimes risking more than 6 years, we have a jury of 10 supplementing the 3 judges. The appeal's court do not have to give reasons, only a decision of overturning the district court's ruling or not. The judges can declare mistrial and send the case to a new jury (and district I think), as happened in an illustrious robbery case in Norway.

There is talk in Norway of doing away with the jury, and replace them with 6 lay-judges, but nothing's been done about it yet.

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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #31  Postby Alexander941 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:25 pm

It would be a good thing to have professional jurors, or at least let those you want in the jury do some tests to determine if they understand their job.

And they should be allowed to question the accused, the witnesses, see all the documents the prosecutor has, and ask for specific information from other sources* (if the judge allows so), but everyone (defense, prosecution, judge) should be informed about their steps.



*Police records etc. but no Newspapers.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #32  Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:51 pm

I think there is also a danger if there is a move to using a committee of judges, when those judges are basically all lawyers.   I would like to see a mix of expertise, including scientists, and especially forensic scientists, and perhaps psychologists who understand human delusion.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #33  Postby Alexander941 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:00 pm

I agree!
Judiciary is a very messed up thing, first of all it is not really just, it is not an exact science(if one at all), and the aspect of justice is always wrestled to the ground by political interests and even religious agendas, because the laws are made by the legislative branch (which at its best consists of a bunch of opportunistic morons,... everywhere on the planet). And if we look at the People who practice law it is even worse.
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Re: Stochocracy?

Post #34  Postby Tom-Palven » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:03 pm

Austin Harper wrote:Lance, when you were called did you spend most of the day having the judicial system explained to you over and over?  That's what happened for me before I even go to the interview part.  I was amazed how many people didn't get "innocent until proven guilty."


I went for jury duty this morning.  Out of maybe 100 people there, 21 were randomly picked out of which was to be selected a jury, because there is only one trial scheduled.  I wasn't picked.  But anyway, we were all lectured by a judge and had to watch a movie, and I don't remember anything about "innocent until proven guilty", although it was probably mentioned.  What I do remember, repeated several times, was that we were to diecide only the facts, and the judge would tell us what the law is.  For example, if we decided that a person was in fact in posession of an ounce of marihuana, we were supposed to find him guilty because it is against the law.  This is total BS (Baseless Supposition) because in Olde English law, which the US Constitution is based on, the jurors are kings of the court, not the lawyers or the judge.
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