Re: Constitution v2.0

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Fri, 08 Aug 1997 18:31:01 -0500

[I said:]
>Switch the legislative branch to an at-large system. This amounts
>to setting up a 121 (1-to-1 correspondence) between voter and

[John K. Clark replied:]
[Not in >> because of damn Netscape 4.0.]
"Everybody can't vote for 500 people so somebody would have to decide what
citizen gets to vote for what congress critter, and this is a huge area for
potential monkey business."

Whoa! Each person votes for 1 Legislator. There aren't "races" of two
alternatives; there are 500 alternatives and everybody votes for one. Let's
say you decide to run for Legislator - then everyone on the ExList could vote
for you, forsaking our previous Legislators.

"If a dam is built my constituents will get a lot of benefit out of it, but if
I don't vote for it then they get it for free and in gratitude reelect me in
the next election. The constituents of the moron who did vote for it have to
pay for the damn thing and this makes them very unhappy so they vote the
idiot out as soon as they can."

Exactly! Except that there are no more "constituents", only people who did
vote for you. See above. So nobody ever pays for anything involuntarily;
someone they voted for has to vote to pay for it. And yes, if a Legislator
votes to build gratis dams for some area, people will vote him out of office.
So no more pork; if something ought to be done, people will pay for it
themselves and invoke the efficiencies of the private government. The
exception will be if an operation actually needs governmental authority; then
it will have that authority if a majority approves, but will be funded by
exactly the same people.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.