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If a vote doesnt apply to you, should you be able to vote?

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We haven't had a discussion type thread in a while so I thought I would start one.

If there was a society of people, that held regular votes to decide on new laws and other decisions who should be able to vote?

Should it be limited to those who it affects? Should it be everyone? Should people vote for representatives who represent them?

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In any society, no matter what type or size, everybody is affected by everything in one way or another. So how would you decide that? (Not by voting, I'm sure ;) )

Democracy can only really work in small communities and only when every voter's vote truly counts. Anything else, including choosing representatives, is basically a mechanism to reduce the influence voters have on the outcome...

Of course there have to be some restrictions on who can vote. But it's a slippery slope. A certain level of maturity/age seems sensible. Any other requirements or restrictions should be approached with great care...



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These kind of topics are fodder for the brain, but they make one hungry as hell...



In our quest for 'what is right' which ultimately translates into 'who are we/what are we supposed to do', we are paying respects to two opposing realms...the first one is the realm of the living, of Life, and there we can only look for the laws of nature. You see, nature doesn't make two things equal/the same, while a machine doesn't make two things different. If a human being is searching for equality or efficiency, that is getting him/her closer to a machine state, to Death, I would say. In nature, we can see there's a hierarchy in societies (of bugs, animals, birds etc), that is dictated by certain needs of the group. The same hierarchy can be observed in human societies, but since the needs are slightly different (we are strange, after all), that might not be apparent. But a society of equal people is not a society, since it is dead - the rules of nature prohibit such a creation. Thus, our efforts of creating such a society are worthy of ridicule...and yet, that is the dream. You can read utopias from the ancient times to the present ones...we dream.

Why do we dream? It is because of the other realm, the realm of the Dead, the seat of eternal and infinite wisdom. It doesn't respect the rules of nature, of the living, and thus it makes all kinds of things possible. We simply tap into that wisdom and extract bits of it, which then shape our existence, creating these weird experimental things, like democracy. However, a society that's alive will always have heads and tails, but the dream is there for all of us...so we're caught up between hammer and anvil (that makes us the sword, right?). Furthermore, even if we might believe in a society of equal parts, or at least dreaming of it, we will always act in accordance with the rules of nature (thus, hypocrisy arises as a concept), because action is an attribute of Life, while thought is one of Death.

Voting is an action, and even in the most machine-like societies (I'd look for the ant legion society for a  good scare), it will always contain the wish of each individual that votes for personal expansion. Even one who believes in an equal society will not be free from such greed. And anyway, should that kind of person succeed, it would bring equality and death, together, so maybe it's for the better to keep the exalted out of the voting process?  Even this text (to make the brain cramps appear) is such a manifestation of the desire for personal gain.


I believe all people know the truth, unconsciously. One can reveal it after understanding it to a rational level, but we all know it. People let other people decide for them - and that is work, trust me - and when things don't go right, they try to put other people in charge. A rebellion is the quickest way to ensure your society will grow. Servering the rotten head does the trick well. That means one head is enough and there's no need for voting, because it doesn't mean much anyway...but democracy was born in Greece because the merchants had the power, but not some privileges of it, and they wanted a bite, and they set in motion the cart...a plurality of needs of the society, a superior number of desires/goods/endeavors, that is what breaks the normal hierarchy and gives birth to regimes that look less totalitarian (which dictatorships, as I said, are perfectly fine to all of us, except the ambitious men with little power).

So, there you have it. Is the society growing powerful men or centres of power in various fields? (the human mind is expansive) Then you will not the able to secure the well-being of the society with one leader. A number of leaders will be needed, chosen the same old way - the most powerful is followed. The hierarchy is accepted, because this is nature's way. Voting, in my opinion, starts where people with comparable power meet and can't win/don't want to fight. The powerful will vote, the weak will follow, and all will dream.

Never should we forget of the other realm.

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i'm not sure i agree with ungod about thought being an attribute of death [/imagination principle]...I think we give ourselves way too much credit, if we declare that our thoughts stand all things on the equal ground.  But the concept of the two realms (balance/imbalance), and of us existing in both of them, is a nice one.

I recently mentioned this to a friend...if you've seen Westworld, you know a little about the metaphor of a marble maze game for consciousness.  The marble won't move unless we pick the maze up and start tilting it, temporarily breaking the concept of equality.  This applies to each of us too, and it leads to a justification of the otherwise-bizarre reality of the existence of nature/life.

Goals of voting could be, in order of their perceived importance in my mind:

(a) sustained legitimacy/peace -- that people will accept the outcome without simultaneously internalizing a "life is unfair / self-pity is justified / evil is acceptable" mindset

(b) empowerment -- individuals should not feel that widespread debate and approval must occur in order for them to independently contribute to results (a) and (c) from their current place in society/the world.

(c) practicality/truth -- achieving a favorable result/providing for peoples' real needs


In the interest of peace, it seems like the voices of government / "voters" ought to be people who are well-liked and humble, who know how to hear out someone in an abnormal position/mindset and have them know they've been heard...one way to describe this role would be that of judge

In the interest of empowerment, it makes sense at the governmental level to have a hierarchy of local- vs. larger- scale government, and at the lowest level an individual person ought to have power i.e. have a vote.  Though truthfully empowerment is better served through other media besides government (in particular by ensuring each person has a friend.)

truth is difficult:

 1. in the case of a situation where multiple parties have a dispute, voting (e.g. judging) should not be allowed for an individual who would for whatever reason end up playing favorites rather than considering individuals' true needs -- this actually hurts even the "favored" side by undermining the vote's outcome's peace/legitimacy.

2. Obviously this is where concepts of debate/free speech/allowing experts to share their positions, become crucial.  In this world nothing is simple, and it does not make sense to have an ignorant voting body.  However we do not always have access to the best information or to enough time to make a "proper" decision, because...well, because in this world nothing is simple.  In particular at the local/individual-vote level it does not make sense to expect people to do research that they may be mentally incapable of doing or of caring enough to do.  Screening based on knowledge would have more of a role with higher-level decisions like selecting a judge.


Let's see who catches the circular logic here.  


Found it?  Welcome to the real world.

This problem, "who watches the watchers", can be solved through using objective tests of character/humility, but the moment we do this is the moment we welcome the concept of a rogue AI -- because objectivity forces us to select and follow a value system, often long after we discover that it is wrong.




Edited by klatdees
clarity / completing the circle
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Tricky... To many unknown variables to consider to give a clear cut answer on that one.

As a general rule I feel lands, i.e. it's people, should have as much autonomy as possible while still being under the Chew/Mur umbrella. Provided it has people and some sort of leadership ofc. 

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I think the 'thickness' of the line is the measurement for how far voting can be stretched. If the division is too grand, there is litle chance for a common need to unite, and maybe even in the face of a common enemy people cannot come together. Obviously, this means the citizens of a state meddling in the affairs of another is impossible.

As for the dividing line, I was struck by those lines in the Art of War, where it said 'draw a line between you and another and you have something to defend (or conquer) already'. It struck me because I just couldn't accept wars can be so easily started. But it's true, and even having a little more than another can cause jealousy and further division. It's much harder to unite, to cancel the differences and share a common goal.

As far as voting goes, here's something to ponder on: the Olympics.  Instead of tribes going to war, they just select a champion (or more) that compete in their name and, avoinding bloodshed, a hierarchy (determined by strength/excellence) is created and obeyed. This is, in fact, what we do when we vote for representatives - in theory, you choose the fittest. This doesn't mean citizens from MB can vote for people of NC, but if the champion of MB - voted - bests the champion of NC - voted, well...there is influence, no?

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It would depend on a lot of things. What is this community in question all about, do those people have a common interest that's binding them? Because the organization of voting rules would go in the light of that community-purpose.

But let's talk casual. Most of variations on this subject already happened in history. When it comes to voting, it associates to democracy, and I like the concept of ancient Greek city states, for example. But it's not perfect. Athens ostracized a lot of great men, for example. Sentenced Socrates as well...

I would also insist that the only way for democracy to work is that the voters are educated. But then you see that pre ww2 Germany was highly educated, and they still managed to choose Hitler...

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Depends. I, a citizen of the East, should have no voting power over Loreroot, NC, MB, ect... affairs.

If the voting is on something that affects pretty much everyone then we should all have a vote. MD's community is too small to be excluding certain people from having a vote on important decisions (new laws, new mechanics, new direction for the game), no matter how naturally stupid some people may be.

If you are considering adding something new for new/lower MP levels I don't feel you have an obligation to allow us to vote on that stuff.  Asking for our thoughts on those changes would be smart though.




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MD-wise, most lands at the moment probably have between 2-5 active citizens (and I feel I'm being very generous here). Votes within a land are meaningless, since any vote can pass with 1-2 people agreeing on something.

We're a very small community and because most of us have been around for so long, we've all got beef with one of the others at least (or are far too good friends with others, which in terms of democracy is equally bad). We'd never agree on anything, external voting would be abused to force decisions on other lands, try to direct game development in a direction that puts us at an advantage, etc etc.

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I'm certain that absolute democracy will under all circumstances lead to absolute idiocracy, given enough time.

I firmly believe that all voting must be limited to certain topics, but not certain people. If we allowed any sort of interference about the question who gets to vote, the "loud" ideas will inevitably overrule the "quiet" ideas, and history shows that the loudest ideas have almost always been the worst. Taking away the ability to vote from certain groups would in turn lead to this group being ignored, since their voice stops to count, and thus it also stops to matter. You can freely take rights, choices and property from those people without ever getting bad results, on the contrary, you will get better results from the people who dislike the non-existant group.

For the same reason, some things must be exempt from voting, call it basic human rights or civil rights or whatever you will. In fact, i think that it's much better for the continued existence of a society when you don't allow people to vote on laws at all, but only on representatives for some form of parliament every once in a while (3-5 years, imo), who are in turn personally accountable for the decisions they make while in power. The representative towards the outside should be elected by the parliament itself, as primus inter pares.

This would allow people to lead in a meaningful way, and give the general population the option to actually influence the way they live.


Funny part is, all of us always exempt a very large part of the relevant population from all decision by sticking to the notion of borders. Small wonder no country actually cares for 3rd world development or immigration rights, after all, those people can't cast a vote.

So, in my opinion, all votes need to include the whole known population to be effective in making everyone's lives better, in all other cases it's always about making the life of some group better, usually at the expense of another group.


TL,DR: I disagree with the question in itself, because i'm quite sure that there is no vote that should exempt anybody at all. If the voting is narrowed down so much that it only applies to a certain group, the vote is inherently bad.

Edited by Burns
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>If the voting is narrowed down so much that it only applies to a certain group, the vote is inherently bad.

“Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.”


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12 hours ago, Chewett said:

In MD, at a higher level, we have a notion of, he who wields the parenthesis wields the power. Loosely translating to lamens terms of, he who codes, decides

Only if you know something is codable -- and know how -- only then do you have a sense of how much willpower is required for it to manifest...and, regardless of where that willpower originates (who votes) it needs to be somehow transferred/channelled...

Similar concepts apply to the idea of choosing the right judge/s.  Empathy is a must; balanced empathy (avoiding bribes/vested interests) is just.  (haha must/just that rhymes)

Edited by klatdees
questionable citation removed
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Remember when Mur introduced something called "vote power" (or something similar)?

I liked that idea. It was not that well implemented since I never knew the criteria on which the power of a vote was decided. But it might be something we could look into it.

Maybe if we'd have a set of rules from which to choose and apply to a vote (few details below) then we might have a working system.

Details*: there is something being implemented for a land, so all the citizens of that land should get a higher vote power. But in theory everyone should be able to vote because what if the rest of MD might be impacted indirectly by the change/whatever that's being voted?



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