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Old 21st January 2023, 09:53 PM   #401
zorro99
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George Santos likes to dress like a woman.
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Old 21st January 2023, 10:15 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
Elected office in a representative democracy is a very unique station, unlike just about any other job one can take. The qualifications are as basic as they come; citizenship, age, and an ability to convince enough people to vote for you. That's about it. No standards in education, experience, honesty. If the candidate finagles the position without committing a crime, then he's rightfully in.

The will of the voters is sacrosanct. Whether they are deceived or are in on it. Which is why I keep saying a People gets the Government it deserves.
This is crap. It's nothing more than an unsupported personal opinion.

Back this up with some actual evidence like something taught in a civics class or in the Constitution that says a candidate who lies pathologically, completely misrepresents themself, and gets elected based on such dishonesty has a legit claim to that office because they successfully bamboozled the voters.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 12:11 AM   #403
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I already gave you that civics class, but nobody seems to understand it. Instead, you stick to your belief in the big ideal of what you imagine representative democracy to be all about, 'the will of the people', blah, blah, blah. Read the Edmund Burke quotation again, here with the short introduction:

Quote:
Theorists such as Edmund Burke believe that part of the duty of a representative was not simply to communicate the wishes of the electorate but also to use their own judgment in the exercise of their powers, even if their views are not reflective of those of a majority of voters:
Quote:
Certainly, Gentlemen (!), it ought to be the happiness and glory of a Representative, to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the Law and the Constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
Representative democracy (Wikipedia)

Even if their views are not reflective of those of a majority of voters.
And the corresponding article in the Danish constitution:
The members of Folketinget are bound only by their convictions and not by any directions from their constituents.

The whole point of representative democracy isn't what you think it is and isn't what you guys would like it to be. The whole point is to make sure that power is separated from the will of the people. They don't get to decide. Their 'representatives' do.
It's what Trump & Co. had in mind when they made up the whole scheme with fake electors: The will of the people could no longer be trusted if the people chose the 'wrong' electors who would appoint the 'wrong' president.

This is why Western media and politicians come down so hard on countries that do their utmost to make sure that elected representatives actually represent the will of the majority of the people. That "representative systems tend to be biased towards the representation of more affluent classes, to the detriment of the population at large" is not a fluke, and it's not a flaw. It's not a flaw that universal healthcare or a living minimal wage, things that a majority of people want, just don't get passed in a representative democracy.
It's the whole bloody point, which is why the actually ruling classes think that it is their right to stage a military coup whenever the electorate doesn't obey this principle.
Ask guys like Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn and Roger Stone who's backing them. Or better yet: Follow the money trail ...

George Santos doesn't threaten the will of the wealthy. He's a lying drag queen, and so what? He doesn't threaten the interests of the 1%ers as long as he does what Kevin McCarthy tells him to do. People like Bernie Sanders or AOC just might be a threat, so they are watched carefully, but they tend to adapt to the actual rules of representative democracy as they grow older within the system.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 22nd January 2023 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 12:11 AM   #404
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Just to clarify here, my issue is with the following:
Originally Posted by Lurch
The will of the voters is sacrosanct. Whether they are deceived or are in on it.
The fact there are few mechanisms to oust Santos or recall him is a separate issue from the claim by several members here as to the rationale or reason there are few mechanisms to oust him.

As for your civics lesson, Dann, spare me the blurring of the lines between the influence of money and all the deceiving of the voters that goes along with it and this case. It's a false equivalence though maybe it shouldn't be.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 22nd January 2023 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 12:25 AM   #405
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
The main problem is that some guy called George Santos was elected to US Congress by the good folks of Long Island, but this compulsive liar named Anthony Devolder has taken his place in the House and is pretending to be him. If that's not voter fraud then I don't know what is!

Then again, it's no problem for the GOP, who let some piss-weak lying asshat called Donald Trump pretend to be US President for four years.

Why do you think that 'voter fraud' is not only allowed but actually encouraged by constitutions? The members of Folketinget are bound only by their convictions and not by any directions from their constituents.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd January 2023, 12:37 AM   #406
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
The will of the voters is sacrosanct.

Only the will of voters to hand over power to a representative is sacrosanct. And as soon as they'ved done it, that representative has the sacrosanct right to say, 'Screw you, guys! You elected me, i.e. you handed over power to me, and now I get to decide because your will doesn't count beyond the election. Making my will depend on what you would like me to do would be unconstitutional!'

Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
Whether they are deceived or are in on it. Which is why I keep saying a People gets the Government it deserves.

No, they don't. They deserve better than this ****, but letting them have it would be unconstitutional, too.
That's what representative democracy is all about.
It's in its nature.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd January 2023, 01:01 AM   #407
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Originally Posted by Parsman View Post
Oh no sir, I understand representative democracy. The people of this district wanted a competent businessman with a record of charitable support and a personal understanding of issues affecting the disadvantaged and different in society as well as the strength and courage to overcome personal and familial tragedy. That might even be a representative worth having, Republican or not. But that is not what they got. They got a fraud and a shape shifter but you think, because they were misled or fooled they have to suffer this "representative" for 2 years! To be fair this is one of the problems of FPTP systems like congress in the USA or Parliament in my own country, this idea of winner takes all but in a proper democracy there would be repercussions for this kind of behaviour since honour or good behaviour now counts for little in politics and governments.

Sorry, but no, you don't understand representative democracy. You don't understand it at all. You think that it's what you would like it to be, but it isn't. The people who voted for George Santos may have wanted "a competent businessman" etc., which is already based on delusional thinking, but never mind. However, they voted for George Santos and that's exactly what they got. And after having voted him in, it no longer mattes what they wanted.

'But I thought I voted for somebody who ...' is irrelevant in a representative democracy. The George Santos voters got George Santos. The Kyrsten Sinema voters got Kyrsten Sinema.

You don't seem to understand that whatever delusions the electorate may have had about their preferred candidates, it doesn't matter anymore as soon as those candidates were elected. The idea that it does is as delusional as going to a psychic: 'But he/she said that they could talk to my deceased mother, and it turns out that they actually can't.'
There's a very slim chance that somebody like that may get their money back, but even a very slim chance is still a chance.

Promises to voters, on the other hand ... The constitution not only doesn't have a paragraph that says that you can get your vote back if the representative lied to you. It explicitly protects the candidate from any claims the voters think they may have.

You bought it, it's yours! It wears a dress, and you don't approve of that?! Too bad, it's still yours.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd January 2023, 01:12 AM   #408
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Originally Posted by zorro99 View Post
George Santos is the current and future face of the Republican Party!

And what a pretty face it is ...

But you're wrong. George Santos won't be elected the next time. It will probably be somebody who is just as bad or even worse, but somebody with actual graduation papers and an otherwise glamorous CV; somebody who will use that as proof that he deserves to be the one to get their votes so he can get the opportunity to screw them over. Maybe somebody like Ron DeSantis, for instance.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd January 2023, 01:23 AM   #409
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
As for your civics lesson, Dann, spare me the blurring of the lines between the influence of money and all the deceiving of the voters that goes along with it and this case. It's a false equivalence though maybe it shouldn't be.

The "influence of money and all the deceiving of the voters" serve the same purpose:
Quote:
The empirical research shows that representative systems tend to be biased towards the representation of more affluent classes, to the detriment of the population at large.[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30]
Representative democracy: Research on representation per se (Wikipedia)

I think even George Santos knows that ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd January 2023, 01:23 AM   #410
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Adding to my above posts, if this was all about what the voters wanted, why is there no recall option?

And this isn't the only thing about the US Constitution that hasn't aged well.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 01:25 AM   #411
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
... why is there no recall option?

Exactly! But that isn't a question of not aging well.
That you can't recall your vote for George Santos isn't because they wore wigs back then, too!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 22nd January 2023 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 02:29 AM   #412
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Correction:
Originally Posted by dann View Post
It's not a flaw that universal healthcare or a living minimal wage, things that a majority of people want, just don't get passed in a representative democracy.
It's the whole bloody point, which is why the actually ruling classes think that it is their right to stage a military coup whenever the electorate doesn't obey this principle.
Ask guys like Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn and Roger Stone who's backing them. Or better yet: Follow the money trail ...

It should, of course, have been "... a living minimum wage ..."
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd January 2023, 04:37 AM   #413
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An ice cube is not exactly the same thing as an iceberg, no matter how hard you pretend that it is.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 11:03 AM   #414
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Originally Posted by zorro99 View Post
George Santos likes to dress like a woman.
But is he a lumberjack?
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Old 22nd January 2023, 11:06 AM   #415
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
But is he a lumberjack?
It's how he put himself through college, leaping from tree to tree.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 11:17 AM   #416
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Only the will of voters to hand over power to a representative is sacrosanct. And as soon as they'ved done it, that representative has the sacrosanct right to say, 'Screw you, guys! You elected me, i.e. you handed over power to me, and now I get to decide because your will doesn't count beyond the election. Making my will depend on what you would like me to do would be unconstitutional!'




No, they don't. They deserve better than this ****, but letting them have it would be unconstitutional, too.
That's what representative democracy is all about.
It's in its nature.
You are mighty confused.

First, this is the US, and the clause you are so happy to promote is not from the US Constitution.

But, indeed, I agree with the sentiment that a representative cannot be required to vote in the way his constituents want -- not even if he promised to. After all, as I see it, the point of a representative is to make an informed decision on my behalf. He has the time and (ideally) experience to investigate issues prior to voting, something that I could not easily do at all. Even if he said he would vote this way or that prior to election, I don't think it's unreasonable for him to change his mind.

Of course, this is an idealized scenario and in the real world, such changing of positions might be the result of corruption or indeed a matter of lying about one's vote before the election. I don't think much can be done to prevent that.

But if this view is right and representatives are there to become informed and make decisions on our behalf, then what ought to constitute fair campaigning? It is hard to require that one state truthfully his political views. Because such views may change after election, it would be quite difficult to prove that one lied about his views prior to the election. When it comes to a candidate's "real" political philosophy, it really is a matter of caveat emptor.

But political philosophy is only part of what is relevant to make an informed opinion on my behalf. The second part is that one has the background necessary to take in information and react appropriately. One must be competent to make decisions. Of course, the voters aren't required to vote for the competent candidate, nor are candidates required to tell the voter of their educational and employment backgrounds. But if I am told that these are your credentials, that this or that life experience helped form you as a person, and these claims are lies, then my vote has been miscast. I was misled about what you would bring to the table when it comes to making decisions and that these are lies can be proven quite easily, unlike misrepresentations of philosophy.

There is nothing that makes it unconstitutional to require candidates tell the truth about their backgrounds. There is nothing at all wrong with removing a congressman who was elected due to non-trivial lies. I don't expect it to happen, but there is not a damned thing about "representative democracy" which suggests the right to lie to voters about ones background is an intended feature.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 11:28 AM   #417
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Exactly! But that isn't a question of not aging well.
That you can't recall your vote for George Santos isn't because they wore wigs back then, too!
Did you understand my comment?

If the voters' wishes matter more than if they voted for a total fraud they would not have voted for if they had known, then why does only the initial vote matter?

Why is there no mechanism in the Constitution that allows voters to reconsider given new information?

It is apparently because no one thought about it when they were writing the Constitution or the subsequent Amendments. In 1776 how could they possibly have 1) thought of everything, and 2) imagined the future?

Yes, Amendments and having both houses of Congress set their own rules at the beginning of every session are supposed to take care of those issues. Going down that rabbit hole one could ask, why not expand that to create an ever changing Constitution to fit with the times?

Or one might just consider legislators elected through fraudulent means don't want to open that can of worms because it might come back to bite them. It's like having them vote to decrease their salary and benefits—not likely to happen.

That leaves the bolded paragraph above. And the voters only-one-chance voting is what matters, not the voters actual wishes. There is no magical democracy here, there is only a flawed Constitution that should, but doesn't allow for a recall vote.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 11:40 AM   #418
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
An ice cube is not exactly the same thing as an iceberg, no matter how hard you pretend that it is.
Now that is a good analogy.


Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
... I don't expect it to happen, but there is not a damned thing about "representative democracy" which suggests the right to lie to voters about ones background is an intended feature.
And this ^ is a good description of the problem.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 22nd January 2023 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 10:27 PM   #419
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Did you understand my comment?

If the voters' wishes matter more than if they voted for a total fraud they would not have voted for if they had known, then why does only the initial vote matter?

Yes, but you don't understand mine, apparently: The voters' wishes don't matter at all. All that matters is that their vote empowered candidates who now get to decide on their behalf. In office, they are completely independent of whatever the voters may have wished for.

Quote:
Why is there no mechanism in the Constitution that allows voters to reconsider given new information?

It is apparently because no one thought about it when they were writing the Constitution or the subsequent Amendments. In 1776 how could they possibly have 1) thought of everything, and 2) imagined the future?

No, you can rest assured that they thought about it, the dear old slave owners. Like I said before: This is not a fluke or a flaw. If you look at it historically, and the short Wikipedia article can help you there, too, it is obvious that representative democracy was always intended as a tool to empower a group of people to decide on behalf of the rest of society because the rest of society couldn't be expected to make decisions that would benefit the privileged: "Women, men who owned no property, and Black people, and others not originally given voting rights"

Do you really think they didn't think about that? It was just something that happened because they couldn't think of everything and didn't know the future? Come on, guys, I know that you have been brought up to think of the founding fathers as supreme beings, but they were a bunch of ********, who knew very well what they were up to, even though they probably couldn't imagine a future when people whom they deliberately disenfranchised would make up bad excuses for them. "Representative systems tend to be biased towards the representation of more affluent classes, to the detriment of the population at large," because that was what they were supposed to deliver from the point go. And it still is.

Quote:
Yes, Amendments and having both houses of Congress set their own rules at the beginning of every session are supposed to take care of those issues. Going down that rabbit hole one could ask, why not expand that to create an ever changing Constitution to fit with the times?

Or one might just consider legislators elected through fraudulent means don't want to open that can of worms because it might come back to bite them. It's like having them vote to decrease their salary and benefits—not likely to happen.

No, that's not likely to happen, and it is obviously not supposed to happen. That's what empowering people to rule over you entails.

Quote:
That leaves the bolded paragraph above. And the voters only-one-chance voting is what matters, not the voters actual wishes. There is no magical democracy here, there is only a flawed Constitution that should, but doesn't allow for a recall vote.

If it should allow for a recall vote, it's weird that it doesn't, isn't it? And it's also weird that even constitutions much younger than the U.S. one all make it explicit that voters' wishes don't matter. Consider the German constitution, which was more than a little inspired by their conquerors:
Quote:
Abgeordnete sind nach dem Grund-Gesetz: Vertreter vom Volk.
Sie entscheiden selbst.
Also arbeiten sie nach ihrem Gewissen.
Sie sind nicht an Aufträge und Weisungen gebunden.
Sie entscheiden, wie sie es für richtig halten.
According to the constitution, members of parliament are: Representatives of the people
They are the ones who make decisions.
So they are working according to their conscience.
They are bound by neither contracts nor directions.
They decide what they think is right.

Voters hardly ever understand this principle, not even when it is pointed out to them and they are supplied with the proper quotations from actual constitutions. This is the reason why they are permanently disappointed, often as early as on election night (votes are counted faster in my country!) when the politicians already know the approximate size of different parties in the new parliament and are now thinking tactically: Which excuses do we come up with to our voters for discarding whatever promises we made to them during our election campaigns? They don't actually need to make excuses: They have been elected, which gives them the freedom to decide, and that's very obvious. As one Danish politician put it a long time ago: "You have a point of view until you choose to have another one." (Danish Wiki) i.e. 'Screw you, guys. I get to decide, you don't!' Or as George Santos puts it: "The work of congress is not about my personal life. It is about delivering results for my constituents"

But nevertheless, excuses are usually made because there's another election coming up in four years or less, so it's in its nature.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd January 2023, 10:34 PM   #420
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
... I don't expect it to happen, but there is not a damned thing about "representative democracy" which suggests the right to lie to voters about ones background is an intended feature.
And this ^ is a good description of the problem.

And yet it's there, even in much newer constitutions based on or inspired by the U.S. constitution: 'Once you've elected them, they get to decide. You don't! Whatever you thought or they made you think you bought with your vote, it no longer counts.'
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd January 2023, 10:38 PM   #421
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Yes, but you don't understand mine, apparently: The voters' wishes don't matter at all.
While Lurch says said vote is sacrosanct.

You guys can't have it both ways. You claim once said vote is counted then the voters no longer matter.

I return to my earlier response, that's crap.

[snipped all the blah blah blah]

Yes, Santos has exposed a flaw in the Constitution that doesn't clearly allow for a recall of members of the House. But all this rationalization between you and Lurch as to that's what the founders intended is crap.

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Old 23rd January 2023, 12:08 AM   #422
dann
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
You are mighty confused.

First, this is the US, and the clause you are so happy to promote is not from the US Constitution.

No, I'm not at all confused. The clause is about representative democracy.

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
But, indeed, I agree with the sentiment that a representative cannot be required to vote in the way his constituents want -- not even if he promised to. After all, as I see it, the point of a representative is to make an informed decision on my behalf. He has the time and (ideally) experience to investigate issues prior to voting, something that I could not easily do at all. Even if he said he would vote this way or that prior to election, I don't think it's unreasonable for him to change his mind.

Whether you think it's unreasonable or not doesn't change anything. That you state it explicitly makes the subservient role of the voter obvious: 'I don't get to decide anything, and I shouldn't because I'm not informed, I'm inexperienced, and I don't have the proper background. It's a job suited for my betters.' ... like George Santos, Matt Gaetz or Lauren Boebert.

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Of course, this is an idealized scenario and in the real world, such changing of positions might be the result of corruption or indeed a matter of lying about one's vote before the election. I don't think much can be done to prevent that.

It's mighty generous of you to stick with what you know is an ideal that's got very little to do with the real world, i.e. faith.

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
But if this view is right [You mean your idealized view? It isn't! /dann] and representatives are there to become informed and make decisions on our behalf, then what ought to constitute fair campaigning? It is hard to require that one state truthfully his political views. Because such views may change after election, it would be quite difficult to prove that one lied about his views prior to the election. When it comes to a candidate's "real" political philosophy, it really is a matter of caveat emptor.

Man, I just love your caveat emptor!
Quote:
Caveat emptor is a common law doctrine that places the burden on buyers to reasonably examine property before making a purchase. A buyer who fails to meet this burden is unable to recover for defects in the product that would have been discovered had this burden been met. The phrase “caveat emptor” is Latin for “let the buyer beware.”
caveat emptor (Cornell Law School)
So on the one hand, you don't think that voters have "the time and (ideally) experience to investigate issues prior to voting," which is why they are asked to vote for somebody who allegedly does, but on the other hand, voters are supposed to have the time and experience to find all the dirt on George Santos that hundreds of reporters have been able to dig up?
You seem to forget the exceptions to the burden placed on buyers:
Quote:
Caveat emptor principles are generally still followed today; however, they are subject to exceptions. Under the doctrine of concealment, for example, a seller who withholds material information when they have a duty to disclose is not protected by caveat emptor.

It's strange, isn't it?! George Santos has no "duty to disclose" whatsoever, but somebody selling you deficient kitchen appliances does!
You've got it all wrong: It's not that "representatives are there to become informed and make decisions on our behalf." That's not the relationship between voters and representatives. The truth of representative democracy is that voters are there to empower representatives to rule the voters (as well as non-voters). That's what the voters consent to when they cast their vote. It is as simple as that. The only thing that makes it appear to be complicated is the idealization of it: all the ought tos.
It wouldn't be difficult at all to have a clause saying that if an elected representative is found to have lied to his constituents, they get the right to elect another one. But for some reason that only applies to the much less idealized seller of a microwave oven.
If it were a question of representatives "becoming informed," it would be very easy to tell them, 'Listen, mate, you got that all wrong! Now, let me tell you what this is actually about.'
But that's not how it works. That would be unconstitutional! It's all about the freedom of representatives to have no obligations to constituents! It's an act of empowering!

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
But political philosophy is only part of what is relevant to make an informed opinion on my behalf. The second part is that one has the background necessary to take in information and react appropriately. One must be competent to make decisions. Of course, the voters aren't required to vote for the competent candidate, nor are candidates required to tell the voter of their educational and employment backgrounds. But if I am told that these are your credentials, that this or that life experience helped form you as a person, and these claims are lies, then my vote has been miscast. I was misled about what you would bring to the table when it comes to making decisions and that these are lies can be proven quite easily, unlike misrepresentations of philosophy.

Many of those lies can indeed "be proven quite easily," and they often are. And yet those proofs are inconsequential. Unlike the consumer vs. salesman relationship, there's no court to go to in this case. You voted for them so they get to decide and you don't! It has nothing whatsoever to do with 'informed opinions'. Has MTG had one single 'informed opinion'? If so, was it the one about Jewish space lasers? Has George Santos?

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
There is nothing that makes it unconstitutional to require candidates tell the truth about their backgrounds. There is nothing at all wrong with removing a congressman who was elected due to non-trivial lies. I don't expect it to happen, but there is not a damned thing about "representative democracy" which suggests the right to lie to voters about ones background is an intended feature.

No, it's not unconstitutional for candidates to tell the truth about their backgrounds. Much the same way that there is nothing unconstitutional about candidates lying about their backgrounds. There could have been, and yet there isn't. Which more than "suggests the right to lie to voters about ones background is an intended feature." So is the right to make decisions that are diametrically opposed to whatever candidates promised their constituents during their campaigns. It's in the nature of representative democracy. It's a feature, not a bug.

You all tend to read into constitutions an awful lot of good intentions that just aren't there and were never meant to be there.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 23rd January 2023, 12:22 AM   #423
dann
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
While Lurch says said vote is sacrosanct.

You guys can't have it both ways. You claim once said vote is counted then the voters no longer matter.

I return to my earlier response, that's crap.

[snipped all the blah blah blah]

Yes, Santos has exposed a flaw in the Constitution that doesn't clearly allow for a recall of members of the House. But all this rationalization between you and Lurch as to that's what the founders intended is crap.

And yet, this alleged flaw is repeated in all the constitutions and definitions of representative democracy. If it were a bug, don't you think that some smart constitutional programmer would have discovered and removed it by now?!
The vote for a candidate is "sacrosanct", indeed! (Why the need for such stupid words?!) Whatever the voters may have wished for isn't. And that's the point of representative democracy: Voting for a candidate is a cancellation of all the wishes the voters may have had when voting and may have expected the vote to contribute to fulfilling.

But feel free to think that the actual constitution is what you imagine it was intended to be because that's what the teacher told you at school. It doesn't make it so. George Santos is a teaching moment.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 23rd January 2023 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 23rd January 2023, 01:33 AM   #424
Darat
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
And yet, this alleged flaw is repeated in all the constitutions and definitions of representative democracy. If it were a bug, don't you think that some smart constitutional programmer would have discovered and removed it by now?!
The vote for a candidate is "sacrosanct", indeed! (Why the need for such stupid words?!) Whatever the voters may have wished for isn't. And that's the point of representative democracy: Voting for a candidate is a cancellation of all the wishes the voters may have had when voting and may have expected the vote to contribute to fulfilling.

But feel free to think that the actual constitution is what you imagine it was intended to be because that's what the teacher told you at school. It doesn't make it so. George Santos is a teaching moment.
But no one is arguing that. Folk are arguing that something should be changed so the representatives can be recalled like such representatives can be in some other representative democracies.
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Old 23rd January 2023, 02:01 AM   #425
dann
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Can be, is important. It's not a matter of course. In DK, for instance, it would depend on a majority of representatives voting that somebody was no longer worthy of being a representative. If they decided to do so would very much depend on having a secure majority. If that majority depended on the vote of that particular member of parliament, I doubt that it would happen.

And merely lying to voters and making promises that you don't intend to keep would never lead to something like that, obviously. In that case, they would probably all have to be recalled. It's in the nature of representative democracy.
It's about getting people to vote for you, and in order to accomplish that, you lie, you cheat, you embellish, you brag. So at least in that respect, the best man won the presidential election in November 2016.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 23rd January 2023, 05:08 AM   #426
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Originally Posted by mikegriffith1 View Post
I'm pretty sure that Santos hasn't gotten a young woman killed in a car accident and that he didn't bother to report the incident until nearly 10 hours later.
I'm pretty sure Santos is just too modest* to brag about the time he killed a young woman in a car accident but didn't report it because he was able to bring her back to life.
*Or maybe it's not modesty, and he just hasn't yet gotten around to bragging about it.
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Old 23rd January 2023, 10:42 AM   #427
dann
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You don’t think I understand? I understand full well.

No, you don't. You don't understand at all. But I'll try to explain it more clearly.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You're saying that someone who runs as a graduate of Baruch University with a degree in economics, but who in reality is a high school drop-out should be able to get away with his fraud against the voters in his district.

Why on earth would I say something like that? I'm saying that he is getting away with it. It's called representative democracy, and it's very popular in some circles. I haven't said a word about what he should or shouldn't get away with.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
If he had run as a high school dropout and elected, I have no issue.

But he didn't! And it's fairly obvious why he didn't. It's called representative democracy.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
How can he fairly represent the voters of his district when he can't fairly represent who he is?

George Santos can represent the voters of his district by getting elected. Which he was. It's called representative democracy. Don't blame me! I didn't vote for him! Blame representative democracy.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 23rd January 2023, 10:59 AM   #428
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George Santos got a very small part in Randy Rainbow's most recent video. Kevin McCarthy got the starring role.

Speaker of the House - Randy Rainbow Song Parody (on YouTube, Jan 23, 2023)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 23rd January 2023, 03:32 PM   #429
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, you don't. You don't understand at all. But I'll try to explain it more clearly.

Why on earth would I say something like that? I'm saying that he is getting away with it. It's called representative democracy, and it's very popular in some circles. I haven't said a word about what he should or shouldn't get away with.

But he didn't! And it's fairly obvious why he didn't. It's called representative democracy.

George Santos can represent the voters of his district by getting elected. Which he was. It's called representative democracy. Don't blame me! I didn't vote for him! Blame representative democracy.
You can keep repeating "representative democracy" over and over and that doesn't make this any less of a fraud. George Santos doesn't represent his district any more than he represents himself.

As I said before, I understand the situation very well. George Santos conned his way into Congress. This is not in question. Should we reward fraud or should there be laws prohibiting fraud.
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Old 23rd January 2023, 03:53 PM   #430
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You can keep repeating "representative democracy" over and over and that doesn't make this any less of a fraud. George Santos doesn't represent his district any more than he represents himself.

As I said before, I understand the situation very well. George Santos conned his way into Congress. This is not in question. Should we reward fraud or should there be laws prohibiting fraud.

Dude! Representative Democracy, brah! It's the question and the answer!
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Old 23rd January 2023, 04:22 PM   #431
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
......
George Santos can represent the voters of his district by getting elected. Which he was. It's called representative democracy.
.....

The voters did not elect George Santos. They elected the man that George Santos pretended to be. The local leaders of his own party want him to go away. What's most significant here is that in the days before Trump, a politician caught in such massive fraud would have resigned in shame before he got booted out, which would be a certainty. It's only now that he can say "Yeah, I lied. So what?," and national party leaders can say "He's our boy!"
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Old 23rd January 2023, 08:11 PM   #432
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
George Santos got a very small part in Randy Rainbow's most recent video. Kevin McCarthy got the starring role.

Speaker of the House - Randy Rainbow Song Parody (on YouTube, Jan 23, 2023)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
Love me some Randy Rainbow!
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Old 23rd January 2023, 09:39 PM   #433
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
The voters did not elect George Santos. They elected the man that George Santos pretended to be. The local leaders of his own party want him to go away. What's most significant here is that in the days before Trump, a politician caught in such massive fraud would have resigned in shame before he got booted out, which would be a certainty. It's only now that he can say "Yeah, I lied. So what?," and national party leaders can say "He's our boy!"


And also he can reiterate, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the ______ “<- (insert text here).
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Old 24th January 2023, 04:02 AM   #434
dann
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
The voters did not elect George Santos. They elected the man that George Santos pretended to be. The local leaders of his own party want him to go away. What's most significant here is that in the days before Trump, a politician caught in such massive fraud would have resigned in shame before he got booted out, which would be a certainty. It's only now that he can say "Yeah, I lied. So what?," and national party leaders can say "He's our boy!"

The voters always elect whoever or whatever the candidate pretends to be. That's the whole point of representative democracy.
'But, but he promised,' just doesn't hold up in court! Instead, it's always, 'Better luck next time, pal!'

It's a minor thing, but Trump, for instance, claimed that, unlike Obama, he wouldn't have time to play golf when he was elected. I mention it because it's a thing that wouldn't in any way depend on persuading the opposition to go along with it.

A more recent example:
Quote:
While on the campaign trail, Vice President Joe Biden made promises to countermand restrictions imposed by the Trump administration on travel and remittances to Cuba, reinstate the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, re-engage with Cuba, and “promptly reverse the failed Trump policies that have inflicted harm on the Cuban people and done nothing to advance democracy and human rights.”
Timeline of the Biden-Harris administration’s Cuba policy (Center for Democracy in the Americas)

Voters in a representative democracy don't get what they imagine they vote for. They get a representative, and as for their wishful thinking, they get bad excuses instead. In this respect, Santos isn't any different than the rest of them. Just more obvious.

By the way, has Santos broken any election promises yet about the politics he would pursue if elected? I'm asking because I don't know.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 24th January 2023 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 24th January 2023, 04:29 AM   #435
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
This is crap. It's nothing more than an unsupported personal opinion.

Back this up with some actual evidence like something taught in a civics class or in the Constitution that says a candidate who lies pathologically, completely misrepresents themself, and gets elected based on such dishonesty has a legit claim to that office because they successfully bamboozled the voters.
Civics class and the Constitution have no bearing here, it would seem. Is Santos sitting in office? Barring a crime he might be convicted of, is he going anywhere? And even if convicted, for that matter, is he certain to be ousted?

This is realpolitik today. The age of shame is dead, which makes easier the chigger-like clinging to power of those willing to cast aside all norms and decorum. The old paradigm of custom and the gentleman's agreement must now be buttressed by black letter law.

Because the electorate, the foundational weakness of democracy, is too stupid to not vote against its own self interest.
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Old 24th January 2023, 04:30 AM   #436
dann
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You can keep repeating "representative democracy" over and over and that doesn't make this any less of a fraud. George Santos doesn't represent his district any more than he represents himself.

As I said before, I understand the situation very well. George Santos conned his way into Congress. This is not in question. Should we reward fraud or should there be laws prohibiting fraud.

Who are "we"?! If you feel like rewarding George Santos, you can send him a campaign contribution. But his fraud has already been awarded: He got elected!

According to representative democracy, it is now up to George Santos to make his own decisions based on his mature judgment and enlightened conscience and not let himself be influenced by the sentiments of the people who voted for him.

And according to representative democracy, once elected, George Santos "ought not to sacrifice [his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience] to you, to any man, or to any set of men living."

Remember that "Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion," because representative democracy, this peculiar relationship between the voters and their elected representatives is so bloody sacrosanct that it is actually George Santos' God-given right and duty: "a trust from Providence."
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 24th January 2023, 04:49 AM   #437
dann
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
(...)
Because the electorate, the foundational weakness of democracy, is too stupid to not vote against its own self interest.

That's nothing new, and it's not the weakness of representative democracy. It's the point of representative democracy. Otherwise, "empirical research" wouldn't show "that representative systems tend to be biased towards the representation of more affluent classes, to the detriment of the population at large." (Wikipedia)

You guys can't help thinking that representative democracy is supposed to be something good, something much better than it actually is. And when it always turns out to be what you imagine that it isn't, you never blame representative democracy. Instead you blame the people who go voting and do so because they share your delusions about what voting for representatives is supposed to be:
"Representative democracy places power in the hands of representatives who are elected by the people." Why do you keep pretending that this was ever supposed to be a good idea?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 24th January 2023, 05:04 AM   #438
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When I say the elector's vote is sacrosanct, I mean this in the context of that vote having been cast by close of polls. Once so cast in good faith and counted fairly it is inviolate, determining utterly who is seated. No backsies. Caveat emptor, indeed.

As dann points out, the absence of a Constitutional recall mechanism by the electorate is no oversight.

Hence the responsibility I heap upon the electorate, and that in all events it gets the government it deserves. If from among their thousands and millions they cannot put forth an honorable candidate, they must suffer the knave.
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Old 24th January 2023, 05:31 AM   #439
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Representative Democracy sucks! Polly want a cracker!

Who woulda thunk that George Santos would inspire a communist rallying cry?
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Old 24th January 2023, 05:51 AM   #440
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The problem with democracy has always been that it depends on the voters making an effort to inform themselves about the people and policies they are voting for. If they can't be bothered to do that, if they are happy to swallow whichever blatant and transparent lies they most like the sound of, democracy fails.
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