Tilting at the Ballot Box
s.schear at comcast.net
Fri Aug 27 13:14:47 PDT 2004
At 04:12 AM 8/27/2004, you wrote:
>-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
>On 2004-08-25T11:25:09-0700, Steve Schear wrote:
> > At 09:18 AM 8/25/2004, R. A. Hettinga wrote:
> > ><http://www.business2.com/b2/web/articles/print/0,17925,683182,00.html>
> > >Business 2.0 - Magazine Article - Printable Version -
> > >
> > >Tilting at the Ballot Box
> > >Entrepreneur David Chaum's e-money venture flopped. Now he wants to fix
> > >electronic voting. For once, is the brilliant inventor right on time?
> > >By John Heilemann, September 2004 Issue
> > Like a shoemaker who only has hammers in his toolkit, Chaum is trying to
> > fix the wrong problem. The problems with voting in the U.S. aren't
> > or even potential fraud at the ballot box its a complete lack of
> > proportional representation.
>Is this solvable? Chaum is solving a problem that evidently can be
>solved. Perhaps once those problems are solved it will be easier to
>direct public attention at other more fundamental problems with our
Why would u guess this? These problems have been around since almost the
founding of the republic.
>You have a strange notion of what the Colonists meant by that phrase.
>You do have representation. The fact that your representatives are not
>the ones you wanted is irrelevant.
The Colonists had representatives too, its just that they were chosen by
King George :) The fact that 'my' representatives are not the ones I
wanted nor any of the independent independent party voters wanted is
paramount. Representation is about interests and ideology. If a
significant segment of voters don't get anyone to represent these interests
and ideologies bad things can happen (e.g., they can become
radicalized). Representation can be an important outlet for these
>IMO, your complaint about gerrymandering is valid. There are a variety
>of formulaic ways to ensure voting district compactness. See e.g.
>Clearly, no matter what you do, there are problems. If the district
>size is 1 million, there's a city of 499k and a city of 1501k, what
>then? The city of 499k is screwed unless there's a nearby population
>center with similar culture. Even then, the numbers won't be equitable,
>and someone, somewhere will whine about "lack of representation."
The problem is that use of voting districts seems to have always resulted
in gerrymandering in our political system. A proportional system can
eliminate these geopolitical distortions.
More information about the cypherpunks-legacy