Fellowship of Punditry

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Cul Heath

Mick Arran

Jeffrey Barbose

Inspector Lohmann

Eric M. Fink

Michael Lane

Rep. Mark B. Cohen

The Fellowship is accepting new members. Inquire within.

The Sages

  • David Weinberger
  • Jon Lebkowsky
  • Jay Rosen
  • Rebecca MacKinnon
  • Nova Spivack
  • Dan Gillmor
  • Jim Moore
  • Lawerence Lessig
  • Ed Cone
  • Jeff Jarvis
  • Joi Ito
  • The Titans

  • Talking Points Memo
  • Oliver Willis
  • Burnt Orange Report
  • Jim Hightower
  • Wonkette
  • Political Animal
  • The-Hamster
  • Matthew Yglesias
  • Pandagon
  • Altercation
  • Informed Comment
  • Donkey Rising
  • The Decembrist
  • Buzz Machine
  • Orcinus
  • Brad Delong
  • Eschaton
  • The Left Coaster
  • Pacific Views

    Distinguished Colleagues

  • Tom Burka
  • The American Street
  • wood s lot
  • Rox Populi
  • Scratchings
  • Blond Sense
  • Cut To The Chase
  • Bad Attitudes
  • Rook's Rant
  • Dohiyi Mir
  • Stout Dem Blog
  • A Violently Executed Blog
  • American Leftist
  • Easy Bake Coven
  • Southerly Buster
  • Abuddhas Memes
  • Post-Atomic
  • Van Ramblings
  • Friends of the Fellowship

  • Texas Native
  • Chuck Currie
  • To The Teeth
  • Radically Inept
  • In Dark Times
  • Serial Blogonomy
  • The Bone
  • Public Domain Progress
  • Alien Intelligencer
  • Research Associates

  • Blogged In the Desert
  • One Fine Jay
  • Jessica's Universe
  • Selective Amnesia
  • In Grown Brain Stem
  • Immolation.org
  • Somewhere over the rainbough
  • Politikult
  • Political Puzzle
  • Dear Free World
  • Twenty Something
  • Thom:WebLog
  • Random Act of Kindness
  • A Skeptical Blog
  • The Common Man
  • Progressive News

  • The American Prospect
  • World Press Review
  • Alternet
  • In These Times
  • Common Dreams
  • Media Channel
  • History News Network
  • Tom Paine
  • Z-Magazine
  • Breaking News

  • Associated Press
  • Reuters
  • BBC Newswire
  • World NEws

  • The Guardian (UK)
  • The Independent (UK)
  • The Financial Times (UK)
  • Pravda (Russia)
  • La Monde Diplomatique (France)
  • Arab News (Saudi Arabia)
  • The Age (Australia)
  • China Daily
  • The People's Daily (China)
  • The Korea Herald
  • Think Tanks

  • CEIP
  • The CATO Institute
  • Center for America Progress
  • Federation of American Scientists
  • Progressive Policy Institute
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • The Brookings Institution
  • The Foreign Policy Association
  • Blogging Resources

  • Principia Cybernetica
  • The Fallacy Files
  • Fact Check
  • 50 Ways To Improve Your Blog
  • Poynter Online's Writers ToolBox
  • News Thinking
  • The Scout Archives
  • WebReference.com
  • Into the Blogosphere
  • George Orwell

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

    But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

    Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.

    Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

    In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

    All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

    At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.

    Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.

    John Stuart Mill

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

    The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.

    The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.

    Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.

    A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    Mark Twain

    Don't let schooling interfere with your education.

    All generalizations are false, including this one.

    A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

    Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

    The Public is merely a multiplied "me."

    Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

    Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

    Winston Churchill

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.

    Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

    However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

    In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.

    Otto Von Bismarck

    When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.

    I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.

    Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.

    Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.


    A witty saying proves nothing.

    If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.

    When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.

    I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

    To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

    It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

    The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.

    Karl Marx

    Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.

    All I know is I'm not a Marxist.

    The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.

    Thursday, September 30, 2004

    YNMS - A Voting System That Makes Sense

    By Mick

    In light of Nick's recent discussion of the Electoral College, I thought it was appropriate to bring this up here.

    Majority Rule voting is, let's face it, if not a disaster at least unsatisfactory. The winner-take-all system disenfranchises as many people as it empowers, and is a system that pushes political movements not just toward the center but toward a crippling mediocrity. Nobody dares take a stand that might alienate a critical segment of voters, and before long you have a increasingly narrow band of acceptable political thought based on all the same non-controversial--and therefore probably useless and largely trivial--issues. Flag-burning, supporting the troops, school uniforms, that kind of nonsense.

    Run-Off voting and Proportional voting both have severe problems of their own that make changing to one or the other of them a bit like jumping out of the frying pan and into the proverbial fire. Run-Off voting can easily lead to elections that never seem to end (you think 2000 was a long haul? that ain't nothin', pal), and Proportional voting leads directly to the kind of situation they have in Israel right now where a minority party rules the roost because it represent's the winning 2% that will put a coalition over the top. Gridlock ain't nothing compared to that.

    But there is a better voting system out there, a system that allows the minority's voice to be heard without splitting political parties into a dozen splintered factions, avoids endless run-off elections and fights over who won, and effectively incorporates a sort of 'None of the Above' element for extreme cases when every candidate is a loser (and when haven't we seen those in the last 50 years?) It's simple, it's easy to understand, and it wouldn't be any more difficult to count. It's called Yes/No/Maybe So voting, and it would put the 'democracy' back in our 'representative' system.

    This is an essay written by Peter K Harrell, an expert on YNMS voting, for Omnium last year. I'm re-printing it here for your perusal and, maybe, comment. It's worth thinking about at the very least.



    by Peter K Harrell


    When Yes No 'Maybe So' Voting is the voting technique used in an election, each and every voter can vote in one of four ways about each and every candidate on the ballot. The way in which any given voter votes about any one candidate on the ballot does not limit or effect how that voter can vote about any of the other candidates on the ballot.

    Imagine a ballot consisting of three columns: a column listing the candidates, a column for voting Yes, a column for voting No. This is what a Yes No ‘Maybe So’ ballot looks like.

    Here is a sample Yes No ‘Maybe So’ Ballot for a single Nader supporter who also supported Gore.

    _________2000 Election Sample Ballot________
    For a single voter who is a Nader > Gore supporter


    Bush___________ Republican ______________X
    Gore___________ Democrat _________X______X
    Nader _________ Green ____________X
    Browne_________ Libertarian _______________X
    Buchanan________ Reform _________________X
    Hagelin _________ Natural Law
    McReynolds______ Socialist

    Depending on the mechanism for collecting the votes voters would make a mark, punch a whole, click a check box, or simply touch a spot on a computer screen in either the Yes column, both the Yes and No columns, neither the Yes nor the No column, or just the No column next to a candidate on the ballot. Each voter can vote in this same way about each and every candidate on the ballot.

    No matter what pattern of Yes and No column selections are made for candidates on the ballot, the ballot would still be a valid ballot. There is no possible way a voter can turn in an invalid Yes No 'Maybe So' ballot due to some sort of "multiple or double punching". If the ballot is a paper ballot that has to be machine read and the ballot is physically mutilated, then of course that might constitute an invalid ballot.

    As mentioned already there are four different types of votes in Yes No 'Maybe So' Voting. Here are the four types of votes and their relative effect on the prospects of a candidate's chances for election.

    Four Types of Yes No 'Maybe So' Votes

    Vote Type______ Yes____ No_____Effect on Candidate

    Yes Vote_________ X_____________ Most favorable to candidate
    Yes/No Vote______ X______ X_____ Next most favorable to candidate
    Null Vote________________________ Next least favorable to candidate
    No Vote_________________ X______ Least favorable to candidate

    A Null Vote decreases the chances that a candidate will be elected and can effect the outcome of an election.

    That really is all a voter needs to know in order to be able to vote successfully using the Yes No 'Maybe So' Voting technique. Voters only need to know how to cast each type of vote and what is the relative effect of each type of vote on the prospects of a candidate's chances for election.

    In other posts to this topic I will explain how the outcome of a Yes No ‘Maybe So’ election is determined and some of the advantages of Yes No 'Maybe So' Voting.

    Since even the submission of a blank ballot with Null Votes cast for all of the candidates can effect the outcome of the election, a true abstention from voting would amount to not submitting a ballot for the particular office in question. Yes No ‘Maybe So’ Voting ballots should clearly indicate how a voter can truly abstain from voting.

    Please note that both Yes/No Votes and Null Votes can be considered as 'Maybe So' votes. There is no explicit 'Maybe So' voting type in the Yes No 'Maybe So' Voting technique, hence the single quotes in the name of the technique.

    __________2000 Election Sample Ballot__________
    For a single voter who is a Bush > Buchanan supporter


    Bush___________ Republican ________X
    Gore___________ Democrat ________________X
    Nader __________ Green ___________________X
    Browne________ Libertarian
    Buchanan______ Reform _________X______X

    Hagelin _________ Natural Law
    McReynolds______ Socialist_________________ X

    Most of us have been trained in the use of Plurality Voting since grade school. Given the thoroughness of that indoctrination some people may have a little difficulty adjusting to the increased freedom of expression and political power permitted to them by Yes No ‘Maybe So’ Voting, but the basic questions implied by Yes No ‘Maybe So’ Voting are simple.

    Do you approve of this candidate? Is this candidate acceptable to you? Or do you disapprove of this candidate? Is this candidate unacceptable to you? Yes or No. Mixed opinions are expressed either by combining Yes and No, or by not expressing any opinion about a candidate at all.
    If it seems complicated, it did to me too, at first. But the complexity is in the counting, not the voting, and even the counting isn't as complicated as it appears at first blush.

    Voting is easy: "A Null Vote decreases the chances that a candidate will be elected and can effect the outcome of an election..... That really is all a voter needs to know in order to be able to vote successfully using the Yes No 'Maybe So' Voting technique." Essentially YNMS is a very simple rating system, far more simple than, say, the system that rates movies or the ranking system of Instant Runoff Voting: YES means "I want him/her." NO means "I don't want him/her." MAYBE SO means "I'm not wild about it but I can live with him/her." That's all there is to it.

    For more on the Majority Rule Voting Paradox or YNMS itself, you can read some of the back-up and explanatory material comparing YNMS to other voting systems here.

    posted by Mick at 9/30/2004 11:01:00 PM |

    Comments: Post a Comment

    About US

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

    "Netpolitik is a new style of diplomacy that seeks to exploit the powerful capabilities of the Internet to shape politics, culture, values, and personal identity. But unlike Realpolitik — which seeks to advance a nation’s political interests through amoral coercion — Netpolitik traffics in “softer” issues such as moral legitimacy, culturalidentity, societal values, and public perception." - The Rise of Netpolitik

    PUN-DIT (n) : A learned man; a teacher; a source of opinion; a critic: a political pundit.

    Recent Posts

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    Mick: YNMS - A Voting System That Makes Sense |


    Birthplace of The Progressive Blog Alliance

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
    Leave a comment here to join.

    The Bots