Meritocratic Democracy?

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PeterCai
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Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby PeterCai » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:27 am UTC

Here's my idea for a political system:

A percentage of high school graduates are selected based on a standardized evaluation of merit.

These graduates will then undergo a specialized education with emphasis on political theory, social science, philosophy, ethic and economic. Upon completion, top performers will then undergo apprenticeship with the incumbent central civilian leaders, who will then in turn nominate their favourites to succeed them. The nominees will then go through public scrutiny and legislatory confirmation. Confirmed nominees will then take power upon expiration of the previous leaders. The central civilian leaders will choose advisors, canbinet members and diplomats from their fellow alumni.

The legislature will be comprised of district representatives from various political parties who are voted in office by the district populace. The legislature will perform functions similar to that of the western system, such as budget, lawmaking, and political debate. More over, with a super majority, legislature can impeach an incumbent civilian leader.

Central civilian leaders will have control over the military, government spending. Laws must be signed by them, and they can introduce new laws into legislature without the usual procedure required for legislators.

District leaders such as mayors and governorrs are voted into office.

Advantages of this system:
- Central leaders are selected purely based on merit and political views, not popularity.
- Central leaders will have no affiliation with political parties(although they can favor the views of one party) Which reduces partisan politic at the top level.
- Central leaders will always be young, but not inexpierenced.
- The populace will focus on choosing their district representative and leaders, whose actions affect them the most.

What are the disadvantages of this system, and how hard is it to actually implement it? discuss!

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby masher » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:30 am UTC

PeterCai wrote:A percentage of high school graduates are selected based on a standardized evaluation of merit.

These graduates will then undergo a specialized education with emphasis on political theory, social science, philosophy, ethic and economic.


This is the wrong bit.

I wouldn't have wanted to do this when I was in high school; I still don't want to do it.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby PeterCai » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:35 am UTC

masher wrote:
PeterCai wrote:A percentage of high school graduates are selected based on a standardized evaluation of merit.

These graduates will then undergo a specialized education with emphasis on political theory, social science, philosophy, ethic and economic.


This is the wrong bit.

I wouldn't have wanted to do this when I was in high school; I still don't want to do it.


What's the problem here, that you think nobody would want to do it or that people will be forced to do it? If it's the first, it's the country giving you an oppotunity to become an elite, so, I don't think we will lack willing participants. If it's the latter, we can simply make the test voluntary.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:39 am UTC

And perhaps if you find out that you were selected based on your proven merit to be a part of the group that leads the country, you might find somewhere deep inside of you the desire to better acquaint yourself with the fundamentals of governance. And if not, the rest of us don't really want you in charge of anything.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:47 am UTC

1. political leaders will have no connections to the "real world". This is a problem as is, now imagine a system where you don't even have to become politically influential.
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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby PeterCai » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:49 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:And perhaps if you find out that you were selected based on your proven merit to be a part of the group that leads the country, you might find somewhere deep inside of you the desire to better acquaint yourself with the fundamentals of governance. And if not, the rest of us don't really want you in charge of anything.


with the specialized education, apprenticeship and legislatory confirmation, is it even possible for that to happen?

mmmcannibalism wrote:1. political leaders will have no connections to the "real world". This is a problem as is, now imagine a system where you don't even have to become politically influential.


hence the apprenticeship

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:52 am UTC

I'd like to think it's possible that people would find the desire to better themselves... you think they won't?

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby PeterCai » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:55 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:I'd like to think it's possible that people would find the desire to better themselves... you think they won't?


I thought you mean that some people that were selected will have no desire to lead or better themselves.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:11 am UTC

That's what masher said. I said almost the exact opposite. :)

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby masher » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:14 am UTC

I have no desire to go into politics.

I do want to better myself; this is why I went to university, do my volunteer work, completed my PhD, do my job.

Why would I want to go into politics where I would be required to engage in duplicitous behaviour, contrary to my beliefs?

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:15 am UTC

One of the major points here I think is that it would NOT be required. The whole system requires that the whole system sort of already be in place, I think.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Silas » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:20 am UTC

So, the people in this... caste.... that you're proposing- their role is somewhere between a Politburo and the (US, Federal-level) executive branch?
---
What happens to prospective civilian leaders who don't make the cut, or are too unlikeable to pass confirmation hearings? Their education didn't exactly leave them with job skills, so do you cut them loose to dig ditches, or do you shuffle them into less-important posts, where they nurse a resentful inferiority complex and passive-aggressively sabotage the nation?

PeterCai wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:1. political leaders will have no connections to the "real world". This is a problem as is, now imagine a system where you don't even have to become politically influential.

hence the apprenticeship

The point isn't that they'll lack practical experience and expertise at their jobs. It's that their interests, preferences, and experiences will be decoupled from those of the people being governed. Like congressmen who don't know what a gallon of milk costs, but a thousand times worse, because they've never had to get a real job, ever. Life for these elites isn't going to resemble life for a factory worker at all- how are they supposed to understand and empathize with the proles' needs?
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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby PeterCai » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:57 am UTC

Silas wrote:So, the people in this... caste.... that you're proposing- their role is somewhere between a Politburo and the (US, Federal-level) executive branch?
---
What happens to prospective civilian leaders who don't make the cut, or are too unlikeable to pass confirmation hearings? Their education didn't exactly leave them with job skills, so do you cut them loose to dig ditches, or do you shuffle them into less-important posts, where they nurse a resentful inferiority complex and passive-aggressively sabotage the nation?

The point isn't that they'll lack practical experience and expertise at their jobs. It's that their interests, preferences, and experiences will be decoupled from those of the people being governed. Like congressmen who don't know what a gallon of milk costs, but a thousand times worse, because they've never had to get a real job, ever. Life for these elites isn't going to resemble life for a factory worker at all- how are they supposed to understand and empathize with the proles' needs?


I don't think graduating from the nation's elite school would make you undesirable in the job market. Their connections with ruling elites and knowledge of the innerworking of government will at least guarantee a seat in the upper class.

The other point though. District representatives and leaders are the one that need to know the cost of milk. The core governing elites are better off looking at the big pictures. I mean, other existing systems don't do well in that regard either. Working in law firms doesn't exactly tell you about the lives of the lower classes.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Zamfir » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:22 am UTC

If I read your proposal well, the main difference with the current setup would be that people would didn't pass a certain test in high school and who didn't went to a specific school cannot have certain positions in the government?

What happens if the people favour someone who is not an enarque? It's not allowed? And what if they favour someone who went to a different elite school (let's for the sake argument call this hypothetical person "Nicolas Sarkozy")?

Also, who designs the critical test? Who determines the curriculum of this power school? What happens if rich and powerful people want their children on this school? They are not allowed? Really?

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby bentheimmigrant » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:24 pm UTC

PeterCai wrote:I don't think graduating from the nation's elite school would make you undesirable in the job market. Their connections with ruling elites and knowledge of the innerworking of government will at least guarantee a seat in the upper class.


To me, this is the biggest problem. You're intentionally creating a group of elites with strong ties to the government. This seems to be no different from the main cause of most of the problems in any other democracy. Seems like those who are selected (especially those who are not ultimately elected into office) are on a fast track to an oligarchy, while the rest of us live just as we do now, ruled by people who can benefit themselves and their friends through their decisions.
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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Silknor » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:46 pm UTC

It's not at all clear what the civilian leaders can do. Control over spending isn't clear, do they replace the role of the President in the current system? The president+Appropriations committees? The president+Appropriations+authorizing legislation? Same for the military. There's a big difference between control over the military in the sense that the President has control over the military and total control over the military not subject to laws passed by Congress. Nor is this clear:
they can introduce new laws into legislature without the usual procedure required for legislators


Think about how difficult a standardized evaluation of merit is in the current system. Take the SATs or the New Haven firefighter exam case (where the test was thrown out until the Supreme Court ruled because the not enough minorities did well). Even Supreme Court nominees often come down to a litmus test on abortion and other controversial issues.

Think also of the minor problem of creating a self-perpetuating nearly unaccountable set of rulers.
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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby weasel@xkcd » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:59 pm UTC

I don't see this working because, as people have said, rule by an oligarchal elite never seems to do a country any good.

What I have been thinking about recently though is the idea of restricting political power and responsibility to people who have served the country or community in some way. This could be military service but could also be volunteer work with the red cross, teaching in disadvantaged schools, being a dr etc (basically wherever your skills allow you to best help the gov). What are the main problems with this?

Another idea that is emotionally appealing to me but likely impractical is to require people to pass a test of some kind before voting to ensure they have sufficiant logical reasoning and critical thinking skill. Big problem would be determining what's in the test but the central idea might be sound. Maybe?

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:40 pm UTC

What I have been thinking about recently though is the idea of restricting political power and responsibility to people who have served the country or community in some way. This could be military service but could also be volunteer work with the red cross, teaching in disadvantaged schools, being a dr etc (basically wherever your skills allow you to best help the gov). What are the main problems with this?


This would exclude both lawyers and businessmen, two groups that can lay a much better claim to knowing how to run a country then guy who is a nice person and volunteers at his school.
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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Zamfir » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:36 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
What I have been thinking about recently though is the idea of restricting political power and responsibility to people who have served the country or community in some way. This could be military service but could also be volunteer work with the red cross, teaching in disadvantaged schools, being a dr etc (basically wherever your skills allow you to best help the gov). What are the main problems with this?


This would exclude both lawyers and businessmen

Sure, but what are the downsides?

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:43 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:
What I have been thinking about recently though is the idea of restricting political power and responsibility to people who have served the country or community in some way. This could be military service but could also be volunteer work with the red cross, teaching in disadvantaged schools, being a dr etc (basically wherever your skills allow you to best help the gov). What are the main problems with this?


This would exclude both lawyers and businessmen

Sure, but what are the downsides?


Businessmen have shown in their life an ability to run a fairly complicated system in a way that is efficient and profitable. Lawyers by definition have a very good understanding of the law, something which is rather important in running a country. Military leaders have experience with the same type of logistics management(or at least this would seem to be true of anyone above a certain rank). People who have done volunteer work have proven that they probably give a fuck about humanity.

The first three are all things that tend to indicate a capacity for leadership, the last one just shows an ability to want to do good. Wanting to do good is a wonderful character trait, but it doesn't mean you are less likely to completely screw up leadership.

edit

As to the specific downsides, our leaders would all be either veterans or pta leaders. It's bad enough that we currently have only a few professions ending up in government, making it artificially will disconnect the elected officials from regular people even more.
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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby folkhero » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:22 pm UTC

Lawyers often put their skills to use doing pro bono cases. Successful business people could quit their current work to manage non-profits for a couple years before going into politics. Not that Weasel's system wouldn't have a slew of other problems.
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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Glass Fractal » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:34 pm UTC

This sounds an awful lot like Plato's system from The Republic. As I recall he tried to implement it once and the prince he educated hated the process so much that he had Plato thrown out of the country once he became king.

I see the biggest problem with test based meritocracies being the tests themselves. If they never change they rapidly get out of date. If do they change then you need generations of highly intelligent, perfectly neutral people to make them (and if you have such people you probably don't need the tests).

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby BattleMoose » Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:03 am UTC

Any kind of radical reform to a political system of this nature, if written up, would be extremely long in order to hash out all the details that would allow it to function correctly. It would be impossible to present such an idea in detail that would be accepted by everyone in this forum. That being said the central ideas are fantastic (something that I have long supported) , that being that the leaders of a nation, the bureaucracy are trained in order to fulfill those positions. The idea that leaders of a nation are popularly elected is just absurd and the sooner that countries can move from such a system towards a fair qualified franchise or an effective system wherein government leaders are appointed based on training and skill rather than oratory skills, the better. Which is exactly where the OP was trying to get.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Zamfir » Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:26 am UTC

Battlemoose, you don't think that taking power away from the people and giving it to a self-appointed elite might have downsides?

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Greyarcher » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:09 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:Battlemoose, you don't think that taking power away from the people and giving it to a self-appointed elite might have downsides?
Maybe a bit overstated, but I agree with the sentiment. Checks and balances are important.

It's not like the only check that the people can provide is through voting in elections though. I imagine there are other procedures through which the people could provide a check to government power could be devised.

Still, elections have good value in constantly trying to match the government's will to the will of the people via the elected representatives. I suppose one could revise the voting system to try and do that more efficiently. But I'm not sure there's a procedure that could adequately replace the election in that function.

I suppose, bouncing off PeterCai's idea, people could go through training/testing and then gain entry into an "electoral pool of general representatives" or somesuch. Not sure what they would be trained/tested on though. Constitutional law, economics, and foreign relations or somesuch? Depends on the governmental role, I'm sure. A lot of philosophy would be rather useless. At any rate, after they passed they would be up for election based on their political views.

Edit: whoops, wrote Battlemoose's name instead of Petercai. Name fixed.
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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby PeterCai » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:07 pm UTC

a few points:

- the ruling elites wouldn't be completely unaccountable because of legislature.

- people from other backgrounds can enter politic through legislature and local politic. it's just that they can't hold the highest office.

- yeah i had plato in mind when i wrote this thread. while plato's attempt at the philosopher king is a failure, i think the scale and circumstances is differnet enough that his failure means very little here.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Zamfir » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:47 pm UTC

PeterCai, take a look at the French ENA. It is in practice nearly your system (although it seems to lose favour now). The school produces around 100 graudates yearly. Usually between 30 to 50% of French cabinet minsters are from that group, plus other important politicians, top bureaucrats and quite a lot of high managers in French industry, especially industry with strong ties to the state.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby pizzazz » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:20 am UTC

One of my friends came up with a similar system. Here's the problem I came up with: who determines what is taught in the political training program? Or even what the metric for admittance to that program is? If it's a popular vote, that defeats the purpose of the system, but if its chosen by those in power, then the first generation of political leaders who wants can control all remaining political function for the rest of the country's life. Essentially, your system makes it nigh impossible for the people to change the central government. Now, some might like this, but I see it as a disadvantage. And of course, education and even political experience are nice, but actual experience with how the world works, what it takes to start/run a business or military unit, etc. would be invaluable. In your system, the politicians might have to work hard, but they will probably never encounter active resistance until they reach office (for some reason, this discussion reminds me of the Battle School from the Ender's Game series).

On the implementation side, this could never be a fair meritocracy unless a system of free government schools is set up for all, which are all equal and which are capable of providing unbounded education to the brightest while being able to keep the slowest student in the loop. If not, you are either allowing money to become a factor, or handicapping the best unfairly, or failing to provide education to all, which defeats the purpose of having a Meritocracy. Even then, you may have to mandate that everyone attend these schools, or the tests are not even--some schools might "teach to the test" for example

edit:
Glass Fractal wrote:I see the biggest problem with test based meritocracies being the tests themselves. If they never change they rapidly get out of date. If do they change then you need generations of highly intelligent, perfectly neutral people to make them (and if you have such people you probably don't need the tests).

This says what I was trying to say, better.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby samcan » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:43 pm UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:This sounds an awful lot like Plato's system from The Republic. As I recall he tried to implement it once and the prince he educated hated the process so much that he had Plato thrown out of the country once he became king.

I see the biggest problem with test based meritocracies being the tests themselves. If they never change they rapidly get out of date. If do they change then you need generations of highly intelligent, perfectly neutral people to make them (and if you have such people you probably don't need the tests).


I'm assuming you're referring to the idea of the Philosopher King, which this reminded me of as well.

Sometimes people "bloom" (for lack of a better word) at different times. Aren't there various politicians who only became influential or famous in their later years (look at Winston Churchill, for example). You're basically establishing the high school years as the watershed years: "If you want to make any top, top positions in government, then you'd better be smart in your high school years." What about those people who became great leaders later? Or earlier?

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby bentheimmigrant » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:39 pm UTC

Not sure about Churchill blooming "in his later years" (unless you mean his early 20s), but the problem with the system (outside of the oligarchical nature of it, as discussed earlier) doesn't start with the assumption that the students will show greatness at a high school level, but that it will happen much earlier - because surely for the students to be selected for the system it must happen long before they reach high school. In order to achieve enough to be considered the most meritorious, the students would need to start as early as they can to build up the knowledge and abilities that would allow them to rise to the top. And so it becomes even clearer that such elites would never experience anything resembling a normal life - how could they then be expected to rule people, who always want to feel like they are represented by someone who understands them?
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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby EdgarJPublius » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:12 pm UTC

This proposed system doesn't seem to address the subjective beliefs that people may have about different issues and policy decisions.
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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby ecscayseadie » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:15 am UTC

I think the general impetus behind a proposal like this is a desire to decouple government from populist whims. One way to do this without establishing a unelected "ruling caste" is to do away with direct election of the chief executive, like in the Westminster system where the chief executive (prime minister) is the leader of the party with the most seats in the legislature. Between the party leader and the electorate is an additional buffer consisting of party delegates, who being generally more educated and engaged in politics are more likely to choose a leader that is both qualified and electable (acceptable to the general public).

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Deep_Thought » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:04 pm UTC

ecscayseadie wrote:I think the general impetus behind a proposal like this is a desire to decouple government from populist whims. One way to do this without establishing a unelected "ruling caste" is to do away with direct election of the chief executive, like in the Westminster system where the chief executive (prime minister) is the leader of the party with the most seats in the legislature.

Ah, the Westminster system, glorious in all of its confusions and contradictions. On a practical level it doesn't work quite how you've described it principally because the three main political parties all have different systems for choosing their leader. The Lib Dems have a straight vote of all party members, the Tories restrict it to MPs and candidates, and Labour have a Byzantine system where the vote is split in thirds between MPs, party members and associated union members. Which of these is the best method?
Between the party leader and the electorate is an additional buffer consisting of party delegates, who being generally more educated and engaged in politics are more likely to choose a leader that is both qualified and electable (acceptable to the general public).

We don't vote for the leader in the UK. Our vote is actually for your local representative to parliament (MP). But because the Prime Minister is the person who actually has the most power, obviously the party's choice of leader is one of the key items people vote on. So you haven't decoupled the government from populist whims at all - the party delegates still need to get elected and stay elected in order for their leader to become PM. You just have to look at how in far into bed with the press the senior ranks of British politics have crawled to see this. In a democracy populist whims will always influence government, for better or worse.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby PeterCai » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:51 pm UTC

Hmm, I imagined the test writing process to be entirely academic, but I can see how it will get politicized. So perhaps standardized exam isn't the way to go. How about something akin to a scholarship program for recent high school graduates? But I fear that something like this will be prone to corruption.

The reason I am so interested in this imaginary political system is that I think it will be the most likely form of democracy China is going to have in the near future. It's easy to implement, as China already has a similar system for high officials minus the democracy part and it's also least objectionable to CCP because they won't lose control of the central government.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby lutzj » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:15 pm UTC

PeterCai wrote:The reason I am so interested in this imaginary political system is that I think it will be the most likely form of democracy China is going to have in the near future. It's easy to implement, as China already has a similar system for high officials minus the democracy part and it's also least objectionable to CCP because they won't lose control of the central government.


China has a long history of meritocracy. It results in a corrupt and entrenched "scholar-gentry" class pretty much every time. Recruiting bureaucrats based on merit is great policy, but the people with hard power need to be accountable to someone other than themselves and each other or the whole system begins to stagnate and decay.
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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby Deep_Thought » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:48 pm UTC

PeterCai wrote:Hmm, I imagined the test writing process to be entirely academic, but I can see how it will get politicized. So perhaps standardized exam isn't the way to go. How about something akin to a scholarship program for recent high school graduates? But I fear that something like this will be prone to corruption.

The other problem with an entirely academic test is that there are certain skills required in senior management/government that simply can't be judged that way. How do you write an academic test for negotiation skills, or for charisma/leadership? I am under the impression that ancient Chinese tests for entry to the civil service were mainly based on the ability to write poetry [citation needed]. Which leads to the situation lutzj described, as it is hardly the best proxy for whether you're capable of planning national infrastructure.

HungryHobo
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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby HungryHobo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:34 pm UTC

Disqualifying a majority of the population from being able to get into government is never a good first step.

I would though like to see some of the education bit going on.
Nothing extreme.
requiring politicians to go through a few weeks or months of classes and training in an area before they're allowed authority over it.
Let the party nominate some other party members as "understudies" who do the same and get your place if you fail a basic test at the end.

If your party wants to make you minister for science you should at least be able to briefly explain the scientific method.
If they want to put you in charge of the postal service you should be able to explain the steps of how a letter gets from A to B in reasonable detail.
If they want to make you minister for health you should at least be able to explain what a double blind trial is and why homeopathy is a load of bollocks.

And for all there should be a section that simply covers the worst blunders their predecessors made.

Otherwise you get situations where someone like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Stevens in charge of the internet despite not having the foggiest clue what it actually is or ministers for health who believe that AIDs can be cured with vitamin C tablets.
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby MiB24601 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:21 am UTC

HungryHobo wrote:If your party wants to make you minister for science you should at least be able to briefly explain the scientific method.
If they want to put you in charge of the postal service you should be able to explain the steps of how a letter gets from A to B in reasonable detail.
If they want to make you minister for health you should at least be able to explain what a double blind trial is and why homeopathy is a load of bollocks.


HungryHobo, I'm curious if you're British, due to your use of the term "minister." In the US, all cabinet level positions are senate-confirmable. This is to make sure that the candidate is qualified to lead a department. In fact, senate-confirmed positions go beyond just cabinet secretaries and include more than 1000 senior positions. So, there is already a system in place to make sure the the President's Science Advisor is qualified to run the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Board of the United States Postal Service is qualified to run the Post Office, and that the Surgeon General is qualified to run the Department of Health and Human Services.

As for elected officials, well, we just have to hope that qualified candidates win. Sometimes, that's not always going to be the case. When you have free elections, the best candidate doesn't always win.
"There's no point being grown-up if you can't be childish sometimes." - The Fourth Doctor, Doctor Who

HungryHobo
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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby HungryHobo » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:12 am UTC

MiB24601 wrote:HungryHobo, I'm curious if you're British, due to your use of the term "minister."


Not british but I live in a country with a very similar system.
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.

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Re: Meritocratic Democracy?

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:50 pm UTC

MiB24601 wrote:
HungryHobo wrote:If your party wants to make you minister for science you should at least be able to briefly explain the scientific method.
If they want to put you in charge of the postal service you should be able to explain the steps of how a letter gets from A to B in reasonable detail.
If they want to make you minister for health you should at least be able to explain what a double blind trial is and why homeopathy is a load of bollocks.
As for elected officials, well, we just have to hope that qualified candidates win. Sometimes, that's not always going to be the case. When you have free elections, the best candidate doesn't always win.

Which is why I'd love to be a philosopher-king until I can raise the populace to a point where they can objectively choose qualified candidates in the prelims and then vote ideology in the real election. I do think that some of the current problems of the US having crazy presidential elections is the fact that both our major parties have open primary elections. This encourages all kinds of shenanigans on the part of people voting for the other party's weaker candidate or people having the conflict of interest between the best candidate and the candidate most likely to win.
frezik wrote:Anti-photons move at the speed of dark

DemonDeluxe wrote:Paying to have laws written that allow you to do what you want, is a lot cheaper than paying off the judge every time you want to get away with something shady.


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