Is the majority always right? (95)

1 Name: Citizen 2005-08-24 08:24 ID:oPaqluiA

If a democracy is following the choice of the majority, is the majority's view always the right one? Even if the majority asked crazy things like said "Hey lets not bother helping the poor" etc.

46 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-29 02:16 ID:+Q6BxAAd


But hopefully he's part of the small minority that vote for the "Kill the Niggers and watch Nascar" party -- far far more are going to vote for a more mainstream party -- like the "Free Ice Cream" party, or the "Pave The Earth party" (AKA Republicans). The point being that a nazi-like party supported by a very small portion of the population -- he may be elected dog-catcher, but I doubt he could win statewide office, let alone congress or the presidency. At present even more mainstream parties (Greens and Libertarians) get less than 10%, and very few Libertarians or Greens win even local elections.

What I'm counting on is that the number of rational idiots outnumber the racist idiots.

And a member of a "kill the niggers" party isn't going to be able to do much good as a dog-catcher, or a postal inspector.

47 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-29 05:06 ID:Heaven


No. Thats why it takes more than a majority to amend the constitution.

48 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-29 12:00 ID:eaL41erY


But how is any of what you say not the case with the current system? Small parties like the KTNAWNP are even more marginalized now, giving them even less power, and your neighbour is voting for the repbublicans or somebody equally harmless.

49 Name: Citizen : 2006-07-15 13:29 ID:+Q6BxAAd

Because our current system promotes curruption. That's my main concern. Because Dems only have to be "slightly less bad" than Reps, it allows curruption. i.e during watergate, all you'd have to do to win (had WG come out pre-election) is be the candidate or party that doesn't steal secrets. You could still take bribes, provided your opponent does the same. You could still take campaign contributions from shady groups, etc. The only requirement that has to be met before you could get away with said currupt practice is that the other guy started it first.

But by adding parties and candidates, as I said before, you can't distinguish yourself as being merely "the lesser evil". There would be 8-10 others who aren't "the evil one". So you'd have to be the least currupt of all possible candidates. You'd have to have the ideas most like the people voting. No more winning just 'cause you oppose program X, or just because Party B wants to do something evil.

50 Name: Citizen : 2006-09-20 16:51 ID:LOY94Rhd

I'm sorry, I haven't been to this board in a long time, that's me at number 39. I only took one class on political science so I'm by far no expert but I find it strange that my comments have been completely ignored. The two party system in the US ensures moderation. Rather then saying "this will work" or "this will fail" why not look at real world examples?

Israel is a government with multiple parties, the power goes to the minority exactly like in my example. In order to ensure that a vote gets a majority people need to make concessions to the small parties to get their vote. Then the "kill all niggers" party suddenly gets to enact change in their favor simply because they have the swinging 5% of the vote and we get laws that only 5% of the people want. That's not democratic.

Say whatever congecture you will about lesser evils or 10 presidential candidates but the sad fact is democracy cannot exist that way and be stable. Just look at other real world governments for examples.

51 Name: Citizen : 2006-09-20 18:01 ID:jK0mybQa

> Just look at other real world governments for examples.

Like all the Scandinavian coalition governments, which are about as stable and well-behaved as they get?

Even if the Kill All Niggers party gets 5% and get in a position where they can swing decisions doesn't mean any party has to go along with what they say. If they do, and their voters disagree, they lose support.

52 Name: Citizen : 2006-09-20 19:28 ID:VtGRb7SP

I'm also no expert at politics, but here is how the system works where I live, and I think it works pretty well.

  1. There are a lot of parties. Traditionally, there are two big ones, which are about along the lines of what the democrats and republicans are in america, who normally get ~70 percent of the votes. The rest of the votes normally go to several smaller parties.
  2. You need to get at least 5% of the votes, if you don't get at least 5% then you don't get seats in parliament. (Moreover, I think if you get 1% then you will get some of your expenses paid the next time an election is held. Not sure about that, though.)
  3. When you vote, you have two votes: One for a party (That vote is the more important one since it decides how many people the party gets to send to the parliament), and one for a person that is usually from you region. If the region person is from a party with less that 5% and that party has at least three canidates that were elected like this, the region persons go directly into the parliament even though the party didn't get 5% (This actually happens sometimes). If the party has more that 5%, the directly voted persons go into the parliament no matter what number of persons were voted for directly, the rest of the seats the party got are then filled with persons from a party list that the party members have decided upon before the election. If the region person does NOT have a party, you can vote for him/her by NOT voting for a party but ONLY voting for the person. If a person wins in a region this way, he goes into the parliament. (I don't think that has ever happened, but it should be possible). Direct mandates make up for about half of the seats, the other half are list persons.
  4. When counting the votes, party size is not taken into account.
  5. The party with the most seats gets to be the government, BUT: It rareley happens that one party alone has more seats than all other partys combined. Therefore, coalitions, typically with one or more of the smaller parties, become neccesary. So the big party that wonwill get in touch with one of or some of the smaller parties and decide upon a political agenda that both can sort of agree upon.
  6. Government positions, such as minister of defense, minister of family, minister of education, are divided amongst the government coalition.

Now that sound awfully complicated, so why do I like this system?

  • It's a representational demoracy. I wouldn't like it if everyone had the possibility to decide about everything. I know I don't have enough of a clue to do so, and I'm pretty sure that most other people haven't got any more clue. When you have representers like here that do nothing but politics, there's at least a chance that they will try to inform themselves about the stuff they vote on.
  • It ensures that there aren't too much small, irrelevant parties in the government.
  • It does not cater ONLY to the majority, but also to some of the bigger minorities (e.g the green party).
  • Even without having a party, you can try to get into the parliament (by direct mandate, the vote-for-a-person thing). The also ensures that there are people from all over the country in the parliament, while the party list gives the party a chance to choose some people they want in the parliament.
  • Extremist-ish kill-the-niggers style parties may sometimes manage to slip in, but are normally just ignored. Since none of the big parties dares to make a coalition with them, and since the government coalition can normally out-vote everyone else combined, they have no real power. They can sit around in the parliament and spew some bullshit, but that's it.

... awfully long post. Bonus points if you manage to figure out where I live from the description.

53 Name: Citizen : 2006-09-20 22:05 ID:LOY94Rhd

>Therefore, coalitions, typically with one or more of the smaller parties, become neccesary. So the big party that wonwill get in touch with one of or some of the smaller parties and decide upon a political agenda that both can sort of agree upon.

You're describing exactly what's wrong with them. Such a system does not enforce moderation. The winner take all system of the US pushes both extremes to the center. A great example in the election of 1900 (I think, don't quote me on that year) where William Jennings Bryan in the populist party, lost to Theodore Roosevelt. Much of what Bryan campaigned for was later adopted by the Democrats and even though Bryan himself lost 3 presidential campaigns his agendas were moderate enough to work for the democrat party and eventually led to many changes in the early 20th century.

By having a multi party system where every party wins at least some seats in government it doesn't force the parties to the center.

Since I don't have a lot of knowledge on the subject I'll need to bow out of further discussion until I can talk to my roommate later, he's an international relations major and I think he can offer me insights.

54 Name: Citizen : 2006-09-21 01:07 ID:jK0mybQa


Why would you want to force all parties to be the same? That is the heat-death of democracy, where everything is decided by averages.

In a multi-party system, a single party seldom gets a majority. This means they have to cooperate with other parties. This is your "moderation", where opposing ideas can still be presented and debated, but have to be accepted not just by yourself but by others as well.

55 Name: 53 : 2006-09-21 01:23 ID:9lYbPUs7

Yeah, my roommate corrected me. He said what I'm describing is the extremes which rarely happens. He enlightened me that with a multi party parlimentary system there's almost always two parties who when working together can form the majority and as you say, create moderation and keep the extreme parties from enacting bizzare laws. There's actually very little difference when actual policy is created.

56 Name: Genius009 : 2006-10-23 21:01 ID:6+CMPCCH

Majority Shmority - who cares? People win, lose daily. It's the way of life. If you keep losing stop being a loser, get off your fat ass and do something about it. Stop complaining because no one likes the sound of your voice.

57 Name: Citizen : 2006-12-25 11:58 ID:SXEWCpRF


58 Name: Citizen : 2006-12-26 02:21 ID:Heaven

Damn activist judges.

59 Name: Citizen : 2006-12-26 07:57 ID:My1kiHoo


Case dismissed!!

60 Name: Ebie : 2006-12-30 03:09 ID:GBjCWl8D

Yes the deinition of right and wrong is important. What is right and what is wrong. Iraq invasion is justice for some but totally wrong for others

61 Name: tututtutut : 2007-01-11 18:00 ID:8ISGrGJu

toon tooon poon poon

62 Name: Citizen : 2007-01-12 23:22 ID:IKH2YlEY

That only works for as long as the coalition itself doesn't turn extreme. This can happen if they become strongly polarized against those outside the coalition -- effectively, the coalition itself becomes a party on one extreme of a (potentially new) political axis.

63 Name: Citizen : 2007-01-13 00:36 ID:tQLdQVFX

When the majority of politicans suddenly turn extreme, any system is pretty much hosed.

64 Name: Citizen : 2007-01-13 23:26 ID:XFDUaj4P

>>63 true, but I think you could put brakes on the system in enough ways that it would be hard to give the nation only aweful evil choices.

First, The USA Constitution and Bill of Rights, especially the later, put limits on what you can do. You can't ban a political party in the US (legally), in fact there are several flavors of socialist parties and a few communist parties (they have a hard time getting on the ballot). We can't ban them, nor can we start persecuting (legally) an ethnic or religious group (based on the 14th and 1st amendments). Now, if the party can pack the courts and controls both the Congress and the Presidency. I would think that would be hard to do. It's easier in contries without a Bill of Rights and a Constitution that says what the government cannot do.

Other things that can be done would revolve around getting enough different voices in the debates that the voters have a choice between all types of idiologies. Don't like Fascist Republicans or Communist Democrats? Choose Reform Party or Libertarians, or the Green Party. Sooner or later, enough bad congressmen will be voted out so that the colition falls apart and a new more centrist group emerges.

Free Press asking tough questions is also a good idea. If a leader knows that a tough question or two will be asked about his new authoratarian initiave, he may hesitate to do it. If he lies, he knows that he'll be caught, etc.

65 Name: Citizen : 2007-01-15 21:39 ID:XnrWc2Vk

>Free Press

lol what?

66 Name: yy : 2007-01-24 09:03 ID:GBjCWl8D

is majority always right

67 Name: yy : 2007-01-24 09:03 ID:GBjCWl8D

is majority always right

68 Name: yy : 2007-01-24 09:03 ID:GBjCWl8D

is majority always right

69 Name: yy : 2007-01-24 09:03 ID:GBjCWl8D

is majority always right

70 Name: yy : 2007-01-24 09:03 ID:GBjCWl8D

is majority always right

71 Name: Citizen : 2007-01-26 09:36 ID:Heaven

no. usually majority is dump as shit. 4-ch proves it these days.

72 Name: Citizen : 2007-01-28 01:12 ID:XFDUaj4P


That's true. Majorities are prone to overruning the minority's rights/wishes. the Nazis did win a legitamate election. I think the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is important for that reason -- it spells out things that no majority can do, no matter how much it wants to. Or the American Bill of Rights.

Simple Majorities are right on things like taxes and so on.

73 Name: fart man : 2007-01-28 06:29 ID:0Hpcy5hk

well majorities r not always right, but they dominate minorities.

74 Name: concerned citizen : 2007-01-31 13:07 ID:CkLFgDgJ

First of all i think that the majority is nothing but a number. With that said, the majority plays a very important part in the world. It is how dicisions are made to decide the future of a country, for example,with on regard whether it is the right thing or not.

75 Name: eh!8NBuQ4l6uQ : 2007-02-04 10:15 ID:2kAlYbVm


76 Name: Citizen : 2007-02-06 02:07 ID:QITBjHjM

I'd have to say that the majority is right the majority of the time. It's just better publicized when they're wrong.
In the ideal system the majority does what it wants and the minority has its rights preserved. The minority may never get what it really wants, but at least they don't get taken advantage of. The majority occasionally has its goals thwarted, but at least it gets what it wants most of the time.
In our society and pop culture we love the disadvantaged minority (in theory) but hate the legions of "forgotten men" - ie, the guy who gets taxed into oblivion to pay for the poor.

77 Name: Citizen : 2007-02-11 10:59 ID:XnrWc2Vk

>In our society and pop culture we love the disadvantaged minority (in theory) but hate the legions of "forgotten men" - ie, the guy who gets taxed into oblivion to pay for the poor.


78 Name: Citizen : 2007-03-26 01:01 ID:mDa/6pQZ

Democracy is simply following the will of the majority - with no implication on the rightness/wrongness of the decision.

Ironically, America's founding father's curtailed democracy by establishing a bill of rights - guarenteeing certain protections for minorities that cannot easily be removed by a 'tyranny of the majority'.

Right/wrong distinctions are inherently biased by the observer. Case in point: Korematsu v. United States - U.S. detains millions of Japanese American Citizens, and suspending their constitutional rights for national security reasons during WWII. What was more important - Freedom of a few minorities or National Security? Would you feel differently if you were 'detained'?

79 Name: Citizen : 2007-03-26 04:24 ID:ISjwlI7l


Democracy is simply following the will of the majority

Then explain this:

80 Name: Citizen : 2007-03-26 05:10 ID:nRFQ8eiB

Some of our representatives have bizarre definitions of "majority."

81 Name: C : 2007-03-26 23:15 ID:kPDM41wj

"The majority is always the greatest fool." What we call majority consists of one of those opinions that is being followed by everyone, cause its the 'right thing to do'. The generic answer people are being told is right. If people are told what they are supposed to think, unless it goes against their natural principles, then the 'masses' obey. People don't think for themselves anymore, we can conviently sit back and enjoy our lives, without having to worry about mayor decisions. When you die, ask a few iraqi children if the majority in america voted right. People greatly supported the war at first, only now do they see the ruin that was created and now they are against it. Those are the current opinion polls. The majority right? Well let me go further. I mean we all know what the majority of Germany supported back in the day. Was that majority right? Was Hitler right? I certainly don't think so.

82 Name: Citizen : 2007-03-27 20:25 ID:QITBjHjM

whether or not Hitler was right or wrong and whether or not Germany should have gone to war is, again, based on INDIVIDUAL PERCEPTION. if you think that Jews are evil, who knows? maybe your right. i can't prove it, but i can't disprove it either (i personally, am fine with Jews, but whatever.)
truth is, putting the Japanese in concentration camps during WWII could be argued to be unconstitutional. even that is hard to judge objectively. no one can hope to be disconnected enough to judge if it was "right".

so Anon, what makes you think that you have the right to judge the rightness or wrongness of another's actions? last time i checked, Anon isn't omnipotent.

83 Name: Citizen : 2007-03-28 19:34 ID:XFDUaj4P


Relativist Bullshit.

Murder of noncombatants is an evil act. Even if there is a real threat, the difference between civilization and barbarism is that civilization recognizes the existance of noncombatants. It allows a human being to define himself by what he believes in, rather than some supposed racial characeristic.

A terrorist sees a Jew or an American, and he needs to know nothing else. To him, you are your race, and it's your race that must die. You could be 4 years old and just moved to America, hell you could agree with everything that the terrorist wants, but you are the wrong race, so you must die.

84 Name: Citizen : 2007-03-31 20:07 ID:qNgwXe6X

A few questions for you: Is a little boy throwing rocks at a tank a noncombatant?
What about a printer peacefully spreading jihadist propaganda?
What about a gang of mujahadeens driving around in the remote Iraqi desert cutting power lines?
What about a bomber who destroys a medical supply warehouse late at night, when no one is there?

The lines are blurry. The definition of "noncombatant" is relativist bullshit just like everything else.

85 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-01 00:31 ID:XFDUaj4P


No, because we can still have limits to what constitutes a combatant.

For example, the little boy is a combatant, because he is engaged in direct combative action.
The printer is because he's providing material support (the cost of the paper, ink, and his time) to aid combatants.
The gang is very obviously combatants because they are taking direct action to oppose an occupying power, and in the process harming others. The same with bombers destroying medical clinics and medical supplies -- the goal is to disrupt the country and force the occupying force to leave.

But we can still define who is a combatant. If you engage in direct action against a power you don't like, you are a combatant. It's not a perfect fine line, but it's perfectly reasonable. And it leaves a lot of things out. Being in the streets in a cambat zone does not make you a combatant. Being an Iraqi does not make you a combatant. Printing editorials against the US Army, even in Iraq does not make you a combatant (unless you're advocating Jihad or violence), etc. It has to be either direct action or support of direct action.

This is lightyears away from the Relativists handwank of "How can we say Hitler was wrong" brought by >>82. >>82 would have us believe that we could conceivably define "combatant" as "Living Iraqi", or something similar. No, you can't. Or at least you can't without being a complete monster.

You can't discrad human rights.

86 Name: 82 : 2007-04-01 05:13 ID:QITBjHjM

One of the biggest problems with modern military police actions is determining who is a threat and who is simply a neutral bystander. In other words, we don't know who to shoot.
Let's take Iraq for example:
In Iraq, you have "terrorist" guerrillas fighting against the US occupying force. These guerrillas, while incapable of posing any significant military threat to the occupying forces, have a advantage that allows them to carry out a strategic political agenda (i.e. getting the Americans to leave by making the occupation very expensive.) That advantage is that they blend seamlessly into the native population to resupply and escape from US forces. It goes even further - combatants do not stick around to be identified and are indistinguishable form the population (no scarfs wrapped around faces, no uniforms, no formations.) What's worse, they will often attack (non-US, non-military) targets as living bombs, damaging their own infrastructure and noncombatants (which the US is trying to repair and protect.)
When the very people you are protecting are helping your enemies, what do you do? If you can give me a better solution than "Get the f'ck out with your tail between your legs." then you will have solved the little problem with "noncombatants."

87 Name: 82 : 2007-04-01 05:25 ID:QITBjHjM

What I was alluding to in my original post is that
1) the German people =/ Nazis and they still supported them.
2) Germany had its own reasons for doing what they did (please note how they were screwed over by the allies following WWI.)
3) if Germany had won WWII we would all be thinking very differently about this. If Hitler was der feuhrer we would simply not know about the concentration camps. Instead we simply don't mention what the Allies did (see firebombing of Japan.)
4) WWII is still too close to home for the world to really talk about. Give it a few more decades when all the vets are dead. Then we'll talk.

The majority may not always be right, but what other system would you have us use?

88 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-01 22:16 ID:XFDUaj4P


I'd still choose democracy. I'm not saying that democracy is always wrong, just that you can't keep a democracy wrong when the elitest superstructure (Those at the top of the political food chain, not DQNers) decide that they get to play fast and loose with reality and morals.

That's just reality. Genocide, use of WMDs, arbitrary arrests without trials, torture, and other such things are wrong. Just because you can come up with a rationalization for doing those things does not make them OK. The reason is that there will always be a justification -- there is always some enemy around, whether forgein or a political group (remember our millitias?), and therefore it's a blank check.


Criminals are the same way. They blend in with their neighbors. They don't wear colored "I'm a criminal" jerseys, they don't wear masks when they aren't commiting a crime. They go after civillian targets -- they rob 7-11, not the police station. Etc. That doesn't mean you get to raid every house in the area and shoot anyone who resists having his door kicked in.

I'll defer to the generals on how to identify them, however it is necessary to identify them, because every time we kill a civillian, at least a few of his family or friends swear revenge on us. Having a cart blanche to kill anyone that looks at you funny isn't going to convince the average Iraqi to choose our side. And we need the average Iraqi with us to win.

89 Name: 82 : 2007-04-02 17:52 ID:QITBjHjM

i'd choose democracy as well - it has it's problems but it's the best system i've heard of (that actually works.) it has it's problems, but from what i've seen these are fixed over time, one way or another. it just cheese's me off a bit when people complain about things they don't understand and then blame the faceless majority.
i guess the big difference between terrorist guerrillas and criminals is that criminals don't have an agenda (except for organized crime i suppose.) this makes them less of a problem because they only attack targets of opportunity rather than randomly blowing crap up.

90 Name: Citizen : 2008-08-10 22:33 ID:Heaven

Japanese violent "minority" circle

91 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2009-04-04 13:32 ID:n82KujxC

one of the principles of governmance in my country is "to do what is right then what is popuplar"

92 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2009-04-07 08:32 ID:oo7dwrhI

When the entire world minus one person has the same oppinion they have as little the right to force their oppinion on that one person as he has on forcing his oppinion on them.

(Now and then one just has to use nice one-liners.)

93 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2009-04-07 18:24 ID:x7mWavyD

Sounds a bit like France, but I didn't read everything, just quickly glanced.

Just a simple sociologic fact: people on average tend to be less an less intelligent, open-minded, etc, as they gather up (usually starting from more than three person). This gives "somebody else's problem" mentalities, mob mentalities, etc.

So I guess, "the majority" as a whole can't be always right, no. Hence why most of our modern Western societies fail (in my opinion, stagnating and maintaining a precary equilibrium is NOT success for a society). We need more "distributed computing". To make an analogy, we need some kind of Peer-to-peer network, and not client/server architecture.

I have some ideas on how to make this work, but they need more maturing. Then I'll write a book.

94 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2010-03-30 10:25 ID:BMakjngu

If everyone has the same opportunity, the wiser people must be going to succeed than the more foolish ones.
Therefore democracy will be inevitably supplanted by bureaucracy at once.
But I still prefer democracy to autocracy.

95 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2010-08-02 15:58 ID:Kvotwd25

I choose Republic. Republics are supposed to protect the rights of the minority electorate from the injustices of the majority. Right now, the Democrats are doing everything in their power to fuck over the people in Arizona to prevent them from deporting illegal aliens. But when Bush II was in office, he turned the country into a jail and called anyone who disagreed with him a traitor and unamerican.

Fuck these people. I still wonder if it is even safe to be registered to vote anymore. One day, the majority party will jail those who voted against them. It is only a matter of time.

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