John B Hodges's Blog – January 2013 Archive (4)

Upgrading Our Democracy

UPGRADING OUR DEMOCRACY



In America we do democracy by dividing the territory into districts, and electing one representative from each district. We elect them by plurality, that is, by whichever candidate gets the most votes, whether or not they get an absolute majority. If there are three candidates, a candidate can win with 40% support, for example.



This is not the only way democracy can be done. Other countries, fully democratic, do it in other ways. The way we do…

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Added by John B Hodges on January 16, 2013 at 7:30am — 2 Comments

Proportional Representation Using Simple Paper Ballots

(JBH) The following is something that I wrote a few years ago, for a list of supporters of election reform.

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Subscribers to this list are likely to already be supporters of proportional representation. The method of PR most commonly used around the world, Party List, uses simple ballots easily counted by hand.





In Party List, each organized political party publishes a list of their candidates, in order of priority. Voters vote for one party.…

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Added by John B Hodges on January 16, 2013 at 7:26am — No Comments

ABOLISH Gerrymandering! Enact Proportional Representation!

Gerrymandering is the deliberate drawing of district lines in such a way as to distort representation of subgroups of the population.



Consider Case 1: Suppose that a population is divided 60%/40% over some longstanding, continuing dispute. The A's have 60%, the B's have 40. The B's typically live in urban areas, the A's in suburbs and rural areas.



There are five districts, each of which elects one representative to the legislature.



If the A's are drawing the…

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Added by John B Hodges on January 16, 2013 at 7:16am — No Comments

Historical Jesus Irrelevant.

Recently I read an exchange of views between freethinkers about whether there was a historical Jesus that gave rise to the legends, or whether the Jesus character was entirely mythical. I found myself entirely unmoved.

I went through the four gospels to collect everything Jesus is reported to have said about what we should DO, all of his alleged ethical teachings. I wrote up my findings here:

 …

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Added by John B Hodges on January 2, 2013 at 4:07am — 3 Comments

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