ACLU does not think individuals should own guns?


This is very true.
Particularly when leaders are elected by the “majority” (which in a multi-party system will be still a minority compared to the total voting population). It becomes a popularity contest which allows the most notorious, and most loud to become the leaders; neither of which may be necessarily be fit or the best to lead.
When someone spends more to get into a job that pays significantly less than what was spent to get the job, you gotta wonder what they will need to do to get their return on “investment”.


Interesting info re the 27th amendment from Wikipedia:

“In 2016, Zachary Elkins, a Professor in the Department of Government, became interested in Watson’s story and began to document its origins. He tracked down Sharon Waite, who had left academia in the 1980s to run a citrus farm in the Rio Grande Valley. Elkins suggested to Waite that they change Watson’s grade.[17] In 2017, Elkins submitted a grade change form with Waite’s signature and a grade change to “A+”. The registrar approved a grade change to “A”, because the university does not give grades higher than “A”.[17]”


I can tell that you didn’t complete your assignment. French sociologists are poor political experts. What if places use Proportional Representation? Would they need factions? What if places use Sortition? What if we had done what the authors of the Federalist Papers suggested; have ZERO factions?

Until you actually do the work and compile two lists, I’ll not discuss this matter further. Providing a handful of assorted quotes that support your position is vastly different from gathering raw data, then analyzing it. You can find support for ANY idea, right or wrong, on the internet.


I agree. And yet that is exactly what you are asking everyone to do regarding your precious “two lists”. I am sure you are dying to explain that inconsistency, but since you have clearly stated you will not discuss any further, I guess I’ll have to go to my grave assuming there is no good explanation.

I can tell you haven’t studied hard enough. I have rigorously compiled two lists using the utmost rigorous rigor: one that lists all the French sociologists that have made good political experts, and one of all the French sociologists that haven’t made good political experts. I’d provide the lists to you but I feel it would be in your best interests to do this basic student’s effort yourself. Also, I want to help you be a better you.

Until you actually do the work and compile the two lists as instructed, I’ll not discuss this matter further. (ps: with you, I mean. I am happy to keep discussing with others that are not so dismissive.)


Interesting that this line of thought also came up in a discussion about DMS governance:


I enjoyed your joke, but it is not going to get either of us to budge. If you send me your rigorously compiled lists of French sociologists, I’ll reply with my equally rigorously compiled lists of nations with 2 and >2 factions.

The above implies that I don’t believe you have any such lists. But I really do have the lists I mentioned.

If you don’t want to play that game, try reading:

Most of these are Monarchies. Its interesting [perhaps informative] to ponder the ones that are not Monarchies.

The connection to this thread is that Federalist #10 makes a strong case that the USA should have zero parties.

As you say, humans tend to want to belong to groups, clans, organizations, teams, etc. Humans also tend to kill other humans. If the latter is correctly illegal, why not the former?


Freedom of association, like many things, can be both good and bad depending on application, resulting in both great fraternal and sororal associations as well as the most ruthless of sectarianism. Humans inhabit a continuity that tends somewhere between our utopian ideals and our dystopian nightmares; arguably with a bit less of the former than the latter. I sometimes wonder if we lack appreciation of our true natures, focusing on the aspirational - or at least civics class - perspective of governance rather than acknowledging the reality of it because it disappoints and because we wish to do better.

I know that Dunbar’s number is often dismissed - presumably out of an aspirational mindset - but I’ve seen it often enough that I believe it to be a part of the human condition that should be given far greater consideration. Exceed the nominal value to the point that it greatly alters group dynamics, adjust the strategy and organization to match.

Teams, tribes, factions, sects, political parties aren’t going away. It took less than a decade for them to form post-Constitutuon. Outlawing them will be a hilarious non-starter today, although I’d like to see removal of the various barriers to entry the two major parties have erected.


I like your ending: “I’d like to see removal of the various barriers to entry the two major parties have erected.” How to do that is the $64 question. Apparently you have an approach in mind that is less drastic than my “no-party” approach?

I’m a scientist. This is a wonderful time. We have recently understood that humans have an important colony of microbes living in harmony inside us. It’s called the human biome. We are not healthy without this biome. Not every biome is the same; there are several [we do not know yet how many] combinations of symbiotic microbes that coexist and make humans healthy. We know that large doses of antibiotics destroy our biomes. Stool samples are routinely collected and preserved, then introduced to our intestines, post antibiotics. This is a quite primitive technique. We are just beginning to deal with this knowledge.

Equally stunning is the evidence about our epigenome. It is extra-DNA and passes experiences to our offspring. These experiences are not encoded in DNA and are often short lived [last only one or two generations]. This is perhaps part of the mechanism behind, “like father, like son”. Certainly our DNA plays a large role too.

Were we to have a drastically different governmental structure, it would be expected to take 1-2 generations for citizens to adapt.

The time following the ratification of our Constitution, as you correctly stated, was filled with extra-Constitutional changes. One was the rejection of nomination of two candidates for President; then the winner became President and the looser became Vice-President. Along with this was a decision to create two parties. I can understand why a multi-party system was not created; the country was not large enough or diverse enough to need a multi-party system. But the country is vastly different today.

As I have mentioned several times, everyone should read [or re-read] Federalist 10. Madison explains the concept of a zero-party state and predicts the outcome if we allow citizens and the government to create factions. History repeats itself and the Founding Fathers were students of history. They wanted something better for us. Sadly, Madison predicted our current condition, where support of your clan trumps [sorry] all facts and data.


While we’re asking ourselves questions, ask yourself why we still have the same size House of Representatives now (with over 300 million population) as we did when the US was around 110 million. And why that House is appportioned in a way to dilute the influence of the states with larger populations at the expense of states with smaller populations.


I’m glad you understood it as intended. I goof around a lot on these forums but rarely with mal-intent. Though I am often making a point at the same time. In this case, it was about the reasonableness of having an expectation that assigning homework to people reading a post in a debate thread on the internet would somehow help you in furthering any point you were hoping to make. Given that – as you pointed out – it is the internet, it seems to me the only rational way for one to approach an online debate is to simply make a point, including whatever worldview assumptions (“e.g. people are generally good/bad”), basic/first principles (e.g. people have inalienable rights, etc.), any data/statistics/studies/evidence in support, logic used (e.g. if A = B and B = C then A must = C), etc. required to make or support the point.

In all likelihood, all that would have happened, if anyone independently assembled the lists you requested, would have been 2 or more different sets of lists, and the argument would simply have become about whose list is correct/more accurate, i.e. “a man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two is never quite sure.”

My mains issue with what you have written are the leaps of logic that simply don’t hold up; you didn’t address the first one I pointed out (to paraphrase: “if other countries are X, then why not the U.S.?”), and you did it again in your last post here:

This is an obvious/ridiculous false equivalency, or over-generalization, or pseudo-staw man argument, or maybe you actually created some new logical fallacy that is some sort of synthesis of the others: you are essentially arguing that if humans do X, and X is “correctly illegal”, then if humans also do Y, then Y must then be illegal. Humans also breathe…is breathing then illegal?

If we had an emoji for “dumbfounding”, I would put it here, but we don’t, which make me frown: :frowning:

I acknowledge that maybe you didn’t type exactly what you meant, or that maybe I missed some nuance in what you wrote. But if I simply take you at your written word, then it is stunningly illogical.


I very much agree. The answer is, of course, that the two parties are a cartel. They support each other more than might be obvious to lay citizens. They prosper at our expense by the rules of apportionment.

But the Founders purposely created this system. Perhaps their vision of the future was not clear?

I think one obvious solution is to break up large, populous states into several smaller states. CA is attempting to do that, however, it may be illegal under current law. We have in our past been able to change laws, but perhaps no longer? Texas is a unique state as it was an independent Republic for 10 years before rejoining the USA in 1870. The treaty with the USA allows us to divide into as many as 5 states…legally. It also allows us to secede, legally.

The problem with subdivision is that as long as we have a 2-party cartel, they will control the process. The people need to control this process!


Not exactly…


It doesn’t. Larger states gets a larger portion, California is most populous, Texas, is next. The only states that may be “more” are States that have only one seat, the minimum. The Senate Dilutes States power as every state regardless of size gets 2 Senators: 2010 census that reset appropriating: California 37,252,895 (2 Senators & 53 Reps) and Wyoming (2 Senators & 1 Rep) 563,767. So California has 18,626,447 and Wyoming 281,883 population per Senator. So Wyoming has about 8 times better representation than CA in the Senate.

The Why? The framers were afraid that big cities like NY, Philadelphia, and Boston could control Congress and small sates would have no say. Personally, I think it was a stroke of genius. Big states may crush small States in the House but they are equal in the Senate. We are a republic made up of States, not a single entity.


I am a facts and data kinda guy. I dispute your claim that several intelligent people could search the internet for the facts about the number of political parties in various countries and come up with vastly different lists! This “assignment” was me “goofing around” like you do. But for the most part, those lists are already compiled. It was a trivial “assignment”.

It’s quite possible that less than intelligent people can fail to successfully perform trivial “assignments”. Even if I was to cut and paste my lists, the idiots in our culture would not believe they were accurate; yet they would refuse to check to see if my data was correct!

I did not argue that “if humans do X, and X is ‘correctly illegal’, then if humans also do Y, then Y must then be illegal.” I am a better writer than that and you are a better reader. My point was, obviously, that just because humans have some tendency [as wanting to belong to clans], that tendency is neither de facto right or wrong. You were stating that it was futile to try to stop humans from creating cartels, because it’s a human tendency. I simply turned your logic around and said that if one human tendency must be allowed, then all human tendencies must be allowed. That is clearly illogical, but it was a refutal of your illogical statement that because humans “always” create groups, those groups must be “legal” and desirable.

It’s difficult to have meaningful debates via text messages.

I’ll go ahead and provide my two lists:

Democracies with more than 2-parties:

Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India,
Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, the Netherlands,
New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain,
Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia and Ukraine

Democracies with 2-parties:

Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Burma, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Chad, Dominica, Gabon, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, USA, Zimbabwe

My non-scientific observation was that the USA stands out in that 2nd list. Without doing any data collection, I suspect the population of the USA is greater than the total of all the other nations in list 2…combined.

Even if I missed a nation or included a nation in the wrong list, it doesn’t change the character of those two lists. It’s clear to me that the USA “fits” in the 1st list.



Double indeed!

This is why I always crack up at both the stupidity, and the futility, of the people that whine, piss, and moan about the electoral college system and how unfair it is and how U.S. presidential elections should be based on the overall popular vote.


Screw you, Jeff Atwood, Robin Ward, and Sam Saffron!!


I can describe the problem, but I don’t have terribly specific solutions in mind.

  • The charter for the FEC doesn’t explicitly specify that it be staffed with the two incumbent parties by name, however it does specify that only three of its six members can come from any single political party. I’d bet a huge stack of Ameros that that all present and past Commissioners have been Democrats, Republicans, and occasionally Independents
  • The requirements for simply getting on the ballot strike me as incredibly onerous. If you’re not the Democrats or Republicans, you have to expend significant resources gathering petitions then dealing with the inevitable challenges from the Democrats or Republicans to your signatures.


Wyoming : ~580k residents, 3 electoral votes or ~193k voters per electoral vote
California : ~39.536k residents, 55 electoral votes or ~719k voters per electoral vote

Taking the ratio 719k / 193k, a Wyoming voter counts 3.73 times as much as a California voter.

We don’t do this kind of nonsense anywhere else - not governor’s races, not senate races - but somehow it’s important to weight sparsely-populated square miles in the presidential election cobbled somewhat randomly into political subdivisions as opposed to citizens when it comes to the Presidential election. The smaller states are granted powerful representation of their interests via allocation of a minimum of one Representative regardless of how few citizens they have and the same number of Senators as every other state.

But hey - hand-wavey platitudes about wisdom of the founders and all that. If we’re not going to get rid of the Electoral College, then at least there should be proportional allocation of Electoral votes as opposed to winner-take-all. And given statehouses’ incorrigible tendency to gerrymander Congressional districts I think I’d rather it be a simple proportion of statewide votes.


I am not opposed to a re-rationalization of how electoral votes are apportioned. But in the same way that there needs to be extra-market controls on “free markets” to keep the Standard Oils and Microsofts and Googles from accruing to much market/monopoly power and thereby destroying what allowed them to exist in first place, there needs to be some check/balance on the clear tendency of large urban areas to 1) get larger and larger, and 2) lean almost exclusively one way politically/ideologically.

That’s because those elections are internal to a given state, i.e. an autonomous (or at least semi-autonomous) political entity.

As pointed out by someone above, the U.S. is a federation of the (semi) autonomous political entitles. The U.S. presidential election is meant to represent those political entities – about 50 of them now – not each individual citizen collectively within all of those political entities

BTW, It’s not clear if you were advocating for a move to a popular vote system for U.S. President, or just abetter way of doing it?


States are unified sovereign bodies. The USA is a confederation/republic of sovereign States. Small states didn’t want to be crushed by a few big states - thus in order to get them to agree to join/sign a compromise was arrived at. The Constitution is effectively a contract between the States and the Republic. It was a negotiated document.

Can’t combine them fro comparison IMO, Congressional votes are given to states two different ways: Reps based on population, Senate by right to 2 votes.

Combining them all together gives a composite “effective” rate. States do no have to give all votes to the winner: Maine and Nebraska do not. If all States gave proportionate seats based on districts, that would be fairly close to direct popular vote. It would greatly impact the power of states: All the big states would no longer be the deciders since they have different parties winning at the district level. This would also allow smaller parties to win seats and thus impact votes at the electoral college.

California, New York, and Texas would be campaigned very differently. Now there are such sizable party majorities in each state they are labeled RED or BLUE as a sure thing. But if allocated by house seats/party , CA is 39D-14R, NY 18D-9R, TX 25R-11D. In 2016 Dems got CA & NY for 80 Electoral votes, GOP got 36 for Texas. CA & NY are lost cause for GOP. If by House seats: Dems 58 GOP 48 it would now be worth campaigning in almost all states, at least the big ones.

It’s a prickly problem. Each method has its virtues and faults.


States that have One representative - exactly.

Texas has approximately 1 representative per 786,000 Texans.

Wyoming has 1 representative for about 580,000 Wyomers (?)

The US population has grown to a point that it’s time to add numbers to the House. But we know that won’t happen because the “big” states will pick up more Electoral College votes.