Sunday, February 15, 2009

Collective Political Decisions

I am still trying to make a reply to Anonymous's comment

A much more robust and satsifying system than American or Australian 'democracy' with a proven ability to function in a multicultural environment. referring to the very democratic Swiss model.

There is some things we can learn by How animals make collective decisions, and the point I was trying to make was that I judge collective systems by how regularly they come up with the "right" decision over how regularly they reflect majority opinion.

The recent Australian stimulus package wrangle was a case in point. With the Swiss model they would be wrangling longer, and come up with a worse "populist" decision in the end anyway. The Australian senate is unequalled in both investigating policy and in coming up with appropriate amendments quickly.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The article you quote seems to favour a Swiss model, in that it makes the point that better decisions are made if individuals investigate the issues themselves rather than following a party line- surely they are more likely to do this if they have a real sense of ownership of the decision making process, as they would in a democracy and not in a so-called 'representative democracy'.

Marco said...

Interesting thing, really. In the past I often thought that the Queensland political system worked more efficiently because of the lack of a "senate". I now realise that the "groupthink" following party lines is evident and detrimental to best consensus results.

I still believe strongly that democracy must take its turn, lest a country become unmanageable in its strategic decision-making. I don't know if Switzerland is doing anything regarding current financial conditions, but my bet is that no significant policy shift could happen in a short time, compared to the US or AUS.

Anonymous said...

Google is our friend...

http://www.newsweek.com/id/172622

Marco said...

I stand corrected - again. My initial feelings that "the Swiss model is TOO democratic" and that "the Swiss have little influence on the rest of the world" and "Direct democracy is too cumbersome" and "Direct democracy comes up with "wrong" populist decisions" all seem not to stand up to scrutiny at this stage.