Southerly by David Haywood

Read Post

Southerly: A Blog on Behalf of an Anarchist Glaswegian

98 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

  • David Haywood,

    Yes, I’m aware that the word “jury” only normally applies to trials, but I am using the terminology developed by my grandfather.

    I’m also aware that appointing an upper house by sortition has recently been proposed for the House of Lords and the Canadian Senate (but without the double-upper-house twist developed by my grandfather).

    Oh, and I’m also aware that in the second numbered section, Number 5 is incorrectly labelled as Number 1! I’m dodging all blame; something is wrong with SuperModel, alas!

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    My own addition to the proposed system would be to suggest that any increase in parliamentary salaries would also have to be approved by the upper houses; but that the increase would only take effect after the jurors' term of service is over, i.e. the jurors would have no incentive to increase parliamentary salaries in terms of their own personal enrichment.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Jeanette King,

    Hi David,
    I've never been particularly in favour of 'upper houses' in NZ because I think our population is so small that it would be a lot of expense for, perhaps, little benefit. But this idea has some simplicity and elegance. And only 24 people! But I wonder what the time commitment would be and whether there would be any recompense. Did your grandfather indicate whether being one of these juries would be a fulltime job? And would the jury members get paid (particularly relevant for the younger ones ...).

    Ōtautahi • Since Oct 2010 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Jeanette King,

    But I wonder what the time commitment would be and whether there would be any recompense. Did your grandfather indicate whether being one of these juries would be a fulltime job? And would the jury members get paid (particularly relevant for the younger ones …).

    Yes, my grandfather intended the parliamentary jurors to be paid at the same rate as ordinary elected MPs (and provided an equivalent support package in terms of access to researchers and administration).

    As I recall, his idea was that -- when not sitting on the parliamentary jury -- the individual jurors would be boning up on the legislation and coming to a decision as to whether they would support it or not.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Warren Clark,

    I have always been somewhat of the belief that anyone who wants to be a politician should be prevented from becoming one, and the concept of being governed entirely by a council chosen totally at random feels like a good concept to me but I fear unlikely to work in reality with human nature being what it is.

    In the Lower Hutt. • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Warren Clark,

    human nature being what it is.

    And what is it in your opinion?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • JonathanM,

    One concern might be that jurors would take their lead from support staff, who would likely have longer positions and be more skilled on average than the jurors at interpreting legislation. The turnover rate of jurors might be enough for this to be minimised though?

    One might get an estimate of how effective it would be by repeated random sampling from the proposed age groups about "controversial" legislation before the final reading. The GSCB, Gay Marriage and Electoral Finance Act bills would have been interesting ones to see. My guess is that the first two would pass. Not sure about the latter.

    Since Jul 2012 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Warren Clark,

    the concept of being governed entirely by a council chosen totally at random feels like a good concept to me but I fear unlikely to work in reality with human nature being what it is.

    Oh dear, now I'm wondering if I have made a good translation from the Glaswegian!

    The idea is *not* that you would be "entirely governed" by the parliamentary juries -- the current House of Representatives with its elected MPs carries on exactly as it does now.

    But on top of that are the two juries, which act as a double-check on the legislation produced by the House of Representatives. If a majority of jurors in both the juries thinks that the legislation sucks then they can block it.

    So the theory is that you get the best of both worlds: the legislation is developed by elected professional politicians as now, but the randomly selected jurors (who therefore don't have the motivations of professional politicians) keep an eye on the elected politicians. And you deliberately set up the two randomly chosen juries to be as dissimilar as possible so that they also act as a partial check on each other, and minimize the chances of paralysing reasonable legislative programmes from a government.

    I hope this explanation makes things a little clearer?

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to JonathanM,

    One might get an estimate of how effective it would be by repeated random sampling from the proposed age groups about “controversial” legislation before the final reading.

    That would be a very sensible investigative approach, it seems to me...

    The GSCB, Gay Marriage and Electoral Finance Act bills would have been interesting ones to see. My guess is that the first two would pass. Not sure about the latter.

    That would be my guess, too!

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to David Haywood,

    Yes, I’m aware that the word “jury” only normally applies to trials, but I am using the terminology developed by my grandfather.

    I'm not sure that's true. The concept has been used before, with citizens' juries or citizens' assemblies essentially taking the place of Royal Commissions.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    PS I like the general idea.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to David Haywood,

    The hoose of cannie minds …

    keep an eye on the elected politicians

    This tribunal thing has a lot to commend it…
    Which sets me thinking why not go the next step…
    Politics can be a very anaerobic environment, so as with diving, perhaps a political ‘Lumpen Buddy System’* could be devised, each politician could have a ’civilian companion’ on a rotating basis, to: counter each MP’s specific gravitas; supply the oxygen of reason; and to buoy them back to the surface and sunlight; when needed…

    (and you know, someone to watch the intellectuals...)

    Shame your grandfather wasn’t from Edinburgh, then he could’ve called the concept the Forth Estates… but at least they’ll be on Clyde Time!
    David Shearer would be welcomed with open arms in Glasgow – I note its coat of arms includes two ring-bearing fish (well three actually) as well as St Mungo, a bell that wouldn’t ring and a tree that wouldn’t grow… What a riddle of a town!

    *SCUBA
    Socially Correct Uncertainty Balancing Apparatus?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7893 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I like this idea. However,

    Jurors can’t be manipulated by an established government bureaucracy or civil service.

    - bet they can, especially if bureaucrats only have to bamboozle em for a year at most.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to David Haywood,

    After bathing at Baxters...

    I’m wondering if I have made a good translation from the Glaswegian!

    Some linguistic tips for virgin Weegies...
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7893 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    OMG! I just realised ...
    'Anarchist' in Glaswegian
    probably means 'Antichrist!'

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7893 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Politics can be a very anaerobic environment, so as with diving, perhaps a political ‘Lumpen Buddy System’* could be devised, each politician could have a ’civilian companion’ on a rotating basis, to: counter each MP’s specific gravitas; supply the oxygen of reason; and to buoy them back to the surface and sunlight; when needed…

    Wonderful, Ian! :-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    David, I think this is a brilliant notion. Your grandad was perhaps unfairly prejudiced against drycleaners, but otherwise very sound!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • LucyJH,

    A major problem with this proposal is that it doesn’t really ensure any representation for the parents of young children, especially young mothers. These are a group who are particularly poorly represented in the NZ parliament and, in fact, when you look at a lot of the key outcomes in our society (e.g., children are more likely to be living in households below the poverty line than basically any other group – especially those over 65 http://socialreport.msd.govt.nz/economic-standard-living/population-low-incomes.html ) then I think you have to question whether that under-representation is a good thing? This would just reenforce it.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2013 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    From a “representation” point of view, my only concern would be that you might want to make the Senior Jury a little younger – either 60 or 65+ – because otherwise, until inequalities in life expectancies even out, it’s unlikely to adequately reflect the total population’s percentages of Maori, Pacific Peoples, or men.

    Otherwise, I’d love to see it given a whirl!

    ETA: Also agree with t'other Lucy's previous comment about absence of mothers of young children, though the Junior Jury could include young mothers, particularly if the Jury was well set up with optimal childcare.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Warren Clark, in reply to andin,

    That people tend to place their own welfare (and that of groups they identify with) above that of others, even if they are a tiny minority.

    In the Lower Hutt. • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Warren Clark,

    That people tend to place their own welfare (and that of groups they identify with) above that of others, even if they are a tiny minority.

    If only we had robot overlords.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Also agree with t’other Lucy’s previous comment about absence of mothers of young children, though the Junior Jury could include young mothers, particularly if the Jury was well set up with optimal childcare.

    Indeed it could. This, and the "where to seat it" could both be helped by having them do most of their work virtually, from where they actually live.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Haywood,

    As an idea, it's a slight improvement on our current system. I don't think the idea of age stratifying the groups makes any sense, but a participatory democracy for the upper house isn't a terrible idea. The numbers seem way too low, there's an unacceptably big chance of getting a non-representative group in there. Also, I don't see the need for the lengthy term, upon which the strange choice of demographic was founded. If it were, say, a month, then pretty much anyone could participate at some time in their life.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Warren Clark,

    That people tend to place their own welfare (and that of groups they identify with) above that of others, even if they are a tiny minority.

    Hope you dont mind if just pick that apart.

    By welfare do you mean how monetarily well off they are? The level of physical comfort they enjoy? Welfare is an awfully broad term.

    At certain rare stages of human development there was an ability to look past the group identification rationale and look at the health of the whole society, the involvement people had in the society they lived in. But they were all too rare. And getting rarer as societies grew bigger. But that is no reason why it cant happen on a large scale.

    Certainly at present, because certain forms of thinking have held for too long a sway over those in positions of government and business, the "minority" view is deciding how policy/laws are enacted. And the slackness of the certain media has helped this to happen. It just means its time to change that.

    Government is not some kind of arcane mystery, the more people are involved in it the better. Some of David's grandfathers ideas are very sound. The danger may be getting people who arent dazzled by the "baubles, bangles and beads" Oh and the dizzying heights as well I suppose, like many of the current crop of those who consider themselves Big Cheeses

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to andin,

    Hope you dont mind if just pick that apart

    There are also reputable studies showing altrustic behaviour as normal. Google is our friend.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.