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Could The USA (And Perhaps Other Countries) Do Better With Consensus-Style Government?

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Aug 13 in Politics & Government ✌ by Virginia (3,675 points)
edited Aug 13 by Virginia

This is something of a rhetorical question, for the sake of discussion...because I am considering that major systemic changes might be needed in the US, to take us toward a more democratic government, and a more democratic economy. 

Because: Twice within 75 years, The Great Depression of 1929 and then a Great Recession 2007-8, a small American elite has cornered so much wealth that they can literally 'buy' the politics, and from there run the economy into the ground - with repercussions that destabilize the whole world.

So: a few days ago, Korvo posted a link about the government of Canada's Northwest Territories, and it is a form of consensus! (The province of Nunavut, also.) No political parties at all, everyone runs as an independent...you can find Korvo's link scrolling down here: http://www.ihavesolved.com/38084/is-the-secret-ballot-acceptable-in-government#c38193

The electorate of Northwest Territories and Nunavut is largely aboriginal/Inuit, "a culture that values respect, listening and co-operation (and has little time for adversarial behaviour of any kind)."

If the USA had consensus style government, might that lead to more cooperation?

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3 Answers

Rooster Aug 13

I think it's a great idea as I voted for an Independent any way. Get rid of the two party joke system and let the people elect whom they think is best suited for the job. Excellent idea. Probably have a civil war between Dems and Repubs but who really cares? They sure don't seem to care much about us!

Virginia Rooster Aug 13

We DO need to start looking at the options Rooster. We CAN'T just let this magnificent country continue the way it is, right down the tubes!

Marianne Aug 13
I am afraid that in many countries - not only North America, mentalities, beliefs, superstitions and standards did not evolve sufficiently, and those who have the power and the wealth will do everything to maintain their privileges.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_freedom_indices
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_unemployment_rate
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Peace_Index
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_security
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Fragile_States_Index
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Violence_by_country
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Gender_Gap_Report

The lower and - increasingly the middle classes - growing aware of the many ignored dark sides of human history, or blinded by fake and massive propaganda, are losing their faith in politics, economy, religions, morality, justice, legislation and leaders.

The system sounds fairer than a party (or multi-party) based system, as, in spite of former ideals and their defense of the groups and interests of larger parts of populations, which/whom they were expected to represent, they seem(ed) to miss their aims repeatedly, and, depending on leaders, teams, supporters, sponsors, trends, politics and economic situations, they evolve(d) and change(d), often with negative consequences.

Additionally, warfare, terrorism, organised crime, environmental depletion and plundering are still a major threat to all the world.

Yes, a consensus government might be a good idea, but like with many, more egalitarian programmes, they need to find suitable teams for every key and supporting function, open the dialogue, and aim at sustainable issues; additionally, there must be more control from neutral boards or commissions:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_government

But interests vary and the powerful trade, elite or financial groups and parties will seek dominance at all cost, instead of switching to fairer practices.

Also religious and philosophical ideologies should review their interpretations of values, obedience and devotion, and put an end to intolerance, superstitions, extremism, stereotyping, discrimination, shaming, hate-mongering, prejudice, witch-hunts, etc., all the more that too many of their leaders and representatives were seldom showing the "good example".

Like in smallest groups or relationships, there will always be conflicting interests, frustations and disappointments, as nobody is perfect, if we refer, for instance, to teams, partnerships and relationships:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-coach-athlete-relationship/201510/building-effective-team-culture

http://work.chron.com/important-business-relationships-based-honesty-trust-fairness-respect-1682.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-attraction-doctor/201603/is-your-relationship-fair


Virginia Marianne Aug 13

Marianne, one thing I am learning from you is that the problems in the USA, other countries have them too! (European countries do, at least.) From one of your links, I picked out this; I hope the whole world can start considering such questions!

"It is important to start with what success means; if, for instance, a team loses in the final to a better team, but performs as best as they can – is that failure?  Likewise, if a team wins the final game, but significantly underperforms – is that success?"

Marianne Marianne Aug 13

Yes, Virginia, didn't Pierre de Fredy, Baron de Coubertin use ancient sayings to declare:

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

Virginia Marianne Aug 13

Marianne, I am wondering if, at this difficult time in our history, maybe we need to take such concepts OUT of just a nice pithy saying and begin to actually live more like that!

Marianne Marianne Aug 13

Lol - there are quite a few who are trying to live according to this idea, but many won't even listen, till their doctor tells them to slow down. :)

And fanatised crowds cannot be controlled - it is really sad.


But the news show again violent pictures from Virginia (the state):

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40915356
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40912509
https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/08/12/torch-white-nationalist-charlottesville-virginia-uva-nazi-slogan/23075445/
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40917640

Virginia Marianne Aug 13

Marianne, I don't think Other Tink has come to this Q yet...I would like to make certain she sees your third link, the aol.com article!

I don't really know what to do about the white nationalists; they are toxic and their views cannot be respected, but somehow at the same time we all have a right to existence. I wish we could just peaceably ignore them.

Marianne Marianne Aug 15

Yes, Virginia, although peace and mutual respect remain too often a pious hope.

Rethinking can be a painful process for many, especially for those who benefit from discriminating and abusing others.

Korvo Aug 13

the Link was

http://www.assembly.gov.nt.ca/visitors/what-consensus

(and not to be picky, but Nunavut is also a Territory, not a province) :)

I have always disliked party politics, for your rep could not vote for a bill if it was good for his area unless his party was in favour of the bill.  Same reason I dislike debates, one side is completely right and the other completely wrong.  There is never any give and take.

Virginia Korvo Aug 13

Korvo, my ignorance! I assumed provinces and territories were equivalent in Canada...

Do you know, will they eventually proceed to become provinces, something like Hawaii and Alaska eventually became US states? (Maybe the Canadian territories don't even WANT to do that...?)

Korvo Korvo Aug 13

They may, Yukon first I assume. It is difficult to say. They may not want to, due to financial reasons, but I must admit I don't know what the advantages/ disadvantages of territory vs. province.

Virginia Korvo Aug 13

Korvo, I was reading quickly and not sure I fully understood, but the territories made a good case for using a secret ballot in some instances. They felt the Members were better able to reflect the wishes of their constituents, somehow, if their vote was not publicized. 

And I was very interested in that part about "a culture that values respect, listening and co-operation (and has little time for adversarial behaviour of any kind)."


The world needs that kind of perspective very much right now. I hope the Territories do whatever is needed to preserve their own world view.

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