Most here have seen the downsides of forced agreement and intolerance of other points of view on other sides, and the resulting arguments here. While BT is better in general, we do still tend to cut arguments short on many issues.

So rather than actually come up with content, I’ve decided to post some positions and invite people to argue with me. I won’t rate anything posted in this thread, though others are, of course, still welcome to.

Rights – Equal rights are the single most important thing in a Democracy. From this comes pretty much everything else. This includes access to education, marriage, taxation, contract/business rights, and medical procedures including, yes, abortion. While you can regulate these things – especially medical procedures – to some degree, banning them outright or raising the bar unreasonably high is fundamentally unhealthy for Democracy. Any candidate that supports anything in this category is inherently unsuited to govern. While this does reduce the scope of debate, it also (I feel) focuses it on more useful things.

The role of government – Creation and protection of infrastructure and the commons. This includes environmental protection, electrical/water/information distribution, and ensuring that copyrighted works pass promptly into the Public Domain. I think there’s more room for honest debate here, but I’d still be wary about supporting any candidate that pushes the role of government much larger or smaller than this.

Taxation – I’m in favour of a relatively high flat tax on all income. While this is harder on the poor, it is substantially simpler to enforce. This should, ideally, free up more resources to be used to help the poor stop being poor.

Wealth distribution – Economic policies should be tuned to ensure that the spread of wealth (distance between richest and poorest) is as small as possible. Towards this end, I am extremely opposed to most forms of “corporate welfare”.

War – Inherently bad. There is no such thing as a good war. Wars may be justified, in the interests of protecting oneself or others from inherently hostile philosophies or nations, but diplomacy is both more efficient and produces better results.

Censorship – Inherently bad. The costs of censorship regimes will always be higher than regimes that attempt to reduce the costs of and barriers to information distribution. These regimes will, thus, always fall fairly quickly, especially when in competition against a non-censorship regime. Information is one of the most inherently valuable goods.

Candidates and politics – It’s better to oppose all candidates than support one that opposes your beliefs. Supporting one that opposes your beliefs moves the public dialogue away from those beliefs; opposing all candidates moves it towards them.

Pragmatism and politics – Voting for a candidate that you think will win is inherently harmful to the democratic process. The process assumes that everyone will vote for the candidate that best represents their beliefs. Voting for a candidate that you think will win is an attempt to game the system by predicting what candidate others think will best represent their beliefs. With a sufficient number of such voters, the best thing a candidate can do is to take as few positions as possible and instead focus his energy on persuading voters that people will vote for him; this severely curtails or eliminates public debate.

Got something else you want to argue about? Start a thread under this diary!

0 0 votes
Article Rating