i hopped off to campus after posting, reading johnny mnemonic on the way. boy, am i pissed - i'm reading about molly and seeing jane. that's what watching the movie will do to you :/
today we were to vote for student union representatives, but i'm registered as a master's student so we had a choice of... one rep. oh, well.
the continuation of the debate (below) kept me occupied during what would otherwise have been a fantastically boring first class. i sat next to a really cute girl, and the thought arose that i can believe that being polyamorous is right while choosing to respect a partner who doesn't.
on the way to second, we heard amazing psychedelic progressive rock coming from the main square... it was tree, and they are legendary! i will be making a point of seeing them live again, they're absolutely brilliant ^_^
second class: i think the smell was coming from the guy sitting next to me. over a metre away. the class was alright, but the topic isn't very interesting and the paper downright unreadable. or maybe it's me... it suddenly occurred to me that i haven't been feeling well the past couple of days and i might simply be a bit sick. it was tough for me to keep focus.
i ran into pg on the way out, and she accompanied me to the language building so i could (try to) help her with her homework and get my results for a pop-quiz we had on sunday. she didn't understand and got tearfully frustrated, and i felt like an agitated idiot. apparently, she's upset about the studies interfering with our plans for new year's, and i'm personally irritated with my plans for the next half a year... or i could just have been pushing buttons today. my results were abysmal, too.
i had lunch with eidetic, then a debate on free will with a history student, then called my kibbutz cousin on the way to work. work was SVN trouble and java rewriting. i left early, began reading oscar wilde, and am about to get some other readings done:
i've heard complaints about keats from my classmonkeys, and am not thrilled :S
"I agree that our current system is anti democratic.
Thats why I want to change it.
The reason parties buy votes of other parties is that they are held hostage by the fact that a coalition party can leave at any given moment.
If you have less parties - this can't happen.
Two or three parties is not totalitarian... its still elected parties and elected representatives...
As for your last sentance: if it has to be screwed up, let it be because i chose badly, and not because someone else chose for me.
Well, thats the nature of democracy isn't it?
I voted for a leftwing party and got an extreme right wing racist government instead.
Why? Because more people in Israel believe in the right wind racist way than the leftwing peaceful way.
"you're still missing the point. the problem is that there's a coalition, and THAT's anti-democratic. your base assumption is that the coalition is necessary for X to happen, and what's wrong democratically is that X isn't supposed to happen. if there was no coalition the right wouldn't have enough power to resist opposition by the left.
"held hostage"? what's their purpose, that's being held hostage? if they can't get things to pass (i feel like i'm repeating myself) without opposition, then they're trying to do something that's not democratic."
"Why do you think the right wouldn't have power to resist the left?
Or vise versus?
Sounds to me like nothing could ever get done...
No, they are held hostage because members of their coalition don't give a shit about anything which they weren't elected for.
For example, Shas couldn't give a shit about the cost of School books in elementary school - as their constituency doesn't go to elementry school.
So instead they say - we'll cote for lowering text book prices - if the Haredim get another 50 million shekels. If we don't get the money - we'll vote against the text book prives being lowered.
And this repeats itself for political things too... anything between Israeli-Palestinian relations, to social justice to law enforcement - all are affected by the fact that small parties care only about their small issues, and are willing to vote either way on other issues, as long as they get their demands."
" i get it, dude; you think that "getting things done" is more important than getting the right things done. happy totalitarianism.
i suddenly remembered an interesting parallel: nobody wastes time taking japanese hostages, because they won't get anything in return. we negotiate with terrorists, so the terrorists have incentive to kidnap us. when you give shas the sense that they can control everything with bribes, you give them incentive to do so."
"Err... as for your first point - wrong, I don't think that, nor do I understand where you got the impression from.
Don't put words in my mouth, it makes you sound dumb and childish.
Having a debate is one thing, demonizing people who don't agree with you is another.
Have fun debating with other people, I don't take kindly to childish behavior.
As for your second point - I agree, but other than changing the electoral system I have no idea how to change that..."
" i don't see where i put words in your mouth. sorry. and i'm not trying to demonize, i'm trying to say that the very idea of coalition or the need to "play" with our politics is a symptom of its totalitarian nature. i apologize if you found that statement personal in nature; it's a comment on a general outlook that our society takes and i think it's dangerously wrong. i really think you've been missing what i'm trying to say because you're defending something that i'm not arguing about.
having said that - the electoral system, in my opinion, is not at fault. the fact that everybody's playing a game instead of being able to vote for someone who claims to represent them is. again, i'm not saying everything would be utopian, i'm saying that it would be representative. in some respects, a totalitarian system isn't a bad way to go - but there are no controls to ensure that not everybody gets screwed.
what a bummer that nobody's discovered a good way to govern *humans*.
you know what? i'm irritated now. i'm talking about the fact that democratic politics shouldn't be manipulated, and you're arguing that i don't understand the maneuvering. i *get* it, bro. and i'm saying that it's *wrong*."
"No, I'm not saying that you don't understand the maneuvering...
You're under the impression that a single large part can't be representative.
I'm saying that there is no reason why there should be an Arab party, A Heredi party, and 3 different left wing parties.
There is no reason that there won't be one single leftwing party that its member's represent all different groups who have some tendancy to the left - such as the Arabs, the Labour members, the Merez members etc.
Three large parties, doesn't mean three specific notions towards a way of life.
It means three parties with general directions... just as the Democrats in the States don't always agree, no one says that a specific idea, such as providing for the elederly (hagimlaim), should constitute forming a new party..."
"have you ever thought about voting for a party interested in education and the environment? i've been voting either aleh yarok / hayerukim, to no effect. the reason it's "to no effect" is because they're representative of a lot more of us than are voting for them, but everyone's so fixated on the Big Parties and Left vs Right that they think that it makes a difference which one of those big ones get the majority of the votes.
it's all the same. our foreign policy is dependent on external forces more than our desires as a nation, and the country is going to shit because nobody's looking inwards and saying "hey! this needs to stop!"
i'm not saying that it *can't* be representative, i'm saying that it isn't. that fact is demonstrable in our "need" for a coalition in order to pass laws against the will of the majority. here, we see shas taking control OF ALL OF US to further causes which do not have a majority vote.
i, personally, don't want things to be "left" or "right". i believe in democracy as a platform on which these struggles and "crises of conscience" play out. each decision should be arrived at in a way that ensures that the majority of people who are voting are spoken for.
have you heard of שמאל הלאומי (national left)? i don't like half of what they say, but as far as political direction is concerned i think it's the only realistic / feasible way to go. that's my opinion, and if we didn't have all these fragments i'd be forced to vote for people i totally disagree with. because i'm neither left, nor right.
i'm an israeli who cares about israel and her internal policies. i'm not suggesting that you, nor anyone else, doesn't. what i'm saying is that it's at the top of my agenda. am i alone? if we had a functioning democracy we could find out. i don't *think* i'm alone."
"I know the Smol Leumi personally and tend to agree with 80% of what they say, but thats besides the point.
I agree that we need to care more about our social problems, but to be frank, I think many of our social problems could be solved or reduced if we solved our conflict with the Palestinians, and so I place that at a higher issue at the moment.
You can disagree with that point of view, but that doesn't invalidate it.
BTW, the things you said, which are true, are the reason I support Shelly Yechimovitch so strongly - she is the only person up there who cares about social justice anymore...
I think I've lost the point of our debate..."
"not at all - we have different priorities, we agree on general direction, we disagree on basic principles in spite of that. nothing was invalidated, all's good :)"
what a weak way to finish an argument :P