Michael Eriksson
A Swede in Germany
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Collective decision-making


This text originally arose as a portion of a side-note in another text. Due to the relative importance of the topic and the only tangential relevance to the other text, I decided to put the contents on a separate page. Through a quirk in my writing process, the original contents remain very “keyword-y”, while further contents occupy most of the page. (While I publish the page as is, I do not view it as finished. The “keyword-y” part should be expanded and there are other sub-topics of interest that currently go unmentioned.)

Below, I deal with the quality of decision-making. I do not rule out that collective decision-making can have a place for other reasons, e.g. that, in some context, someone with a legitimate stake in some decision/project/enterprise/whatnot should have a right to a vote instead of just having some single individual decide over his head. (However, chances are that the best solution to such issues is to minimize decisions that affect e.g. a collective by any decision-maker, be it an individual, a committee, or the collective as a whole. A great many such decisions are simply unnecessary and should have been left to be decided on an entirely individual basis to begin with—to the degree possible, we should all be allowed to decide for ourselves. Note e.g. how many governmental decisions are superfluous or outright harmful, yet apply to everyone, and a below discussion of my “apartment owners association”.)

In the case of politics, concerns like “checks and balances” also must be given due weight, together with the observation that concentration of political power in the hands of the few has great risks and has often ended badly—but mostly for reasons like a wish for personal glory, not because a smaller group of politicians/rulers/whatnot would tend to be worse decision-makers than a larger group. (Whether politicians in any size of group reach a satisfactory average level is another question. Similar concerns might apply in other contexts, e.g. large corporations.)

Dangers of collective decision-making

Committees and other mechanisms for collective decision-making have a very poor track record. Common problems include:

  1. A lessening of individual responsibility and a greater risk of “moral hazard”.

  2. Herd mentality and group think.

  3. The influence of group-internal politics on decisions, including those affecting third parties.

  4. The risk that the group (committee, whatnot) takes on a life of its own and beyond is official purpose.

  5. Corruption among individual group members. (Note that it might be harder or much harder to corrupt the entire group than to corrupt individual decision-makers, but that it is often sufficient to corrupt just a few members, e.g. to tip a 6–4 vote into a 4–6 vote.)

  6. An increased need or undue willingness to compromise. (For the overlapping issue of “consensus for the sake of consensus”, see below.)

  7. The extremely common issue of the dull majority overriding the bright minority (or a charismatic dullard manipulating the majority to vote according to his whims while the bright non-manipulator is left with only his own vote).

To give just a few example of where collective decision-making might lead: At the time of writing, March 2024, Joe Biden is POTUS as a consequence of outright collective decision-making, while, as signs of where collective decision-making could take us, Adam Sandler appears to be the best paid actor in the world, and Taylor Swift the best selling “recording artist”.

Note that the above list contains issues that can lead to poor decisions. Not included are problems like e.g. a greater need for coordination, which are more likely to lead to problems like loss of time and waste of resources than to worse decisions. In many practical situations, however, such issues can be of great importance, as with group work (cf. below).

Legitimate use of groups

To use groups for purposes like getting input for the decision-making process can often be beneficial—let the group have its say, but keep it away from decisions.

Even here, however, it is disputable whether the group should be consulted as a group (as with a focus group giving product feedback). It will often (likely: usually) be better to approach each group member individually.

From another angle, a strongly contributing issue with groups is the usually resulting lower average intelligence, competence, domain knowledge, whatnot level, compared to decision-making by the single best brain. This issue can be alleviated by greater care when selecting the decision-making group. This, especially, if the group is kept small. (Also note the risk, in the comparison, that some single brain actually put in charge is far from the best.)

Faulty proof of the wisdom of crowds


The popularity of juries is not an argument for collective decision-making:

Firstly, popularity is not a proof of quality. (The opposite assumption is, of course, another case of bowing to collective decision-making, if in a more indirect form.)

Secondly, (court-room) juries are not used to achieve a collective decision of e.g. “by a majority vote and the wisdom of crowds, we declare the defendant guilty [innocent]”. The point is rather to have (typically) twelve individuals reach a consensus that the defendant has been proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt—or to reach a consensus that sufficient proof has not been given.

Indeed, chances are that the jury system would work better with less “jury deliberation”, which is a case of collective decision-making, and more individual and independent thinking. A potential way would be to have to jurors deliberate separately until they feel certain of a vote and then to let them vote. If the result is unanimous, we have a result; if not, some additional discussion to exchange reasons, clarify misunderstandings, point to errors of thought, whatnot, in the hope of reaching a consensus is warranted, but this should be kept within limits. If no consensus can be reached, or if more than one or two jurors dissent, past a certain time, then “reasonable doubt” should be presumed.


If twelve jurors cannot agree on a “guilty”, this, in and by it self, is a very strong sign of “reasonable doubt”.

It might well be that one or two jurors are caught in preconceptions, have been bribed, or similar, and some special consideration for this might be necessary, but the current U.S. system of an insistence on consensus and the current handling of “hung juries” is problematic. The U.K., in contrast, appears to have a limited room for a clear majority convicting over one or two dissenters. To consider e.g. a 6–6 vote a “hung jury” instead of proof of “reasonable doubt” is perverse. (Also note a discussion of “consensus for the sake of consensus” below.)

Statistical averaging

A common “proof” of the superiority of crowds is some simplistic demonstration like a group of individuals estimating the value of something, with the result that the average estimate was superior to most or all individual estimates.

Apart from this being relevant only to certain types of problems, and usually problems that are better solved by (literally or metaphorically) having some individual member of the group grab a ruler and actually measure:

This is a trivial statistical phenomenon, likely to hold almost automatically in a wide range of cases. Likewise, having a group throwing darts at a dart board while blind-folded (but having some general idea of where the board is) is likely to find the average and/or median throw superior to most or all individual throws. (If the average is used, some minor data corrections might be beneficial, e.g. to remove throws that failed to hit the wall. Such corrections are very common in statistical investigations.) It is even conceivable, especially with estimates that involve more guessing than skill, that letting the same individual member of a group estimate repeatedly gives an average estimate that tendentially improves with the number of attempts. (Barring the significant complication that the individual might remember his previous estimates.)

From a more mathematical point of view, assume that each individual makes an estimate that deviates from the true value according to a normal distribution and that the distribution is the same for all individuals. (This is not realistic, but is often somewhat close to the truth, and it does illustrate the principle well.) The expectation value of both each individual estimate and the average estimate will now coincide with the true value, while the standard deviation of the average estimate will be the standard deviation of the individual guess divided by the square-root of the number of guessers. For every quadrupling of the number of individuals, we can expect the average guess to become, in some sense, “half as far away” from the true value.

This is not wisdom—it is statistics.

Even apart from such considerations, it is not unexpected that the average (often better: median) fares better than most individual estimates. If we, for simplicity, look at the median, half or more of all individual estimates will be at or larger than the median and half at or smaller than the median. If the median hits the true value exactly, it obviously “wins” in the sense of being better than most individual estimates. If not, the true value is either smaller or larger and, regardless of which, at least half of all estimates are at least as far from the true value as the median—and the median “wins” again. (A draw could take place, but, except for very small groups, this changes little. Also see a more detailed discussion of a similar issue, including some thoughts on values that “draw” with the median.)

As to the quality of estimates, just as with dart throwing above, note that having a computer spit out some random numbers would yield the same result—the median “wins”. This even if the numbers are not even in the right ballpark. For instance, the median of 1, 3, 4, 11, 12 (i.e. 4) is at least as good an estimate of 100 as three out five entries (1, 3, 4), and loses against only two (11, 12). Ditto, if we change “100” to “‘100 million”.

Excursion on group work

A related problem is the common obsession with group work in school. Such group work usually ends up as a whole that is lesser than the sum of its potential parts, while showing many examples of poor decision-making, unfair distribution of work and credit, etc.

While most of this would be off-topic, group work can serve as a good illustration of why so many have so naive ideas about collective decision-making. Consider three types of students in a group of X members:

  1. The uninformed and unintelligent, who would be over-challenged by the project at hand, if left to do it themselves. (Even allowing for sufficient additional time to compensate for the loss of manpower.)

    These see a task to complete that seems daunting, they have no idea where to begin, and, during work, do not necessarily understand who contributes what. However, they do see that this daunting task was somehow completed by the group.

    Yay group work!!!

    (The list of types is not exhaustive and others can have a similar reaction for different reasons, e.g. in that someone lazy can often duck work without endangering the completion of the project.)

  2. The midrange students, who might manage the work alone if given sufficient time, but not with a particularly high quality. Their main take away might be “I would have needed X days to get this done, but the group got it done in a single day!”.

    Yay group work!

    (Factoring in overhead, the group would likely need longer than a single day, but let us be generous.)

    While they are likely aware of the differences in contributions, e.g that the first type does not contribute in proportion to number, they might have a skewed view in other regards. For instance, they might value leg work as highly as head work or measure contributions based on time put in, not in quality or quantity of result or ability to make good decisions. (As to quantity: A faster worker might get as much done in an hour as a slower in two hours. Should we then value the one “fast” hour as equal to one “slow” hour or to two?)

    Worse, they might often be annoyed at the students of the third type (cf. below), because these believe (usually, correctly) that they know better than the wisdom of the crowd/group, have higher quality standards (“are picky”), prefer head work over leg work, whatnot.

  3. The top students, who could do a better job than the group and in a shorter time. (Measured in e.g. “man-hours”, not necessarily “clock-hours”.)

    These see group work for what it is and are frustrated by how much work they have to put in relative the freeloaders in the group, by how little the others seem to care for obvious quality problems, by being overruled by the majority, even when the majority supports nonsense, by how much time is lost on coordination and debates, by losses to “forming/storming/norming”, etc.

    Boooooh group work!!!

Interestingly, one of the greatest problems with group work is exactly collective decision-making, in that we might have a handful of students supposed to “decide together” so that they will “learn teamwork” because “teamwork is so important in the office”. In the actual office, however, there is typically a designated team/group/project/whatnot leader who makes core decisions—and “decide together” might be an outright counterproductive approach for working well in a real team in the office. Likewise, a typical sports team might have a team captain, a coach, a team manager, and often some other roles too, that make many of the decisions—and especially the bigger decisions. A sports team does not usually get together in a huddle to jointly decide what to do next. (More common uses of huddles include communication of an already made decision and mutual “pepping”.)

Other differences exist, e.g. that group work in school is performed in ever changing groups that must ever again begin over with “forming/storming/norming”, while teams in the office are usually stable for much longer and spend a far higher proportion of their time “performing”. At extremes, we compare hours with years.

Excursion on some personal experiences

At work, collective decisions have very often gone a different way from what I suggested, because the collective, say, ignored dangers that I pointed to, did not understand advantages and disadvantages that I mentioned, shrugged off my long-term concerns in favor of the here and now—and I have usually (!) been proved right by time. This especially in a Scrum context, and too much collective decision-making by too poor heads might be the single greatest weakness of Scrum (of which I am otherwise in favor). A particularly interesting event took place one of the first few days in a new project in a new company:

We were playing Planning pokerw to estimate some new tasks in “story points”.


See the link for information on terminology, if needed. Note that the scale used deliberately jumps in a near-Fibonacci sequence, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.

The exact numbers and the exact order of this-and-that given below might be off due to the many years since the event. This is not harmful to the illustration of principle.

I offered an 8 for a certain task, the others were stuck at a mixture of 3 and 5.

After some discussion and one or two renewed votes, I was still at 8 and the others unified at 3.

The others now insisted that I change my vote, because “Scrum demands a consensus!”. I countered that I could with equal justification claim that “Scrum demands that we call them as we see them!” and offered a quite reasonable way out—as this was my first time in the new team, we should simply disregard my vote. (This with a solid rationale: Story points can vary from team to team and even from time to time within the same team, implying that I might simply have been used to a different “size” for a story point from my previous project. However, as time showed, the differences were quite small and my 8 was an 8 even by the standards of the new team.) The offer was refused—every vote must be counted and the vote must be unanimous. (That this was a USSR-style thinking seemed to escape them: You must vote and you must vote according to the party line! Of course, such an approach is entirely contrary to the purpose of planning poker.)

I re-iterated that I would not make a dishonest call and repeated my offer, which was now very begrudgingly accepted, with sighs and a clear demonstration that I was considered “not a team player”.

Once the task was actually implemented, my 8 turned out to be the right answer. Indeed, if anything, it might have been a 9 or a 10, had the scale been more fine grained.

I did not get belated recognition for having stuck to the right answer—but I did repeatedly note that this was one of the least competent teams that I had ever worked in.


Apart from general illustration, two particular and recurring-in-my-experiences points stick out:

Firstly, a drive for “consensus for the sake of consensus”, as if consensus would be more important than getting the right answer. It is true that planning poker is based on a consensus, but this consensus should arise through a sufficiently shared understanding that the participants can genuinely agree—and genuine agreement and “consensus for the sake of consensus” are very different things. (And with the near-Fibonacci sequence used, this is usually easy to achieve or achievable with only minimal compromise, as e.g. going from a “weak” 8 to a “strong” 5, or vice versa, is a smaller jump/compromise in understanding than what it might seem to the beginner.)

While a genuine consensus is better than a “majority wins”, “majority wins” is usually better than a “consensus for the sake of consensus”. Exceptions include e.g. an acquitting jury, where a minority favoring acquittal should trump a majority in favor of “guilty” (cf. above).

More generally, groups tend to have issues with poor approaches to decision-making. Planning poker done right can work well, in part through drawing on the statistical mechanism discussed above, and could be seen as an attempt to overcome the risk of a poor approach to making estimates. (At an extreme, “estimates” might involve a project manager saying “We only have 2 man-days left in the time budget; ergo, I put it down as 2 man-days. Anymore and the critical path goes beyond the deadline.”.) Here planning poker was not done right—and the bigger point of the anecdote is not that “I was better at estimation than the team!!!”, which could have been sheer coincidence, but to illustrate the type of problems that can be found in collective decision-making.

Secondly, if partially off-topic, my understanding of “team player” is often at odds with that of others: I see it as putting the well of the team ahead of my own (within reasonable limits); many others seem to see is as a matter of blind compliance, including never questioning “the way that things are done” and going for “consensus for the sake of consensus”.

Another good illustration of collective decision-making and whatnot is the “apartment owners association” (“Eigentümergemeinschaft”) of my apartment building and its yearly meeting. There are nine members, one for each apartment. Excepting myself and with reservations for changes over time and a necessarily superficial impression of some members:

About half of the members seem to prefer to just give the building administration a power of attorney to vote on their behalf, possibly with some specific instructions on specific questions. (The power-of-attorney form distributed by the building administration contains phrasing to the effect that “where I have not given explicit instructions, the administration can use my vote however it wants”.)

The other half consists of average persons with no particular qualifications, intelligence, and whatnot. None of them is someone that I, e.g., would hire for a position of responsibility. (The same is likely to apply to the first half, too, but this is harder to judge and of secondary importance due to the power-of-attorney issue.)

All, or almost all, seem to be content to vote for the suggestions of the administration in a blanket manner, without true understanding, true debate, true questioning of motives, true whatnot—and the administration has repeatedly demonstrated a corresponding attitude of “We make the decisions. The purpose of the yearly meeting is to rubberstamp them as a pure formality.”. (Keep in mind that we are the owners, while the administration is merely hired by us to provide services.)

A particular idiocy, as an outgrowth of this collective decision-making, is cable TV: Despite the ever lower relevance of TV, in general, and despite the many channels available “terrestrially”, the collective decided to renew an existing cable-TV agreement, through which every apartment, regardless of use of TV, would be bound to pay twenty-something Euro per month (!) to a cable company. This without any cable actually being delivered, as this portion only ensured that the apartment was connected to the network—each and every apartment that actually used cable TV would have to pay a similar and separate amount per month! The collective bound us for 10 (!) years to this nonsense, despite the foreseeable massive further reduction of the relevance of TV during those 10 years. In my case, as a non-viewer, that is some 3 thousand (!) Euro down the drain for nothing. (And on top of the outrageous governmental charges to finance the third-rate public TV stations, which comes to a similar amount per month—and which also gives me nothing in return.) Importantly, this decision was made based on entirely insufficient information, what amounted to an advertising flyer provided by the cable company.


If solid information had been present, mere differences in priorities could have provided a partial explanation. With the available information, the decision could never have been more than “right for a poor reason”. (As is, it was wrong, regardless of the level of information.)

I managed to get hold of true information from the very begrudging administration and the view created by the flyer was highly misleading. While this took place too long ago for me to remember the details, I note e.g. that the flyer promised fixed prices through the 10 years (which traded fixed prices for a fixed length of contract), while the true information contained reservations that allowed the cable company to raise prices anyway (while we were still bound to the 10 years). A particular annoyance was that the administration obliged it self contractually to help the cable provider spam us, where it should have been the administrations duty to act in our, its employers, favor.

Looking at the situation in a bigger picture, this system is entirely perverse. We, as the apartment owners, have an asset that the cable company (!) should pay for, namely access to the inhabitants of the apartments. The cable company should pay us to gain that access and then get whatever profit it can from the inhabitants.

The cause of this idiocy is likely two-fold (not counting the irrationality and stupidity of all too many apartment owners Germany-wide): Firstly, many of the owners are (like I am) also inhabitants and might (unlike I do) fail to see the “we have an asset” aspect and only see that “in order to get cable in my apartment I have to pay this”. This likely (again, unlike I do) while failing to do the math of “paying twice” (or thrice, if the governmental fees are counted in). Secondly, among the “own to rent” owners, there is little downside to this, as the cost for the cable company can (according to prior legal cases) be passed on to the renters in full—and regardless of whether the renters actually use the services of the cable company, which, again, requires a second fee from the renters to the cable company.

In addition, there are rumors (but I have, to date, not seen proof) that building administrations receive outright kickbacks from the cable companies for keeping apartment buildings contracted.

From another angle, we have two issues of others making decisions that we all should make for ourselves (even if we ignore issues like who has an asset and who truly should pay whom): Firstly, we should all, as apartment owners, have the right to accept or reject the cable company individually. The only decision that might be relevant for the collective is what company should be allowed to offer services, because there might be technical restrictions that prevent multiple companies from offering services simultaneously. (But note how the current situation removes all incentives to improve on this and how e.g. different households can have contracts with different energy providers, even while in the same house.) Secondly, renters should not be forced to accept landlord decisions on such issues, and certainly not be forced to pay for unwanted services. There are some services that more-or-less have to be unified, e.g. in that the stairwells are cleaned in a unified manner and the costs divided without regard for who goes in and out of the house how often, but no such “have to” is present for cable. Similarly, all households have separate contracts with separate providers for electricity, water, Internet, and any similar service that they use—cable TV is the sole exception.

In a bigger picture, the situation is a microcosm paralleling real world governments, including that the administration tries to hinder and manipulate democratic processes, push the decisions to its own advantage, etc. For instance, I have made repeated suggestions for issues to bring to discussion—including that we all be provided with actual information, not advertising flyers, before decisions. These have all been silently ignored by the administration (which is legally in charge of setting the meeting agenda), meaning that they have been off the table with neither discussion nor vote. For instance, the location of the meeting has invariably been so far from the building that it has been hard to reach. For my last attempt, I checked addresses around two hours before the meeting, found that I would need about an hour (!) to get to the location, and would need to travel a significant distance by bus to get there. (I gave up.) This despite the option of using some part of the house for the meetings and despite their being several restaurants and whatnots, that would have served perfectly well, within a few hundred meters of the building. For instance, there has ever again been agenda items to the one-sided favor of the administration at our cost, e.g. that the meeting be held earlier in the evening (greater convenience for the administration, less so for owners who work and/or commute; also remember the “who pays whom” factor).

Excursion on beauty and statistics

Similar errors to the flawed statistical argument around crowd estimates occur elsewhere.

For instance, I have seen the occasional claim that “Science shows that average faces are the most beautiful!”, with the twist that it can create the impression in the careless (or wishful) reader that having an “average” face in the sense of e.g. a 1–10 scale would be better than having a higher ranked faced. This impression, however, shows a similar issue with understanding to the “wisdom of crowds” idea: In the former, “average” is, matching everyday use, taken to be someone “average looking” in the sense of “everyday looking”, “regular, non-model, woman”, or some such, while the implication of the claim refers to average in a statistical sense (cf. below). In the latter, some idea of crowds being better than individuals at estimation is implied, while the true explanation is a trivial statistical phenomenon (cf. above).

Here, I am uncertain whether it is one single investigation that has been re-trumpeted on several occasions or several different investigations using the same idea, but the idea is dubious. (I am also uncertain whether this dealt with only women’s faces or whether the same was done with men’s faces and, if so, with what result. Most of the below would apply to men too, but some details might vary, e.g. relating to age and skin quality.)

What happened is that a great number of faces were taken and an “average” face was constructed by image processing. There are now at least three mechanisms, similar to the above, that play in:

  1. Various skin blemishes are averaged out, leading to a “smoother” skin than all (or almost all) the original images. Such skin, however, is naturally viewed as beautiful.

  2. Various facial asymmetries are averaged out, leading to a more symmetrical face than all (or almost all) the original images. Symmetrical faces, however, are naturally viewed as beautiful.

  3. Both human perception and human variation is likely to be centered around some “average” in various features. (Of which there are likely dozens or more.) Just as with the above estimates, the average of the faces will be closer or much closer to these “averages” than all (or almost all) faces in any individual feature—and will certainly be so over the sum of all features. Human perception, on the other hand, is naturally geared towards these averages, at least to the degree that something “too large” or “too small” is viewed as odd.

    (With the caveat that the underlying “averages” might differ based on ethnicity, sex, age, or similar. For instance, men tend to have facial features that are more pronounced relative women.)

In all three cases, we can suspect an evolutionary mechanism related to health, e.g. in that someone with a smoother skin is likely to be healthier, all other factors equal, and therefore be a better prospect as a mate (and, likely, some other roles; the too unhealthy might need to be outright avoided, as some contagious disease could be involved). In the specific case of skin, there is also likely to be a greater perception of youth, because skin tends to degenerate over time, and younger women are tendentially, within reasonable limits, viewed as more attractive.

The first two are not compatible with the claim about “average faces” at all, but reflect a pure statistical issue (and/or methodological issue): taking averages leads to smoother skin and greater symmetry—and it is the skin quality and symmetry that gives a positive impression.

The third does give some justification for the overall claim of average being attractive, but (a) it is only one of three factors, (b) the result is still a matter of statistics, (c) it does not match the impression of that careless reader.


However, outside of and partially contrary to such investigations, the careless reader could have a point for other reasons: I do, myself, often find a more everyday or less perfect face more interesting, simply because the “too” perfect, “too” smooth, “too” symmetrical, “too” whatnot, can be bland and boring. (Similarly, compare the sterile and boring rooms sometimes depicted in e.g. house and furniture adds with a room that someone actually lives in; or compare a musical note as a pure sinus tone generated by a computer with the same note played on a musical instrument.) This view, however, is not compatible with the view of the investigations, as the constructed average faces would be “too” on all counts.

Excursion on deliberate abuse

A common problem with collective decision-making is deliberate abuse, especially for the purpose of avoiding individual responsibility. For instance, a “true” decision-maker might hide behind a committee with a majority of “yes men”, the easily manipulated, whatnot, that almost always votes in the “right” way—as if the decision-maker had also nominally been the sole voice. When things go sour, this decision-maker might then still invoke some variation of “It was not my fault! We decided together!”. Worse, the decision-maker can claim, regardless of success or failure, that “I was against it, but I had to bow to the majority!”.


Similar ideas can apply in other areas.

For instance, a poor grade on a group project in school (also cf. above) might then be “Not my fault! The others screwed it up!”. (Useful e.g. to lie to oneself, to defend oneself against criticism from a parent, to bargain for a better final grade with a teacher.)

For instance, I have long suspected that many EU members and/or the parties currently in charge of EU members deliberate push for the EU to make unpopular decisions so that they can say “The EU made us do it!”, without acknowledging that the EU merely gave them what they wanted in the first place.


But is this not a good work-around for groups? This way, there often will be just one decision-maker!


Firstly, there is a world of difference between (a) a sole decision-maker (or a sufficiently small group of decision-makers) that are also known as such and takes later responsibility as such, and (b) a sole decision-maker that is protected from the need to take responsibility.

Secondly, such hidden decision-makers are not usually chosen for their brilliant decision-making, which removes a central point of having fewer decision-makers, but gain power from e.g. their skills at manipulation.

Thirdly, as noted at the beginning of this page, there might be other reasons than quality of decision (etc.) that must be given due consideration, e.g. “checks and balances”, but could be circumvented by such mechanisms of hiding.

A great potential complication is decisions deliberately being moved from a small group of competent individuals, or a single competent individual, to a larger group of less competent individuals, which is easier to manipulate into the decisions that some string pullers want. The decisions tendentially grow worse, the string pullers are protected from the repercussions of poor decisions, and there might even be an option to push an alleged quality of the decisions through the larger group. Many of the naive seem to take a larger group as something automatically beneficial, up to the point that a democratic or pseudo-democratic decision in national politics is hallowed.

National politics, however, does not only suffer from many poor decisions, but is often very far from something truly democratic. Note e.g. the many votes that result from deal-making and the problems with prescribed block voting—either you vote according to the one-man decision that constitutes the party line or the party whip will be the ton of bricks that ends you. Then we have issues, in multi-party systems, like a mere plurality party being supported by nominal majority decisions.