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IF NY State Get Fracked, Whose Fault Is That? (+ Bonus IQ Test)

There will be, of course, many people at fault, not least of which are gas companies that want to extract gas, but don’t want to be responsible for contaminating underground water supplies, creating geological instabilities, etc.

In my reality, dogs bark, cats meow, and companies act selfishly to make money for the stockholders, the public be damned. In my reality, politicians respond to legalized bribing, in the form of campaign contributions. In my reality, the media serves the corrupt status quo, and not the the people, first and foremost.

Therefore, the only interesting and most relevant answer to the question “IF NY State Get Fracked, Whose Fault Is That?” is as follows (I’ll just quote a recent comment of mine, with no further editing):

Have the good citizens of NY, who want no fracking in their state, delivered any electoral threats to Cuomo and the rest of the state government?

Actually, let me rephrase that:
Have the good citizens of NY, who want no fracking in their state, delivered any credible electoral threats to Cuomo and the rest of the state government?

(If you do the math, intervening in primaries is the easiest way to toss out an incumbent. So, a credible threat should certainly encompass the easiest strategic pathway.)

If the answer is “no”, fracking coming to NY is that much more likely. Which then raises the question, “Whose fault is that?” Ultimately, it’s the citizens of NY State’s collective fault. Cuomo and his henchmen are not going to tell you how you can twist their arms, correct? No sane person can expect most D’s and R’s to do what’s best for their consituents, when there are big $$ urging them not to. No sane person can expect the D’s and R’s to tell their constituents how to prevent them from betraying those constituents.

Therefore, the citizens of NY State should have figured out, using their own intellects, how to twist the arms of their ‘representatives’ and executed their plan. And while experts can be wrong, I have to wonder why the citizens of NY State would not try to obtains some expert evaluation of whatever arm-twisting strategy they came up with (which they probably didn’t…), e.g. like a political game theorist who evaluates political strategies for a living.

Surely, Cuomo is executing his plan. Why should the citizens of NY have been any less shrewd? What excuse can they possibly offer, for not being as shrewd, as possible?

Whether we like it or not, and whether we wouldn’t even have to think this way if our governments were not so corrupted, or not, if the citizens of NY State (or any other state) are so collectively dumb (in a strategic sense) that they can’t torpedo betrayals of the common good that are roundly rejected, they will be at fault, collectively, for what befalls them.

When a species comes to an evolutionary dead end, we don’t say that that species is at fault. Knowing that animals are dumb, we blame it on circumstances, the environment, and competition with other species.

The citizens of NY State have brains, that can project scenarios into the future. The citizens of NY State have brains, that can make reasonable models of behavior of other humans – including those who are politicians. The citizens of NY State have brains, that can recognize the fact that not all strategies are equal. Nor are all individuals equal in their capability to design and/or evaluate strategies.

The citizens of NY have brains and a level of intelligence far exceeding that of non-human animals. Even so, I don’t see where they’re using their potential intelligence. I have a feeling that this will play out the same way the anti-GMO ballot initiative in CA played out.

Bonus IQ Test
Q1: Let’s say that you live in a state where 30% of registered voters are Democrats, and where 20% of Democrats vote in primaries. What number of registered voters must you get to vote, as a voting bloc, in a primary in order to guarantee that an incumbent loses, assuming voting patterns, other than those in the hypothetical, disruptive voting bloc, remain the same?

Q2: Develop a numerical estimate for how much easier or harder this will be than to win a general election.

Answer to Bonus IQ Test
A1: 20% of 30% = 6%. Thus you need 6% of eligible voters + 1 voter in your voting bloc. This is actually an upper bound, but not a lowest upper bound. That’s because the incumbent won’t necessarily only be running just against your disruptive voting bloc candidate, but also against other challengers. Thus, the incumbent may be splitting the ‘standard’ primary vote with somebody else.

Note that 20% of 33.33% = (1/5)(1/3) = 1/15, so your voting bloc need only acquire about 1 out of 15 eligible voters.

A2: To win a general election, you need roughly 50% of the vote. That’s 15/30 of eligible voters. 1/15 primary voters = 2/30, so your task to fire an incumbent during a general election is, in a sense, 15/2 = 7.5x harder.

Extra Bonus Test (Hard)
The above are easy questions to answer, because they come down to simple math. Here is a harder test:

Extra Bonus Q: Why are no progressive activists* organizing punative electoral efforts, as part of their strategy?

Extra Bonus A: Beats me. Maybe they enjoy being ineffective, or like begging their elected representative to obey the popular will? If anybody has a better answer, feel free.

* Other than the PDA, who are not doing a good, aggressive job of it, and still refuse to target any Democrat who survives his/her primary, in a general election, no matter how bad. That’s a stupid electoral strategy, even if it’s partly correct.

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