GC.SuppressFinalize and ContextBoundObject

I think this is a bit of an interesting combination – SuppressFinalize works on a specific object telling the garbage collector not to call the finalize method and context bound object means that references to that object are remoting proxies, so there are technically multiple objects which could be the one that the runtime calls finalize on.

Edit: Turns out I made a mistake in my original analysis (rather of silly of me, running different pieces of code on the different versions of .Net runtime), apparently GC.SuppressFinalize has never worked in a way which is useful with ContextBoundObject.  However the Windows 7 SP1 change now means that the finalizer is called via the proxy, not magically directly on the underlying object.  So if you had code for intercepting calls via the proxy and it didn’t handle the finalizer (because previously it didn’t have to), you have a new code path to which could go horribly wrong…

Democratic meritocracy or merit-based democracy?

Woo, dangerous topic detected…

Anyway I was just thinking random thoughts while reading about how popularity had increased for some elected official because of how they had handled themselves during a natural disaster.  My thoughts strayed to the disconnect between who people think is best for them and who is best for them when it comes to politics.  After all we are asked to make judgements based on limited information presented to us via system which is not designed to ensure completeness or lack of bias – we just have to hope that by looking at all available sources we can get sufficient completeness, detect biases, compensate for them, and we have to hope that everyone else can do that too.  I was wondering what options might improve things without switching from the democratic way that is so entrenched…

Voting systems.  I’ve always been interested in voting systems because of how you end up with different winners depending on which voting system you choose, even though they might all seem reasonable on the surface.  The idea which came in to my head was probably one which grew from a seed planted by knowing of a website where you can enter your policy beliefs and it tells you the party with the best policy belief match.  What if rather than a straight democratic vote system it was crossed with an exam.

First you hold a referendum to choose questions – and based on the referendum chosen questions also get given weightings based on population percentage which thought it important (possible fancy mathematics involved here…). Then all political candidates have to do this exam, this list of questions.  The answers are a matter of public record – legally binding, if an elected politician clearly acts against their own answers it is grounds to have their position revoked.  Finally the exam is graded.  How?

Well questions can have 2 forms, opinions or facts.  An example question could be what percentage of your electorate is currently living in a retirement village?  These questions are factual, verifiable – but also somewhat useless because the questions will be known in advance so all it tests is that the politician researched factual questions that the population thinks it is important for them to know the answer to.  Also as they are factual there isn’t the possibility of a politician acting contrary to their answer.  They might serve a limited purpose, but all they really test is the politicians capability of recall. A different question is ‘do you think 10 years jail is sufficient punishment for armed robbery?’  These kinds of questions are opinions, and to get the ‘correct’ answer where better to go than democracy.  So after the politicians answers are published, the populous goes back to the polls and does the exam themselves.

Using the peoples ‘votes’ on each question, each politician can be graded.  Another opportunity for some fancy voting mathematics research is to work out the fair way to do this, whether you give partial marks based on percentage of population which matched your answer, or only mark correct based on majority preference.  Maximum grade equals elected. (Just imagine the ‘how to vote’ cards…)  Also to consider here, margin of victory also describes the wriggle room – how much a politician can violate the published answers and still expect to get re-elected under this system.

Going back to the factual questions for a moment, maybe they can be removed from the election and get added to a ‘politicians exam’.  Much like an exam you have to pass to be a lawyer, or to train to be a doctor.  If you can’t pass the politician’s exam, you can’t run for office.  Maybe more targeted questions could be required to be passed in order to become a minister for a specific portfolio – like specialist exams for doctors.  Would have to look at what happens to the government who forms and has no one who can pass the ministerial exam for science…

I think the above ideas have some merit (…), although I do not think for one second I will see them implemented.  They also have some downsides – after all is rigidity of conviction actually a good thing?