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[Ampu-dev] [Fwd: Hello]

From: Lee Braiden
Subject: [Ampu-dev] [Fwd: Hello]
Date: 21 Feb 2002 01:45:41 +0000

-----Forwarded Message-----

From: address@hidden
To: address@hidden
Subject: Hello
Date: 17 Feb 2002 15:14:56 -0500

>I didn't manage to get my last message out to you via email before you
>responded on K5.  I was going to do it this morning from my work account,
>but your morining appears to be much earlier than mine.  8)
>I think having a packet of voting policies is a really good idea.  I'm glad
>to hear you were leaning that way.  That approach lets you use whatever it
>takes to get acceptance of your application up while letting the users
>evolve toward the one they think most appropriate.

Yup, I think it might help a lot.  The system which I think would work best
is a hybrid of direct and representational democracy, giving everyone the
opportunity to get involved, as direct methods do, but controlling the quality
of the voter by selecting a few from that population for each individual 
and educating them on all aspects of that decision.  This is much like having
a group of presidents sharing power, each of which has access to the 
advisors.  The only difference beyond that is that each decision gets it's OWN
set of presidents, so that presidents never hold presidency long enough to enjoy

To me, that method makes sense.  However, it was thought up relatively quickly, 
other methods have been around for a much longer time.  Also, since much of the
support for this project will probably come from the "pure" direct democracy 
it should probably be an option.

The system of election I propose above is a hybrid, somewhere on a line between 
forms of democracy.  Since it's easy to shift position on that line with simple
variables, such as the percentage of a group required to be in jury (100% of
population voting == direct democracy, less == representational), then it does 
harm to allow such choices.  That is the election process.  Does anyone expect
the election process to become more complex than a simple percentage or absolute
number of the group population?

Voting can equally include many methods through a class and/or plugin 
and probably should, given that no one seems to agree on the "absolute best" 
system.  I expect that we'd need to collect all the votes, pre-calculate total 
"pair tables", and then pass them off to a voting method plugin, which would 
us the actual winner, or announce the need for a tie-breaker.

>In shareholder meetings, you get a proxy for each voting share of a company
>you hold.  Most people don't vote them directly.  Instead they let others
>make the shareholder decisions unless things go awry.
>This style of election works well as long as you can identify those with
>the right to vote.
>This style of election works well as long as you allow valid voters to
>solicit proxies from other voters.
>This style doesn't work very well if it is too easy to become a valid
>Here is an example of what I was thinking for how this voting style could
>be used by a low level official.
>Suppose I am Mayor of a small town.  I could set up such a system and grant
>the right to vote to all citizens of my town.  Tourists, companies, and
>distant relatives would not have a direct vote.

Just right too! Damned tourists!! =)  Damned, damned relatives!!! =)
Just kidding ;)

>Suppose I wanted to know
>if the people wanted a Christmas tree put up at City Hall for the holiday
>season.  I could set up a vote in the system and tell people the details
>about the associated costs, risks and the voting deadline.  When the vote
>is in, I would then act according the will of the people.  Before the vote
>is in, though, suppose a few activists get interested in influencing the
>decision.  One of them sees these trees as symbolic of pagan teachings and
>objects.  They could solicit proxies from other citizens through a small
>campaign to 'Stop Pagan Teachings'.  Some citizens might hand over their
>tokens (electronically of course).  Another activist might take the
>approach that all religions must be represented.  They could make their own
>case and solicit proxies.

Just thought of a real easy way to do this, although I'm not sure if it
entirely suits the problem -- I may be fixing the symptoms, but not the

What if you had a list of solutions (vote choices) for an issue, like:

* Choice 1
* Choice 2
* Choice 3

but then you added aliases, such as (forgive the crude examples, it's late ;):

* Green Party's Choice
* Anti-Racist Party's Choice

Then, rather than having a complex proxy system, etc.. you could just vote for 
alias, which the appropriate party would link to whatever solution they felt 
their campaign best.

For example, if Choice 1 is the least environmentally harmful option, then the 
Party could link their alias to that option, just like making a symbolic link in
a file system.  You have chosen to go with whatever the green party feels is the
best choice, so they can later decide to re-link their vote to Choice 2, should 
evidence arise.  If the Green Party were tricky, and re-linked to something 
the bounds of what they had "advertised", then it would be public knowledge, and
cause outcry anyway, leading to a "mistrial", whether automatic somehow, or 

Would this solve the proxy issue, or do we need something more complex?

>In the end, only valid tokens could be voted,
>but the people who cared the most about the choice would be able to collect
>their groups of like-minded citizens and have their say.  As mayor, I would
>pay very close attention to these voting blocks because any activists with
>enough energy to campaign and win tokens from voters is persuasive enough
>to get their opinions heard by a large number of people.  That kind of
>talent is politically significant.  Those people must be appeased, difused,
>included or something like that.

>The more I think about this whole subject, the more I like it.  There is a
>lot of very real potential to change the nature of politics by bringing it
>down to the people who are its heart and soul.

Glad you like the idea so much.  It's been growing on me in a similar way for
quite a while now.  Especially since I realised that it could take over slowly,
through small pockets merging together.  It's all very well to dream of new
governments, but without a route to acceptance, it's hard to solidify that

I'm excited to see the project in action somewhere... to find out just how
much things change when people have direct control of their own decisions.  I
think apathy for the process would decrease significantly.  Perhaps even some
peoples' apathy for their own personal situations might improve.  That would
*really* be something.

>The big parties here in the
>US have always bothered me on one level.  That is why I cast a rebellious
>vote for an open primary system here in California.  The ballot measure was
>apparently struck down by the legal system later, so we may have to push
>for an amendment to the California State Constitution.

Just so long as Ling (from Ally McBeal) doesn't hear our case ;)

>There is a large
>group of people in this state who like to think they can do better than our
>elected representatives, so your project would probably get a good work-out
>if you get it in shape enough to try here.

Look forward to that =^)

Lee Braiden,

Lead Developer,
A More Perfect Union.
ICQ: 24346459
AIM: FallibleDragon
Jabber: address@hidden

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