Direct (digital) democracy

Discussion in 'Other Stuff' started by Laird, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. Laird

    Laird Member

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    Splitting out another thread topic from the fertile Donald Trump thread, with a small addition to what I wrote as quoted below: there are already two registered Australian political parties advocating something like direct democracy, Online Direct Democracy - (Empowering the People!) and VOTEFLUX.ORG | Upgrade Democracy!. I'd be interested to know of similar parties in your own country, if you're not in Australia.

     
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  2. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Jim_Smith said:

    Ideally I would like a mixture of both systems - there needs to be a way to enable people to initiate a vote (as opposed to being given the opportunity by parliament - as happened with Brexit) - but I don't think people would want to vote on absolutely everything. UKIP had/has just such a policy, and Switzerland has something of that sort too.

    I think such an approach might damp down the surges of enthusiasm for wild policies - open borders, foreign wars, climate change, identity politics, etc etc. I suppose the American people took the next best option and voted in a non-politician as president.

    David
     
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  3. Is the public informed enough to make decisions on every bit of legislation? I have my doubts.

    That said, I can see some referendums going to popular vote, though again I wonder if this is divided by states/cities/nation/etc?
     
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  4. Laird

    Laird Member

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    Responding to these two separate (except in concepts) posts:

    and:

    I think both of these reservations have "technical" solutions. The first is that which I posted above: the ability to delegate one's vote, potentially with a "default" delegate: one's "mainstream" political representative. The second (assuming, say, that one's delegate did not vote) would be to monitor (programmatically) each proposition (potentially posted by an "ordinary" citizen), and, if it reached a certain level of support (say, 20% of eligible voters had - either directly or via their delegate - voted on it), then to mandate everybody else to vote on it - and this would include especially elected representatives, so that delegated votes definitely counted.

    That's just a little "snapshot" of how such a system could work; am happy to supply ("work on") further details if anybody cares.
     
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  5. Max_B

    Max_B Member

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    You're not going to get anywhere with that idea, until you address how we all learn, and we all appear to learn differently.

    Until we routinely scan brains to look at things like mini-column spacing, speed of network creation, length of consolidation, speed of network erosion. And know about people's behaviour, their past experiences, their ancestors behaviour and experiences, we're never going to know what people are good at, and stream them, and enrich their education appropriately very early in life, giving them the freedom to persue their own path.

    We already have a rough idea how people fall into similar groupings... conservative, liberal, white, black, French, Russian, criminal, judge, professor, artist, young, old, gay, straight, funny, serious, quick, slow etc... a whole cornucopia of symmetries... but so many get stuck in the wrong positions, wrong paths, or there are no positions that would suit their abilities, and all of us are weighted down by the baggage of our experiences, and our parents experiences. It's heartbreaking... :-(

    In the end, your're just building another system on top of the natural system that already exists. And such artificial systems can be interfered with.

    People have been trying to build Utopias for ever... The stuff we discuss on here about reality and consciousness should be more important... they provide a better clue as to what is going on, and how we might fix it.
     
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  6. Laird

    Laird Member

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    Max_B, please correct me if I'm wrong, but is what you're saying that citizens should only be able to vote a representative to vote on their behalf, and aren't (shouldn't be) able to vote directly, because they aren't (potentially) educated enough to vote directly? If so, I then why is a vote for a representative safer than (or more ideologically appropriate than) a direct vote for a policy/legislation?

    Or are you saying that we should only allow certain ("superior") people to vote on political issues? Are you advocating some sort of meritocracy?
     
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  7. Max_B

    Max_B Member

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    A very simplistic example of what I'm saying is that people learn from TV, and alter their behaviour due to what they learn. Those who control TV, control those who learn from TV.
     
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  8. Laird

    Laird Member

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    So, do political representatives not watch TV?
     
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  9. Max_B

    Max_B Member

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    You've lost me, I'm guessing you don't understand what I'm getting at. Let's try another way using the same TV example...

    The people who control the TV, control the people who watch the TV?
     
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  10. DDD would weaken the power or political parties, reduce the influence of special interests capable of buying votes in congress, and reduce the polarization in society.
     
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  11. Silence

    Silence Member

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    Not buying it.

    Special interests would be replaced by sophisticated marketing by those with money (power). Same sources, different medium.

    If social media is any indication, the divisiveness would grow faster.

    I don't think this is any kind of panacea. Just not seeing it.
     
  12. Laird

    Laird Member

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    Yes, I think I understood you the first time. My question still stands: what makes it such that political representatives, who also watch TV, are not controlled by it? Or are you saying that our political representatives are the ones controlling the TV?
     
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  13. Laird

    Laird Member

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    Political advertising could be limited, and all (public) political discussion funnelled into the direct democracy platform itself, where, for each proposition, arguments for and against, and counter-arguments, etc, could be raised and discussed in a structured forum. People could "like" arguments, and the most effective arguments on either side would rise to the top. I'm confident that a very effective system for public decision-making could be built.
     
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  14. Laird

    Laird Member

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    Responding to Silence's post from the Donald Trump thread:

    My response:

    And on yet another, you have the majority of the population rescinding decisions made by power-brokers in the pockets of the 1%. There's no way to do that currently. You vote for somebody once every four (or whatever) years, and in the meantime they get to do almost whatever they want.

    And on yet another, you have people delegating decisions about tricky topics to those experts who know the most about them.

    Sure, and it could be that for the majority of decisions, people leave their vote delegated to the default (their representative), but that, for example, when their president wants to go to war in Iraq, on masse they vote to overturn this decision.

    I covered this in my reply above.

    You could think of it (or use it yourself) as a tool for (mostly) emergencies: when your elected reps are going to vote against everybody's interests - this way everybody can countermand them. Right now, we can't.
     
  15. Curious - What are the hard structures you would have? Something like the Bill of Rights, or certain kinds of anti-discrimination/free-speech laws?

    Seems even to set up the boundaries would be an enormous political challenge, big enough to ever prevent this from being enacted?
     
  16. Laird

    Laird Member

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    I'm not quite sure what you're asking - I don't know that any of the existing laws/rights need to be changed [edit: aside from the enabling legislation], you'd just need some enabling legislation - potentially including a change to the constitution. I haven't thought much about what it would take.

    I think setting up such a system and proving that it's viable might be the first step. It could snowball from there.
     
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  17. Laird

    Laird Member

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    Sorry, Sci, I kind of threw that post out there without much thought. Short, honest response: I haven't thought much about that side of things.
     
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  18. To be fair my post didn't explain clearly. It seems to me democracy is meant to be more than mob rule - as such it would make sense to have some hard restrictions on legislative and executive power.

    Does that make clearer what I was getting at?
     
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  19. Laird

    Laird Member

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    Yes, that makes it clearer. I'm not sure I agree though with your starting assertion: that "democracy is meant to be more than mob rule". I would agree if you qualified "democracy" with "representative", but why could it not also be qualified with "direct", in which case "the will of the people" is exactly what "democracy" is supposed to be - a will not necessarily mediated through the wills of others, but potentially expressed directly?

    People express concerns about "mob rule" and "populism", but I'd rather the population as a whole were able to make political decisions than that a concentrated power could twist the arms of a small number of representatives. Diffuse the power, don't concentrate it.

    That said, I'd be open to appropriate, well-thought-out restrictions on legislative and executive power. Did you have any in mind, or where you just raising the concern?
     
  20. Max_B

    Max_B Member

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    In this symplistic example I'm simply making a split between those who control the TV, and those who don't. Whether those who control TV, watch TV as well doesn't matter to me.

    If you can't see what I'm getting at in terms of your ideas, I'll leave it there, as we're not likely to make any progress.
     

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