[EM] proxy system proposal

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Mon Aug 2 06:34:57 PDT 2004

First question is to define the task of the actual proxies, so I 
will cover a legislature whose members get chosen/unchosen via proxies. 
I am covering two thoughts here:
      The members will need to attend to the tasks of a traditional body.
      Via proxy, voters who think alike can share a member without being 
restricted by the voters' physical location.

Total voting power on any motion, issue, etc., would be based on how many 
proxies each member held:
      A member holding a majority of all the proxies would have monopoly 
power - this looks ugly but:
           Monopoly power used to please most does not disturb me.
           Monopoly power that does not please, properly evaporates as 
proxies get reassigned.
      A member holding too few proxies, but choosing to take part in 
debate, probably gets locked out of debate (either attract more proxies, 
or assign own proxies to another member).

Total pay for the members would be budgeted based on their tasks and total 
members planned for - about the same as if they got chosen via election. 
Pay for a member would be based on proxies held except:
      Planned for pay is the max a member can receive - holding extra 
proxies earns extra voting power, but they cannot also get the member paid 
      Holding too few proxies gets the member no pay (they have to be let 
in to present their position, but need some discouraging).

Holding proxies, and passing them on to an actual member, directly or 
indirectly, could be enough work to deserve a little pay (but the passing 
on passes on ALL the relevant voting power).

Dave Ketchum

On Mon, 02 Aug 2004 00:21:51 -0400 James Green-Armytage wrote:

> Stephane Rouillon wrote:
>>I cross-read all your stuff and I did not see anything about my main
>>preocupation (not problem) when making a proxy-system.
>>How would you remunarate representatives?
> 	Good question. I didn't have a plan for it, but I developed one in
> response to your question. I added it to my proxy proposal at
> http://fc.antioch.edu/~jarmyta@antioch-college.edu/voting_methods/proxy.htm
> 	Here is the plan. Questions, comments, and criticisms are most welcome.
> Remuneration
>             One interesting issue in proxy systems is whether those who
> serve as proxies for many other people should be given monetary
> compensation. The argument in favor of this is that the extra money could
> help them reduce the hours they spend at other jobs, in order to make more
> time for policy research. The argument against it, aside from the cost, is
> that it might produce 'impure' incentives for people to act as proxies,
> and to over-represent their understanding of policy in an attempt to
> advertise themselves.
>             Anyway, if you do decide to compensate super-proxies, what
> money-allocation formulas might you want to use?
>             Here is one idea. There is a total preset budget for proxy
> remuneration, which is divided among those who receive compensation. Each
> super-proxy's share of this overall budget is proportional to a modified
> proxy score, which I will explain.
>             The modification comes as a result of a minimum threshold,
> such that those whose proxy scores are below the minimum will not receive
> remuneration. Instead, their scores are added to those whom they list as a
> proxy, and they continue up the proxy chain until they coalesce into an
> above-threshold score somewhere along the line.
>             For example, if I am the proxy for about 10 people, and thus
> have a proxy score of 10, that might not be enough to justify the
> paperwork of having the government send me a check, etc. So the
> remuneration-weight of my score should be passed along to my proxies, and
> perhaps their proxies, and so on, until it gets to someone who is over the
> minimum threshold. If you like, you could do this in a series of
> successive rounds, such that first you eliminate below-threshold people
> with the very lowest proxy scores, and transfer their remuneration-weight
> before doing the next round of eliminations.
>             For those with modified proxy scores over the threshold, but
> without scores that would entitle them to huge sums of money, you could
> probably just send them a check and not worry too much about what they do
> with it; hoping that they would use it to take more time for research.
> However, you might want to set a money limit, such that remuneration under
> the limit can be used freely, but use of money over the limit would be
> subject to certain rules. You wouldn't want people making hundreds of
> thousands of dollars on the proxy system and then spending it on lavish
> luxury items. I'd say that the above-limit money could only be spent in
> funding research groups that meet certain federal guidelines. A
> super-proxy with a very large modified proxy score could start their own
> research group and automatically be the executive director of that group,
> hiring staff, deciding on the focus of the research, etc. Or, if they
> didn't want all that responsibility, they could hand the money over to
> another accredited research group, or a few different ones. I imagine that
> these research groups would help to further the democratic goals of the
> proxy system.
> James Green-Armytage

  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
            Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                  If you want peace, work for justice.

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