[EM] participatory democracy

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Fri Jun 30 07:43:04 PDT 2006

At 12:24 AM 6/30/2006, Anthony O'Neal wrote:

>Nanson (that Australian fellow who created Nansons method, which is 
>the only Condorcet method to have ever been implemented in a real 
>election, something worthy of note since it was one of the simpler 
>ways to do Condorcet) created a method over 100 years ago that he 
>saw as a solution to STV's problem... as many candidates from each 
>district are elected as there are candidates, and they have as many 
>votes in parliament as they had votes from constituents.

Proxy voting. Standard in business, why not in democracy?

Thank you *very much* for the reference.

>   The person who reviewed this immediately criticized the idea, by 
> saying that it would create a very large legislature.

If so, why do not the shareholder meetings of corporations with broad 
ownership become "very large."

>  It would be easy to compensate for it's flaws, however, by simply 
> limiting the amount of representatives that can be admitted to the 
> house, and allowing candidates unelected to transfer their votes to 
> other candidates.

In other words, Asset Voting, which can create a peer legislature.

>   The real problem I see is in the legislative rules, as it would 
> no longer be a peer assembly.

Asset Voting works. My opinion is that pure proxy will also work. It 
is not like it is an untried method!

>   Also, people would view it as unstable, a notion which I find a 
> preposterous propaganda scam against all PR systems.  Hey, one 
> party systems were also very "stable".

The argument is very familiar: it is a generic argument against 
democracy and for oligarchy. The people are not to be trusted to 
govern themselves, there will be mob rule, etc., etc.

>I also re-invented an exactly simialar scheme a few years ago.  The 
>notion is obvious, why should someone have the same amount of votes 
>in a legislauture as someone whom more people support?

Like, duh! What took us so long to figure this out? Nanson suggested it.

But the real reason is that this proposal would shift the power 
balance, and those with excess power at the present would resist it. 
They *do* resist changes like this.

However, there is nothing to prevent the people from organizing 
directly, except a habit of thinking of the government as their 
organization. Yes, it is, in any democracy, to a degree, their 
organization, but it cannot function as the necessary communication 
mechanism if it is tied to property and sovereignty. Thus the 
organization needs to be a different kind of organization than people 
are accustomed to. It needs to be a Free Association, my term for 
organizations taking the hint from Alcoholics Anonymous. There is 
extensive literature on this, written by Bill Wilson, the founder. He 
analyzed what went wrong with temperance organizations before, and 
essentially fixed the problems with the Twelve Traditions.

It is a generic fix, most of it.

>But elections are just drilled into the head of people.  We have to 
>be realistic about things.

Yes. But we can create an entirely new system *outside* of the halls 
of power. And, if the society is a democracy, and if this new 
organization is actually as successful as its design would predict, 
it will then have the power to change the political system.

My opinion is that this is really 1, 2, 3. Each step follows quite 
clearly, once one examines it in detail, from the step before.

But most people won't even look at it. This will *not* stop the plan, 
and the behavior of people is quite functional; it protects them from 
the noise of cockamamie political schemes. All that is necessary is 
that people who understand it start to implement the 3 C's: 
communication, coordination, and cooperation.


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