[EM] DP in a legislature

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Mon Mar 6 10:03:31 PST 2006

At 02:30 AM 3/6/2006, Jobst Heitzig <heitzig-j at web.de> wrote:
>To begin with: It might be the case that what you wrote contains the
>answer to what I will ask, but the sheer amount of your postings makes
>it completely impossible to read them in my 15 minutes a day I can afford...

I understand, and regret the volume. I need an editor. Any volunteers? :-)

>Here's the main problem I see when using non-secret proxy systems: If X
>can prove to Y that she named Y as her proxy, then people can buy votes:
>Y can give X money for naming her as proxy. This would result in a
>plutocracy instead of a democracy.

No, that question was not answered specifically. The problem with 
vote-buying is not what people usually think. The problem is secrecy. 
In an FA, nobody would bother to buy votes: it would buy you very little.

In order for vote-buying to make any sense for the buyer, one would 
have to buy off a high-level proxy, and then the proxy would not only 
have to do something contrary to the public interest and the proxy's 
own uninfluenced judgement, but the proxy would have to successfully 
explain this to his or her constituency, who *will* question it. This 
is one reason why the collection factor (the average number of people 
direct represented by a proxy) should be small. If, under those 
conditions, you get back a form letter with some BS explanation, if 
you can't telephone and direct discuss it with your proxy, I'd say it 
is time to change proxies. Further, those lower-level proxies with 
direct access to the corrupted one can think, even if the 
higher-level proxy seems sincere, that he or she is merely 
idiosycratic about that issue, so, if direct voting is allowed (this 
is a very good reason to allow it), they would bypass the proxy and 
vote directly.

At a high level (this would be a high level, just below the 
qualifying level for full participation), proxies will be *very* 
involved and many of them might be attending assembly sessions. For 
them, direct voting would be trivial, and would carry with it all 
their votes. In other words, this high-level proxy, bought at great 
expense, ends up casting one vote (or only a relatively small number of votes).

As I did write, the corrupter ends up with a mouthful of hair.

By the way, we *have* a plutocracy already, and that will not change 
unless the economic system is changed. I'm not recommending that this 
be done in the near future, and I am entirely unsure that it is a 
good idea in the long run. The economic system will, in any case, be 
rather thoroughly reformed, but not by legislation and in a gentle 
way, by the formation of large consumer and employee FA/DP 
organizations. The *customers* have almost total power over the 
plutocrats, but cannot exercise it due to the lack of organization, 
and all attempts to organize consumers so far have created 
oligarchical structures, not democratic structures.

I've been writing that FA/DP will transform society. It is not just a 
casual observation, it is the result of about twenty years of 
studying the concept (as well as quite a bit of experience in 
organizations, particularly nonprofits).

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