[EM] Trees by Proxy

Juho juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Mar 18 13:47:15 PDT 2007

>      This is a different way to assign legislative power - no  
> elections.  Still, this could be implemented first at village, or  
> village+town levels, without involving higher levels of government  
> until/unless it was accepted.

>      That a proxy becoming effective is heard instantly all the way  
> to the top - region or country - means that it does not take long  
> for a rep's power to reflect quality.

A positive thing in "continuous elections" and instantaneous effect  
of voter decisions is that the delegates will respect the wishes of  
their supporters, voters may influence the developments also between  
election days, and representatives can not do bad or unwanted  
decisions (e.g. raise their own salaries) and hope hat they will be  
forgotten before the next election day. The negative side of this is  
that representatives may become overly populist and will be not be  
able to drive long term plans that include both popular and less  
popular parts.

It is for example possible that the community needs more money and  
the representatives make a 60%-40% decision to raise taxes. But as a  
result large pat of those representatives that voted for the tax  
raises will be kicked out of the office the very next day. Maybe  
there would be some hysteresis in kicking them out, but in general,  
those populists that voted "no" even if they thought "yes" will maybe  
keep their seats with better probability. In the traditional system  
with elections every few years the time between elections can be used  
so that first taxes are raised and before the elections the benefits  
(if any) of the tax raises are already visible and can be explained  
to the voters.

One should thus plan the balance between these targets carefully for  
each environment where the "continuous elections" are used. One could  
e.g. use hysteresis and delays where needed.


If one wants to maintain the close personal links between the voters,  
and at the same time keep the number of representatives and layers  
small, and still keep good proportionality, then allocating different  
voting power to different representatives (as proposed) is one  
possible tool in trying to achieve this.


I lean in the direction of (as a main rule) letting the votes  
determine who will be elected and letting the candidates/ 
representatives decide after the elections (on other matters than the  
outcome of the election). Safer so. Good justification needed for  
using extra layers. (Not out of question though - I can imagine e.g.  
some complex and expertise and scientific background requiring  
decision to be made by first electing experts whose only task is to  
elect the best proposal.)


On Mar 18, 2007, at 10:59 , Dave Ketchum wrote:

> Abd has good ideas under the labels Assets and Delegable Proxy, but  
> they are buried in so many books of words that extracting useful  
> value is difficult.
> Here Juho offers a useful framework to build on, so I will try some  
> building.
> Guidelines:
>      Tailor numbers as further thought dictates - I am just trying  
> for ideas.
>      Juho's village, town, etc. are nominal goals for sizes - given  
> 350 people they should be around 3 or 4 "villages".
>      Borrow proxies fresh from corporate stockholder usage.  Their  
> effectiveness starts at midnight 10 days after filing; ends 10 days  
> after a replacement is filed or signer dies.
>      Representatives, such as Juho's 5 from a village in a town  
> government,  have power according to how many effective voter  
> proxies they hold, directly or indirectly:
>           Must hold 1% of a legislature's proxies to be able to  
> vote there.
>           Must hold 2% of a legislature's proxies to have full  
> capabilities of being a legislator - offering bills, debating, etc.
>           Limit on voting power is 40% of proxies voted in any vote  
> - no czars allowed.
>           Sideways proxy - possible for representatives to be too  
> weak above.  Such can pass what they hold to others for legislature  
> participation.  This does not release anyone from the above limit,  
> nor does it affect what anyone passes up to others via proxies.
> Thoughts:
>      This is a different way to assign legislative power - no  
> elections.  Still, this could be implemented first at village, or  
> village+town levels, without involving higher levels of government  
> until/unless it was accepted.
>      Citizens can be 2 years old.  Need to fit them in.
>      Given 70 czar votes and 30 non-czar votes, a 40% limit would  
> mean counting 20 czar votes for 50 total votes counted.
>      Given a 2000 voter town 2% would be 40.  Assuming 40 voters  
> thinking alike, but scattered around the town, gave 40 proxies to 3  
> reps, the reps would not each have power to participate in town  
> government, but could use sideways proxies to give one of them  
> power of a full rep.  When you get to region you both keep size of  
> legislature manageable and give small groups some chance to be heard.
>      Voting power is based on effective proxies held.  Takes  
> computers but, with them, such vote counting is practical.  Could  
> make sense for each rep to have one vote for such as whether it is  
> time for lunch.
>      That a proxy becoming effective is heard instantly all the way  
> to the top - region or country - means that it does not take long  
> for a rep's power to reflect quality.
>      Given that it takes time for a proxy change to become  
> effective means both:
>           Voters and reps had best consider carefully who they give  
> proxies to.
>           There is time to do the accounting so that a change takes  
> effect when promised.
> On Sun, 18 Mar 2007 00:16:45 +0200 Juho wrote:
> Subject: Re: [EM] Trees and single-winner methods
>> On Mar 17, 2007, at 8:02 , Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
>>> Asset Voting simply uses this; it assumes that if we would vote  
>>> for  someone for the office, we would trust that person to  
>>> choose  reasonably well a replacement for himself or herself if  
>>> he or she  is unable to serve for whatever reason. If actually  
>>> elected, this  is really what is going to happen with respect to  
>>> much that is  covered under the duties of high office.
>>> And given that voting under Asset becomes totally free of the  
>>> need  for strategic considerations: just vote for the candidate  
>>> you most  trust! -- I should be able to focus entirely on  
>>> candidate  qualifications.
>> One could also say that Asset voting is not free of the need for   
>> strategic considerations but that the strategic considerations get  
>> so  complex that the the votes could as well forget them. I mean  
>> that as  a voter I might be thinking that I know candidate A quite  
>> well and he  would probably behave in a certain way when  
>> participating the further  negotiations and elections, and  
>> therefore it would be strategically  optimal to vote for him. But  
>> as said, this may be too complex to manage.
>>> Given, again, that there is no need that the "candidate"  
>>> actually  be elected or electable, I can choose a candidate whom  
>>> I personally  know. I expect the numbers of candidates to blossom  
>>> if Asset is  adopted. And the result will be much closer to what  
>>> a hiring search  would produce.
>> Many points in your mail dealt with knowing the candidates   
>> personally. If we want this property, the basic model in my mind  
>> is  to arrange more levels in the representational system.
>> Let's start from a village of 100 inhabitants. Everyone knows most  
>> of  the other inhabitants quite well. The village elects 5 of the   
>> inhabitants to represent the village in communication towards he   
>> external world.
>> Then 20 villages send all their 5 representatives to a town  
>> meeting.  All 100 meeting participants know each others reasonably  
>> well since  this group has made decisions together many times  
>> before. The meeting  elects 5 of the participants to represent the  
>> town in communication  towards the external world.
>> Then 20 towns form a region. Now we already cover a population of   
>> 40'000. The next level covers population of 800'000. Then  
>> 16'000'000,  320'000'000 and 6'400'000'000. And finally we have 5  
>> persons that  could represent the earth in communication with  
>> other civilizations,  if needed.
>> One key positive thing in this scenario is that the  
>> representatives  are always in direct contact with the people who  
>> elected them and  therefore need to be able to explain to them at  
>> personal level the  rationale behind whatever decisions or  
>> negotiations they work with.  One key negative thing in this  
>> scenario is that the direct  responsibility may fade away when the  
>> distance from the village  people to the top level decision makers  
>> increases. It is e.g.  possible that the people at the top  
>> consider themselves to be more  clever and more important than the  
>> people that elected them, they may  consider their closest  
>> colleagues and direct electors more important  than those at the  
>> lower levels.
>> Clearly there is a tradeoff between knowing your nearest   
>> representatives at personal level, and electing your top level   
>> representatives directly but knowing them only via TV. To me the   
>> additional layer of representatives and negotiations that you   
>> discussed represents in some sense adding one step in this hierarchy.
>> Direct democracy has some benefits and the model above has some.  
>> Same  with weaknesses.
>> Juho
> -- 
>  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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