[EM] Trees by Proxy

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sun Mar 25 13:32:28 PDT 2007

On the right to vote in high assemblies:

At 03:31 PM 3/24/2007, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
>What I've assumed is the minimum necessary restriction to
>allow scalability. The right to vote does not impact scalability,
>under most conditions. The right to deliberate does. So I assume that
>delegable proxy assemblies will set rules that permit the relevent
>population to be as fully represented as possible, without making the
>assembly unwieldy. With DP, the assembly can be much smaller than
>would be necessary with a peer assembly, for a given degree of representation.

When I mention that the right to deliberate impacts scalability, I'm 
only referring to the right to take actions that consume the time of 
all participants in a high-level assembly. This includes addressing 
the assembly and introducing motions directly. All of these things 
can still be done indirectly, but require, then, some handling by a 
gatekeeper. In DP, the obvious default gatekeeper is the active proxy 
of the citizen.

Some might assume that proxies would automatically pass on what is 
submitted to them by their clients; this assumption derives from a 
continued assumption that proxies will crave power and thus would 
fear the loss of a client if they refuse to pass on something. 
However, a proxy who does pass on inappropriate material risks more 
than the loss of one client. He or she risks the loss of other 
clients who will consider the proxy responsible for what the proxy 
introduces, and quite possibly the loss of participation privileges 
in the assembly.

As I've written, any assembly is properly free to make its own rules. 
The U.S. House and Senate do so, and there is very little 
constitutional constraint upon it. They can and do censure members. 
The chair can have a rule-violating member removed from the assembly 
-- and this is all subject to majority consent (or at least the 
refusal of a majority to stop it).

For some kinds of questions, proxy voting would not be allowed. These 
would be questions that are called, in Robert's Rules, Questions of 
Privilege. An example would be a motion to turn up the thermostat.... 
These questions affect the personal rights of present participants, 
and so proxy voting wouldn't be appropriate at all.

Most of this simply falls out from standard rules and practice....

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