[EM] Trees by Proxy

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Sun Mar 25 21:14:18 PDT 2007

On Sun, 25 Mar 2007 16:32:28 -0400 Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

> On the right to vote in high assemblies:
> At 03:31 PM 3/24/2007, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

I have to object to Abd's reference here to "delegable proxy assemblies". 
  While I use proxies in electing legislators, the context is enough 
different that the labels batter be kept different.

He talks about a "gatekeeper".  NOT appropriate here since I say nothing 
about the informal communication that does now, or would occur in the 
future, between voters and legislators.

Ignore the rest.


>>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....

  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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