[EM] Trees by Proxy

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Sun Mar 25 23:51:24 PDT 2007

On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 00:18:00 -0400 Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

> At 05:43 PM 3/25/2007, Juho wrote:


>> (This
>>applies also to many other discussions on this mailing list on the
>>relative merits of different voting methods and discussions on "which
>>one is best".) To me it seems obvious that FAs and legislative
>>processes need different parameters, the expected behaviour of voters/
>>members is different etc. Often concrete examples of the intended
>>environment help me in understanding what cases the discussed
>>theoretical concept are expected to cover. Proxies can be used in
>>many different ways, as this stream of discussion proves.


> As described, Trees by Proxy so constrains the citizens that some of 
> this is lost, though it is unclear to me that these constraints are 
> essentials of the system, but rather seem to me to be artifacts of 
> the theoretician's additional opinions. For example, if we imagine 
> Trees by Proxy as proposed by Ketchum, and then we add to it the 
> following provisions:
> (1) Voters may vote directly at any assembly by showing up and 
> voting, technical constraints permitting. This presence does not, in 
> itself, give them other participation rights.

Two thoughts:
      This is not normal for legislatures and not needed for what I 
propose, so talking of it would be a distraction.
      For some legislature to do this would be to make up their own luck.

> (2) Proxy assignments can be revoked at any time by notice to the 
> affected bodies by the principal.

Since I propose EXACTLY this, sounds like carelessness.

Actually, he wants them to take effect instantly - something I see as too 

> These changes would bring the proxies into conformance with the basic 
> concept I've described, and it is not clear to me that they would 
> alter the basic function of Trees by Proxy, except to make it more 
> democratic and free.

In what follows he seems to want a legislature to have unlimited freedom 
in setting up its own rules.

While a legislature should have some rule making ability, I believe 
experience has shown that much of the rules BETTER be standardized.


> In considering these matters, one thing has become clear to me, that 
> there are two sources of power and function. Voting rights come from 
> the citizen and depend totally upon the continued consent of the 
> citizen, who can substitute his own vote as desired (where practical, 
> and generally it could be made practical), but "floor rights" are 
> granted by a deliberative body, according to its rules. Floor rights 
> might depend, provisionally, on, say, the number of proxies held, but 
> they need not be restricted to this, and, in particular, an assembly 
> could continue the floor rights of a member for a time even if the 
> member loses proxies to fall below an established threshold. There is 
> no harm in this; the *voting power* of the member is reduced. 
> Similarly, an assembly might delay the admission of a new member 
> based on number of proxies held having reached the threshold.
> It's all about what the *assembly* decides. And with proxy voting as 
> the norm and direct voting allowed, it would seem that we would have 
> the best aspects of direct democracy and representative democracy combined.

  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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