[EM] Trees by Proxy

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Wed Mar 28 01:07:40 PDT 2007

On Tue, 27 Mar 2007 11:32:01 -0400 Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

> At 01:10 AM 3/27/2007, Dave Ketchum wrote:
>>>What Ketchum is doing is to elect a legislature by proxy, and 
>>>apparently to maintain the variable voting power of proxies, but he 
>>>would retain terms of office. Thus he loses a key aspect of proxy 
>>>democracy, which is continuous representation.
>>I have said NOTHING about terms of office.
> Sorry. He referred to a specific time before the effectiveness of a 
> revocation of proxy. That establishes a minimum term of office.

Not quite, assuming that is minimum time for a legislator to BE a 
legislator.  Try:
      Tomorrow AM proxies get filed for A.
      Tomorrow 1 PM same givers file for B in place of A.
      Next day same givers file for C in place of B.

Since proxies take effect at midnight, ten days after filing, A
never gets to be a legislator via these proxies.

B holds office for ONE day before being replaced by C (assuming B and C 
hold no proxies other than these).

>>  A proxy giver can change the proxy AT ANY TIME.
We are fighting over the meaning of words.  Hopefully the above 

example will clarify what I am proposing.

> Here is what Ketchum wrote originally:
>>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.

A thought for Abd:  Assume you thought of being a county legislator. 
Suppose you then got a call:  "Hey, Abd, proxies have been filed so you 
have a job - be down here in TEN MINUTES to take your seat, ready to vote."

Presently we elect most legislators in Nov., they take office a few weeks 
later, and we are stuck with them for a year or more.

Switching to election by proxy is an enormous change and deserves giving 
it a chance without turning upside down things that are not a necessary 
part of that.

There is nothing magic about exactly ten days, and this would deserve 
review as part of planning to make the switch.

Also, at least in New York, our Constitution specifies that VOTERS must 
approve before certain legislative actions can take place.  Our laws 
restrict others.

Legislatures properly enact their own rules for details, but do have to 
live under the above.

Abd mentions corporate activity, apparently not noticing that stockholders 

generally meet to do their activity once per year.

A note about some stockholders:  Last year one corporation's stockholders 
proposed that majority voting was plenty enough, and agreed to that at the 
annual meeting.  NY's Business Corporation Law requires approval of 2/3 of 
outstanding shares for certain activity.  So this year we shall see if 
that 2/3 will agree to changing 2/3 to majority for the future.

>>  I specify a delay between filing the change and it's taking 
>>effect because I see the legislature needing to know the effects 
>>coming up in time to make adjustments - including such as new 
>>legislators preparing to be legislators before the day they start doing.
> What adjustments? What "preparation?" Proxy assignments affect the 
> *votes* of legislators, not how they prepare to vote. Yes, we have 
> proposed that floor rights depend on the number of proxies held, but 
> this is an all-or-nothing assignment, and is presumably based on 
> status at a certain point in time. Changing the *number* of votes 
> held by a legislator with floor rights need not have any immediate 
> effect on those rights.

He did not get ANY rights until he got to hold enough proxies.  I do 
propose getting voting rights on less proxies than for floor rights - 
which usually would mean paying attention to floor activity in order to 
vote intelligently before getting floor rights.

> This is quite separate from my proposals to allow direct voting. 
> Direct voting is a means whereby a voter can, measure-by-measure, 
> overrule his proxy without revoking the proxy. The desirability of 
> this is so obvious that I'm not even going to argue it any more....

Another complication that is best left out of the primary proposal though, 
perhaps, considered as an add on.

>>A problem I have not mentioned - I am not sure the recording of 
>>proxies can be both effective and secret - and feel secrecy is not 


  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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