[EM] Trees by Proxy

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Thu Mar 29 22:02:29 PDT 2007

On Thu, 29 Mar 2007 02:52:20 -0400 Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

> At 01:14 AM 3/29/2007, Dave Ketchum wrote:
>>The real topic here is whether new legislator terms start the 
>>instant someone gets enough proxies filed, or seats change with 
>>enough advance notice for those involved to make needed adjustments.
> That's correct. What I'm suggesting is that voting rights immediately 
> respond, but that deliberation rights float to some degree. You've 
> travelled to the capital, you rented an apartment, and then somebody 
> changes their proxy and you lose your seat?

The proposal here is that proxies become effective (both as to floor 
rights and voting power) some time after filing - I suggest 10 days.  Thus 
you would know your future status for the next 10 days.

Now, if you were on the edge of losing your seat, renting an apartment is 
a bit dumb.  More profitable activities right now would be:
      Campaign to round up some more proxies.
      Concede that you do not have that much support from the voters and 
give up.
      Do a sideways proxy to give a legislator who shares most of your 
goals your votes.

>>>Ketchum has here given an example of a possible problem from 
>>>immediate effectiveness of proxies. I'm suggesting that it isn't a 
>>>problem at all, not if the rules are appropriate. And I am far less 
>>>concerned about delay in a proxy becoming effective than I am about 
>>>the reverse. If my vote isn't counted, that is a small problem. If 
>>>my vote is counted against my specific wishes, that is a large 
>>>problem. And we were talking about revocation of proxies, not of 
>>>the effectiveness of new ones.
>>If a change in proxies means different delays between the old proxy 
>>ending and the new one taking effect, the legislature will have either:
>>     A period with no support for those voters, or
>>     A period when those voters will have double representation.

Abd disagrees, but not convincingly.

> DP and other proxy assemblies can be smaller, ordinarily, than 
> standard peer assemblies, for a given level of completeness of 
> representation. Having ten percent more seats would mean, probably, 
> less than ten percent more communication traffic. Not a drastic 
> change, particularly if temporary.

Interesting thought, and size is a topic for careful thought.  I suggest 
two limitations:
      Number of seats in the legislature, filled by the candidates with 
the most proxies.

     Minimum proxies to occupy s seat.  I suggest 1% to vote; 2% to have 

floor rights and thus full membership

> The confusion arises because we think it best to assign seats based 
> on votes. But that is just an *indication* of whether or not someone 
> should have a seat. I've thought that legislatures might give some 
> people seats who don't have any votes other than their own. 

Interesting thought.  I do not propose such, but do not object to 
legislatures managing such affairs themselves.

>>Direct voting would be a complication that would make the basic 
>>proposal harder to evaluate.  Such comparatively minor changes could 
>>be considered by themselves later.
Abd suggests that direct voting is more important than electing via proxy.  

I disagree.

>>Also, legislators HAD BETTER not vote until they have at least an 
>>opportunity to understand what topic is being voted on (rather than 
>>copying the US Congress which is too much in a habit of voting 
>>without bothering to understand).
> If Ketchum is saying that those who vote should understand what they 
> are voting on, great. But who decides who is competent, who 
> understands enough? My claim is that the proper one to make this 
> evaluation is the voter himself or herself. Direct democracy by DP, I 
> expect, will *increase* the participation power of exactly the right 
> people, those who are widely trusted by those who know them *closely*.

Anyone who is TRULY competent should be able to convince enough voters to 
provide proxies as backing.

>>>>  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.

  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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