[EM] The structuring of power and the composition of norms by communicative assent

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Jan 21 09:59:52 PST 2009

--- On Wed, 21/1/09, Michael Allan <mike at zelea.com> wrote:

> Juho Laatu wrote:
> > I don't see any big conflict. They are
> > free to speak even if the society does
> > not provide them with tools to prove
> > to others how they voted. (And they
> > can still tell others how they voted.)
> The problem was to design a democracy in which people:
>   * are free to engage with political issues;
>   * know this, and are continually reminded of it;
>   * yet fail to do so.
> The design solution was:
>   a) a single vote, every 4 years or so
>   b) mass voting for a few pre-selected candidates

Could be also numerous.

>   c) secret ballot
>   d) no voting on laws, only on the law makers

Yes, there are not many direct
democracies. (One justification is
that this work requires expertise.
I don't fully buy this though.
Proxies and modern means of
communication also help.)

> Now the problem is to design a substansive democracy, in
> which
> political engagement is a fact. 

Probably you can not force it, but
you can make participation easier and

> Oddly, the preceding
> design need not
> be altered.  It remains essential.  All we need is to add a
> separate,
> primary voting system,

I didn't yet quite understand what
parts of the old system are kept and
what will be replaced with the new

> with these counter-features:
>   a) continuous results, with shifting votes

Maybe mostly positive, but also
something negative.

>   b) peer-to-peer voting, with no pre-selected candidates

You may need also some approval from
the citizens to become candidates.
(Or alternatively you could allow them
to indicate if they will not accept
the role of a proxy.)

>   c) open ballot

What was the reason why you consider
open vote to be a requirement? (or a 

>   d) voting on laws, too

I read this as allowing individual
voters to vote directly too, without
any proxies between them and the
decisions (on laws and on anything).

Quite OK but I have some concerns
on what will happen in the tax
raise questions. It is possible that
the society would spend more than

One could set some limits on the
number of levels. One could e.g.
allow only proxies with n votes to
vote in certain questions. Use of
hysteresis could help making the
role of proxies of different levels
clear (last minute decisions or
alternative direct and proxy votes
would be more complex).

The proxy systems may allow (also
for other reasons) different proxies
or direct voting to be used for
different questions.


> -- 
> Michael Allan
> Toronto, 647-436-4521
> http://zelea.com/
> ----
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