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

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km-elmet at broadpark.no
Fri Jan 23 09:03:55 PST 2009

Juho Laatu wrote:
>>   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
> save.
> 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.

Some idea of what this would lead to can be gathered from states with 
initiative and referendum, where the citizenry can force a referendum or 
the passing of a law. It seems to work in the United States states that 
have them, and also in Switzerland, though the circumstances there are 
more complex.

On the other hand, one could argue that the signature requirements to 
start the referendum process constitutes a form of hysteresis: because 
starting the process requires some effort, the system won't oscillate 

The real trick is to find the balance between something that oscillates 
and something that doesn't respond at all - and that's not a problem 
that's particular to politics, but appears in various guises in all 
kinds of systems involving feedback. Set the PID controller wrong and 
it's off to hunting land...

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