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

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Mon Jan 26 19:30:41 PST 2009

Dave Ketchum wrote:

>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_sphere
> Thanks for this.  I did a search on "vot" and am convinced voting is
> not one of their topics - and suspect you stretched to tie it in.

I had to learn new things, and got stretched that way.  I learned
about this concept of the public sphere, which is part of theoretical
social science.  I'm not an expert on it, but I think it fits with the
voting mechanism.  I describe the fit in the original post.  Is
anything stretched?

> I see now you're not offering secrecy.  Seems to me it should not be 
> offered unless whoever is offering is attempting to actually deliver. Thus, 
> while a voter might assert to having voted as stated, secrecy would forbid 
> proving this.

True, I don't offer secrecy, at present - votes are forced to be
openly disclosed.  But, as I concede to Juho, we must eventually add
an option for a secret ballot, so giving the voter a choice of
disclosure type (mixed type 2).

If I understand, you are saying Juho's type 2 is no good?  So, if a
secret ballot is made available to some voters (who demand it), then
it must be forced on all other voters too?  Even on those who demand
open voting?

> Again, the voter does not control secrecy.  Whoever is controlling the 
> method of voting should not claim secrecy unless doing their best to 
> provide as claimed.

Else the voter could be coerced (social pressure) into voting openly,
when she'd rather vote secretly?  (This came up earlier, near top of

>> ... The verification process rests on proving the individual votes
>> of each voter...

> The proxy claims, and needs to be able to prove, authority to vote
> as if 14 voters.

No such claim.  No need for proxy (P) even to be aware she is a proxy.
For example:

(1) The first vote cast, time (t-1):

  P > X

(2) Other votes, subsequently cast at time (t):

  A > P
  B > P
  C > Q
  D > Q
  E > Q
  F > X

(3) Results are computed.  Although the voting is continuous, the
results are computed in a series of snapshots.  So here's a snapshot
at time (t):

   (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) (F)
    |  /    |  /   /   /
    | /     | /   /   /
    |/      |/---    /
   (P)     (Q)      /
    |              /
    |  -----------

(4) Report a summary of these results:
  Candi  Votes
  -date  Received
  -----  --------
     X   4

     Q   3

     P   2
      at time (t)

X is currently winning.  Anyone doubt?  Need only verify the
individual votes (1 and 2), as archived at time (t).  The results will
follow automatically.

> Could be the authority includes some direction as to how to vote - my point 
> is that the proxy could simply be trusted to vote in the permission giver's 
> interest.

(Not sure I understand.)  P may vote as she pleases.  But then again,
A and B may shift their votes.  So voters are looking out for their
own interests.  If P is a good politician, however, she will try to
help wherever possible.  For instance, she will listen to A and B.
She will talk to X on their behalf.  So there will be lots of talking.
That's one reason why this type of voting will fit in the public
sphere, which is essentially a space for talking.

Michael Allan

Toronto, 647-436-4521

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