[EM] Implementing Practical Democracy with Votorola

Fred Gohlke fredgohlke at verizon.net
Sat Mar 28 08:04:26 PDT 2009

Good Morning, Michael

re: "Trust is only for compiling the voter list.  If a few
      neighbours extend their trust to you, they are vouching that
      your on-line registration is honest - that you're a real
      person, living at the specified street address.  That's all.
      If a site administrator already had an authenticated voter
      list (somehow), then Votorola's trust network wouldn't be

Got it.  I was thinking in terms of elections with known participants; 
governments, boards of directors, unions, and so forth.  I hadn't 
considered elections among an amorphous, undefined group.

If you have an authenticated voter list, can you handle the random 
assignment of voters to triads, record the triads' selections, and 
generate new triads from the results?

re: "For PD, the vote shifts will be restricted by triads and
      stages.  Here's one way to restrict them: ..."

I looked at the material at the link you gave me, and I'm flattered you 
think I'd understand it.  But, I don't have to understand it.  I'm sure 
you can make it do what needs to be done.  As long as we agree on what 
we want to accomplish, I've no doubt you can make it happen.

re: "We can use other channels (like mail) for delivering reading
      material to the voters.  And they can use other channels
      (mail, phone, face-to-face) for general discussion.
      Votorola is a specialized medium, only for the purpose of
      communicating assent (votes).  It has no other purpose.
      (Think of it as a polling station.  You go there only to


re: "The only measure of political support is the quantity of
      votes received.  PD requires no other measure, I gather."

You gather correctly.

re: "Where it could help in terms of guidance, I think, is in
      normative voting.  Votorola allows candidate norms to be
      openly proposed, composed and voted on.  This occurs in
      separate polls, one for each candidate norm.  The results
      might guide officials in their choices of which laws to
      pass, which plans to execute, and which policies to follow."

I'm sorry, Michael, but I don't know what normative voting is.  My 
electoral horizon is limited to people and issues.  Perhaps I should 
infer that what you are calling a 'norm' is what I would call an issue, 
but since I find it difficult to communicate ideas clearly and 
effectively, I have an aversion to making assumptions about the meanings 
of terms.

Fred Gohlke

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