[EM] Helping the Pirate Party to vanish

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km_elmet at lavabit.com
Sun Mar 17 15:29:22 PDT 2013

On 03/15/2013 09:27 PM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
> At 04:16 AM 3/14/2013, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:
>> On 03/13/2013 05:09 AM, Michael Allan wrote:
>>> If the experts in the Election Methods list can't find a serious fault
>>> with this method, then it might be possible to bring down the party
>>> system in as little as a few years. Mind you, it would be no bad
>>> thing if it took a while longer, given the disruption it might cause.
>> Regarding liquid democracy methods in general, I think the vote-buying
>> problem is pretty serious. Or rather, that's not the worst part of it,
>> but it's a symptom of a more general aspect.
> Kristofer is asseting as a serious problem something on which there is
> zero experience. It's not clear that "vote-buying" is *ever* a serious
> problem. A system that seeks broad consensus, where possible, is only
> "vulnerable" to *truly massive vote-buying," where it is more like
> "negotiation" than "vote buying." I.e., Walmart will donate $100,000 to
> the town if voters allow a store to be sited there. Much more likely to
> be successful than trying to pay voter $100 or whatever and run legal
> risks.

Given that there has been zero experience with the use of liquid 
democracy for the exercise of power, yes, I am asserting something on 
which there is zero experience. There's zero experience either way.

Since I make the assertion, I should provide something on which to base 
it, though. And my assertions are based on analogous systems.

In the matter of vote-buying and coercion, that analogous system is 
simply the election of candidates for office. Vote-buying and coercion 
were here serious enough problems that one moved from the initially open 
ballot onto a secret ballot. Clearly enough, openness at the lower end 
was not a good thing.

The same arguments you provide against vote-buying and coercion could be 
applied to a regular election. You say that vote-buying is illegal. Yes, 
so it is in regular elections, but we still have secret ballots. You say 
that if the small town is too oppressive, then just move. You could say 
that about public balloting for candidate elections, too. And since we 
still have secret ballots, it would seem that those arguments for a 
public ballot are not considered sufficiently strong.

Would you prefer public (open) ballots for regular elections? If not, 
what's the difference between your arguments as applied to liquid 
democracy, and as applied to regular elections?

For that matter, liquid democracy (for the exercise of power) could need 
more protection than ordinary elections. The argument would go something 
like: if a minority is being oppressed in a small town, then it doesn't 
matter because the majority will win anyway. However, being a consensus 
system, liquid democracy needs to protect minorities as well, so that it 
is safe to be a proxy and thus to pull the center of political gravity 
in the right direction.

> First of all, Kristoger is assuming exercise of power through delegable
> proxy. I don't recommend it for that, not without substantial experience
> first. I recommend it for *advisory structures.*

With this (except for the spelling of my name :-), I do agree. If 
experience is the most solid evidence, then let's get some of that 
evidence. And since it's an optional matter whether one follows advice, 
the stakes should be lesser.

I mentioned liquid democracy in the sense of exercising power because 
that was what I was discussing in the parliamentary compromising problem 

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