Author Topic: E-Democracy  (Read 92160 times)

Adios

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 11707
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #225 on: July 22, 2010, 01:37:40 pm »
Hmmm. I wonder how much I could sell my proxy for............

AFK

  • We all
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 33703
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #226 on: July 22, 2010, 01:48:16 pm »
I really dislike the proxy voting idea.  People should be empowered to express THEIR voice.  If the goal is to get people to rally behind an idea or movement, you can do that without a proxy system.  You hold town halls, launch social marketing campaigns, have focus groups, etc., etc.,   Give people good information.  Teach them how to find out more.  Show them how they can help broadcast the information further. 

I think it is moving in the wrong direction to go to a system where people are encouraged to let someone else be their voice.  It not only invites corruption, but it builds in even MORE voter apathy.  We want to move the needle in the other direction towards LESS voter apathy. 
Cynicism is a blank check for failure.

Adios

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 11707
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #227 on: July 22, 2010, 01:50:18 pm »
I really dislike the proxy voting idea.  People should be empowered to express THEIR voice.  If the goal is to get people to rally behind an idea or movement, you can do that without a proxy system.  You hold town halls, launch social marketing campaigns, have focus groups, etc., etc.,   Give people good information.  Teach them how to find out more.  Show them how they can help broadcast the information further. 

I think it is moving in the wrong direction to go to a system where people are encouraged to let someone else be their voice.  It not only invites corruption, but it builds in even MORE voter apathy.  We want to move the needle in the other direction towards LESS voter apathy. 

Correct. The poors proxies would be like feeding time.

Adios

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 11707
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #228 on: July 22, 2010, 01:52:16 pm »
Change is never just one big splash. It is a big splash followed by a hundred ripples.

AFK

  • We all
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 33703
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #229 on: July 22, 2010, 01:59:57 pm »
I am somewhat repeating a point I've made earlier here, but I also think this e-system puts up something of a test for voters.  It isn't an intentional one like the ones used to keep blacks from voting back in the day, but, it will work to weed out certain segments of the local population.  Walking into a booth and checking a box is something most people can handle.  And there are remedies at a live poll for someone with a literacy problem or who speaks English as a second language. 

For an e-system, you have those hurdles, plus the knowledge hurdle of operating a computer, AND navigating the software to participate.  So you really would be taking a few steps back with this new system, as far as fair representation, and I don't see anything in the proposal that sufficiently addresses how to correct that and make it better than the current system. 
Cynicism is a blank check for failure.

Adios

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 11707
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #230 on: July 22, 2010, 02:02:40 pm »
I am somewhat repeating a point I've made earlier here, but I also think this e-system puts up something of a test for voters.  It isn't an intentional one like the ones used to keep blacks from voting back in the day, but, it will work to weed out certain segments of the local population.  Walking into a booth and checking a box is something most people can handle.  And there are remedies at a live poll for someone with a literacy problem or who speaks English as a second language. 

For an e-system, you have those hurdles, plus the knowledge hurdle of operating a computer, AND navigating the software to participate.  So you really would be taking a few steps back with this new system, as far as fair representation, and I don't see anything in the proposal that sufficiently addresses how to correct that and make it better than the current system. 

I agree with you. CU seems to want to rely heavily on the proxy system, which we have pointed out is filled with potential corruption.

Adios

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 11707
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #231 on: July 22, 2010, 02:09:28 pm »
On the proxy, someone could get all the homeless registered to vote and get their proxy. I don't know how many there are in this country right now, but I imagine there are a substantial number.

Old Chicago style politics! Vote early and often!

LMNO

  • Lubricated and Rabid Lungfish of Impending Sexdoom™
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 62820
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #232 on: July 22, 2010, 02:12:08 pm »
Let's back up.

The issue at hand is, as far as I can tell, "how do we get more people involved in the voting process?"  And this thread suggests that using technology to change the way people get elected will enable a deeper involvement with the process.

But even that question implies that there are people who want to get involved who can't.

Under the current system, barring understaffed and undersupplied polling stations, almost everyone who wants to vote, can.  Those that are unable to do so under the current system could be helped by either extending poll hours, facilitating the absentee ballots process, and/or declaring election day to be a federal holiday.

The main problem seems to be that the percentage of eligible voters to actually vote ranges from 40% to 50%. Further complicating matters is that there is a large market-driven industry surrounding the voting process whose purpose is to make appeals to emotion and other fallacies in order to secure people's votes for candidates regardless of their competency.

So we have an end result of a minority of people voting for issues most of them don't understand.  If this problem isn't directly addressed, a new way to vote will be worthless.


On the other hand, if the main issue in this thread is "how to we bring more variety to the voting process," then once again, our current voting process is designed to handle that.  However, this is once again stymied by the electoral marketing forces that spend umpteen dollars convincing the public they only need two parties.  As show previously, a voting system of multiple choices, or even rankings, won't change who gets elected so long as the public remains uninformed about civics and the issues.


So, until we can address the questions of the electoral climate and irrationality, and of voter apathy and ignorance, the entire issue of our voting methods gets a big barstool.

:barstool:

Adios

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 11707
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #233 on: July 22, 2010, 02:19:53 pm »
Nice post DA. Spending caps on television ads, spending limits on campaigns period would help a lot. More direct debates between the candidates and websites with a list of how they feel on the issues would be very nice. For starters.

AFK

  • We all
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 33703
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #234 on: July 22, 2010, 02:29:16 pm »
I think another piece to look at is education.  Just thinking about it in a linear way in terms of the life span.  It would seem to me you could effect more change if you could look at introducing curricula in the adolescent years that really teaches civic engagement, being a part of your community, introduce how public policy works (not just how a bill becomes law), and media literacy.  If we give kids a meaningful set of skills to examine and interpret the policy arena, I think we would find that we would literally be growing a new electorate that is more engaged, makes better* choices, and really looks at the possibilities beyond the R/D paradigm. 

I've been clamoring for just some media literacy in the Maine schools for years now, and there are a few other voices with me, but we need more.  But if there was some strong push behind weaving those things into education, I think we could see a meaningful shift in how the voting behavior of the electorate. 
Cynicism is a blank check for failure.

Adios

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 11707
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #235 on: July 22, 2010, 02:30:41 pm »
I think another piece to look at is education.  Just thinking about it in a linear way in terms of the life span.  It would seem to me you could effect more change if you could look at introducing curricula in the adolescent years that really teaches civic engagement, being a part of your community, introduce how public policy works (not just how a bill becomes law), and media literacy.  If we give kids a meaningful set of skills to examine and interpret the policy arena, I think we would find that we would literally be growing a new electorate that is more engaged, makes better* choices, and really looks at the possibilities beyond the R/D paradigm. 

I've been clamoring for just some media literacy in the Maine schools for years now, and there are a few other voices with me, but we need more.  But if there was some strong push behind weaving those things into education, I think we could see a meaningful shift in how the voting behavior of the electorate. 

I agree completely. Ever think of taking the push national?

AFK

  • We all
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 33703
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #236 on: July 22, 2010, 02:40:51 pm »
I have.  I have two, maybe three years left on this current grant.  I've been thinking about what my next project will be and I think this would be a good one.  Someone get me a truckload of money and I'll run against Olympia Snowe when her term is up and give it a go.  ;) 
Cynicism is a blank check for failure.

Captain Utopia

  • Social Justice Warrior
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 2818
  • Futurologue de Prétention
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #237 on: July 22, 2010, 02:43:22 pm »
Poverty affects your ability to participate in a democracy.  That sucks.  But it is a fact.  Therefore, if I can find a way in which E-Democracy can provide democratic representation for more people in poverty than are covered under the existing system, then I consider that a victory.  Is that logic horribly flawed?

I've asked twice if you have any stats on how many people in poverty currently vote, so I'm going to go with the first thing I google, wow - it's a horrible paper, but it suggests 5% of people in poverty currently vote - that sounds about right, let's run with that then.


You didn't address the issue of informed consent or the issues of people understanding the proxy system.

I'll try again then.

"Instead of picking a president who you want to fight for various issues on your behalf, votes on issues are now made online and everyones vote is equal.  If you have access to a computer you can vote on individual issues yourself, if you don't have computer access then you can proxy your vote to a trusted individual or organisation who will add your vote to theirs - e.g. if you proxy your vote to The United Way, they'll only vote on issues in order to try and reduce homelessness/poverty/etc.  You cannot sell your vote, but you can switch your proxy vote at any time."

Sure - not everyone will be able to understand the concepts in those three sentences, but - crucially - at least 6% will.

Let's face it - what percentage of people today could pass a civics test, never mind just those who have lived their entire lives in poverty?  If you're expecting me to come up with a solution that will be 100% perfect, then I will fail, but only because that expectation is entirely unreasonable.


You also haven't addressed my point of people not being able to find transportation for basics like shopping for food yet you think somehow they are going to get all the way across the city to the library to participate in your e-democracy, that they don't even understand.  You also haven't addressed the issue of cities having the capacities to engage the disadvantaged to educate them and to get them to places with computers.  So how do you address the capacity issues?

If they proxy-vote to The United Way then they'll be better represented then they are currently.  They don't need to even see a computer to do this.

That's how I address all of those issues.  It's not in the form you're asking for because fully re-educating an entire population prior to implementing a new form of Governance is an entirely ridiculous benchmark.  America would still be a British Colony.


Lastly, this idea of changing you vote whenever you want to invites a whole host of problems.  Elected local officials could be recalled at any time.  You would make local govenment TOO fluid, and nothing would get done.  Government does require some level of institutional knowledge.  Fighting gridlock with complete fluidity is not the way to go. 

You're conflating two ideas -- how to elect officials, and how to direct those officials once they are in place.  As you point out, terms for elected officials are quite useful in practice.


Hmmm. I wonder how much I could sell my proxy for............

What, assuming you change the laws about selling your vote first?

Okay - very little.  It's a single vote.  A corporation would need to buy-off a majority of the population in order to pull that off, so it'd hardly be underhand or secret.

But yeah - the law would need to be very clear that votes cannot be sold, and individuals cannot be bound (legally or otherwise) to vote in a particular way.

Captain Utopia

  • Social Justice Warrior
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 2818
  • Futurologue de Prétention
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #238 on: July 22, 2010, 02:56:12 pm »
So, until we can address the questions of the electoral climate and irrationality, and of voter apathy and ignorance, the entire issue of our voting methods gets a big barstool.

I'm thinking in terms of an iterative form of voter education, rather than a ready-made solution, as described here:
  http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=25822.msg900233#msg900233

AFK

  • We all
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 33703
    • View Profile
Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #239 on: July 22, 2010, 03:18:12 pm »
Again, the very idea of the proxy vote is, pardon my bluntness, completely awful.  It does the opposite of empowering people to voice their opinion and to have their say.  It becomes ceded to an organization.  So now, not only do you have powerful corporations influencing elections, you've just given a truckload of power to non-profits and charitable organizations to influence elections.  Especially when the people they are receiving permission to be their proxy vote are desperate for basic needs.  Those people, because of education an literacy issues, can very easily be taken advantage of.  At least when they walk into a voting booth, they know they are casting their vote for their interest. 

If only 5% are voting, we need more mobilization, more empowerment.  Your solution doesn't do that.  It invites more apathy as people can just give their vote away and let someone else do it. 

Forget the proxy vote.  Focus on ways to get people to express their vote for themselves.  Don't add layers and barriers, look to take layers and barriers away.  Get more poor people hooked up with absentee ballots. 

Another point, even if you exclude lawmakers from the construct where people can change their vote at any time, you still have the issue of totally fluid laws.  That kind of fluidity is going to be just as bad for laws as it is for lawmakers.  Changes in laws should be measured and considered.  While the current system is bulky and cumbersome, it does protect against knee-jerk reactions.  While less gridlock is certainly welcome, I'm not sure the body of local law turning on a dime is something we want either.  Especially if those turns are really close together. 
Cynicism is a blank check for failure.