Author Topic: E-Democracy  (Read 77713 times)

LMNO

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #285 on: July 23, 2010, 01:34:37 pm »
Other than allowing instant recall of anyone who tries to impliment an unpopular measure, no matter how necessary, what concrete benefit do we get out of all of this?

I'm not proposing instant recall of elected officials.  I did state my preference for term periods, but I guess it got buried.

Okay, let me rephrase:  What possible benefit do we get from this that we don't get from paper ballots?

It allows for smaller issues to be addressed more quickly.  Health Care Reform - a massive percentage of that was agreeable to both sides, but the small percentage of partisan catnip prevented anything happening for months.  Also, this would seem to marginalise highly partisan groups, since they'd no longer be able to hold up the whole show.  Voter education, apathy, participation.  Things actually getting done is better than nothing getting done, even if there are a few fuckups.

I'm summarising here, partly because I've gone into more detail ITT, but also because it'd be a good thing to chew over and add to the OP.

In other words, we're back to direct democracy, yes?  The citizenry makes laws, not the elected representatives.

AFK

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #286 on: July 23, 2010, 01:48:24 pm »
I'd just like to note, that if it weren't for direct democracy, gay marriage would still be legal in Maine right now.  It was the PEOPLE who overturned it. 

Just some food for thought.
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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #287 on: July 23, 2010, 07:16:42 pm »
In other words, we're back to direct democracy, yes?  The citizenry makes laws, not the elected representatives.

Maybe eventually, if DD was able to prove itself a responsible and effective way to govern.  But before we start with a requiem for Socrates, let me explain.

The practical model I'm focused on right now is along the lines of Senator On-Line, where the public decides how it wants the Senator to vote on every bill.  So far this involves keeping all the existing legislative structures and safeguards, but replacing the decision-making process.  Now the Senator could absolutely disregard the peoples will.  If it was a bad call, it would obviously impact chances of re-election, or maybe you impose a one-term limit.  But in terms of implementation, all of the technology to do this is already proven - we could do it now if we had the will.  However, in the last real election the SOL candidate got 0.06% of the popular vote, so there is some distance left to go before we'll get the chance to try it out.


The theoretical model I'm also looking at goes beyond this - here I'm more interested in whether we could expand our social networks into networks of trust and expertise, able to divide monolithic legislation into smaller/targeted/relevant chunks, and in the process come up with more effective decisions more efficiently without the undue effects of political partisanship.  If proxy voting was implemented, then it would avoid the problem of the uninformed traipsing over issues they know little about.. although contentious issues could potentially devolve into DD, with everyone overriding their proxy-vote.  I've discussed various motivations in play which would reduce this risk, but it even with such a system in place, there is no test which would absolutely prove that we wouldn't choose to abuse it.  So the question I ask is how effective would those motivations be?  I do not think it is desirable to have a system which is 100% foolproof.

Any system which cannot be abused also imprisons you.

The most realistic strategy I see for this is to implement it as a separate and parallel/shadow initiative.  Run it over a period of time with as large a group as possible.  If it proves its worth, it may become noteworthy/politically relevant and increasing its userbase.  If it becomes noteworthy, it may become part of political decision making.  That's a chain of maybes, but I think it's the path of least resistance.

Captain Utopia

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #288 on: July 23, 2010, 07:29:21 pm »
Please consider the point whereby the majority of issues would not be monolithic thousand-page reforms but minor informed tweaks.

Yes there may be a period of chaos.  But consider this as a process, it's not like we're stuck with a single idea for a decade, unable to modify our course - if things get too chaotic - and a majority of people decide to continue, then who are we to say what is best for them? 

If things really get chaotic though, doesn't it seem likely that we'd all just start talking about that problem and come up with a way to solve it by making things less fluid for a while?

Okay, so Town X passes a law to require your headlights must be on when you use your windshield wipers.  Two months later,there is a movement to overturn this because people find it inconvenient to have to remember that, so the law is overturned.  3 days later, there is a horrific pile-up because someone didn't see another car coming because it was drizzly and they didn't have headlights on.  A new movement reinstates that headlight law.  So, within a few months you've had the law change 3 times.  

Do you think the citizenry is going to be able to keep up with all of this.  What about law enforcement officials who need to keep track of all these changes and adjust training curriculum and enforcement activities with each change?  

So how about this instead -- each resolution needs to include a realistic plan for its implementation.  By realistic I mean, if your plan involves changing regulations which law enforcement needs to train itself for and uphold, then you don't write into law that the regulation will be enforced tomorrow.  Instead you solicit/accept input from the relevant stakeholders.  If you need 21 days to retrain officers and advertise the change to the population, then you add that to the resolution.

Key to the e-dem concept is that I could vote one way on an issue today, talk with a friend tonight, and change my vote - while the vote remains open.  But once an issue has been decided/closed, a vote placed in that cannot be changed.  A separate issue would be required to repeal, and it would also require its own implementation plan.

In the case of the Army and DADT, a populace may decide to call the bluff, and disregard the input from the stakeholders.  I do have faith that if something like that turned out to be the wrong decision, then it would reduce the likelihood of similar mistakes happening in the future.

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #289 on: July 23, 2010, 07:30:18 pm »
FictionPuss, you have turned into a complete douchebag.
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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #290 on: July 23, 2010, 07:39:06 pm »
FictionPuss, you have turned into a complete douchebag.

I'd argue that.  He was hilarious as the triumphant return of Moonkitten.

But yeah, this obsession is getting a little old.
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LMNO

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #291 on: July 23, 2010, 07:52:10 pm »
So, calling your congressman is too antiquated?

Captain Utopia

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #292 on: July 23, 2010, 08:02:50 pm »

Uh-huh.  First you mock me for not having any details behind my thoughts, and now you put the boot in when I describe and discuss those details when other people address them.

Playing the jester is approved, original thought which doesn't fit the doom-and-gloom narrative will be treated as heresy.

I'll talk about whatever I want to, thanks all the same.

Captain Utopia

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #293 on: July 23, 2010, 08:04:01 pm »
So, calling your congressman is too antiquated?

Compared with having a direct impact on events from your phone or computer, yes, definitely.

LMNO

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #294 on: July 23, 2010, 08:05:48 pm »
Wait, how?

You have an elected representative, and you use a piece of technology to tell him how you feel on an issue.  I'm still not seeing it, I guess.  Unless you're circumventing the legislative process, of course.

AFK

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #295 on: July 23, 2010, 08:13:42 pm »
Please consider the point whereby the majority of issues would not be monolithic thousand-page reforms but minor informed tweaks.

Yes there may be a period of chaos.  But consider this as a process, it's not like we're stuck with a single idea for a decade, unable to modify our course - if things get too chaotic - and a majority of people decide to continue, then who are we to say what is best for them? 

If things really get chaotic though, doesn't it seem likely that we'd all just start talking about that problem and come up with a way to solve it by making things less fluid for a while?

Okay, so Town X passes a law to require your headlights must be on when you use your windshield wipers.  Two months later,there is a movement to overturn this because people find it inconvenient to have to remember that, so the law is overturned.  3 days later, there is a horrific pile-up because someone didn't see another car coming because it was drizzly and they didn't have headlights on.  A new movement reinstates that headlight law.  So, within a few months you've had the law change 3 times.  

Do you think the citizenry is going to be able to keep up with all of this.  What about law enforcement officials who need to keep track of all these changes and adjust training curriculum and enforcement activities with each change?  

So how about this instead -- each resolution needs to include a realistic plan for its implementation.  By realistic I mean, if your plan involves changing regulations which law enforcement needs to train itself for and uphold, then you don't write into law that the regulation will be enforced tomorrow.  Instead you solicit/accept input from the relevant stakeholders.  If you need 21 days to retrain officers and advertise the change to the population, then you add that to the resolution.

You'll need far more than 21 days.  The Arizona immigration will be going into law next Thursday and it was passed by the legislature months ago.  It takes a long time to get these things into place.  It will take 21 days just to make all of the phone calls to organize the trainings.  This is what I'm talking about with the excessive fluidity of your model.  

Quote
Key to the e-dem concept is that I could vote one way on an issue today, talk with a friend tonight, and change my vote - while the vote remains open.  But once an issue has been decided/closed, a vote placed in that cannot be changed.  A separate issue would be required to repeal, and it would also require its own implementation plan.

I see no benefit in this whatsoever.  The way it currently works now is that the citizenry already knows what questions are coming up for referendum way in advance of the actual election.  Citizens have ample time to talk to their friends, do research, and come to a firm conclusion of where they stand on the issue.  Then they cast their vote.  What's wrong with that?  

And we already have a system in place where a separate issue can be put on the table to repeal.  It happens here in Maine all the time.  One year a referendum will pass to legalize X.  Citizens gather signatures to put a question on the next ballot to repeal that.  This can happen on an annual basis already.  And honestly I think that is fucked up.  Your system seems like it would amp that up and make it happen even faster.  That fluidity in the law will put a lot of stress on the community.  

Quote
In the case of the Army and DADT, a populace may decide to call the bluff, and disregard the input from the stakeholders.  I do have faith that if something like that turned out to be the wrong decision, then it would reduce the likelihood of similar mistakes happening in the future.

Wrong according to who?  Mistakes according to who?  You seem to have an assumption in your model that there will be this kumbaya rationality amongst the e-democracy participants.  Maybe that works in a little WOW group playing e-democracy.  But if you expand it to a community, a society, a populace, that shit goes out the window right fast.  It's mob rule.  
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AFK

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #296 on: July 23, 2010, 08:17:49 pm »
Wait, how?

You have an elected representative, and you use a piece of technology to tell him how you feel on an issue.  I'm still not seeing it, I guess.  Unless you're circumventing the legislative process, of course.

My interpretation of this is he is essentially taking the referendum process, or citizens initiative process that exists in most states, and putting it on speed.  So instead of putting questions and proposals on ballots every November.  They go up at will whenever some group decides a law needs to be changed, added, or repealed. 

So if pd.com was the community:  I want to repeal the 50-post rule.  I post something that says so.  The majority agrees and then it is passed.  2 months later, you decide that is bullshit and want to put it back.  You post something, and we go through it again.  Wash, rinse, repeat....CU, feel free to correct me where I am off but that is how I'm reading what you are selling. 
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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #297 on: July 23, 2010, 08:20:35 pm »
How about an non-negotiable law that says if a law is repealed a third (or second) time, it stays off the books.

AFK

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #298 on: July 23, 2010, 08:20:46 pm »
So, calling your congressman is too antiquated?

Compared with having a direct impact on events from your phone or computer, yes, definitely.

Funny story.  So we have an alcohol enforcement officer here in my community.  A big chunk of his salary was coming from the state office of substance abuse.  they announced that funding was shriveling like a prune.  We discovered we weren't going to have enough money to pay for the officer.  We contacted our state senator, told her the story.  Through the magic of the legislation process, she found a pot of money to funnel to the police department so that work could continue.  Want to take a guess at how long all that took?  
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LMNO

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #299 on: July 23, 2010, 08:25:01 pm »
My interpretation of this is he is essentially taking the referendum process, or citizens initiative process that exists in most states, and putting it on speed.  So instead of putting questions and proposals on ballots every November.  They go up at will whenever some group decides a law needs to be changed, added, or repealed. 

I quietly point to California's pending economic collapse, and then to California's wide use of referendums to decide tax and budget issues.