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Government

Open Source Program To Give Voters More Active Role In Government 60

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-ways-to-express-your-internet-rage dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Argentinian political activists are developing an open source program that will allow voters to direct their representatives on how to vote on certain issues by giving voters a platform to debate and vote on issues themselves. Started as an accompaniment to and a fundamental feature of a new political party in Argentina, Democracy OS is not designed to be anonymous (i.e., no secret ballots, no anonymous comments). 'Fortunately, the software isn't yet being used to gather real votes, just to gather public feedback.' Critics see this program as yet another iteration of Germany's Pirate Party, which could not engage enough voters in its own open source program, Liquid Feedback, to gain any meaningful policy direction from their constituents. German newspaper Der Spiegel once called the movement 'a grassroots democracy where no one is showing up to participate.'"
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Open Source Program To Give Voters More Active Role In Government

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @06:02PM (#46934877)

    A few hundred "activists" who ahve the word "Democracy" in their organization's name are not interested in democracy.

    that will allow voters to direct their representatives on how to vote

    Not really.

  • Now if only Congress would actually be responsible and listen to its constituents.

    --
    If progress is advancement, what is congress ?

    • by Nimey (114278)

      They do listen to their constituents. It's just that their constituents are the people who can afford to donate thousands to millions of dollars to their election campaigns. You're the sucker that provides the fig leaf by voting for them.

      • I think it's called the "separation of powers". Corporations get to choose who you may vote for, but can't vote, you don't have a say on who you can vote on but you may choose from those the Corporations considered good enough for you.

        • I think it's called the "separation of powers". Corporations get to choose who you may vote for, but can't vote, you don't have a say on who you can vote on but you may choose from those the Corporations considered good enough for THEM.

          FTFY.

  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @06:11PM (#46934935)

    All such schemes have the same flaw which is that only a small minority of people have the interest, time and intelligence to understand the issues to a deep enough level to actually make their vote matter more than a random toss of a dart. Hence, that minority controls the process and pretty soon begins to exclude anybody who doesn't fit in with their groupthink, defeating the whole purpose.

    • Change human nature, and you won't need a government. Everybody will cooperate.

    • by s.petry (762400) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @07:15PM (#46935317)

      I agree, but the "Open" system is a proposal for a cure instead of requesting maintenance of the status quot. As someone mentions below, the issues we currently have are only partially related to an clique of self appointed 'elites' running politics. The bigger problem is that information is excluded and muddied so that people have no sense of reality.

      In an "Open" forum I would happily debate Obama, or Biden, or anyone else on foreign Policy for example. I'm not the best or only example either, I can think of many that would do just as well. Stefan Molyneux (even though he's Canadian) and Ron Paul immediately come to mind. If people debated in a controlled forum and saw two sides of a debate, they would automatically be more educated. Currently they only get one side of a debate on nearly all issues of importance.

      For example, how many people would vote for Common Core knowing the complete issue? I have yet to hear any media station talk about the copyright issues, lack of educators on the boards controlling content, lack of ability for educators to influence change in content or curriculum, and how the majority of that information is trademarked and can not be changed. If people knew the rational arguments against, it would not be taken so lightly. What they have today is nothing from media on why it's bad, just that "some [insert ad hominem] is against it".

      Surely I would agree that not every issue would be voted on by every member of the public. It's impossible for everyone to have enough knowledge about every subject to do so, especially when it's not all of our full time jobs to read and process this type of data. It is a politicians job, and look at how many House and Senate members claim ignorance or simply abstain from voting on issues when it's their full time job.

      Having enough debate would surely draw interest, and we would have better than we have now which is only an Oligarchy, Fascism, or Despotism depending on how you are grading our current Government.

      • by Talderas (1212466)

        For example, how many people would vote for Common Core knowing the complete issue? I have yet to hear any media station talk about the copyright issues, lack of educators on the boards controlling content, lack of ability for educators to influence change in content or curriculum, and how the majority of that information is trademarked and can not be changed. If people knew the rational arguments against, it would not be taken so lightly. What they have today is nothing from media on why it's bad, just that "some [insert ad hominem] is against it".

        Indiana was discussing the reasons why common core was bad. The state also stepped away from the program.

    • If someone seriously built a hyper-democracy ap, when revolutions happen, they could just install the proper hardware/software and the people could vote on things at centralized locations. It would likely be better than a straight dictator. If there are problems with majority tyranny, you could do tweaks to certain variables. No one needs to install it right off the bat. You just need to make it, and then let it run for 10-30 years successfully before someone trying it to use in a country.

      You'd start
    • If only.
      The problem is that only a few people have the intelligence and skill, and they do not have the time and/or the interest.
      Random wackjobs have all the time in the world, but none of the intelligence and skill.

    • The difference to now would be what exactly? Except that politicians only get to hear one side of the story, i.e. what the lobbying groups want to tell them.

      Of course only people who are interested in an issue would participate in the discussion. And yes, you'd have the uninterested who neither know anything nor care at all about the subject, just like you do now. They would do what they do now, vote according to their favorite party's line.

      the main difference would probably be that there will be TWO sides

    • by Chozabu (974192)
      Sure - that is a big problem with "Direct Democracy"
      The idea of "Liquid Democracy" is that people can select representatives in various different areas (and they can select sub-representatives, etc)

      At least that's my take on it, and what I am implementing in a distributed F2F manner as a plugin for RetroShare dubbed "Mesh Democracy":
      http://www.chozabu.net/blog/?p... [chozabu.net] or straight to a screenshot http://www.chozabu.net/blog/wp... [chozabu.net]
    • The idea is you allow people to delegate their votes by topic to other people, who may be experts or may simply delegate again, upwards in a tree. You can change your delegations (sort of like revoting in the election) at any time or simply cast a vote on a particular proposal directly yourself. At initialisation time everyone starts out with their votes for all topics delegated to their local elected representative, so it's backwards compatible.

  • The first requirement for a better democracy is
    not more votes on issues
    not more debates
    it is more infomation.

    What is needed is puiblic access to all the background information -

    Who initiated the bill?
    What is the problem it addresses?
    How does it address the problem?
    What are the side affects/other problems that get created or are not covered?
    What are the costs?
    Who bears the costs?
    How will the costs be paid?
    Who benefits?
    Who loses?
    What other problems are there in the area?
    Does this impact any other laws or righ

  • Electronic direct democracy could bring about the next great advancement in human civilization. It would finally free us from democracies that are just various degrees of oligarchy. In China and the US for example the democracy is not much more than skin-deep.

    If a party that rules via EDD wins an election, they will make their country a trailblazer of progress and citizens of other countries will want to follow suit. Countries would soon vote for mincome and begin the transition away from capitalism, unleas

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Electronic direct democracy could bring about the next great advancement in human civilization.

      It could also be hell. Where a popularity contest decide of who live and who die. I don't trust the idiots that use twiter, and neither should you.

      Recently some Jew said 'nigger' in the privacy of his home. Because of this, dozens of niggers are now publicly calling for extermination of Jews on twitter. Do you want to give direct democracy to such idiots?

  • if they could publicly display requests for how to vote from all constituents, and then compare that to how they actually vote.

  • Democracy OS is not designed to be anonymous (i.e., no secret ballots, no anonymous comments)

    That helps to avoid problems with anonymous trolling (the online disinhibition effect [wikipedia.org] or "Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory"). It also would help to avoid outright floods from foreign agents in discussions on foreign policy-related issues. On the other hand, if ballots are secret, then it is troubling that political lobbying by individuals (as opposed to corporations) is not held anonymous, and if people's voting ch

    • It could be done similar to how voting works, just in reverse: Instead of putting an anonymous envelope in the box, you take one out. You go to some federal office where you show who you are, then you get to pick a random envelope containing your personal username and password. Create a law that makes it not only an offense to inform someone about your username but also make asking for it a criminal offense (so nobody can be sensibly pressured into revealing his "online persona").

      Of course that idea needs s

      • by CRCulver (715279)

        You go to some federal office where you show who you are

        I don't think this is a workable solution. One of the reasons for low voter turnout in the US is that going to a special location to vote is burdensome (and some employers won't allow their employees to leave work to vote). The future surely has to be online.

        • You'd have to do that ONCE, not every time there's something to be discussed. If your right to participate in a democracy is not worth spending an hour of your day off at a federal office, you better abstain from voting altogether anyway.

  • Instructions to politicians dictating what to vote for is a fine idea and a great tool to accountability. It will be even better when crowds of taxpayers will be directing how to spend taxes and what taxes to collect. That is when the democracy will start. Just think about it: The government knows income and expenses of every household with scientific precision. Voters, however, use the ballot system inherited from Helenic era.
  • Check out https://www.loomio.org/ [loomio.org]

    The New Zealand Pirate Party has been using it for a while now to debate policy etc...
  • One of the challenges with any democratic system which has voluntary inclusion (e.g. optional voting) is that the voting constituents can be dominated by special interest groups. For example, a religious organisation with a sufficiently large following who are willing to follow the directions of leadership could sway a vote simply because there isn't an organised structure opposing them (so low voter turnout for an opposing position).
    Another challenge is that if you have mandatory inclusion, then you can ha

  • The entire House of Representatives can be completely replaced by virtual entities. Each entity unconditionally votes according to the majority of its voting constituents. It's like an electoral college where each constituency is reduced to a single vote, yet without any human electors who could vote contrary to the majority opinion.

    All bills introduced by the House are drafted by volunteers. Any citizen can volunteer. When enough citizens upvote a proposal, the bill automatically goes up for vote.

  • I actually wanted to make a system like the Liquid Feedback system that would allow people to directly vote for things, or to choose someone to vote on their behalf. In this day and age, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to pick anyone you want as your representative and be guaranteed that they can vote on your behalf no matter how many others do or don't pick that person to represent them. Non-participants would have to get a vote as well, which would have to default to whatever they'd actually vote

  • German newspaper Der Spiegel once called the movement 'a grassroots democracy where no one is showing up to participate.'"

    They were obviously astroturfing by not showing up to participate.

  • Yes you can, you spineless, greedy sons of bitches.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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