PolyDad (polydad) wrote,

White Paper draft for Positive Proxy

Hi, all -- I've finished my first draft of a white paper on Positive Proxy, and would appreciate your input and commentary, on whether it's a good explanation and you feel you understand it, on whether you like it, dislike it, or feel you have a better idea, and on whether this fits your understanding of what a "white paper" is supposed to be.

Here goes:

Positive Proxy is a system to allow for functional direct 21st century democracy. Republican representation has been proven to not work, as have the older top-down dictatorial systems.

The fundamental concept of direct democracy is that nothing gets done unless everybody has had a chance to vote on it. The further concept of a republic was invented to solve the problem of getting all the voters together to vote on things in an era where the fastest mode of either communication or transportation involved sitting on a horse. The United States was founded as, and has been functioning as, a republic for a quarter of a millennium, long enough that we now often assume that “voting” means a method for selecting a representative, rather than a method of approving legislation.

Since we now have near-instantaneous electronic communications, we don’t need to physically gather to make decisions. But the sheer number and complexity of the decisions that need to be made are such that it’s necessary to delegate most of our decision making anyway, because we aren’t capable of even identifying most of the decisions that need to be made when working at it as a full-time job.

In a positive proxy system, instead of electing our representative, we appoint one. Proxies have been used in corporate elections for centuries, so there’s a lot of experience in making them work. Corporations have a different purpose, though; they are using elections as a means of centralizing and preserving power, where as a metaculture (please see) we are interested in distributing power as widely as possible and bringing as much attention as we can to bear on our decision making.

So where in a corporate proxy election one can write a proxy for one’s vote only to the sitting board of directors (thus cementing them in power) and only for the full duration of the annual stockholder’s meeting (the only time you get to be heard), in a Positive Proxy system you can write your proxy to whomever you please, and you can revoke it (and, if you desire, reissue it) at any time, for any reason or none. And if your proxy-holder doesn’t have the resources to do all the remaining necessary research (after you’ve done your own and passed the rest on to them), they can proxy all *their* votes further on to someone else to do the rest – and if you don’t like their decision about whom to delegate to, you can revoke your proxy and grant it to someone else.

There are two other differences between a proxy system and an elected-representative system. The first is that instead of casting a vote, one *attaches* it to a piece of legislation, and if one changes one’s mind, one can *de*tach it just as easily. If a given piece of legislation gets two-thirds of the available votes attached to it, it becomes law, and remains so until the number of available votes attached to it drops below one-third. Since all your attachments are nullified when you die, there’s an automatic ‘sunset’ mechanism – if enough new citizens don’t attach *their* votes to the old law, it ceases to be a law when enough of its original supporters die off. So the system protects itself from ridiculousities like the old Ohio law against women over 200 pounds riding horses sidesaddle.

The other difference is that it uses a completely open-source legislative system. This is relatively new, but neither unique nor untried; the entire Deutsches Reichsgerift (German Federal Legal Code) is kept in a Github repository, where anyone in the world can check out a piece, edit it, and submit it for consideration, and the German government keeps some clerks employed reading the suggestions and passing those of interest on to the legislators.

To implement such a system, while it would be useful to recruit experienced coders and security experts, recruiting intelligent people who are interested in *learning* those specialized skills would be at least complementary to gathering an experienced team, and possibly a fundamentally better approach.


Your thoughts?
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