Chris (inferno0069) wrote,

Direct Democracy

Inspired by Patri's recent democracy post and this comment...

In what ways would an electronic direct legislature be fundamentally worse than our current n-year-term weighted-representative 2-house-and-a-president legislature?

The first big problem I can see is introducing legislation; just letting anything come from anyone in the country to immediately be voted on by everyone would be too chaotic. Perhaps there'd be something based on the current representative structure with people whose job is to write-up and introduce legislature, or something like California has for direct introduction of propositions, or both.

For voting, let's assume that we have working crypto and everyone-friendly user interfaces. You should be able to vote yes/no or abstain on any issue, or delegate your vote to someone else, who could be another citizen or an organization (with no vote of its own). When the vote is counted, unresolved cycles wouldn't be (probably reported separately as "unresolved"). It'd be great to support lists of delegates where it could fall through unresolved or abstaining delegates until it gets to a definite voting one or to your own fallback vote, but that could be hard to make well-defined. (What if Alice votes [Bob,No] and Bob votes [Alice, Yes]?)

Once a bill is passed, it could go to the president as it currently does, or not. I don't care yet. The first two parts are so much more interesting.

Comparing this to the current House of Representatives makes the House seem incredibly lame and un-democratic. The Senate can be no better, just harder to directly compare.

Anyone heard of anything like this (not necessarily with the electronic and crypto bits) in practice on a somewhat large scale?
Tags: politics, voting
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