[FoRK] occupy - deliberative democracy

Dr. Ernie Prabhakar drernie at radicalcentrism.org
Thu Aug 9 10:32:07 PDT 2012


Hi Damien et al,

On Aug 7, 2012, at 5:39 PM, Damien Morton wrote:

> On Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 8:11 PM, Gregory Alan Bolcer <greg at bolcer.org> wrote:
>> Yeah, I'm not for abridging the free speech thing, but removing the carrot
>> is probably a good approach.   I just yearn for the citizen legislature
>> dayZ.
> 
> Germany seems to be a key innovator in electronic direct democracy -
> with two key platforms supporting it (Liquid Feedback and Adhocracy).
> The Pirate Partei is gathering significant votes and putting members
> into parliament, and they are guided by Liquid Feedback, a kind of
> online forum and voting system in which you can delegate a proxy to
> vote on your behalf, but you can also revoke or override that
> delegation at any time.
> 
> What is interesting is that the Parliamentary arm of the Pirate Partei
> isnt bound to follow the proposals and directives produced by Liquid
> Feedback, but the proposals have a moral force to them that is awfully
> hard to ignore. It raises the question whether such a forum could be
> imposed on an existing political structure by a significant majority
> of its constituents. Pick one town, one county, one district, and
> implement Liquid Feedback to provide 'guidance' to the political
> structure. "has refused to follow the directives of his constituents N
> times" is pretty powerful stuff.


My friends the Fishkins are doing something analogous, but with a statistically-significant random selection of citizens meeting in-person, instead of an online forum:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deliberative_opinion_poll
http://cdd.stanford.edu/polls/docs/summary/

They've already  had some notable successes in developing countries, and are in the midst of a major initiative in California:

http://cdd.stanford.edu/polls/california/
http://www.cafwd-action.org/pages/november-ballot

If this works, it could provide the same sort of "moral force" you describe.   I personally think it could even 'scale up' to replace many (if not all) the current functions of our legislatures.

-- Ernie P.



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