Re: Networked Democracy

From: James Rogers (
Date: Sat Apr 29 2000 - 18:38:47 MDT

On Wed, 31 Dec 1969, E. Shaun Russell wrote:
> The other, and perhaps more valid argument is whether or not "power by the
> people" is even worth pursuing. The public has a reputation of being
> blissfully uninformed, prefering realistic fiction to cold hard fact. The
> people in the traditional legislature are usually above-average
> intelligence, and have a basic understanding of the legal system. While
> appointing a small amount of leaders may limit the truest form of
> democracy, perhaps it is better than letting a large amount of uninformed
> people make the crucial decisions of the country.
> The above idea is truly just that: an idea. Any comments or suggestions
> are more than welcome.

I can think of one possible solution to mitigate the "ignorant masses"
problem of a true electronic democracy: give each person a finite number
of votes.

The idea being that if you give a person a relatively small number of
votes relative to the number of issues to vote on, they are far more likely
to use that vote in determining the outcome of issues that they really care
about (and presumably be better educated about). I think part of the
problem with a true democracy, electronic or otherwise, is that it
requires too much time to become informed on all the issues. The result
is that voting often gets diluted by the uninformed, who vote along party
lines or other arbitrary criteria as a default behavior. I would think
that a limited vote democracy would encourage voting on specific issues to
only be done by people who actually have a vested interest.

Naturally, there are downsides. The biggest one I can think of is a
scenario where a minority gets defeated not because the majority of the
public doesn't support them at large, but that the only people interested
enough to use a vote against them are numerically larger. However, I
would expect that this could be effectively worked with by determining the
number of votes issued as a function of total issues to vote on and coming
up with a useable ratio.

Hell, I don't know. This was the first thing that popped into my head.

-James Rogers

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:09:58 MDT