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Democracy of the Interested

Don't let just any idiot run your government. Be the idiot.
  (+7, -9)
(+7, -9)
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Basically, a governmental system that allows everyone to log on to a highly secure computer system to vote on decisions normally made by congress/parliament.

Of course, many idiots will rapidly decide to do many stupid things. However, all decisions remain available on the system, and everyone gets to rate them. The people who make good decisions, as determined by the rating scale, have the weight of their votes increased, while the idiots will remain at 1 vote. Ratings could be categorized, so one person might have a high weight for votes on taxes but a low weight for votes on foreign policy.

Debate is online and anonymous, except for rating (ooh - starwinder1994 has 3 stars, this argument for liberalizing immigration policy ought to be good).

Of course, you would need an executive branch and a judicial - which could be composed of the people with the highest ratings for such decisions.

This could start small as a town government, for example, to test the idea. You would have to spend an awful lot of money on computers to make sure everyone had access, but hey, lobbyists don't come cheap either. Anyone could submit a request for a government computer (which would be a cheap POS with little use for anything else by design).

+mw+, Jul 14 2006

Wiki-ocracy Wiki-ocracy
Same idea... [Spacecoyote, Oct 23 2007]


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       I don't see how this is suposed to stop idiots.   

       Imagine that in an imaginary country 70% of people vote for lower taxes. This means that the 30% of people who were against are likely to get lower ratings as a result, since for every ten people who review their decision, 7 will think it was a bad one.   

       Then a bit later, there is a vote on hospital funding. The vast majority think that hospital funding should be increased. The minority could be against for good or bad reasons, but again it doesn't matter. The vast majority of those reviewing their decisions will simply say they made a bad decision.   

       In short, you are likely to suffer everytine you vote against the majority, since it is that majority that reviews your decisions.
RobertKidney, Jul 15 2006
  

       RobertKidney has a good point.   

       What's really necessary for democracy to work is for people to understand the implications of their vote. Without sufficient education there is no real democracy. Citizens of a democracy have a responsibility to educate themselves and see through propaganda.
jmvw, Jul 15 2006
  

       If you're attaching names to people ("starwinder1994"), it's no longer anonymous. Egos and reputations do come into play.   

       Rating someone else's decisions is also used in slashdot.org's metamoderation system. I find it useful for fact finding, but not for policy decisions.
jutta, Jul 15 2006
  

       RobertKidney, you have a good point but I doubt that it would be as big of a problem as you say. Currently the vast majority of people don't even bother to vote, let alone participate in the process in other ways.   

       Those that care would be the ones that consistently do the rating, not the general public. Sure, the public may pop in for a vote now and again, but over time the people who didn't bother to involve themselves in government would matter less and less, as they would never get rated very highly. The idea is that the educated would self-select themselves for government.
+mw+, Jul 15 2006
  

       //The idea is that the educated would self-select themselves for government.//   

       The problem is that the crazies would select themselves to spend all day on computers, meddling in the affairs of others, despite their lack of education, wisdom or grip on reality. Fishbone for eliminating people with jobs, lives or some degree of modesty.   

       If you want educated folks making decisions, devise a system based on education level. Then watch out for subversives influencing the education system to fit their agenda--oh, wait, we already have them.
baconbrain, Jul 15 2006
  

       This is an interesting concept. However, a vote implies yes vs no - as opposed to a complex decision, like designing a public works project or dealing with a federal investigation. If every yes/no vote wound up pushing up the ranking of the majority (winners) and docking the majority of the losers, you would wind up further empowering the majority at the expense of the minority. There is plenty of that already.   

       But still a bun from me, for an attempt to use computers to facilitate direct democracy.
bungston, Jul 15 2006
  

       People only THINK they know what they want. I could see problems .. many problems ..
kuupuuluu, Jul 16 2006
  

       [kuupuuluu], you are starting to sound like my lawyer.
methinksnot, Jul 16 2006
  

       //Those that care would be the ones that consistently do the rating, not the general public. Sure, the public may pop in for a vote now and again, but over time the people who didn't bother to involve themselves in government would matter less and less, as they would never get rated very highly. The idea is that the educated would self-select themselves for government.//   

       That presumes the 'interested' are likely to hold views that are better than the general public. I tend to think they would be split in pretty much the same lines on almost all issues.   

       Also, [baconbrain] makes a very good point, and it's probably more important than mine.
RobertKidney, Jul 18 2006
  

       Guess what kind of policies would consistently get the highest ratings? a) Policies that involve cutting taxes and b) Policies that involve increasing public spending.   

       National debt would skyrocket amongst a culture of collective denial, until eventually the economy collapses into a 20 year depression.   

       The average citizen's attitude is, "I want better schools, roads and hospitals but somebody else should pay for them". That's exacly why we need politicians to make the decisions.
kinemojo, Oct 23 2007
  

       What's necessary for democracy to work is to give people who own land and homes three votes and people on welfare and social security to have only 1/2 vote, and no one under the age of 31 gets to vote at all...then it will work out.
Blisterbob, Oct 23 2007
  


 

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