Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Magical moments of mediocrity.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.

user:
pass:
register,


                               

Trickle Up Internet Government

The end of the politician profesion
  (+8, -6)
(+8, -6)
  [vote for,
against]

Although direct democracy is an appealing model - it faces major challenges. One of them is the fact that making decisions to run a whole country is a full time job. That's why we usually elect people to do the job for us.
Internet has brought efficiency into many areas that were previously hugely time consuming. Basically the internet is cutting out the middle men. The government could be next.
Let's say I want to bring in a law that makes wearing blue hats in public illegal. I would submit a draft of this law to a web site. This law would begin with a rating of 0 and activity of 0. As soon as this law is submitted citizens could start voting on it's rating (+/-). Of course most citizens couldn't give a rats ass about voting for 10,000 other similarly "crazy" laws like this one. But for the minority who have enough time on their hands to actually look at the new laws - they would slowly but surely promote this issue to the forefront. Every time someone voted the draft's activity would increment by 1 (whether they voted for or against) This way the most voted on (presumably most critical) laws would trickle up as busy citizens would block out all laws not exceeding activity of 10 Million whereas very conscioencsicous or bored people would look through issues with a much lower threshold - say 1000 or even less.
The laws would come into effect if more than 50% of eligible voters voted for the law. How about minority rights? No problem. Say that I'm in a small minority who wants to make it legal for individuals to own nuclear weapons for self defence. I would be "stupid" to propose a law that allows me to do this off the bat. I'd be better of changing the society one step at a time - incrementally introducing them to my suffering by not being able to own my own nukes. First I'd see if I could have a law passed that allows me to posess miniscule amounts of plutonium for research purposes. Once the society accepted this fully they might be more lenient to pass a law allowing me to build home built nuclear plant. (... and I don't believe in the slippery slope thing - if it's truly bad it'll be stopped or reversed in the moment or in the future - especially under this highly dynamic system)
And yes this could never be done with hackers being able to subvert the government - just as it's not a good idea to have armed guerillas running free in the parliament.
ixnaum, Jan 16 2006

Taxes contingent on spending Taxes_20contingent_20on_20spending
spending increases and tax increases non-separable on the legislative floor, or in this case the online assembly [LoriZ, Jul 31 2009]

[link]






       //too many people that would vote against laws that have no effect on them just to be facetious//   

       Yes, I've done this in the 90's when the internet was 'new' and I went into a IRC channel and sweared randomly (just because I could) ... I've matured since then. But you raise a legitimate concern - are the other citizen's mature enough. I think they are.

<joke>Maybe that's what happened in the US .. they voted for Bush just to be facetious</joke>

As for too many laws (that's why busy people set their filter to low and others - or special interest groups watch all the categories of law they are interested in intently. Maybe I just don't care about laws affecting farmers, but I care about laws affecting copyright law. Filtering is the definitive answer to your second concern.
ixnaum, Jan 16 2006
  

       well the nuclear weapons thing was to emphasize that democracy can be scary (what if my stupid co-citizens vote for this crap) ... but on the other hand if the idea sucks it will never trickle up. Not much different than what we have now except more efficient in getting the same job done more accurately, cheaper and with less corruption.
(And yes - I'm a crappy salesperson of ideas - this one is no exception)
ixnaum, Jan 17 2006
  

       Voting needs to be kept on paper only. It is the most limiting to fraud. Electronic voting is a shame and a load of bullshit. The person who wrote the program, the person who helped him, his friend, her office, his internship and his brother. Would all have access to the program itself.
Antegrity, Jan 17 2006
  

       Antegrity - I've recently seen news that requires voting software to be open source. And yes security is absolutely critical - just like it is for paper. Are we there yet? No ... could we be once baked - definitely.
ixnaum, Jan 17 2006
  

       What [bobofthefuture] said. And + from me. It's not bad. It won't be implemented any time soon, probably never. But it serves as a helpfull tool to judge the present day systems, that suck more than this idea.
zeno, Jan 17 2006
  

       Mob rule - not a good idea. Just because a law to abolish taxes, make food and beer free and have better weather would be popular, it doesn't mean that it would be a good idea, or would be workable.
hippo, Jan 17 2006
  

       This Idea takes NIMBY to a new level.   

       Oh, and in advance may I add I vote (-) on the push to eliminate acronyms.
reensure, Jan 17 2006
  

       [reensure], you'll get in trouble with the AAA for views like that!   

       AAA = Anti Acronym Association.
Minimal, Jan 17 2006
  

       So many problems. How do you stop contradictory laws? How do you manage the budget (how do you stop the same voter increasing government payout with one click while slashing taxes with another)? Who informs the people of the consequences of their actions?   

       I guess, at this point, the politicians resurface and start writing proposals and bundling them together into coherent policies. People start voting for things because the trust the endorsement of certain individuals or groups and a workable system might emerge from the chaos.   

       Until that point I think all you have is chaos. It would be an interesting social experiment to do in an isolated group, though. Start with the chaos and see what natural order emerges. If one does emerge then it might be an interesting one, since it will have the buy-in of the people.
st3f, Jan 17 2006
  

       //Mob rule - not a good idea. Just because a law to abolish taxes, make food and beer free and have better weather would be popular, it doesn't mean that it would be a good idea, or would be workable.   

       Couldn't disagree more. If the majority of citizens decide that beer should be free so let them. They will see the consequences down the line. This proposal probably came with a cost. The citizens will run the country into the ground. Who in their right mind would want to vote for such a law? Are you sure the majority is so retarded? You are repeating a modified version of what monarchs used to claim way back when: "democracy will never work". The stupid masses will create chaos. And they were right - but it's chaos that belongs to the masses (to you and me), not enforced order that belongs to the king.
BTW ... same argument has been used to deny voting rights to women, blacks, and countless others. (after all women are so stupid that they would create chaos by voting for the first handsome looking guy that promissed to buy them earrings) ... this is ridiculous.
ixnaum, Jan 17 2006
  

       One drawback to the idea is the requirement for internet access - much akin to a poll tax, which has been used in the past to discriminate against persons with less income.   

       And I see the chaos arguement, and agree, but it's not like I feel like I'm getting any better, or fairer, more organized or more intelligent governence under the current system.   

       So, while I think the idea in it's current form is sorely in need of development, [+].
normzone, Jan 17 2006
  

       //So many problems. How do you stop contradictory laws? How do you manage the budget (how do you stop the same voter increasing government payout with one click while slashing taxes with another)? Who informs the people of the consequences of their actions?//   

       Contradictory laws: So today it has been decided that wearing blue hats is illegal. This overrides the old law when freedom of wearing any color of head dress was legal. To me it sounds straight forward. But there might be more complicated examples - what would they be?
Budget: Today I voted to slash the budget for the military by 10%. Yesterday I voted to increase it by 20%. So what - I changed my mind - shouldn't that be allowed? Another thing to remember - unless the whole society changes their mind from day to day, the fluctuations will be very smooth (like a slowly growing or shrinking stock)... ooh and what if the country votes on abolishing their military and get invaded? Again.. I doubt that large groups would be so retarded. Or on the other hand maybe that's what they truly believe and want it that way.
Consequences: Who informs peopls? The people inform them selves. If I vote for eliminating the military - I don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that there might be some obvious consequences.
Most of the arguments I hear against this idea are. It has never been tried, it's too much risk ... what if the people are really too stupid? Yes those are unknowns - but so far democracy proved that citizens are smarter than they give each other credit for. The major mistakes have been made not by "mobs of voting citizens" but by "small elite groups of powerful people" ... or give me an example where large groups of voters have made a mistake. (and the mistake of voting into power a small elite group who holds power doesn't count - unless you want to support my argument that small elite groups are the problem with democracy)
ixnaum, Jan 17 2006
  

       Very good idea ixnaum. Reading your ideas I feel happy as if I have found my intellectual twin.
can1073, Dec 15 2007
  

       "So many problems. How do you stop contradictory laws? How do you manage the budget (how do you stop the same voter increasing government payout with one click while slashing taxes with another)? Who informs the people of the consequences of their actions?"   

       Perhaps certain things can be self-enforcing, perhaps by making taxes contingent on spending. Another approach might be presenting austerity plans on a 'pick your poison' basis. In this case people can input what amounts to their own hierarchy of needs, or what they would throw overboard first. The weighted average of these may shed light on priorities as a way of informing real policymakers, or perhaps given a radical policy change, translated into real policy.
LoriZ, Jul 31 2009
  
      
[annotate]
  


 

back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle