How do we make delegative democracy a reality? or “What do points mean?”

How do we make delegative democracy a reality? or “What do points mean?”

Delegative democracy (aka ‘liquid democracy’) is what most people invent when answering the question “How do we make politics better?”

We start at “well we should all be able to vote on everything”, but then realise we don’t want to vote on everything and also probably don’t know enough detail to trust ourselves. So we need people we can trust to vote for us (delegates) on specific topics.

Of course, this is how it most democracies currently work: Every 5 years you delegate your votes to one MP who takes all those decisions for you.

This version is just more granular. At elections you may think like this: “I like A’s education and transport policies, and B’s foreign policy and C’s welfare plans.. but I can only pick one so I guess it’s A”

With delegative democracy you no longer have to choose least-bad. You can cast your vote in line with your values. Of course you may not get what you want (51% may think that your education choices are terrible) but it will have greater influence. Eg if your education preferences get 20%, the group that gets 35% may say “we can blend these ideas and have 55% – a winning majority”.

The next step is “how do we make this a reality?”

  1. We need to find who our delegates are. Who’s making the best points about education? Who’s asking (and answering) the right questions? Who do we agree with?
  2. We need a way of delegating our vote to them.

At Represent we’re working on exactly this. We’re at step 1 at the moment, and are moving swiftly on to step 2 (eta late Feb 2016).

You may have noticed that when you use Represent you accumulate ’points’. These track which topics you’re engaging, who’s voting for your comments and ideas, and who’s answering your questions.

This, coupled with your answers to questions, allows us to see who agrees with you so we can suggest people you might like to delegate your vote to. And if you’re someone lots of people agree with, we’ll suggest to them that they might like to delegate their vote to YOU.

So right now, points are a very basic indication of your expertise and popularity. The more you intelligently engage, the more points you get, the more we’ll recommend you, the more you’ll become people’s trusted delegate, and the faster we’ll be able to make good ideas a reality.

You can view your points here: https://represent.me/profile

For more on delegative democracy, this is a great 5 minute video:

Ed Dowding

Technologist and entrepreneur, Ed specialises in social collaboration systems. His work has included building risk analysis services for the insurance industry, and from 2005 to 2010 he developed an SMS alert system which quickly grew into a full emergency management service for London local authorities and blue-lights.

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