Jan 22, 17 / Aqu 22, 01 14:23 UTC

Re: Submission : Expert panel supported direct democracy  

The 12 commands of Asgardia.

Maybe some class-teachers can jump into this project.

Grtz, Dirk.

Jan 23, 17 / Aqu 23, 01 05:57 UTC

I am not in favor of random citizens appointed as temporary legislators. In practice, they tend to go along with the most experienced politician on the committee.

How is this system better than a conventional referendum system, where a citizen or group proposes legislation in the same way, but then simply gathers a defined number of signatures in support to calling a vote?

Jan 23, 17 / Aqu 23, 01 06:26 UTC

Well, they wouldn't be completely random, as in my model they would be asked if they are pro or contra prior to assignment. So they would have to have a clear opinion on the topic in question. For my model to work a skills and interests database of all citizens is mandatory, so citizens with no interest in the field the topic belongs to could be filtered out before, then let's say ask about double of the people needed, and pick half pro and half contra (again randomly)

Jan 23, 17 / Aqu 23, 01 20:50 UTC

SirMcTod's suggestion yesterday is not dissimilar from the way the English constitution and law has evolved from the principles set out in the Magna Carta agreed in 1215. Its worked for over 800 years now, after all! I am nervous about the "wise men" concept - who defines wise?

Jan 24, 17 / Aqu 24, 01 12:58 UTC

I'm fully for a direct democracy, and within the model I'd put forwards, the "expert panels" would comprise of the current ministries in loose form. These I feel should be fluidic in composition - regularly rotating - and selected by the people themsleves. They are only there to really provide the different facilities in which to encompass all requirements. They can springboard attention to various submissions, provide sane guidance, ensure concersation retains to productive directions etc. IMHO the only questions with this model would be how to select the experts and what defines "expert".

I find it interesting of the mention of the database - because guess what I've started doing... https://asgardia.space/en/forum/forum/resource-acquisition-and-management-86/topic/people-are-our-greatest-resource-440. I've only got as far to be assembling the trees that will hold the options presented to the user, 580 lines and in some places five branches deep it's nowhere near complete. And that's just educational qualifications. Once we've got them lists, we can then review them for crossover and have selection of one pull back existences of the other. From there it's just granularity of the search.

But back to the topic in hand.

What actually defines an "expert"? being "educated" doesn't entirely assure that it will be used effectively. Over time, people's behaviour can be revealing. Ultimately, the quality of their input on the topic in question is the best measure available. As for how to select them, the people with vague or specific intererest in a subject naturally migrates to the responsible ministry wherin those who frequent will soon - based on input provided - between themselves figure out which ones that are "sensible" to pool as candidates. But, with a "direct democracy" it really doesn't matter who the pilot is, because we're filing the flight plan.

Jan 24, 17 / Aqu 24, 01 17:42 UTC

I agree, choosing experts isn't a simple task, but with a database and contacting some seemingly qualified persons, the person who files the case should be able to select a board, that might work out a draft the people can agree with. In a direct democracy people don't tend to lack of interest In the political belongings as they do in systems where they have less influence, so a direct democracy does even improve the average education/knowledge, because people are interested to keep themselves informed.

Jan 25, 17 / Aqu 25, 01 22:45 UTC

I would like to support this idea of laws being created by a panel of subject matter experts supporting direct democracy. In the Internet-age we can have simple, direct democracy (essentially every decision is a referendum) BUT the main drawback is the general man in the street, while they may have an "armchair expert" opinion (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Armchair%20Expert), their opinion normally comes from the newspapers they read or news items they watched. In the UK, for example, we saw after the Brexit vote, the public can not only be swayed but clearly ~50% of people were not qualified to vote due to misinformation (I'm not taking sides, it was a ~50:50 split). There were lots of experts, everyone had/has a strong opinion. I believe the following points are not controversial and can be agreed regardless of the shape of the final solution:

  1. The details of laws can be established by a panel of SMEs elected using a democratic process.
  2. An 'expert' on one panel (eg. 'medical ethics') does not have to be expert in any other field, for any other law (whereas in a traditional parliament, everything is debated by the same set of MPs).
  3. Many different things might qualify someone as an 'expert', examples: membership of a professional society, qualifications in a relevant field, years on the job, or simply being a primary stakeholder in the end result. The individual only needs to give a convincing display of 'expertise' to qualify.
  4. There should be a well-defined process for selecting 'experts'. For example, (this might be a bit contentious) I think that an 'expert' should be able to articulate why he/she should have a say, be nominated and seconded by someone else (similar to Robert’s Rules for nominations, except you can't nominate yourself). The purpose of this would be to stop complete 'loose cannons' from abusing the process. Perhaps others could suggest a better way of separating real experts from self-publicists and the like.

I envisage the experts can create the law, broken down by points possibly with an explanation of why it needs to be included (for the masses) and examples of how it is intended to be applied and then your direct democracy part comes in and it is either adopted (or not) by Asgardia. What do you think about that?

Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 05:35 UTC

If we use the expert panel method in some form your suggestions are practical and I would support.

We can look at where this is already in practice to various degrees with an element of direct democracy as suggested

repost to connect.to this thread... liquid democracy, liquid feedback , E-democracy and delegative democracy.

"I will add some other examples

Liquid democracy currently being used by Parts of Germany and Denmark "Liquid Democracy: True Democracy for the 21st Century

Liquid Democracy, a subset of Delegative Democracy, is a powerful voting model for collective decision making in large communities. Liquid Democracy combines the advantages of Direct Democracy and Representative Democracy and creates a truly democratic voting system that empowers voters to either vote on issues directly, or to delegate ones voting power to a trusted party.

Through delegation, people with domain-specific knowledge are able to better influence the outcome of decisions, which in turn leads to an overall better governance of the state. Because of this, Liquid Democracy naturally evolves into a Meritocracy, where decisions are mainly made by those who have the kind of knowledge and experience required to make well-informed decisions on issues."



"LiquidFeedback (abbreviated lqfb) is free software for political opinion formation and decision making, combining aspects of representative and direct democracy. Its most important feature is the implementation of a delegated voting system ("liquid democracy") which is to establish a new form of political representation and participation that takes into account the knowledge disparity of its participants."


E-Democracy "E-democracy .... It is a form of government in which all adult citizens are presumed to be eligible to participate equally in the proposal, development, and creation of laws.[1] E-democracy encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination."


Delegative Democracy where Liquid Democracy is a sub set

"The prototypical delegative democracy has been summarized by Bryan Ford in his paper, Delegative Democracy, as containing the following principles:[3]

Choice of Role: Each member can choose to take either a passive role as an individual or an active role as a delegate, differentiating this from representative forms in which only specified representatives are allowed. Delegates have further choices as to how active they are and in what areas. Low Barrier to Participation: The difficulty and cost of becoming a delegate is small, and in particular does not require political campaigning or winning a competitive election. Delegated Authority: Delegates exercise power in organizational processes on behalf of themselves and those individuals who select them as their delegate. Different delegates, therefore, can exercise varying levels of decision power. Privacy of the Individual: To avoid social pressures or coercion, all votes made by individuals are private, both from other individuals and from delegates. Accountability of the delegates: To ensure the accountability of delegates to their voters and to the community at large, all formal deliberative decisions made by delegates are completely public (or in some forms viewable only to their constituents). Specialization by Re-Delegation: Delegates can not only act directly on behalf of individuals as generalists, but through re-delegation they can also act on behalf of each other as specialists.

Variations on this general model also exist, and this outline is only mentioned here for orientation within a general model."


With all examples above using blockchain as the voting method."

  Last edited by:  Gary Baltao (Asgardian)  on Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 08:27 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 12:07 UTC

Thanks, @qwerty - Liquid Democracy is what I was trying to describe above - I didn't know about it. Clearly, someone else has got a lot further down the trail than I had! I will have to study this further.

Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 12:14 UTC

Why use a blockchain? it adds many needless cycles for no clear security gains and due to the ledger, makes it incredibly easy to reverse up who voted for what.

I'd still favour direct democracy over liquid.

Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 13:29 UTC

re blockchain ..I like it and believe it is the future of voting on line "what the blockchain brings Decentralization & Open Participation: Publicly Viewable Records: Highest Data Integrity Available:(for public ledger)" add trust of the process. Re reverse up, I think that can be solved and here are a couple of options I have seen so far http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/25624/blockchain-based-polling-voting-systems

However it is not immediately essential as any e-voting would suffice so is not a deal breaker.

I have thought of a couple of similar scenarios that need consideration

a) A group of delegated representatives who are technocrats holding considerable voting power due to their expertise decide to railroad an agenda of their own on different issues and against the principals of those they are representing...how do we deal with this? is it covered in liquid democracy model? Would any decision by the representatives be open to challenge and a Veto from the whole electorate as a check and balance?

b) A large group of active dissidents mange to accumulate a large voting block by fair means or foul and use this to pass legislation clearly against the interests or principals of Asgardia . Once again a challenge to veto this would be a safeguard.

We could also consider using direct democracy as the "2nd house".. delegates/ representatives pass legislation which is then offered to a direct vote for ratification before being enacted. In the UK this is common practice and a bill may be passed in the lower house rejected by the upper and shuttle back and forward for alteration a number of times between Houses before being passed in its final form.or abandoned.

ADD ..a recent article on blockchain voting Jan 11 /17 "Given public wariness around e-voting, Kaspersky set a high bar for system designers. The contest asked for solutions that could ensure voter privacy, safeguard against voters being pressured to cast a ballot, prohibit the publication of interim results (illegal in some places), account for votes left blank and allow for a recount if required.

Contest organizers especially wanted to ensure the blockchain systems would be able to surmount what is perhaps the highest hurdle facing e-voting. That is, the public’s reluctance to try something new." Not perfected but getting there http://www.govtech.com/security/Will-Blockchain-Based-Election-Systems-Make-E-Voting-Possible.html

  Last edited by:  Gary Baltao (Asgardian)  on Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 14:00 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 14:40 UTC

There are two great videos on youtube that summarize the difference between Representative Government (what we call democracy and see today in the world) and true Democracy. The audio is in Spanish, but there's subtitles in english, chinese and some other languages as well.

What is a representative government and why what we live in (in most nations) is not democracy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8vVEbCquMw

What is the true democracy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoP_mSIHqTY

We must have a true democracy as the form of government in Asgardia. Since we are starting from scratch and our population isn't enormous, it is perfectly possible to make it work. I think it is the best option of government we have.

TL;DR: There's no true democracy in the world today. Watch the videos to understand true democracy, and why we should adopt it.

Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 16:54 UTC

@qwerty, Thanks for all your explanations, but one question arised: where in Germany is liquid democracy in action (other than internally in the pirates party)

  Last edited by:  Tordt Schmidt (Translator, Asgardian)  on Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 16:56 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 17:05 UTC

"In addition to its application within political parties, Liquid Feedback has also been used at the county municipal level in a region of Germany called Friesland. The pioneering Council of Friesland enlisted the help of Interaktive Democratie e.V. to apply Liquid Feedback in their decision-making process, which is now called “Liquid Friesland.” Liquid Friesland has been running for several years. It gives local community members a way to propose policy ideas and directions, which are then voted on by people using the software."

"In addition to the Pirates and Friesland, the Italian Five-Star Movement has also applied Liquid Feedback. With 25% of the national vote, the Five-Star Movement is currently a significant political force for change and a serious adopter of Liquid Feedback."

""Liquid Democracy e.V. has used their Adhocracy software in a number of contexts, including government and various youth development and youth inclusion projects. The highest profile example is its application within the Enquete-Kommission Internet und digitale Gesellschaft des Deutschen Bundestages (Federal Parliamentary Commission on the Internet and Digital Society). "

Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 17:40 UTC

Thank you, I didn't know about liquid friesland, as I live in Bavaria, which is quite a world of it's own.