Dec 29, 16 / Cap 28, 00 20:47 UTC
Democratic Process and Voting Systems ¶
I would like to discuss the possibility of changing how democracy is upheld in Asgardia, by inviting you to review and assess a system designed to remove as much bias and unsuitability as is physically possible from the election process itself.
I have no doubt that many of you have seen how democracy and politics are currently handled by our modern politicians, and the problems inherent with such a system; a single person campaigning for popularity, regardless of the promises they make and then never being held accountable. The whole process often swamped in enormous donations to fund a campaign of rallies, speeches, and advertising. My question to you is; what does any of that have to do with running the country?
It is my firm belief that Asgardia should work to remove such fallacious thinking from our politics, and instead convert to a system deliberately designed to combat popularity, advertising, and lies. My recommendation for this is the system I propose below (with a link to the original, formatted document at the bottom of this post); a system that anonymises candidates to remove popularity bias. The system removes the whole aspect of money and funding from the democratic process by removing campaigning altogether. The system has only one potential flaw in the form of bias, and that would be through the individual candidate examination and results package.
Finally, I am aware that many people will argue that such a system, with such little public attention drawn to any one particular candidate or set of policies may not be truly be proportionally representative, and to you I ask how are the current systems any better? They have very, very similar flaws in that the public is swayed by lies from the candidate, smear campaigns by their opposition, stories in the media that may not be relevant, and advertising designed to trigger psychological processes. People who are not often interested in voting are brought in by promises that may not be upheld, or by the mass outrage caused during the campaign process. I argue that this system at least reduces the number of false positives to those who are truly interested in the democratic system and are willing to debate the finer points that actually matter, E.G. a set of policies, or a candidate's suitability based on relevant information, rather than their gender, age, or stories from the press.
As such, please see below for the system I propose.
Asgardia Blind Voting system proposal
Concept developed by Stephen Skepper, written by Adam York, edited and approved by Asgardians.
Note: Currently, viable candidates should be selected by the Asgardian administration, however in the future, selections for individual ministries should be handed over to the ministries themselves for approval by the public.
Any Asgardian may submit a single proposal to a democratic process board consisting of a group of individuals responsible for running the election in question. The makeup and rules of this board is to be debated separately.
The proposals may be revised three times over the course of the election, but final drafts have a final submission deadline of midnight, four weeks (28 days) before the beginning of the debates.
Within each proposal must be an overview statement of purpose their plans for the future of the nation and/or ministry and how those plans would be implemented and how the budget proposals would function.
Each proposal must contain the following sections;
-Overview; outlining the mission of the candidate.
-Major Goals; outlining the direction they wish to take the ministry/nation.
-Primary Plans; a list of UP TO THREE major full-term objectives that become legally binding; achieving them or not will not be judged, but the candidate should be held to accountability for the words they use, and unwillingness to follow the proposals they make should come under scrutiny to avoid false promises.
-Secondary Plans; a list of UP TO SEVEN long-term objectives that may or may not expand on the primary plans, but are equally legally binding.
-Tertiary Plans; a list of UP TO TEN non-legally binding short-term objectives that may or may not aid in the previous objectives, and are not legally binding.
-Budget Plans; a detailing of how the Ministry/nation's budget will be used to achieve the plans.
-Expected Outcomes; a list of results that the plans are expected to achieve in their implementation.
-Failsafes; a detailing of how the candidate expects to counter any problems that may occur through implementation of plans.
-Summary; a brief run-down of the key points of all of the above.
The proposals would be made public record through the democratic process board such that each citizen not only has the right to read over each proposal, but the free and limitless access to do so.
This subsection would take roughly one third of the total process.
Once the proposals are submitted, verified for requirements (regardless of their seriousness) and made public, an interactive forum will be opened to allow the national media and Asgardian public the right to debate any given proposal.
While candidates themselves may have no hand in answering questions directly or indirectly to retain anonymity, current and previous ministers may make interpretations based on the proposal using their relevant knowledge to attempt to answer media and public questions.
This would be an open question and answer platform that all citizens could participate in, to remain open for a period of time no shorter than a third of the total process.
Candidates must then be examined themselves for their suitability to the role. This is a multi-step process that requires all candidate data to remain anonymous, and thus be controlled by the democratic process board. It is important to note that this section, while it may take some time to complete, must be updated regularly as we learn more about psychology and suitability.
Step One - all viable candidates are interviewed by a committee of dedicated interviewers with a set of criterion and given scores and comments based on the individual job requirements/candidate's target role. Candidates are also interviewed on their depth of knowledge of current issues that are pertinent to their target role.
Step Two - each candidate is given a psychological evaluation to determine their political and economic system positions, their ability to handle stress, their willingness to be subversive, and any other personality evaluations as they become pertinent through research and development of psychology.
Step Three - a candidate’s educational background is researched and included with the results, minus any and all detailing about their particular teachers, and the school they attended. Only the grades, scores, awards and honours are to be included in their entirety.
Step Four - the results for each are given to the democratic process board to strip all identifying information and amend any evaluations/interview results to remove words like "he" and "she", and match psychological evaluations to interview results, and then to their respective proposal. As each set is created, it is assigned a number through a random number generator.
Step Five - the re-written, numbered results packages are then given to the Asgardian administration to publish no fewer than two weeks (14 days) before election day via all available media outlets and begin the final procedure. During the entire process, media outlets and the public are prohibited by law from publishing candidate details that may have leaked accidentally.
The Voting Stage
During a formal voting procedure on election day, the public goes to their respective polling stations and chooses a candidate from the numbered list. After the election, results would then be released to the public for examination.
Developer’s Note: It is important to recognise that this system can be applied to local council/senator/governor/representative elections, national elections and more! It is designed to be an independent system specifically to remove showmanship, favouritism and bias from the democratic process.
The original document can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1F88mS3r4yr56mmmadKFNYCqQ7uN9goJmjWI5GRzq9HE/edit