CAP – Liquid Democracy

We are still working on this project page, please bear with us, but you will get the BIG idea…..

LIQUID DEMOCRACY: Software-enabled decision-making.

CAP is organisation linking the traditional with the modern, the young with the old. The internet is the perfect place to change the way our government works for us, the citizens, but we do not need another debating society run by talking heads. What we do need is action and a way to move all citizens closer to the decision making process.

Liquid democracy not a purely delegated democracy, the recommendation aspect of this system makes it more functional. It is s a group-decision-making method that works as a sort of “direct democracy for people who know they’re not experts on a subject, but know of people that they trust who know more about a subject than themselves”. Questions are settled by asking everyone… but many people’s answer will be “whatever X says”.

Within an organisation like CAP Namibia, it works by enabling people to solicit recommendations on how to vote on issues or projects from people they trust.

So, people who know nothing about foreign policy but really like the slogan “consultative pluralism in foreign affairs policy decision making ” can get vote recommendations from members of CAP on that subject from people who agree with the basic thrust of those values but who actually know pundits or experts on a given subject who also agree with the attitude – but with serious expertise brought to bear on a given topic (for example “Namibia foreign policy towards military involvement in the DRC with a ‘consultative decision making’ perspective”).

The specific experts may know about areas of DRC internal disputes that are apolitical but require enormous knowledge (say, estimates of military capability) and get vote recommendations on these sub-domains from experts who don’t share their values… while knowing just as surely that questions about which factions in the DRC to support is more of a values thing that they’ll handle themselves.

On a more local levels the issues at hand may not be as complex, but it awards members of CAP in all Regions and villages to identify and air their recommendations on issues on the ground, in real time.

As a matter if interest, one of the original influences on Liquid Democracy was the desire to replace the chain of command in a military situation with something more efficient and flexible. The idea was that if hierarchy in such a vital situation could be outcompeted on a power versus power basis by something less hierarchical, then hierarchical social decision making system in general would have less credibility.

Liquid Democracy is a fast, decentralized, collaborative question-answering system, which works by enabling chained answer recommendation. It occupies the middle ground somewhere between direct and representative democracy, and is designed to ensure that the things we all hold in common stay properly maintained in the face of social, economic and radical technological change.

So, the difference between vote delegation/ proxies and vote recommendations is that one is “pull” and the other is “push”. This feature is the one that makes liquid democracy really unique. With liquid democracy, people can request recommendations from multiple people, and from there they can do all kinds of things:

  • take the average,
  • ignore some recommendations,
  • ignore all the recommendations and vote their unique conscience, etc.

With proxying or delegating alone, you can’t do that, and that’s why delegating is not enough

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