HackDemocracySF Message Board › Collaborative Government
San Francisco, CA
I have conceived a strategy that can bring democracy for the first time to planet earth, and by that can destroy the hierarchical- corporate-government structure that has taken our liberties hostage and is killing the earth. I call it 'collaborative governance'.
I might call it - www.wethepeople.org
(since i worked on this concept, in the last 5 years, i have found out about many different movements springing up with similar ideas-see below) .
Goal: To enable citizens of every different nation, state, county and municipality, to actively track AND VOTE on issues currently presented to our so-called 'representatives' in office, and by a tactic of autonomous active online infiltration, bring into these governments our own agenda, which is executed by clerks that obey our orders, disabling the 'representatives' from executing their own personal agenda. Why: With the proliferation of technology across America, and other western nations, one can see that it's no longer required of us to have some political buffoon representing HIS/HER interests in OUR congress. Each and every one of us possesses the necessary means to vote on EVERYTHING now. Simply speaking, technology is everywhere. In the past talking like this has risen security concerns, however Wethepeople.org has plans for a proposal to turn government as we know it on its ear. Stay tuned to our site in the days and months to come to see how YOU can have a DIRECT impact on your country's (and the world's)direction!
The objective of this movement is to enable individuals to be much more involved in their own governance.
To that end, we are supporting the development and use of internet tools which enable the members of any community to fully participate in the governance of that community.
I expect governance software to be adopted first in small communities, and then to spread outward with the potential to gradually replace many institutions of representative democracy with a new kind of social organization called collaborative governance.
I conceive of a world where every person, without exception, is able to substantively participate in the governance of any community in which they have an interest. We envision governance which is not only more open, free, and democratic; but also which is more effective and less fallible than pre-Internet forms of governance.
Benefits of collaborative governance
Creates lasting solutions
Political issues of any kind are prone to contention and at times even violent dispute. In the face of this fundamental aspect of society, issues can be resolved through edict, compromise, or synthesis.
Authoritarian governance structures use edict, where rulers make decisions which are final. This can work well, but it is entirely undemocratic. It is extremely prone to corruption of the rulers, and just as likely to other human failures: a single ruler simply may not be able to think of the best solution.
Representative democracies use compromise, which ends dispute and produces results which are acceptable but not desirable. Quite frequently the dispute is quickly revived (particularly after a shift in party power) and a new compromise must be forged. In some cases, democracies also use edict, in the form of majority rule: the side which achieves a majority or sometimes even a plurality of votes wins the issue entirely. Again, unsurprisingly, majority rule systems often have to revisit issues when there is a shift in power.
Synthesis is a method of seeking long-term, mutually-beneficial solutions to problems. It seeks solutions which, unlike the proposals of conflicting sides, achieve the general aims of both/all sides of a conflict. Such solutions may take longer to produce than other methods, but they are more beneficial to all parties and thus more enduring. There is no downside to synthesis except the difficulty in producing it. Most collaborative governance systems are specifically designed to encourage, promote, and facilitate synthesis.
Collaborative governance fundamentally differs from most other forms of governance in that it removes any distinction between governors and the governed. Due to logistical limitations, previous forms of direct democracy (such as referenda) have only been applicable on major "hot-button" issues, and have not been more broadly practical on anything but a very small scale. All other forms of democracy have still maintained a leader-follower relationship which is nearly indistinguishable from feudalism. In all cases, citizens find that they have no voice in almost any social decision.
The result of this disenfranchisement on most or all decision-making is a tremendous apathy on the part of most citizens. What is the point, they ask, of debating an issue when my action is not going to have a real effect on the outcome of the legislative process? Actions such as demonstrating at rallies or writing letters to representatives feel participatory, but any single individuals' contribution is insignificant and not meaningful: remove that individual and the outcome is unchanged. Likewise, the act of voting is reduced to a single, very infrequent selection between a handful (often two or even one) of candidates who almost never universally represent the views of the voter.
Allowing everyone to participate in every decision is likely to fundamentally change the attitudes of members of a community. They will be able to see their thoughts and beliefs directly reflected in the active debate and decision-making process. They will know that if they do not participate in an issue, they will have no right to complain about it since they voluntarily ceded that participation. And they will know that if they think something is being handled poorly, they have the power to immediately get directly involved and work toward a better solution. Most importantly, they will know that if they are able to formulate a good enough argument, they can single-handedly completely transform an issue.
Collaborative governance is broadly inspired by the free and open source software (FOSS) movements. The derivative open content movement, a generalization of FOSS initiatives for every type of creative work, is an inspiration as well.
Programmers who adhere to them make available the source code of the programs they write, this way granting to the users the right to liberally dispone of the software's code, along with the possibility of contribution in its development. Any interested programmer can introduce corrections and innovations to its design, changing the code; even can depart from the original idea and adapt the program to its needs, reusing the code.
Thanks to its production model, FOSS tends to improve and evolve extremely rapidly, contrasting with privative or closed source software, which usually do not.
Speaking about communities, an analogy can be made viewing rules as 'code' and members as 'programmers'. When all the governed have the right of direct participation on every aspect of its government — in other words, rules are 'open' — then the community may benefit as FOSS users do, translated into democratic policies and up-to-date laws.
Use of technology
Implementing a successful governance system where participation is open and direct, requires solving some challenges — described next — that this concept naturally imposes and actual technology is mat
San Francisco, CA
..Use of technology
Implementing a successful governance system where participation is open and direct, requires solving some challenges — described next — that this concept naturally imposes and actual technology is mature enough to surpass. So, the huge importance of the role that technology plays in collaborative governance.
The inability to overcome these challenges leads to an impractical implementation, often impossible; depending on the size of the community and its territorial extension.
A 'Practical direct democracy' is:
Participation is intended to be an every-day action, not a discrete and time wide-separated event...
Technology lets participation happen from (almost) anywhere, anytime.
Collaborative governance does not demand that every person participate in every decision. It simply allows people to participate as much or as little as they please in any decision.
When a member wishes to participate, he/she will provide a better quality contribution than a member who has the same information but is obligated (and so not self-motivated) to do it.
As participation is non-coercive, it is thus expected that people will tend to channel themselves into specific areas of expertise and interest. They will not be restricted to those areas, but they will have the opportunity to become "leaders" in those fields simply by their reputation.
Due to the notable quantity of subjects and its wide disciplinary spectrum that are covered by a government, the distribution of the tasks between the community may result in better quality decision-making.
As Collaborative governance uses computers, all the information passes through them. It is easy to archive it and make it available for auditing: the Radical transparency principle.
Transparency fights corruption, an inherent shadow in legitime governments.
A community willing to adopt this method of governance must:
* hold democratic values,
* be literate, and
* ensure access to ICT for all its members.
Otherwise, part of the community will be excluded and the system will not be trully open. A simple solution to the latter two issues is to supplement collaborative governance software with regular physical meetings.
how can we actually, physically reach a state of direct democracy?
First of all, in order for direct democracy to actually take effect and take control of the decision making process of any governing body, the involved have to infiltrate the government system, and at first, play by it's rules..and through forming an alliance of networked activists across the globe, a shift towards community decision-making can get a stronghold..
The concept and reality of such a website (and eventually a series of mirror sites), that tracks all laws in congress and lets you vote on them EVERY DAY that a vote is taking place, is spreading.. Furthermore, you could suggest laws yourself and have people back you up.. If you got enough backers - that is more backers than the other legislative suggestions from different individuals out on the website, your law would be set to getting voted on first ..In that way you would be playing the game of 'virtual-government'..
The tricky part is to actually merge 'fantasy' with 'reality': If a website like this existed it would only be virtual - a funny game people play pretending they are government right?
How could this website become a real player in real-world politics?
The plan is for the persons who create the website (call them Webmasters) to eventually run for office in the real world, and get voted in by the web users. In that way they infiltrate the real congress of the nation, in the different countries the site gets built. Once in congress (or parliament, county office, town hall) they act as clerks for the people. these person(s) vow to act as clerks representing the people , and must obey the websites majority vote. They cannot implement any of their own ideas while representing the website, and indeed sign a legal contract that binds them to these rules.
But realistically, how would they ever get enough votes when they run for office?
The nature of social websites is to spread fast.. if people get hooked on myspace and dating sites which have millions of users, there is probably also a large number of populace that would be interested in having decision making power that effect their town, county, country and the planet.
Once there is a substantial amount of people signed in to this website, there is also a substantial amount of potential voters, who given the opportunity, would vote for a party that is a direct reflection of their vote every day. If we start lets say with a place like Israel for example, you would only need 55,000 votes in order to get one seat in parliament. And if you have 100,000 members in the website, it is quite possible to get that seat. - how much impact would one person in parliament make? The impact could be tremendous, as that person will be the first one in history to be a true direct voice of the people implementing real democracy, which he must do according to a binding legal contract with the websites users to obey their vote..
Some guiding principles of ultra-direct-idemocracy:
1. No Leaders! No representatives!
2.Any person, 16 years or older, may vote for every law. majority wins.
3. Any person , 16 years or older ,may suggest new laws or can abolish old laws. The laws that gets most backing by people( who press the 'like' button to back it and are computed on a grid) get suggested first.
4.the person(s) building the website vow to act as clerks representing the people , and must obey the websites majority vote. they cannot implement any of their own ideas while representing the website, and indeed sign a legal contract that binds them to these rules.
5. voting shall be executed in a non-confidential manner to insure transparency and to avoid a takeover by hackers (apart from many other measures developed to avoid hacking or CIA fucking around)
6. THE GUIDING AND CONSTITUTIONAL LEVEL PRINCIPLE OF DIRECT DEMOCRACY IS TO PROTECT ALL LIFE AND LIBERTY ON THE PLANET WITH THE GOAL OF ACHIEVING WORLD PEACE NOW. Any law suggestions that go against this principle, or are racist, sexist etc..aimed against a minority or biased,are barred from the website and will be publicly displayed but barred by the site webmasters..this is the only instance where the community of webmasters will intervene in laws being voted. This shall be set as a constitution and as a contract binding the website to rules with the web users.. this constitution is totally up to the community of webmasters to write..
Cut out the middleman between you and freedom , justice and world peace,and make politicians, congressmen and presidents HISTORY! ..
San Francisco, CA
here is a quick look at what the website i'm proposing might look like(its based on craigslist.org):
* PROPOSE A LAW!!
* report racist/sexist /discriminatory proposals
* post to classifieds
* my account
* help, faq, abuse, legal
S M T W T F S
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
[bU.S Law Proposals for TODAY 4/24/11 Vote Now ! (press the 'like' button to back up a proposal. the prop that gets the most backers gets voted on first next week!)
* stop all wars in foreign lands; like
* stop torture and close down Guantanamo; like
* legalize all substances for recreational use; like
* local news
* free health care for all; like
* illegalize pesticides; like
* women seeking me
* men seeking women
* men seeking men
* misc romance
* casual encounters
* take down all nuclear plants; like
* stop all off shore drilling; like;
* stop factory farming; like
* housing wanted
* housing swap
* vacation rentals
* parking / storage
* office / commercial
* real estate for sale
* % 80 tax increase on those who earn more than $1 million like
* Nationalize banks like
* fund the water/electric car like
* fund solar power projects like
* tax oil based vehicles like
Top ten propositions getting voted on today in congress:
prop no.434 by Don Smith : farm animals cannot be caged read more (465,787 backers) VOTE YES NO
prop no. 8756 by Rupert Murdoc: free radio bandwidth for all no FCC restrictions read more(20,876 backers)YES NO
prop no. 1435 by Linda Wright Gay people can marry read more(18,989 backers) :VOTE YES NO
prop. 19 by: Ed Rosenthal Marijuana is legal to sell, use, for all.read more(16,548 backers) VOTE: YES NO