Liquid democracy is an interesting idea, and quite pleasing to my analytical developer.
Caleb Meredith
72

Hey Caleb,

thanks for your response. This post was a first step forward in the right direction to further help the cause and make people aware that there are alternative systems for making decisions on a national scale.

I haven’t even discussed exactly how Liquid Democracy should be implemented in a government, so your criticism is not completely valid because it assumes that an underlying model has been found. But let me respond to each of them.

  1. The celebrity problem can be treated as a “short-range” attack on the overall integrity of a democracy. It is very true that public figures have an unfair advantage in a Liquid Democracy, mainly because they are talked about and mentioned everywhere, therefore it is easier for these people to be heard and to be delegated. This is no different than it is today though, where celebrities either endorse politicians or they pursue their own political career bolstered by their celebrity fame (remember Arnold Schwarzenegger?). But due to the nature of Liquid Democracy, such an “attack” can only be carried out until a certain time, mainly because voters have the ability to change their delegates at any time. If the celebrity turns out to be nothing more than a big talker that is not able to make the right decisions, voters can delegate their vote to someone else, thus making the celebrity completely “powerless”. Overall, I am very certain that the population will gradually realize that public figures do not necessarily make good decision makers. Therefore, if we consider what is at stake (i.e. the national governance), voters will be more likely to vote for people who truly know what they are talking about, and most importantly, what they are doing.
  2. We have not even discussed the Liquid Democracy model that will be used for a government yet, so this is a false assumption. It is a false assumption in general though, because becoming a dictator in a Liquid Democracy is much more difficult than becoming a dictator in representative democracy. Adolf Hitler came to power while only having 33% of the voters, by being able to deceive a handful of people in the German Reichstag. It depends how Liquid Democracy is implemented of course, but a dictator cannot rise in Liquid Democracy because of the diversity and decentralized nature of the entire country. Good luck convincing an entire country of millions of voters to vote for you.
  3. That is one of the most difficult problems I am right now solving. The constant verifibality of a delegate. The easy solution would be to make all votes of delegates public so that voters can check how a delegate has voted, and if something was wrong, they can revoke their delegation. So yes, delegation is reactive. But look at today’s voting system, where once a representative has been elected, there is no way for voters to revoke their vote. An elected representative is in office for a specific timeframe and he/she can pretty much do what she wants during that time. There is absolutely no sense of responsibility or accountability towards voters.
  4. Something like that is easily solved on a technical level…this is what graph theory is all about.
  5. The technology is not ready, but that’s why I’m starting to work on this. Any voting system needs a solid identity infrastructure to make sybil attacks and identity misrepresentation/stealing impossible. You can check out my blog at http://composui.com. Apart from that, the educational barrier is a much bigger one to solve. But we’ll get there ;)
  6. Again, that is something which needs to be thought of in an actual implementation on a national scale. But people should definitely be compensated for their work.
  7. That is impossible. See my other comment in this post.

Overall, you have to be a bit less pessimistic about everything. I definitely appreciate criticism (after all, it’s the only way to constantly improve ourselves), but you have to look at the bright side and the new possibilities (on a democratic level) that Liquid Democracy offers.

If you have more questions, feel free to ask them!

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