Counter.Fund Lordship Election Mechanics

How do Counter.Fund elections to the House of Lords work? How are the principles of governance implemented? By Pax Dickinson and Anthony Demarco.

Counter.Fund

This is Part 3 of the Gentle Introduction to Counter.Fund series. If you‘re new to Counter.Fund, it’s highly suggested that you read the preceding parts first. This really won’t make sense otherwise.

Here In Part 3, we’ll explain the Counter.Fund election mechanics. This is not something most party members will ever need to pay too much attention to. It’s important mainly to those who expect to contend for Lordship, and those interested in Counter.Fund’s innovative design. This chapter of the Introduction to Counter.Fund series can be skipped safely if you’re not interested in electoral systems design. Of course, if you are interested in electoral systems design, then brother, you’re in the right place.

I. Election Framework

The heart of Counter.Fund is its electoral structure. Counter.Fund elections happen every month. Influence is the basis of Counter.Fund Parliamentary elections. Party members (anyone giving money) donate to Influencers, providing them with Influence commensurate with the actual dollars donated. Party Members donate $5 per month or more and can divide their donations between any aribitrary number of Influencers.

The actual Influence score of the Influencer is calculated with an algorithm based on their recent revenue history. A large spike in a given month will boost Influence, but a truly high Influence score will require maintaining a consistently high revenue stream over a period of months. This prevents flash-in-the-pan fad Influencers from gaining too much Influence too quickly and also helps mitigate the danger of entryists. This and other specific algorithms mentioned in this post are still being evaluated but will be published in the White Paper and up for debate when this Medium series concludes.

The precise number of House Seats available during the election is variable from month to month and is calculated from an algorithm (precise formula TBD) that accepts the number of Influencers and the distribution of total Influence of all Influencers on Counter.Fund as inputs. If Influence is more equally distributed the algorithm will produce more seats in order to capture that granularity, alternatively if there is a clear division between haves and have-nots, fewer seats will be allocated. The minimum number of seats in the House of Lords is 9 and the maximum possible is 99. Total seats will always be an odd number in an attempt to reduce the number of tie votes which the Chairman must break.

The election process also assigns a Lordly title to each elected Lord.

  • Dukes (and Duchesses) are Influencers who gained a seat on personal Influence alone. Dukes are the highest rank of Lord and their seats are the most secure.
  • Earls (and Countesses) are Influencers who gained a seat with assistance from other Influencers, either before or during the Party Caucus (detailed below).
  • Barons (and Baronesses) are the lowest rank of Lords and are Influencers who gained a seat after the conclusion of the Party Caucus.

Titles confer no enumerated powers but are a strong indicator of the security of the Influencer’s seat. Dukes are very, very unlikely to drop out of the House of Lords and are more or less permanent fixtures as long as their Influence doesn’t wane. Barons, on the other hand, are quite insecure. Most of the turnover in the House will be amongst the Barons and low Earls. The end result will be similar to a Premier League soccer table where relegation keeps the bottom of the table in constant flux but the top teams remain near-permanent fixtures.

II. Election Process

The monthly election process affords all Influencers plenty of time in which to make their electoral decisions. Most of the process is automated but there is one day of campaigning (Caucus Day) which allows for some horse-trading of influence and politicking. Most Influencers will only be spectators of the Caucus, they will not need to make a monthly time commitment unless they choose to do so. The electoral system is frequent and so is designed to require a very low minimum degree of participation.

BEFORE THE ELECTION

Influencers raising money on Counter.Fund are awarded Influence points based on the amount of money they’ve raised. They can hold those Influence points for themselves in hopes of gaining a Seat in the House of Lords in the next election, or they can vote their Influence points for another Influencer in the next election. Influencers who have been raising money on the site for less than 3 months will NOT be eligible for voting their Influence or being elected to House seats, this is an anti-entryist measure.

Influencers vote their Influence by setting up a private Candidate Slate at any time. Other Influencers are added to the list and a percentage of the Slate creator’s Influence is assigned to them. The author of the Candidate Slate can vote all their Influence, or vote some and keep some, to any arbitrary number of other Influencers.

Before the election, Influencers may also publicly name a Seat Proxy. The Seat Proxy is another Party member (not necessarily Influencer) who will sit in that Influencer’s Seat if they are awarded one. This allows very busy Influencers to delegate their Parliamentary duties. Of course, the Proxy can always be dismissed by the Influencer at any time, the true holder of the Seat is always the Influencer elected regardless of delegation.

WHEN THE ELECTION BEGINS

At midnight GMT on the 1st of every month, the election is begun. The number of House Seats in the new Session is calculated by the House Seat algorithm (TBD). The Total Influence posessed by all Counter.Fund Influencers is then divided by the number of Hosue Seats to produce the Seat Threshold. The Seat Threshold is the amount of Influence required to automatically gain a seat in the House.

ELECTION ROUND ONE

Round One happens automatically. Personal Influence is Influence directly generated by that Influencer. In Round One any Influencer whose Personal Influence exceeds the Seat Threshold is automatically awarded a seat in the House of Lords, and the title of Duke or Duchess. Any Influence assigned to a Duke via Candidate Slate reverts to the Influencer that assigned it. Dukes don’t need it. Likewise, any Influence a Duke assigned via Slate is nullified. This effectively limits the power any one huge Influencer can ever have in the House of Lords to their single Dukeship.

ELECTION ROUND TWO

Round Two also happens automatically as soon as the election begins. The electoral algorithm processes the Influencer list in order from most to least Personal Influence. For each Influencer, their Personal Influence (minus any they may have assigned) is added to all Influence assigned to them on Candidate Slates by non-Dukes, resulting in an Aggregate Influence score. If that Aggregate Influence score exceeds the Seat Threshold, that Influencer is immediately awarded a seat in the House of Lords and the title of Earl or Countess.

COUNTER.FUND PARTY CAUCUS

Election Day is the Counter.Fund Party Caucus. The Caucus lasts through the entire day of the 1st of every month. The Party Caucus is an opportunity for Influencers who are just short of the Seat Threshold to campaign for the support of other influencers to gain enough Influence to reach the Seat Threshold. Any Influencer already titled as Duke or Earl during Rounds One and Two is a non-participating spectator to the Caucus.

The number of Candidates in the Caucus is set at three times the number of open remaining House Seats. All non-elected Influencers remaining who still have Aggregate Influence points are ranked and the Candidate List is populated based on that Aggregate Influence. e.g. If 8 Seats remain to be filled, the top 24 of the remaining Influencers will be selected as Caucus Candidates.

All non-elected Influencers are then free to assign any remaining Aggregate Influence points not already spent on elected Lord on their Caucus Slate. Only Candidates can be assigned Influence by Caucus Slate. Caucus Slates can be changed at any time during the Caucus Day

The Caucus continues throughout the day as Candidates compete to amass as much Aggregate Influence as they can. They can post Candidate Statements, deliver impassioned YouTube oratory, make promises about how they’ll vote if elected, any anything else politicians do. Their Aggregate Influence is displayed on the Caucus Leaderboard and changes to Caucus Slates are applied immediately.

ELECTION ROUND THREE

At 23:59:59 GMT on the 1st of the month the Party Caucus ends and Round Three of the Election is processed. All remaining open seats in the House of Lords are awarded to the Candidates who ended the Caucus with the most final Aggregate Influence points. If the Influencer surpassed the Seat Threshold during the Caucus, they are awarded the title of Earl (or Countess), alternatively if the Influencer did not pass the Seat Threshold but were selected in Round Three he or she is awarded the title of Baron (or Baroness).

POST ELECTION

Those awarded seats are now members of the House of Lords and take their seats immediately, to serve until the next month’s election. If any elected Lord had named a Proxy, that Proxy would occupy the seat instead. The House’s first order of business will be address the allocation of the new month’s Party Fund money. House operations beyond that are the topic of our next post.

All these election mechanics will be open to comment and criticism when the full White Paper is released which will include the exact algorithms that were described briefly above, as well as expanded justifications for many of the decisions we made when designing the system. Comments and suggestions will be adopted as necessary before these rules are ratified into Counter.Fund’s corporate bylaws.

For more information about Counter.Fund, visit the Counter.Fund website.

Continued in Part 4: Counter.Fund Governance Mechanics