“The state of men without civil society is nothing else but a mere war of all against all.” Thomas Hobbes
The role of any political system is to organize a civil society so as to ensure the peaceful cohabitation of large populations and organize the flow of goods and services efficiently.
Whereas the classical philosopher Thomas Hobbes clearly delineates the root of the need for an organized civil society, his statement needs to be tempered by Lord Acton famous quote: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
Today’s representational and delegative democracies are, to various degrees, all based on the need to elect men to manage the State, with the hope that they will be great men who work diligently for the greater good.
Unfortunately, such great men are few and far between and wealthy lobbies are hard at work to tempt any men with a modicum of power into succumbing to the appeal of wealth at the expense of their duties.
Yet, there is hope for the future. Modern technologies might open the doors to an improved democratic system — Liquid Democracy backed by built-in accountability
What is Liquid Democracy?
Liquid Democracy is a new form for collective decision making that gives voters full decisional control. Voters can either vote directly on issues, or they can entrust their voting power to delegates (i.e. representatives) who vote on their behalf. Delegation can be domain specific, which means that voters can delegate their voting power to different experts in different domains.
Practically, this means that, instead of voting for one representative based on a general program, voters will be able to:
1. Delegate their vote to people whose judgment they trust. These trusted people, in turn, will select a smaller number of trusted second tier delegates and so on until a final representative is selected.
2. Have the opportunity to vote on specific issues, either directly or through the delegative system described above.
This empowers voters who feel overwhelmed by their lack of understanding of the issues at hand. With liquid democracy, they can select people they know personally, people who they trust will understand both their situation and needs and the workings of the power centers. This is especially relevant when voting on specific issues.
No one can be an expert in every single domain. Yet, among the people we know, each has their own fields of interest for which they presumably know more than those who barely heard of the topic. For topical votes, having the opportunity to entrust your vote to someone you know has a better understanding of the topic and the related issues, and has the interests of the community you live in at heart, is bound to restore voters’ sense of empowerment within the democratic system.
Ultimately, this could lead to electing ministers for their expertise in their domain, selected by nationwide delegated votes based on field-specific knowledge, instead of voting for a party based on candidates stated opinions on a wide array of topics about which they have, at best, limited expertise.
What is Built-in Accountability?
In today’s democratic system, accountability is either based on representatives voluntarily stepping down when they are caught failing their constituents — a very theoretical option, rarely seen in real life — or on taking the risk of being voted out in the next electoral round.
There is, in fact, no practical way to hold representatives accountable in real time when they fail to keep their electoral promises — unless they commit a crime, but that is a different issue.
If only there was a system to automatically force them to step down, or to at least pay a price, for blatant dereliction of the representative’s duties.
Such a system now actually exists. Blockchain technology made it theoretically possible, and Coalichain created a user-friendly infrastructure for it.
It relies on candidates announcing a practical program with definite milestones instead of lavishing generic promises on many topics.
When candidates detail their program down to specific actions they intend to take, defined by milestones with pre-set dates, Coalichain’s milestone based smart-contract automatically activates polls asking their voters to confirm elected candidates deserve their continued support
Sanctions in case of loss of support are also pre-defined and can be automatically applied, and so can rewards, when relevant.
As the smart-contract used in combination with the election features are fully customizable, candidates are free to define the milestones they intend to reach and to define what sanction would be applied in case of failure. This, in and of itself, already gives an indication of the candidate dedication and belief that his program is realistically achievable.
Coalichain’s platform is built in such a way that, ahead of reaching milestones, representative will have the opportunity to present a full report of their achievements in the intervening period, and constituents will be able to directly ask them questions to clarify unclear points.
Coalichain governance ecosystem is an app that includes:
1. Election functions
a. Classic representational elections
b. Multi-layered delegative elections with ratings and expert nominations
c. Milestone based built-in accountability elections with jury-based reviews
2. Customizable smart-contracts
a. For elections
b. For organizations
In addition, Coalichain, of course, provides full-fledged KYC features, the possibility of creating private and public groups and run the main features within these groups and communication channels.
The app MVP is scheduled for release in 2018 Q3 or early Q4 and pre-registration is available here.