Continuous Cascaded Voting¶
I suggest a change in our implementation of democracy. I call it “Continuous Cascaded Voting” because it is a change in the voting system with two main aspects:
Voting becomes continuous: every voter can vote or change their vote at any time. You simply log in at the parliament’s website, select some citizen as getting your voice, and hit submit.
Voting becomes cascaded : you can vote for any citizen, preferably one of your friends whom you consider trustworthy. The vote of your friend will then count twice (their voice plus your voice). This idea is not new, it has also been described as Liquid democracy.
The system is not limited to parliaments. It can also be used for municipalities or for a local scout group. The board of deciders is the parliament, city council or committee, depending on the group that is being governed.
Voting remains private because every vote is considered confidential data. You cannot see who voted for you, but you can see how many people voted for you. When you know that 1000 people voted for you, you know that your own vote will have a weight of 1001 voices.
There are no “candidates”. Every member of the group is a potential candidate. If you want to work as decider, you can simply work continuously for convincing your friends to vote for you. Electoral campaigns will become useless, you will rather focus continuously on your personal relationships and what you say in public.
When you have a certain number of voices, you are asked whether you agree to become a decider and take a seat in the board of deciders. If you have enough voices but do not want to actually work as a decider, you simply select some other member.
As a decider you can potentially receive, at any moment, a notification that you lost your seat because some other member has collected more voices than you and will therefore replace you. The replacement itself will become effective only at certain configurable intervals. For example, parliament members usually have an employment contract with a period of notice. So the seats will not change instantly.
This system reduces the risk of having public opinion manipulated by sponsoring, publicity or propaganda because members are encouraged to vote for people they know personally.
This system brings a natural solution to situations where a board of deciders is locked because of a lack of consensus, e.g. when a controversial question splits opinions into to camps. As soon as the lock becomes tangible, people will start to discuss in public, think, and change their mind about whom to vote, which will lead to changes in the composition of the board of deciders.
Estonia might be a pioneer for developing this idea because the country is relatively small and has relatively good IT infrastructure.