Self Governance

of the people

Vote For Yourself

What if you could program the government to do what you want?  What if you could write down exactly what you want from your government and vote for it to be delivered then carried out? What if I said we could get rid of politicians?  Right now we vote for the person we think has the best plan.  Only nobody gives out a tangible plan.  Nothing in writing.  No timetables. No budget. Just empty promises.  So I say, lets write our own plan.  We make our plan known to everyone.  State exactly where and when we will talk to who.  We hide nothing and challenge all politicians to do the same.

Using existing common tools we can collectively build a four year plan for government.  Using our personal network connections we can organize ourselves.  We can openly discuss issues and hold elections to find agreement on the best solutions.  We put those solutions into project plans for government staff to carry out.  We prepare legislation for enactment and turn solutions into policy.  This is all done in a transparent process and open for all to participate in equally.  Self Governance.

We can elect ourselves into a majority government to make it happen. Us, not businessmen or career politicians or those born rich, just your averagely honest citizen who volunteered to represent. I’m talking about having a detailed plan of action with a budget, in writing in hand before nominating people. Then we nominate the people who wrote the plan and vote for them because we know exactly what we are voting for.  

We create a network that we use to affect government and solve our own problems instead of needing to trust career politicians.  Once we are connected, people can quickly and easily raise concerns in their community.  They can gather support without needing to physically interact with large groups.  Large groups of people can be notified of problems instantly, with requests for solutions being generated automatically.  Get everyone to submit their ideas, then vote for the best.

Crowd sourced solutions have the ability of being highly detailed.  Most project plans lack specifics since it takes long hours of thought to identify every case.  The cost is high for a planning phase of a project and always cut.  With volunteered or donated hours by civil patriots, who volunteer to make the nation great,  the details can be worked out.  What we give the government staff is something well thought out with clear instruction and direction.

I’m talking about a true democracy, a society that participates in every aspect of government.

You should be able to take what I’ve just said and do it yourself, I can only speak from my country.

I have some thoughts and ideas on ways to move forward that might be a start.

About The Vote

When you leave the current voting system in place, without any changes, it works like a safety net for problems online. Regardless of what happens, we always end up with what we have now, elected representatives, strangers a who say they are the best choice. This is about running online elections, on top of the current voting system in the background. Without the risk of losing what we have now, we gain the ability of conducting online elections.

There are many options for doing this and they should all be looked at. I used a thought experiment, back around 2006, to come up with something that might work. This is theory only, I have not developed or tested this method. That said, the idea is to use a public ledger and a validation step to qualify the results. When you cast your ballot you get a secret code that appears on a public ledger with your vote. Nobody knows that code is your vote… but you know that spot on the ledger it correct. so you tell everyone its a good ledger, it shows your vote correctly. Nobody needs to know your secret code. Once eighty-five percent of the voters validate the ledger, a two-thirds majority result can be declared as majority ruled. What that means is, eighty-five percent of two-thirds is at lest fifty percent majority. For example, one hundred people call a vote… A, B or C. Lets say sixty-six people vote for B, B gets sixty-six votes shown on the ledger from anonymous voters. When eighty-five voters validate the ledger as true, only fifteen ledger records can be called into question. If you consider every questionable record, all fifteen, is for the winner, and remove those votes, you are left with fifty-one votes for B which is a majority.

The method seems to be a simple way to automate anonymous polling for a population. We can quickly hold elections with limitless numbers of voters with a minor cost. This method creates an opportunity to have votes contested but the people can still safely carry out elections. Contested votes should be expected as people will not validate for many reasons; while other people will want to change their vote or maybe a voter is truly compromised but as long as a true majority can be found then the process must continue.

What remains to be addressed is a strong community discussion that can focus conversations towards a clear majority agreement. Election results would tend to agree with discussion results; detail conflicts excluded.

The Plan

About the Plan

Once we have a way to hold elections and a method for developing solutions, what remains is to write the plan. Before this can be done a clear definition of what we are planning, governance, needs to be written. In order to do that we need to define government. Currently, government is defining itself and should be used as a beginning. In a truly self governing society the people will define and, occasionally, redefine their government depending on the need. A description of all departments and inter-departments, including their relationships to other departments, will need to be mapped out in a online wiki. The wiki links to detailed financial statements and legislative scope. Any changes to government will require a clear proposal drawn up with timelines, budget impacts, Pros & Cons, etc. Changes to legislation will need to be drafted in standard legal protocols for the legislative process. After agreement on the solutions is complete a schedule is written that details what the elected members will do when they take office.
Because everyone agrees on what needs to be done, who signs the paperwork becomes irrelevant. This allows us to use a sortition system slightly similar to one used in ancient Athens, for selecting representatives. Random selection will help prevent coalitions or cabals from forming and deters corruption. Since they are volunteers they must be given impunity in carrying out the plan as written and elected. Elected members should act in agreement with civil servant advice when the collective is undecided.
Certain civil servants should be know as Keepers. They keep our secrets, land and people guarded and sovereign. They can refuse to act on elected direction and they do not have to disclose information to the elected but they are employees and can be replaced. In times of crisis the elected representatives will act on advice of the Keepers and provide support until otherwise needed.
This gives us three barriers to mob rule, two thirds majority, the elected representatives can refuse to act or the Keepers can refuse to act.

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About the Keepers

Keepers are not something new because they are our civil servant leadership.  They are the various heads of departments and divisions who were hired because they were vetted to be the best then promoted for experience, knowledge and dedication to service.  Our current system of governance requires them to take charge in some situations.  This is necessary because the elected representatives and their appointed representatives, in most cases,have only been in office a short time.  They lack the knowledge and experience with critical infrastructure required to deal with the situation. 

Today’s appointed representatives are typically highly qualified and considered experts in their field; sometimes they are not.  The appointed are expected to coordinate between the elected and civil leadership to develop projects, enact changes and present information to the public.  I propose we script the role of the appointed, hire the person that would have been appointed and rely on our civil leadership for their advice and recommendations outside the script.  The idea is that professionals, community members and stakeholders come together to write the script in a way that is easy for the civil leaders to carryout without too many issues outside of its scope.

The reason for the term Keepers is to not only recognize our reliance on their expertise and service but also to respect the information they hold that makes us the best at what we do and keeps us safe; our secrets.  We need people who can work with this information and be able to keep that information a secret from everyone.  It should be expected they will withhold information regularly and projects must be planned with what is received from requests for information.  At the same time it should be expected that most of the civil leaders will be forthcoming with information, as having a good plan before starting any project makes everyone’s job easier.

To reiterate, the keepers are mostly the people we already trust to take charge in an emergency.  The idea is to extend that trust so that we can separate the politics from governance.  Once the election is over the government will govern as elected because the campaign is over and the only thing up for re-election is the next plan.  Politics are for getting elected then politicians need to become leaders and a political party, by its nature, will abhor this. A collective of independent representatives with agreeing views working together towards self governance can achieve this.