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TDP Notes
Version 0.4

Section 2

[ It should be noted by anyone reading this document that it consists of ideas that may or may not be implemented by the Techno Democracy Project. It was intended only as a collection of brain storming notes, not as a blueprint cast in stone. Regardless of the language used to describe the ideas, they are all merely options for TDP, and others, to consider. As time as goes by, it may become apparent that some, many, or all of the ideas are not suitable for implementation. However, either way, this document can be a catalyst for further thought and discussion on the topics covered. ]

Types of Voting Systems

There are many ways to sub-divide Voting Systems (VS) into different categories. For this document, dividing them into two categories will be useful - (A) Occasional/Electoral and (B) Ongoing/Legislative.

(A) Occasional/Electoral VS - These VS are used, as the name implies, only occasionally. O/E voting systems are used every few years to elect government officials around the world. And for stock holders to occasionally vote on corporate matters.

(B) Ongoing/Legislative VS - These VS are used on an ongoing basis. In Parliament, Congress, and other legislatures around the world, O/L voting systems are used on an almost daily basis to vote on whether or not to pass proposed pieces of legislation into law.

For TDP's voting system to be effective, it will need to be able to handle either O/E tasks and O/L tasks. Ideally, it will be able to handle both types of voting tasks concurrently. It seems that the O/L systems would potentially be more complex to design, build, and support than O/E systems. Most voting systems in existence seem to target only the simpler O/E voting tasks.

Types of Democracies

When considering political science from a lay person perspective, there seem to be two primary types of democracies - (A) Direct Democracies and (B) Representative Democracies.

(A) In Direct Democracies, Voters directly cast their own Votes. [ Voters --> Votes ]

(B) In Representative Democracies, Voters make their preferences known to their respective Representatives. The Representatives then directly cast the Votes. [ Voters --> Representatives --> Votes ]

In large Representative Democracies, where there are many issues being voted upon, it is common practice for Representatives to have a staff of assistants to help research & write legislation, as well as make recommendations as to the best way to Vote on various issues. It could be said that each Representative has Advisors to make recommendations on how to Vote, but that the final decision on how to Vote is left up to each Representative to determine. These could be referred to as "Advisory Representative Democracies".

(C) In Advisory Representative Democracies, Voters make their preferences known to Advisors, through Opinion Polls, Letters, Phone Calls, Personal Visits and Research. Advisors present their recommendations to Representatives. Representatives directly cast the Votes. [ Voters --> Advisors --> Representatives --> Votes ]

With current technology, it seems as if it would be possible to create a hybrid mix of (A) Direct Democracies and (C) Advisory Representative Democracies. This could be referred to as an "Advisory Direct Democracy" or as simply an "Advisory Democracy".

(D) In Advisory Democracies, Voters provide key personal demographic information and general legislative opinions to their Advisors. The Advisors then develop a customized Recommendation on each piece of proposed legislation (or only on pieces of legislation which relate to their specific specialties) for each of their Voter-Customers. Then each Voter either approves the Recommended Vote as their Actual Vote. Or, they can choose an Actual Vote which is contrary to their Recommended Vote. [ Voters --> Advisors --> Voters --> Votes ]

In Advisory Democracies, Voters could also specify a mechanism for automatically transitioning Recommended Votes into Actual Votes after a specified amount of time (or some other criteria). The Voter would still have the ability to Over-Ride any Recommended Vote before it is transitioned into an Actual Vote, if they so chose. This particular type of Advisory Democracy would, in effect, be a Representative Democracy with each Voter possessing the ability to Veto or Over-Ride their Representatives on any and all Votes.

Potentially, there are many other possible configurations and unique features which could be added to increase the power, convenience, validity, and utility of Advisory Democracies. But, that topic will be left for some other time.

For TDP's voting system to be effective, it will need to be configurable to be used for any of these four types of Democracies. Ideally, it should be designed to handle multiple configurations within a single VS engine, concurrently.

Pre-Voting Processes

In both Occasional/Electoral and Ongoing/Legislative Voting, there is much that happens before Votes are actually cast. In this Pre-Voting time period there are numerous processes which happen, which TDP would be wise to recognize, analyze, understand, and support in its Techno Democracy Systems (TDS).

(A) For Elections, in which one or more people are voted into a governmental post, the pre-voting period usually involves….

(B) For Referenda and Initiatives, in which one or more Issues are Voted on by the General Public, the pre-voting period usually involves…. (C) For Legislative Voting, in which one or more Issues are Voted on directly by Voters or by their Representatives, the pre-voting period can involve….

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  Copyright 1998 - 2001 by Thom Wysong