Delegate to anyone at any time
Democracy is as hailed as it is belittled these days. As Churchill quipped, it is the worst system of governance available, except for all the other ones. Looking at the world today, it does not seem to be very popular, at least not among the ruling class. Which should perhaps not come as a surprise per se. Just under half the worlds population live in nations that do not allow free and fair elections worthy of the name. As for the other half, the viability of their various brands of rule by the will of the people leave a lot to wish for. A lot. The actual state of democracy in even the staunchest defender of the concept, in words if not in deeds, speaks volumes. Democracy, at least in its current form, is just not delivering the goods.
Democracy is not just a question of having a vote. It consists of strengthening each citizen’s possibility and capacity to participate in the deliberations involved in life in society. “
Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Fair enough. So why is it not delivering the goods? Well, mainly because we are running a system that was last upgraded when the telegraph was introduced. The problem is not democracy itself, or at the very least we have yet to arrive at a passable enough approximation of it to arrive at such a conclusion. The problem is we are running a severely outdated version of it. Tantamount to entering a Grand Prix with a Mode T Ford from 1908.
Think about it. We can do pretty much everything from the computer in our pocket, including verifying pur identity in order to access sensitive medical data, paying our bills and managing our pension portfolio, should we have one. But for some reason, it is absolutely unthinkable that we should use said device to vote on the issues that not only affect our every day lives but that we fund though the taxes we pay.
Or don’t think about it. Because apparently is is unthinkable that we use a hand held devise literally millions of times more powerful than the computer that put two humans on the moon and brought them back to earth for such a complex maneuver as casting a vote. Sorry, the best we can do for you is point you in the right direction of your closest voting booth once every four years or so. Some challenges are just too hard for science to figure out.
Except they are not. There are plenty of digital options out there that work and are sufficiently reliable. Digital democracy is but one of the benefits of the last few years manic development in the blockchain space. There is really no reason why we couldn’t vote on everything, all the time, and reduce the political class into a skeleton staff doing whatever needs to be done to keep the cobwebs away for the next time we need to entertain some dignitary or other.
But surely this is a recipe for disaster. There is no way your average person… strike that, your average genius can stay up to date with more than a small fraction of the matters that need to be laid to rest on a daily basis. This is why we have representative democracy, it takes a team to handle such complexity.
Both these statements are true. The conclusion, however, is not. Enter the concept of Liquid Democracy.
If you are unfamiliar with the concept, prepare to have your mind blown.
Liquid democracy is what you get when you take all the perks of direct democracy, the ability to vote on anything and everything you please, with all the perks of representative democracy, the ability to give your voice and vote to the team you trust the most to figure out all the stuff you don’t have the time, the interest or the mental propensity to figure out, but none of the drawbacks.
Liquid democracy allows you to vote directly on any issue you like but also allows you to lend or delegate your your to someone you trust, be it a person or an organisation or even a political party. Whenever you don’t actively vote, your vote goes to your delegate. If you have selected several delegates, and you most likely will have, because why wouldn’t you if you had the option, your vote goes to the highest ranking delegate who has an opinion on the matter. But, really, you could weight you delegates any way you like, let the majority rule or some other interesting combination. If any delegate does not live up to your expectations you can demote them or drop them entirely with just a click. No waiting four years to pick another option out of a tiny selection who will most likely disappoint you as much as the previous one did. Poof, gone! And most importantly, whenever you actively vote, your vote will always override that of your delegate. Because in the end, a delegate can only recommend how to vote on an issue.
This system has a number of benefits. It makes it possible to create a highly individualised and granular political platform. Take the pieces you like and discard that which you aren’t very keen on, no need to compromise. Also it allows you to give your vote and voice to people that are not traditional politicians. Perhaps you trust some dissident holed away in exile in some distant country banned from returning home due to having blown the whistle on illicit government surveillance? Well, you could delegate your vote to such a fictitious person who would then, all of a sudden, represent you and everyone else who did the same in all domestic affairs, despite being threatened with a long jail sentence or even being put to death by the pseudo democratic regime you are currently living under the yoke of.
And delegating can be used for many more things than this. Say for instance that our fictitious hero is a security expert. Well, you could simply delegate your basic security setup to their standard. You’d still pick your password obviously, but you’d follow their settings by default.
To summarise, liquid democracy is a massive upgrade of our current severely outdated system, and has become a particularly viable option thanks to the last couple of years of rapid development in the cryptographic space of the blockchain sphere. It is also a key component of the Crowdpol ecosystem.