Summarized Philosophical Explanations
and Help for "Voting" (when functional)

The intention is for this system to grow and evolve "beside" the conventional voting systems, maybe eventually making the latter obsolete.

I was calling this "electronic democracy" (private votes, majority rule, winner take all), but now I'm realizing it's more about "electronic consensus" (public discussion and position statements until no active opposition remains). It could be used either way by those who see such needs.

For a beginning, it might be accessible for informal polling, voting and commenting, just to those on EFN (Eugene Free Network, Oregon), concerning EFN issues, but accessible to all for reading articles, comments and poll reports. Next it would expand to all Eugene residents for polling and voting on Eugene issues, and so on, maybe to the world, probably including interface with mail and phone voting systems. The software would be available for free download to any other communities. As it moves from informal polls toward more formal votes, more security measures will no doubt be needed.

Self Interest or Global Interest question: When we act purely in our own interests (free-enterprise), we are sometimes inherently on different sides, each with our own goals. Only "government" control, including unspoken conventions, keeps us from taking this to extremes such as killing each other (in some form or other) to get our way. When we think globally, we are basically on the same side, differing only in methods of reaching the same goals.

Quality of Presentation question: I feel this question is especially important, in the interest of allowing later readers to filter what they read and eliminating some of the information glut on the Internet. The problem is that many people. at first, will vote on the presentation the same as they feel about the issue. Later, some will come to understand that diversity of opinion, if well-stated, is of special value.

In later versions of formal voting, each voter might have the choice of simply voting on each issue within his various communities, or dividing some or all of his voting power between himself and various proxies (representatives), in proportions as he sees fit. Rather than elect representatives and legislatures, we would choose them individually. The proxies' voting power would then be proportional to maybe the square root of the equivalent of the number of full supporters. (For the mathematically inclined, some people say a power between 0.5 and 1 might be better, encouraging representative democracy more than direct democracy.) This would be carrying principles of proportional representation to their ultimate and maybe beyond, where there's no minimum limit of support for being a representative.

Elaborated Philosophy of Electronic Consensus


Help on Voting

You must register to vote from your own ISP account, by giving your name, email address, password and maybe codename. If you ever vote from public Internet access, or through someone else's account, type your email address for ID, as well as your password, in the proper blocks. A codename can be given when you register, or added later when you want to vote privately. Once you've registered, your choice of public or private vote, maybe your ID (as above) and your password are all that are required in order to vote.

When voting, type a single digit in the appropriate voting boxes, signifying your level of approval etc. Nothing will be sent until you push the Send key at the end of the form. Even then, you can change your vote by coming back to the same page and inputting whatever information you want to change. The old information will be overwritten in the database.

All information from the voting form might go into one database. Reports from this database, available to anyone, might look as follows, in a very small community:

List of All Eligible Voters in this Precinct
----------------------------
Darren Hayes
Frances Kiker
Pete Kiker
George Peabody
Dan Robinson
Peggy Robinson
Bill Simmons
Ethel Villeneve
Jane Wilson 

(Having this list means anyone can challenge eligibility of other voters.) 


Report on Success of Measures
-----------------------------
                                           Measures           
                              |  1|  2|  3|  4|  5|  6|  7|  8| 
--------------------------------------------------------------------- 
***** Average Votes on Issues:|4.0|6.5|3.0|6.7|3.8|4.3|4.0|5.0| 4.7 Av. 
              Number of votes:|  5|  4|  5|  3|  5|  3|  5|  3| 33  Total
           Number of Comments:|  3|  0|  1|  0|  1|  0|  2|  1| 8   Total
    How much Global Interest?:|8.4|9.2|9.5|8.9|9.7|9.5|7.9|9.4| 9.1 Av.
      Presentation Popularity:|7.6|7.0|9.2|2.4|5.7|4.8|8.0|6.5| 6.4 Av.
--------------------------------------------------------------


Report on All Votes
-------------------
                                          Measures           
                             |  1|  2|  3|  4|  5|  6|  7|  8| 
_________________________________________________________________________ 
**** Average Votes on Issues:|4.0|6.5|3.0|6.7|3.8|4.3|4.0|5.0| 4.7 F. Av.
      Votes Per Issue Totals:|  5|  4|  5|  3|  5|  3|  5|  3| 33 Total
   How much Global Interest?:|8.4|9.2|9.5|8.9|9.7|9.5|7.9|9.4| 9.1 Av.
     Presentation Popularity:|7.6|7.0|9.2|2.4|5.7|4.8|8.0|6.5| 6.4 Av.
   ____________________      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  
   Issues Voted Totals:|     |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  
_______________________|_________________________________________________
Darren Hayes --------- 5 --- | 4C|   | 2 | 7 | 3 |   | 9C|   | 5.0 Av.
Dan Robinson --------- 6 --- | 6 | 9 | 1 |   | 7C| 7 | 4 |   | 5.7 Av.
Jane Wilson ---------- 5 --- | 0 |   |   | 9 | 0 |   | 0 | 9 | 3.6 Av.
di4l67K -------------- 6 --- | 9C| 6 | 0C|   | 3 |   | 9C| 6C| 5.5 Av.
M4cB9s --------------- 8 --- | 1C| 9 | 3 | 4 | 6 | 6 | 3 | 0 | 4.0 Av.
tO1aB ---------------- 3 --- |   | 2 | 9 |   |   | 0 |   |   | 3.7 Av.
                      --                                       --- 
               Total: 33                        Final Average: 4.6

This table means we can check on how our own votes were recorded, 
whether public or private, and maybe whether the totals got passed on 
properly to higher levels. 
Click on "C" in vote numbers to see comments on the measures.

Click on "Measures" and get titles/links to all measures.

Click on a Measure number and get more details of that measure, all votes on it and an index to all comments about it, sorted by vote.

Click on a public voter's name and get the voter's email address, his votes on all issues and an index to his comments on all issues.

(Difference in final averages due to rounding off.)

(Jane Wilson and tO1aB could be the same person, voting publicly and privately on different issues, but no one can know for sure, especially as the number of voters increase.)

The voters' passwords would allow them to go back and change their votes later by voting again on the same issue. Their previous votes would be over-written, and the resultant totals recalculated (until "Election Day", if applicable).

Send me your thoughts.
Dan Robinson, danrob@efn.org, Eugene, Oregon
My home page: http://www.efn.org/~danrob/