[pp.int.general] Liquid democracy information?

carlo von lynX lynX at pirate.my.buttharp.org
Mon Nov 28 18:06:07 CET 2011

folks, stick all the way through this post because it gets enlightning
and maybe even a bit entertaining towards the end. i took some time off
to settle this topic, so i hope it'll clear some myths up.

On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 04:51:50PM +0100, Boris Turovskiy wrote:
> Well carlo, you just demonstrated wonderfully the typical response of a  
> Liquid Feedback adept to even the slightest criticism... Thanks for 

"slight" criticism? huh? okay. everyone reads his own words in a
different tone than others read it.

> party program. The point is that to write a party manifesto which is  
> ready to be voted upon at a general assembly, you don't really need the  
> Liquid part, you don't need the entire voting module, you don't need  
> mandatory real name registration, you don't need to store the entire  
> voting history for ages, but you do need a discussion platform (as LQFB  
> doesn't provide one it was established to provide links to a discussion  

this assessment is entirely subjective. the more things have been
decided upon in advance, the less you lose time in a general assembly
on it. also, the general assemblies we hold these days are to a degree
less democratic than LQFB because several people cannot travel the
entire country to cast their votes. so i find it highly unfair, that the
"active" folks get to take our final decisions, not the majority that has
been voting from home.

> pad for each initiative). Some features of LQFB, like the  
> amendments/opinions system, do indeed help to work out a proposal of  
> acceptable quality, but they are not the features which are most often  
> cited as the great strengths of Liquid Feedback (Liquid Democracy,  

yes, LD is overrated. as i pointed out in the link i cited, the
democratic amendments system is the biggest point in favor of LQFB
that hasn't been reproduced by any other system, that's why i suggested
agora could have a look into that.

> transparency, etc.) I also don't have the impression that LQFB would  
> have produced such a torrent of criticism if its area of application had  
> been defined as "collaborative development of proposals" from the  
> beginning instead of "the democratic mega-weapon", "a new age in party  
> democracy" or "a tool to make final decisions on political topics".

some personal opinions have been overly visionary and hopeful, and
at the same time they credited LQFB for taking the first really relevant
step in the right direction. of course some other people who haven't
experienced it the same way get annoyed by such personal statements.
everything deserves being improved, but there is no reason to start from less.

>> As far as I can tell, if you don't have "delegation kings" your liquid
>> democracy is broken. It is human nature to have some popular people that
>> get some 30.. 50.. delegations. It's still ridiculous numbers compared
>> to the voting power of a delegate in traditional parties.
> Well, if that's your opinion on "human nature" then why not just scrap  
> the whole liquid democracy idea and revert to a classical party  

excuse me sir, but i have the impression that you are trolling...
or are you seriously having problems distinguishing the two scenarios?

> be able to push through any decisions by himself. A delegation king in  
> Liquid Feedback may very well be able to sway any voting result with his  
> decision alone.

he can support proposals, okay, but why should the majority of people
allowed to vote refrain from voting? and should they actually do, then
i'm sorry, that's democracy. they chose to do so themselves.

what do you want.. a technology that either FORCES everyone to take part
in votings or that IGNORES the voice of everyone that chooses not to take
the necessary time? what you call "delegation kings" is the actual
democratic will, not a bug.

but the problem doesn't even exist the way you present it. let's look
at a decision-making process the way it should be (with a pirate party
sufficiently big, interested and not confused by disagreements):


    Yes: 962 (91%) · Abstained: 108 · No: 91 (9%)
    (for a laicist state btw)

now click on the voting details, scroll through the ten pages
of people and tell me how many "delegation kings" are in there.
(guests cannot access that data unfortunately, only party members)

christopher lauer has 11 proxy votes because he was on television.
OMG! 11, that can really swing a vote now!!

fabio reinhardt is a parliamentary in berlin. he is also a very
kind and popular person. he's got +2! oliver höfinghoff, another
popular parliamentary, +2.

the idea that being on television or in parliament makes you a
delegation king appears to be a myth.

Monika Belz has +9, she was the main editor of the Berlin
election program, that's why she's deemed more competent than others.

pavel mayer comes closer to being a delegation king with +17
delegations. he's parliamentary and party director in berlin,
performed pretty bad at TV interviews but has a solid reputation
for pioneering internet business with his approx 17 years old
art+com internet company.

maha is the only "delegation king" that exists in LQFB at all.
he is a popular figure in the chaos computer club that also
happens to be very proficient in many political matters, so it
happens that 30 people entrust him with a vote. here is the list
of people that gave Martin Haase whopping 30 votes:

    (again, only clickable by members of the german pirate party)

i am sure that +30 is enough to decide a vote in the national
german pirate party liquid feedback instance all by yourself.
maha has no operational roles in the pirate party at all, AFAIK.
producing electoral manifestos is probably his main focus, which
explains his delegational popularity.

so by looking at this sort of facts we can say that the massive
majority of party members take decisions THEMSELVES. liquid
democracy is just a method to not leave anyone out and thus become
less democratic!

the fact that this and other proposals, that have been decided upon
in obvious massive support, will need to be re-negotiated at the
general assembly is putting a brake on the party's ability to get
things done and an insult to those who are staying home.

so, after making this little research to be sure i know what i am
talking about, i must say, boris, the warnings you have been 
expelling about LQFB are FUD. get yourself some facts first.

p.s. there is a reason why trolls hate liquid feedback, because
lqfb is the most troll-resistant tool the pirate party has seen,
so the only way to still have an impact on the party is by questioning it.

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