[pp.int.general] 'Liquid Democrazy': Pirate Party Sinks amid Chaos and Bickering

Nicolás Reynolds fauno at kiwwwi.com.ar
Sun Feb 24 20:54:00 CET 2013

carlo von lynX <lynX at pirate.my.buttharp.org> writes:
>> we know a lot about clientelism, charismatic leaders and demagogy here,
>> and when i read about liquid democracy it didn't solve these problems,
>> the worst case scenario being everybody delegating their vote to one
>> person.  but the problem is who does things, not who votes for
>> them... does LF have provisions for taking responsibility?
> no, you have to figure out regulations that make people, in particular
> the ones with high number of delegations, responsible of their actions.
> this is the kind of area we have been researching in one year of
> permanent assembly practice in italy. it's tough. we will probably need
> more time to get the legal framework right, but it's the only alternative
> to either representative or direct democracy.

i meant it as "ok, so who does X now this task is approved"?

> right now in italy we are facing more symptoms of the direct democratic
> kind - everyone has an opinion and votes although they got tired of
> reading the proposals thoroughly - rather then symptoms of delegational
> vote. liquid democracy didn't entirely remove the problems of the two
> classic methods of democracy, but it is at least finding some balance
> between them.
>> > "Time and again, a majority of the party's members express support
>> > online for a particular idea, only to scrap it at the party's next
>> > real-world meeting."
>> >
>> > Why that happens?  Does that mean that different people vote in LF?
>> > People change their minds?
>> it looks like an unfounded claim to have us say "direct democracy
>> doesn't work! we must have leaders." same for the anonymous messages
> this problem arises when you practice too superficial direct democracy.
> in the case of lqfb this can happen when people are too lazy to fully
> work on the proposals but too proud or too emotionalized to not vote.

this looks like the real problem, how do we address it?

> in real world assemblies it's worse: somebody comes up with some
> demagogic proposal and everyone's yeah before really thinking about it.
> just saw that recently happening at an assembly of an other italian
> political movement. the leaders are so good at it, they manage to get
> assembly mandates for whatever they want to do out of it, by not giving
> the assembly time to discuss and bicker about things. and then they claim
> they were elected by grassroots democracy for the rest of the electoral
> campaign.
> these are the moments when i realize how injust traditional democracy is
> and how much we are ahead of them, no matter how big the problems we face.
> we must absolutely stick to our path.


>> ppde leaders are receiving (secret services? they do these things), the
>> lack of opinions from the party's bases... they are all painted as the
>> angry mob.
> that's because they failed to create a well defined feedback channel
> which is democratically weighted. if you let everyone talk to you it
> just freaks you out. feedback channels must go through a medium which
> makes the criticizer realise when his opinion is with everybody else
> or when he is totally way out. by getting feedback before getting to
> the top, only the appropriate stuff gets to the top. so liquid feedback
> could be a tool to solve this, or reddit and slashdot, and it has to
> be THE official feedback channel to avoid burning executives out. with
> "executive" meaning the ones who execute the grassroots will.   :)
>> > From what I've read on this list the Italian Pirate Party wants to use
>> > LF as the sole voting method - I hope we'll learn from them how it
>> > worked there.
> yes we must absolutely document our work better. we really have long
> tales to tell. but each day i feel like i'm understanding more of what
> we are doing...  ;)

please do :D

>> we've been writing our statuses, the first thing was to make it really
>> simple to understand, not have adhoc procedures for every possible task
>> but only one so we don't end up with a bunch of bureaucrats that know
>> everything very well, confusing others and taking advantage of it.
> yes.. THAT is a mistake we've been making. but OTOH there is only so
> little that you can avoid to regulate under liquid rule. doing a
> permanent assembly needs a lot more regulations that a traditional
> political party. although many of us feel overwhelmed by regulations
> we in fact still have to regulate several essential crucial things.
>> we don't have a board but a permanent general assembly (currently
>> mailing list), and make provisions to have small autonomous groups
>> (called pirate ships!) based on interests, territory, etc.
> oh, that's how PP-IT worked until last year...  :)

does that mean it didn't work out? why?

>> every pirate can make propposals to the assembly and they get approved
>> when there's no opposition from 3%, so you still can do stuff despite
>> other's indifference (when no one shows at a meeting, for instance).
>> that pirate is immediately responsible for that propposal, so it doesn't
>> gets abandoned for lack of voluntarism.
> how do you enforce that?

we don't, it's magic democracy!

how do we enforce good behaviour?  you can proppose a sanction
afterwards through the same procedure (never happened, we're good
fellows so far, but i can foresee some exploits on this last comment).
we should translate it, having input would be really interesting.

>> we have to work a lot for newbies inclusion, knowing that many people
>> just comes to see (they don't even reply to my welcome message! :(),
>> others don't have the time and others complain about receiving many
>> emails (they forgot they subscribed to a list?).
> there is a tonload of reasons why mailing lists suck.


> they are fundamentally anti-democratic, but they are also
> impractical to anyone who doesn't know how to handle them.
> if facebook groups are much easier to use, you should be worried.

that's true.  interfaces should reflect our organization.  i also like
receiving the info instead of going to look for it :P

we have been trying a chiliproject.org instance at
adhoc.partidopirata.com.ar but it requires going there.  i've seen this
dotmocracy.org thingies that sound cool...

>> now we need at least 4000 pirates to become legal, maybe one day we'll
>> have our own democrazy P)
> one day we'll be so successful on the old continent that
> we'll get the pirate media hype onto argentinian territory
> for real.. then be ready for more people than a mailing list
> can handle!!    :-D

mmm yeah... we just replied to a note on a right wing paper saying the
new "net party" is the argentinian spin-off of the original net party:
the german pirate party.
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