[pp.int.general] LQFB: status quo in Germany // was: liquid feedback papers and/or data?
Eduardo Robles Elvira
edulix at gmail.com
Sun Apr 27 10:35:39 CEST 2014
On 27/04/14 03:32, hyazinthe at emailn.de wrote:
> Currently the area "binding online resolution system" is heavily under construction in Germany.
> We used to have an unbinding LQFB, but for various reasons it is not accepted to a worth mentioning degree.
> Right now in April 2014 probably not more than 30 people use it; it easily could be thousands
> of people in the scope of the german pirate party.
> At the same time it got obvious, that we urgently need a binding online resolution system:
> When you have special success, thousands of members and a couple of them in parliaments,
> there is a strong structural need for making official basicdemocratic (!), fast resolutions
> between party conventions; so being able to do that any time. You all better start early
> establishing such a structure; you gonna need it. Most striking reason for needing this is the
> history of the german pirate party: With success small, but very loud and aggressive groups came
> to infiltrate the pirate party germany and try to set the tone by being loud and radical, and you know what ?
> It actually works pretty well – unless there is a way to make official, basicdemocratic, fast resolutions.
> If a system is basicdemocratic, such destructive groups have no chance to dominate by simply being
> very loud and aggressive.
> We're in the process of establishing the "Basisentscheid" (translated "basis/grass route resolution"); that's
> the name for a different online resolution system, which is binding. A lot of issues, which LQFB has, the
> "Basisentscheid" doesn't have. I can't say, when it's going to be ready, but don't expect that to
> be fast, because there are very, very less people actually indeed working on realizing it.
> The problem with wishing and complaining on the one hand and actually indeed doing something on the other hand, you know ?
> But on one of the last party conventions all gathered german pirate party members already voted for the resolution of
> implementing the "Basisentscheid"; so, it's not just a theory or exercise – it is seriously coming for sure.
> Here are the TOP 5 reasons why LQFB fails in Pirate Party Germany:
> 5. No home developer team
> Relying on LQFB without an own home developer team means making oneself independant from a problematic software, which
> development is not in one's hand.
> 4. Not so good verification process
> Establishing a verification process is an important preparation of making LQFB binding; you need to make sure that behind every
> vote there is only one real person. The current verification process is not implemted, yet, but is really not the best and not really data reductive
> One can fix it, but the attitude of the people behind LQFB is "this is not a problem, YOU are the problem".
> Whenever there is any problem regarding LQFB, you instantly meet unwillingness to accept the issue as a problem and additionally solve it.
> 3. The interface is very unattractive and not very functional
> The current interface scares a lot of people away, is very difficult to access, and doesn't make lust to deal with the system.
> The team developping a new interface can't continue for more than 1 year now, because they need development of LQFB itself, and
> 1. the original developers refuse to do so, because they have better things to do and don't like pirates (anymore) and 2. there was just
> one pirate, who was willing to do this development, but he stopped continuing to do a core re-design of LQFB, which then would have been
> independant from the original LQFB developers 1 year ago - so, downtime.
> 2. Super delegation problem
> A super delegation means, that extremely much votes are concentrated on one single person what enables this person to decide alone
> about success of initiatives. I know that one can start arguing a lot at that spot ("it's not a bug, it's a feature !"), but what's it worth ?
> In practice super delegations demotivated the masses to participate. The aim of e-Democracy is generating more democracy. When one
> person alone sets the tone and masses boycott the system, then in practice you missed the aim of generating more democracy. Of course
> now one can say "it's the fault of the super delegates" or "it's the fault of the masses; they don't understand", but does that change
> anything at the fact, that this system in practice right now fails to generate more democracy ? No.
> 1. Unlawfulness & Voting machine problem
> The Voting machine problem means, that technically a democratic election basically only can have 2 of the following 3 qualities:
> Electronic, secret & open to scrutiny.
> This is the No.1 problem: The Pirate Party Germany has EXTREME high expectations regarding democratic elections and the people pushing
> for making LQFB binding in Germany simply don't take the demands on democratic elections serious; as a consequence, the solution
> they've found – renouncing secrecy and so making the election totally transparent with real name lists viewable for everyone – doesn't satisfy
> the masses and probably is against the constitution.
> They don't have a problem with it; they don't care. But the masses do. Hence the downtime.
> Because of all that, currently there is a dead unbinding LQFB in the german pirate party; since one
> year on every party convention of the Pirate Party Germany, with a lot pathos a proposal comes up
> to make LQFB binding, although all mentioned problems still exist unsolved.
> Of course, such proposals get rejected every time.
> Our alternative to LQFB (binding LQFB = #SMV), the "Basisentscheid (abbrev.: #BEO)", is not as famous as "the #SMV" but very promising:
> The verification system of the "Basisentscheid" is more data reductive,
> the super delegation problem is solved by renouncing delegations and so having a fully basicdemocratic web resolution system,
> the time elite problem is solved by cyclic voting phases,
> in contrast to the sMV the "Basisentscheid" doesn't exclude offliners,
> in short or mid term the "Basisentscheid" will be staffed with an own
> software, which is in our hand, so that we don't depend on the
> LQFB developers, who are not favorable to us,
> the "Basisentscheid" enables secret voting (switches to offline mode then),
> the "Basisentscheid" is designed to be lawful.
> In discussions with a huge amount of pirates, who are doing political work on
> democracy and e-democracy or are interested in it, the idea came up and enjoyed popularity
> to fill the hole, which removing delegations left, with a kind of advice/recommendation system;
> so, you can't give your power to another person, who then technically decides for you, but
> you can follow people you trust regarding certain topic areas or concrete topics, if you want;
> when you follow them, that means, that you can read what they think of certain
> proposals, if they make a comment on certain proposals.
> These comments help you to do a competent voting decision and are time saving for you,
> but they just help you instead of taking the actual voting off your hand; so,
> you're still the one who has to make a vote; you just got advice(s) how to do it – not more and not less.
> So much to the know how and status quo of the german pirate party regarding binding online (web based) resolution systems.
> In the course of the years another insight raised:
> Discussion is more important than making a resolution.
> And anologue speaking in systems:
> A binding web-based resolution system is not enough,
> we also especially need a web-based discussion system, which
> is made for optimizing discussing instead of just enabling discussing.
> Who's interested in this and what the status quo of this structural development is in the
> german pirate party, just have a look at this:
> - theory: http://wiki.piratenpartei.de/AG_Meinungsfindungstool/Ergebnisse/DieGrundidee
> - practice: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1xulOzojrwx-Xcs3rYSwU0kftSgSyDHrWzb0VzGf4BTQ/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=60000#slide=id.p
> - and if you're interested in helping developping a discussion system, then join the related working group: http://wiki.piratenpartei.de/AG_Meinungsfindungstool/Ergebnisse/Macht_mit#Regelm.C3.A4.C3.9Fige_Treffen - if you don't understand german, use https://translate.google.com/
> / aka Oliver
Thanks for such an informational and honest email. I develop AgoraVoting
and find it exciting that you have identified those problems and you're
trying to solve them. I'd love to join forces with you in the
development of the new tool.
Regarding vote delegation, I think that the solution you propose is
interesting and we have already been thinking about such kind of
solutions for Agora. Anyway, in our voting system the idea is simply to
be flexible and let you choose: do you want encrypted secret vote or
public votes? do you want vote delegation or not? what authentication
system do you want? These are all choices you can have in Agora, the
system is not constrained and we are always trying to make it more flexible.
As I was saying, if you have had a really bad experience with vote
delegation and want to ditch it, I'm ok with it, it's your decision of
course. I still find the vote delegation very interesting, but I believe
that this should be constrained in some ways like:
1. certain kind of decisions (like a primaries, modifying the rules to
vote, statue changes..) should not allow vote delegation. This can
already be done with agora.
2. vote delegation should allow to delegate by category. This has
limited support by agora, only in an indirect way: create different
agoras for each topic.
3. delegation needs to expire after N days/months (configurable, of
course). When delegation expires, it's removed. You need to renew it to
make it valid again. This is really important and modifying the period
of validity can solve the issue of people having too much power without
having really the merits for it. This is similar to what happens in our
democracies: you choose your delegates/representatives every N years.
Here, I would suggest months (depending on the community, 6 to 2 months,
What we don't do in AgoraVoting is discussion: we think that discussion
can happen elsewhere, and that developing a voting system is already a
task big enough; something like "do one thing and do it right". We might
be wrong at that, but anyway we have an API and it can be integrated
with other tools that way.
I for one would love to be able to hold a european (or international)
pirate meeting to try to see how can we collaborate with each other. We
could even start with a mumble session if you want, that'd be a good
start. As you probably know, we had a very interesting meeting regarding
how to solve these issues in the youth pirates conf in Brussels (after
the creation of PPEU), and we disccused something in this direction.
I'll try to join your mailing lists, but what you say about having a
mumble chat to start knowing each other and this way we can see how to
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