The Proxy Political Party
The article here makes the point that it should be possible now to use software to enable a democracy that allows voters to stay updated on and actively participate in specific issues, rather than on a whole party identity. It suggests its software to be integrated into existing democratic processes, so that the voters can gain insight into them.
I agree on the first part. I disagree on the second.
Here's my suggestion on how to implement the vision.
The Proxy Political Party (PPP)
Setup a political party that works as follows:
- The PPP provides open source software that allows use by registered voters in the country of the PPP.
- Users propose, discuss and vote on actions to be taken by the PPP.
- Acting members of the PPP act and vote in the political system according to the users' votes.
Voting in the PPP allows for voting on specific issues. Voting for the PPP does not constitute voting for a specific ideology, but for additional political power for the PPP, and thus by proxy, for its users. If one or more acting members of the PPP decide to ignore the result of a vote, they get voted out. If that doesn't work, the PPP loses its trust and people stop voting for it, thus making it powerless.
There's nothing preventing the existence of several alternative PPPs with different acting members and different organizational processes.
Whatever suggestion I make here for the software to organize a PPP would probably not survive contact with reality. Nevertheless, here's what I'd like to see in the MVP:
- It should be open source.
- It should make sure that all registered voters can have access to it, but noone else.
- It should provide tools for suggesting, discussing and voting on actions.
- It should ensure the integrity of its data.
- User anonymity might be of value, but I'm not too sure about that.
I suspect that specifics like the software giving insight into obsolete public debates or building up a user profile that can predict your votes are unnecessary. Continuously improved, collectively crafted and AI summarized legislative documents on the other hand do sound highly valuable. Do note that my personal opinion on this is unnecessary as well, as these specifics could be discussed and voted on in the context of a PPP.