понедельник, 12 января 2015 г.

A book "Mechanisms of working of internet democracy and other institutions of efficient society"

  This book contains mainly a set of ideas, how the internet democracy (E-democracy) might work. It continues the ideas of the book “Cloud democracy” by Russian authors Leonid Volkov and Fyodor Krasheninnikov. 
  Modern democracy was instituted long ago. The US constitution was written more than 200 years ago, by a few people, who were unaware of the technological developments which we have now (e.g. radio, television, internet on one side, and the rise of financial “aristocracy” and other problems on the other). It is evident that a more efficient constitution can be developed and accepted. The author does not think that his book offers an ideal version of democracy, but if this book finds some approval and interest, he will spend more time for appropriate education and elaboration of this book.

  Currently the book is available in Russian only:

 The author plans to translate it into English in future.
  Below are the main ideas from the book:

1) Direct democracy: referendums initiated via the internet. A kind of social networking service will be created, where any user will be able to post an initiative; and if this initiative gathers enough votes, it will automatically initiate a referendum.
 The main problem of direct democracy is the profanation of politics (usually a common citizen is not competent enough to make serious political decisions). To minimize the profanation, several ideas are offered. In particular, if a bill is initiated and the government does not support it, two referendums must be carried out (with the interval of 1 year), and only if in both referendums the people say “Yes” to the initiative, it will be accepted. If this initiative is incompetent, the government and other advised people will have one year to persuade the voters to reject it. This year between two referendums will be the year of public dispute between the people and the government, and this dispute will give birth to the truth;
The initiatives from the Internet should be divided according to the branch of power they belong to:
- "Executive" initiatives (belonging to the sphere of executive branch of power) should be accepted after 1 referendum;
- "Legislative" initiatives should be accepted after 2 referendums with the interval of 1 year, as written above;
- "Judicial" initiatives cannot be accepted. The nation have the right to change the laws, but not to violate them;
- One more branch - initiatives concerning the public television (see below). They can be accepted without referendums, only by a voting in the internet.

2) Implementation of public television (and other mass media). The main idea is that a TV channel gets a fixed funding from the state (and the government does not have the right to decrease this funding), but the director of this channel is elected for 2 years (like the President or governors) via the internet. This director will be also able to spread money for any other ways of informing the society (e.g. advertising a video uploaded on youtube), and he will be also able to pay out grants to scientists, sociologists, ecologists, etc. for gathering useful information.

This is a very important idea, and relatively easy to implement, so you can read a separate article on it:

3) Support of strong individual power. Several ideas on how to provide the possibility for clever and worthy people to become serious politicians. The author thinks that concentration of power in the hands of legislature, rather than individual leaders, is a bad trend.

The people, who don't strive for power much, often become good politicians. The main idea is that for political parties, finding a person who can become a good president must be a kind of "business"; they must get money depending on the rating of their president or their candidate for the presidency. The President should earn much money too, proportional to his rating, and this money should be given to him during all the time until his death ("presidential pension").

4) Public questions to the government.
The people who vote through the Web will be able to ask the President (and other people having power) public questions. When a question is posted, other people can vote for it, and the more votes it gather, the higher it is shown in the sorted list. If a question have gathered sufficient number of votes (and a good percentage of approving votes), the next stage is initiated - the President is obliged to publicly answer this question. If he does not answer this qiestion, the collective guarantor of the constitution (see below) can impeach the President.

5) Collective guarantor of the constitution.
According to many constitutions, the President is called the guarantor of the constitution. The author thinks that one person is mostly unable to serve this role - protection of the constitution. One man is always weaker than an elite, even if he has a lot of official power. The idea of the author is to create "artificial elite" using a lot (random selection, "lottery by the passport number"). They will be the people interested in protecting the laws and the constitution and having some judiciary power and the possibility to get appropriate education.
The author thinks that that the lot is a rather good alternative to elections. The lot was widely used in ancient  Greece, Rome, medieval cities, but the constructors of modern democracy somehow abandoned it. Generally speaking, the lot and the elections both have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the author thinks that combining them for different tasks is the best decision.
The author thinks, that the "artificial elite" created using the lot will be less prone to corruption, than such elite as the elected deputies, because people, who strive much to get the power, are often prone to corruption (while the people gathered using the lot will be usual, "average statistical" persons, so they will represent the nation well).

6) Competent elections
To fight the profanation of politics, the following idea is suggested: for some or all elections and referendums, only some part of the population (e.g., 1/1000 of the population) would get the right to vote. This part would be chosen by the lot (again, "lottery by the passport number"). Besides that, the selected people will be able to get some money from the state for studying literature, gathering information concerning the field of the election or referendum, and this studying will give them the possibility to vote. For important and difficult referendums, e.g. concerning the change of the country's constitution or introduction of the juvenile court, probably the preparing for competent voting, during which the randomly selected people will study literature, get appropriate education, gather on conferences, etc., will last for several years.
One question arises with this idea - what information will the chosen electors be obliged to study. I think, the best desision is the following - these electors will be able to study ANY information, which, in their point of view, can be useful for chosing a desision on the referendum. These electors will gather on conferences, communicate via the web forums, etc to exchange this infornation. And they will be obliged to spent their time for studiing the field, and a mechanism for controlling their assiduity must be implemented (they will have to write reports what have they studied).

7) "Consultative" branch of power
The author thinks that it would be better if both legislative and executive power belonged to the President. The main problem with this option is that one man can often make mistakes - a collective is in common more competent and less prone to foolery. To solve this problem, the author suggests to build a "Parliament" under the President; this "Parliament" will not have the legislative power, but it will be able to postpone the President's initiative for 1/2 years. During these 1/2 years, the "Parliament" will be able to persuade the President and the society that the former initiative was incompetent. One more resource of the "Parliament" - it will be able to ask the President public questions, and the President will be obliged to publicly answer them.

8) Other use of informational technologies for fighting criminality and corruption;

9) Other ways of fighting corruption: 20th article of the UNO convention, rewarding people who provide the police with the information on corruptors, judicial rotation;.

If you want to support this book somehow, you may write to the author's email shown at this webpage:


1 комментарий:

  1. I really wanted to read more about it in the book mentioned but unfortunately I don't know Russian. Recently in Brazil we approved a new pack of law about internet. This pack has many regulations involving internet usage and privacy terms. More about those laws can be seen here in English https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_Civil_Rights_Framework_for_the_Internet even tought the portuguese page has much more information. This was like an update in our constitution to treat better our new connected world. Before this because of our weak law envolving internet some doubtful interpretation were made and caused for example the blockage of whatsapp for a while in our country (https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-latin-america-36188809/whatsapp-brazil-judge-blocks-access-to-messaging-service)