[MG] Liquid democracy versus proxy voting

Alexander Praetorius alex at twister11.de
Wed Mar 30 13:04:01 EDT 2011

I don't know, but for me, what you describe as proxy voting is also what
liquid democracy means.

I've never heard of the concept which you describe as "liquid democracy"
Associates a parliament with a fixed amount of representatives to it. But if
you don't have a fixed amount of representatives associated with a
parliament.... you could define parliament as all representatives, that is
all people who vote, some represent only themselves, some represent
themselves plus others...

If you use the latter definition of parliament, it will become what you
described as proxy voting.

-----Original Message-----
From: start-bounces at metagovernment.org
[mailto:start-bounces at metagovernment.org] On Behalf Of Jens Egholm
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 6:45 PM
To: start at metagovernment.org
Subject: [MG] Liquid democracy versus proxy voting

Hi all

Recently I participated in a discussion concerning the article about
Liquid Democracy on the English Wikipedia. It redirects to Proxy
Voting which didn't quite fit with my conception of the terms. I tried
discussing the topic and Michael Allan referred me here. I'm very new
on this list, so I'd like to apologize if I found the wrong place to
discuss the topic. And thank you for your replies beforehand of course

I'm currently writing my bachelors assignment in political theory and
my interest have fallen upon e-democracy. It's come to my attention
though, that the topic is unexplored at places (or I've been very bad
at finding the right information). I hope you'll correct me if I
misunderstood something.

So, to the reason I'm writing: I originally depicted proxy-voting as a
mechanism that'd allow voters (the principal) to "hand" their right to
vote to another voter (the proxy). That'd in turn allow
"voting-networks" that among other things would make it a lot easier
to be a voter. This idea does not prescribe any method of voting. It
could be continuous or periodic or come to pass in any other way
possible. This specific method of representation was something I
contrasted with the concept of liquid democracy. Here the members of,
say, a parliament, would constantly be evaluated (open-ended) in the
way that voters chose to change their current proxy whenever they
would. In other words the parliament would always consist of the
proxies with the most number of votes. If one voter chose to give
his/her vote to another proxy, which in turn would mean that the proxy
was given more votes than the proxy with the least vote in the
parliament, the proxy with the least number of votes would be
replaced. This would foster a dynamic structure changing along with
the will of the voters, much like a liquid.
To conclude I'd like your comments on the thought whether the two
things are different (proxy voting and liquid democracy), and if not
where the misconception lies.

Thank you for your time!

Jens Egholm

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