[MG] Liquid democracy versus proxy voting

Jens Egholm jensep at gmail.com
Thu Mar 31 03:47:36 EDT 2011

Thanks for your reply Alexander.

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

I'm just curious as to where this definition comes from. I haven't
been able to find any articles/papers about this.

> I've never heard of the concept which you describe as "liquid democracy"
> which
> 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.

My original idea was to couple Habermas' ideas about the public sphere
(deliberation) with the internet concept mass-to-mass communication
(term from Bohman 2010). I found that proxy-voting could do exactly
this; create small "minipublics" (again, see Bohman 2010) where active
deliberation would do exactly this. So I turned to the legislature;
It's very idealistic to completely remove the parliament and rely on
proxies as such. That's where the concept I (wrongly it seems)
referred to as "liquid democracy" comes in. This would essentially
allow the political structure to persist, but would still include
strong elements of e-democracy. As mentioned I discussed this with
Michael Allan who proposed the term "liquid legislature". It actually
sounds much more appealing to me now...

Best regards,
Jens Egholm

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