Differences between Votorola and LiquidFeedback

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Sat Jun 16 14:48:31 EDT 2012

I was asked off list for the advantages of Votorola over Liquid-
Feedback.  It's been a couple of years since I last tried Liquid-
Feedback.  We were discussing it recently in the Metagov list:

I think the two systems have different purposes.  Votorola is a
normative decision system for the purpose of deciding "what ought to
be", wheras LiquidFeedback is an authoritative decision system for
deciding "what will be".  Both types of system are required in society
and neither can function properly without the presence of the other.
Here is a rough sketch of their relations:

   System type                    Examples
   -------------------------      ----------------------
   Normative decision system  =   Votorola

     |                              |
     |  (what ought to be)          |
     v                              v

   Authoritative decision     =   State electoral system
   system                         State legislature
     |                            LiquidFeedback (?)
     |  (what will be)
     |                              |
     v                              v

   Administrative system      =   Government bureaucracy
                                  Business firm
     |                            Cooperative
     |  (action)                  Ad hoc collective
     |                              |
     v                              v

    Fact                      =   Plans executed
                                  Policies followed
                                  Laws obeyed

The requirements of a normative decision system are:

  (n) Ubiquitous - everybody has access
  (o) Equal - nobody gets special treatment
  (p) Free of power - thus competent to direct power
  (q) Non-exclusive - each person chooses his/her own system

The requirements of an authoritative decision system might include:

  (a) Definitive - produces a clear, final decision
  (b) Responsive - produces a decision on demand
  (c) Powerful - forces action

Society has many examples of authoritative systems, but no normative
systems that meet requirements (n-q).  So this would be the advantage
of Votorola (once in beta), that it serves the more urgent need.

Is LiquidFeedback running somewhere these days?  I googled but came up
empty.  I should give it a try.

Michael Allan

Toronto, +1 416-699-9528

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