Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 21, 2011, 5:53 p.m. EST by ImaDreamer
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Many people here have complained that we have no clear cut objectives beyond wanting to end the way society is being controlled by 1% of the population. Endless proposals are posted in this forum yet we have no way to reach agreement. Many clamor that we need a leader to emerge but no individual can represent all the divergent opinions, and movements can be stopped by taking out the leadership. What can't be stopped are ideas.
"One man can not change the world alone, but one idea, shared by enough people, will have already changed the world." (Koda)
What we need is a means of reaching agreement regarding which particular ideas we want to support. I believe this could be accomplished by creating an online voting system where specific policies or actions are voted upward by registered forum members, on pages set aside for that purpose. The suggested policy/action ideas receiving the most votes would rise to the top, where all of us would be exposed to the best ideas and the less desirable would fall by the wayside. Media reporters could observe the results and tell the world, "87% of OWS forum members support this policy, 63% support this idea," etc., while OWS itself wouldn't be required to take a stand on anything. It would be a way for us to speak with one voice regarding those ideas receiving the most support.
If the people running this site don't want to implement such a voting system, I do. Anyone with the skills required to set up the forum software used here and modify it in somewhat complicated ways to reflect voting by an "informed democracy" (described in boring detail below) might want to send me a private message. Thanks :)
The voting system described above is a form of direct democracy. Another way to describe democracy is mob rule, and in a pure democracy the vote of the most enlightened scholar carries no more influence than that of an ignorant fool. So in most "democratic" countries we elect "representatives," whom we assume are experts on the issues, to do the voting for us, but instead they vote to promote their own self interests by supporting the policies of the 1%.
The solution, I believe, is to establish an "informed democracy" where only those who can demonstrate knowledge of an issue can vote on that issue. We could do that here (or on some other site if necessary) and it would give us a good idea of how well such a system might work in the real world.
The voting system would start with a "new proposals" page where anyone could post a suggested policy or action. That page would link to a forum page where people discuss the pros and cons of the suggested idea. People could vote for or against the proposal, and the more votes supporting it, the higher the proposal would appear on the "new proposals" page. Votes against would be noted, but it would not move the policy downward on the page.
The "new proposals" page is still pure democracy. Before the proposal can be moved to the official Proposed Actions and Policies Page, where it can be voted on again regardless of previous voting, it would have to include the requirements of an Informed Democracy.
The official voting page would include the specific proposal to be voted upon, followed by a list of "unquestioned facts" relating to the proposal, and two statements not to exceed 300 words each, one statement for and one against the proposal. At the bottom of the page there would be no more than ten multiple choice questions which must be answered correctly in order to cast a vote. The answers to those questions would be contained in the previous statements, and voters would be allowed to change their answers until they got them right. The object being that voters simply need to understand the details regarding what they're voting on.
This brings up the question of who is going to supply the detailed information. The person or group making the original proposal would be responsible for arguments supporting it. Those opposed would need to collaborate their efforts to reach consensus on what to include, and elect a spokesperson to make decisions in the event no agreement can be reached. The list of "unquestioned facts" would be those accepted by both sides, and would actually be "best estimations of the facts involved."
In the real world we would elect managers rather than "representatives" to run the daily operations of government, and this voting system could be used to replace any of them at any time.
So, what do you think about this idea?