Democracy Operating System
A Voting System of Record
What is a Democracy Operating System (DOS)? Well just like all kinds of operating systems it provides critical functions for the user. The chief characteristic of a Democracy Operating System is that it allows citizens within a jurisdiction to fully participate and more importantly to make decisions regarding issues. It is essentially, a “voting system of record” for a riding. These votes essentially becomes a framework for policy decisions by all levels of government.
There are a number of DOS systems currently under development. These include initiatives by Liquid Feedback, Democracy Earth, PDOS, liqd and others. The first step in achieving a functional DOS for a Canadian riding is to conduct an evaluation of available systems and suitability for deployment in a Canadian riding. Ease of use, plain English and French translations and other considerations for a usable system are paramount. The system must be accessible and functions must be clear for users.
While a DOS is a citizen-led initiative, it is useful for voters to have sources of accurate information. Some of these sources will include government input in the form of relevant reports, data, financial information, expertise and experience. As well, voters may have access to information that is relevant to issues being contemplated for voting by the riding. All of these information sources need to become accessible to voters through the DOS system.
For users, this can be a high-level once a year type of interaction or it can be a an on-going intense involvement depending on the wishes of the participant. But the most important function of a DOS is to allow citizens or voters full and meaningful participation in their own governance.
There are a number of Democracy Operating Systems available. These include initiatives by LiquidFeedback, liqd.net, PDOS, Democracy Earth, Airesis and probably others.
Besides allowing this involvement and interaction, a DOS allows two-way communication between elected representatives as well as employees in civil or municipal service. This is vitally important to bypass the political nature of governance and allow citizens direct access to government information.
If the premises of the software are sound then people will – for the first time in Canadian history – have on-going and meaningful input into the political system. No more waiting four or five years to vote. A Democracy Operating System has the potential to redefine governance in Canada.
Liquid Democracy, one of the Democracy Operating Systems currently available, offers a promising solution. The basic idea: voters can delegate their vote to a trusted third party. The vote can be further delegated to the proxy’s proxy thus building a network of trust. All delegations can be done, altered and revoked by topic; e. g. I myself vote in environmental questions, Anne represents me in foreign affairs, Mike represents me in all other areas, but I can change my mind at any time. A dynamic scheme of representation takes place.
Anyone can select their own way ranging from pure democracy on the one hand (full participation) to representative democracy on the other (assigning your vote to a third party on issues.) Basically one participates in what one is interested in but for all other areas gives their vote to somebody acting in their interest. Obviously, one may make a bad choice once in a while, but they can change their mind at any time
The purpose of the ValuesGov.ca initiative is to get a Democracy Operating System up and running in one political riding initially. The ultimate objective is to have the system up and running across Canada in every riding in the country. Of course, the system would provide a framework for other jurisdictions and in other countries.
The most robust and verifiable system would include blockchain technology to ensure that the DOS system cannot be hacked. DOS providers are currently developing blockchain-enabled systems. Any system being considered must have robust hacking and user protection features as part of the software being considered.
(see list below – Liquid Feedback, PDOS, Democracy Earth, Liqd, Airesis, Liquid.US)
PLEASE NOTE – None of these systems have been evaluated for use in Canadian political ridings. They are presented here so that you can gain an understanding of systems either being developed or that have been deployed in various scenarios.
ValuesGov.ca will conduct a suitability for use evaluation of the software as resources become available. See our implementation criteria here. For more information on supporting this evaluation please see our “what you can do” page.
LiquidFeedback is a computer software to empower organizations to make democratic decisions independent of physical assemblies while also giving every member of the organization an equal opportunity to participate in the democratic process.
LiquidFeedback delivers reliable results about what the members want and can be used for information, suggestion, or directive depending on the organizational needs and the national legislation. It can be used for binding decisions in an organization or, following the idea of interactive democracy, as a new communication channel between the members and the board.
Originally designed for political parties and other organizations, LiquidFeedback is also being used in civic participation as an additional communication channel between citizens and their administration, in constituency participation for better connecting representatives to their electoral district and even in corporate participation projects.
Users don’t need to install LiquidFeedback, instead they can just access it using an ordinary web browser. This also means using LiquidFeedback is platform independent.
Website – pdos.in
PDOS enables direct interaction and collaboration with Citizens, MP’s, MLA’s, Municipal Councilors and many that are involved with the day to day Governance. All schemes are covered.
Interaction and collaboration with elected officials for all schemes beginning with MPLADS. One click access to all Parliamentarians for direct feedback. PDOS provides unique governance model; never released by any Government in any Nation; a handy master tool that provides direct participation and contribution. Social audits bring life to all scheme implementations.
Become Self Sovereign. With the rise of open source software and peer to peer networks, political intermediation is no longer necessary. We are building Sovereign, an open source and decentralized democratic governance protocol for any kind of organization.
Website – Liqd.net
We are a non-profit organization, working on the development and implementation of innovative concepts for democratic participation. We focus on the potentials of the Internet to create more accessible ways of decision-making. We Create Open Source Software that Reflects the Diversity of E-participation Processes.
Liquid Democracy develops open source software that allows many participants to collaboratively make decisions at any given time, even if there are not at the same place. Our projects often face very different requirements, so that Adhocracy was conceived as a software library. The different blocks in that library are combined for each project to form complex participation processes.
The participation processes that we implement based on Adhocracy are very diverse and cover everything from short surveys to multi-year idea challenges. Our software library can be used very flexibly. To get an impression of some of the most used features of Adhocracy, here you can find an overview over some of the modules of Adhocracy. For complex participation projects these modules are often combined and adapted to the needs of the project.
Website – Airesis.eu
The Social Network for E-Democracy.
Airesis is a free software platform, built by a team of Italian developers and contributors, to enable communities and groups to organize themselves in a productive manner according to the principles of direct democracy and participation.
Create in just a few minutes your group and try out all the available tools.
Creating a group is free, quick and easy and 1568 groups are already active.
Please read our documents on policy to find out how to organize it better and discover how easy it is to organize your group with Airesis and provide e-democracy tools!
This is the reason why Airesis is perfectly suited to the needs of a Company , as well as a Democratic Movement or an Association
Website – Liquid.US
Our democracy could serve us exponentially better. Liquid democracy is a 21st-century upgrade for democratic decision making.It blends the best of direct and representative systems into a smarter and more accountable combination. Thousands of years ago, we invented direct democracy, where everyone can vote on all legislation.
But direct democracy is not practical at scale: how could everyone possibly stay informed about everything?
There’s just too much to keep up with. And so we elect dedicated political representatives.
Instead of expecting everyone to know the ins-and-outs of policy, we give the work to a small number of legislators. 535 for our country of 320,000,000.
This helps, but introduces new problems:
- We may not agree with any of our limited choice of candidates.
- We’re often stuck with electoral campaigns dominated more by personality than policy.
- Worst of all, once elected, politicians can become huge targets for corruption, with little accountability. Even the President admits this.
Liquid democracy solves all three problems.