On the inadequacy of representative democracy
The world is entering a new era. Progress is accelerating, complexity is rising. The citizens of the world are increasingly more knowledgeable, smarter, and specialised. The model of representative democracy where an elite of professional politicians have the power to impose their policy preferences on citizens has become inadequate. Incompetence and policy failure abound, not to mention populism, corruption, and public apathy.
Participative democracy instead
Improving on the age-old model of sortition democracy, by which the citizens of Ancient Athens and Serenissima Venice flourished and prospered, the internet now facilitates an improved form of self-governance by adding collective intelligence to the mix. Citizens are no more impotent subjects to those in power but make all decisions themselves by a highly inclusive process.
The Rules of New Demarchy
- New Demarchy is non-hierarchical and democratic, guided by the collective intelligence of its members.
- Collective intelligence is organised through an open prediction market which collects and aggregates all participating members’ knowledge and forecasts.
- Members may participate freely with their best predictions in self-selected areas of knowledge or interest.
- Members can submit proposals for the adoption, change or abandoning of policies and matters of the state, or a community.
- Decisions are made by committees of members, each appointed strictly only for the time required to arrive at a decision on a proposal or a group of interconnected proposals.
- Appointment is by weighted sortition, with a probability pro rata to each member’s track record for correct foresight in the decision’s subject area.
- Committee composition shall be statistically representative of the community affected by the decision. Its information, deliberation, and decision phase shall be organised by a strictly neutral moderator.
- Each committee member shall decide individually in the interest of all citizens according to best knowledge and free conscience.
- Committee decisions are by secret vote and require a supermajority which is with a 99 percent confidence level statistically equivalent to a majority decision of the entire affected community.
- Each decision is documented by one or more prediction questions tracking its intended future impact.
- New Demarchy is transnational and competes freely with traditional hierarchic parties for voters in national and local democratic constituencies.
- Members holding public offices in a hosting democracy must strictly vote and act according to New Demarchy decisions.
Advantages of New Demarchy
- Transnational -- New Demarchy can address big world problems which do not stop at national borders.
- Non-violence -- Conflicting interests compete in decision making without resorting to violence.
- Participative -- All citizens can contribute knowledge and opinions for the broadest perspective.
- Legitimacy -- Decisions are statistically representative of the opinion of all affected citizens.
- Competence -- Appointments proportionate to expertise increase the quality of decision making.
- Honesty -- The continuous change of qualified decision makers works against corruption.
- Rationality -- Special interests are decided on merit instead of elite power or populist majority.
Vienna, November 2015
How can you help progress towards true democracy?
If you want to help: Welcome!
- You can start by contributing your personal opinion whether demarchic democracy can work. Can it improve politics? How fast can we get it? Then post your predictions and reasons here: New demarchy foundation
- You can join us at our next monthly New Demarchy Meetup meetup in Vienna.
- You can point us to a political challenge as a next demonstrator project. Here is the impressive list of projects already done by the demarchic NewDemocracy Foundation in Australia.
Edited help page.
As decided during the New Demarchy meetup on 25 May 2016 in Vienna, I included the requirement that committee members and their supermajority be statistically representative of the entire affected community of citizens. This facilitates committee decisions which are statistically equivalent to a decision by all citizens, if they had the same high level of knowledge and expertise as the committee members.
This version also has some minor changes to improve clarity.
- 4 months, 2 weeks ago
The next New Demarchy meetup at the Hayek Institute in Vienna on 30th March will start at 6pm, one hour before the Austrian School of Economics meetup. We will discuss the ins and outs of John Burnheim's early proposals for demarchic democracy. Burnheim borrowed the archaic term "Demarchy" from F.A. Hayek's works.
- 7 months ago
Hubertus Hofkirchner-0Edited help page.
I added the non-violence aspect to the manifesto. While the modern world is increasingly opposed to violence on an individual level, it is still accepted as a solution to conflicts involving large collective interests, even in supposedly civilised countries committed to the values of peace, humanity, and freedom. Think of the popular appeal of any "War On ... (Whatever)".
The aspect of global applicability warrants special interest. Currently progress on the world's biggest problems is painfully slow or absent due the difficulty to achieve consensus of fiercely independent national states with very diverse individual interests.
- 8 months ago