Problems of electoral 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 electoral representative democracy which empowers professional politicians to impose their policy preferences on these citizens has become inadequate. Incompetence and policy failure abound, not to mention populism, corruption, and public apathy. Declining political satisfaction combined with rising political interest mixes to an explosive cocktail. We must act now.
Proposed statistical representative democracy
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, in a participative and deliberative process performed by exact sociodemographic samples from their midst.
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 a public prediction market which collects and aggregates consensus forecasts for the empirical impact of proposed policy changes.
- 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 any community.
- Demarchic committees consist of members appointed for the time required to arrive at a decision on a proposal or a bundle of interconnected proposals.
- Appointment is by weighted sortition from amongst the members affected by the decision, with a probability pro rata to each member’s forecasting track record in the decision’s topics.
- Committee composition shall be statistically representative of the affected community. A committee's information, deliberation, and decision phases shall be organised by a strictly neutral moderator.
- Each committee member has one secret vote to be cast at sole discretion in the interest of all citizens according to best personal knowledge and free conscience.
- Committee decisions require a supermajority of votes which is with a 99 percent confidence level statistically equivalent to a majority decision of the entire affected state or community.
- Each decision is shall be tracked by a prediction market on its empirical impact whether positively intended or negatively suffered.
- New Demarchy is transnational and competes with other parties for voters, and thereby democratic legitimacy, on national and local levels.
- New Demarchy 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 -- New Demarchy is empowered by its vote share in each hosting democracy.
- Representative -- 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.
The New Demarchy model is most indebted to Australian philosopher John Burnheim's solution of statistical reprsentation as described in "Is Democracy Possible?". It adds to this model in three elements: First, it makes more use of knowledge in society as described by Austrian Nobel laureate Friedrich A. Hayek by collecting forecasts through a public prediction market. Second, in the spirit of Karl Popper it adds falsifiability to the collective decision framework. Measurement of good and bad collective decisions can achieved by comparing forecasts to empirical outcomes. Third, New Demarchy can be applied by a new or even existing political party. As such party rises through free elections this lends democratic legitimacy to its process. It also means that in countries with free elections for New Demarchy to succeed.
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.
- 5 months, 4 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.
- 8 months, 2 weeks 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.
- 9 months, 2 weeks ago