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.
The alternative of direct 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 a collective intelligence mechanism for an improved form of direct self-governance, where citizens are no more powerless subjects to decisions by a few but make all decisions directly by themselves: New Demarchy.
The principles of New Demarchy
- New Demarchy is a non-hierarchical democratic organisation guided by the collective intelligence of its body of members.
- Collective intelligence is organised through an open prediction market which collects and aggregates all participating members’ knowledge and forecasts.
- Members are free to ask prediction questions in all pertinent matters. They compete for expert rank with their best predictions in self-selected areas of expertise.
- Members are free to submit proposals for the adoption, change or abandoning of policies and matters of the state.
- Decision makers are appointed ad-hoc from amongst the members for no longer than to arrive at a decision on a proposal or a group of interconnected proposals.
- Appointment is by expertise-weighted sortition, with a probability pro rata to each member’s empirical success with prediction market questions in the decision’s subject area.
- Depending on the magnitude or importance of the decision at hand, the decision maker is a single member or a group of three, five or seven members.
- Each decision maker may draw on experts from the prediction market or elsewhere and decides in the best interest of all citizens according to his or her free conscience.
- Each decision is documented by one or more prediction questions tracking its future impact.
- New Demarchy competes freely with traditional parties for voters’ support on all levels of the hosting democracies.
- Members holding public offices in a hosting democracy act in all their formally assigned responsibilities in full accordance to the decision makers' resolutions.
Advantages of knowledge-based sortition
- All citizens can contribute knowledge and opinions for the broadest perspective.
- Appointments proportionate to evidenced expertise increase the quality of decision making.
- The frequent change of qualified decision makers works against corruption.
- Special interests are decided on merit instead of elite lobbying or populist majority.
Vienna, November 2015