Another type of democratic voting process that allows more people to be involved in the decision-making process is called Liquid Democracy. Like Direct Democracy, with which people can vote directly on the bills that go before Congress, a Liquid Democracy also uses online encrypted blockchain technology to safely and privately record votes, but a Liquid Democracy allow voters to chose a proxy to vote on their behalf, if they either don’t have time to read and consider the bills, or they feel they don’t have the expertise to do so.
As a candidate for Congress in New York’s 19th District, running on a Direct Democracy platform, I would like to provide an online voter interface that allows people to customize their personal voting page so that it shows the bills up for a vote, my recommendations as to whether people should vote for the bill or not, and also the opinions and recommendations of various groups and individuals that the voter has chosen to depend upon for advice.
The organization United.Vote is creating such a platform for people to cast their votes using proxies. The proxy can be anyone the voter chooses. It could be me, if my voters trust me. It could be different people for different issues; for example, a leader of a environmental protection non-profit could be chosen as proxy for bills relating to the environment, or a friend or local community leader who is well-informed on foreign policy issues could act as proxy on foreign policy bills.
I am working with United.Vote to provide voters in NY District 19 with a platform to custom design their voting interface. But because I believe that voters have responsibilities that go with the right to vote, I will only count a vote that has been cast by the voter for each bill. The voter can use the proxy’s advice, but the voter has to at least read up on the bill first. United.Vote gives Representatives the option of accepting proxy votes or only accepting direct votes.
United.Vote will help make it more possible and convenient for all voters to check the bills currently up for vote (some 600 per year) and register their input.
Liquid Democracy promises to get more people voting on more issues. Direct Democracy would be influenced only by those who take the time to vote on each bill. It remains to be seen which situation might result in a healthier system. Will a greater number of participating voters produce a better system? Or will a great number of invested voters produce a better system? I think voters should be given the opportunity to test and choose which system they prefer. So, to my voters in NY District 19, I will offer a hybrid system in which people can choose advisers and vote according to their recommendations, make their own determinations, vote or autovote according to my recommendations, but they won’t be able to set their voting interface to autovote according to a different proxy.