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InstaGov is a set of tools for instant self-governance via computer network. It is currently under development. It will be open-source and distributed/federated.

Goals

  • to invent functional and productive techniques of stateless (non-hierarchical) democratic self-governance
  • to test and demonstrate these techniques starting on a small scale and working progressively upward
  • to watch for exploit holes and "gaming" of these implementations, and work out ways to defeat these while they are still small
  • to eventually make traditional government both unnecessary and irrelevant

In order to work towards these goals, it is necessary to better understand the mechanics of power.

Restrictions on the sampling of public opinion, and its conversion into binding decisions, are a thing which may once have been necessary but which is now basically preventing democracy from taking place. "restrictions on the sampling of public opinion" means:

  1. Elections only happen at set times, with long intervals in between
  2. What or who people can vote for is determined by those already in power
  3. The means of expression on votable issues is limited to favoring a single one, rather than expressing the degree to which one approves or disapproves of each(edited)

Proposed changes (there are some details to work out in each of these, but this is the basic idea):

A. Any voter should be able to propose agenda items at any time
B. Any voter should be able to proxy their decisions in any given subject area to another voter of their choosing (subject-specific liquid democracy)
C. (this part is not logically required, but I think it will be important) There should be a system of rational debate available, to which issues of sufficient importance should be subjected before they can be enacted.

External Pages

Modules

Methodology

Applications

Presentation

Related Projects

proprietary / centralized

  • Deliberator: very similar to Liquid Agenda, but more heavily moderated and produced
  • Kialo: similar to debate mapper
  • Loomio: "a user-friendly tool for group decision-making. Creating a world where it’s easy for anyone to participate in decisions that affect them." Subscription is pay-what-you-like; looks like interaction may be limited to "groups".
  • Participedia "open global knowledge community for researchers and practitioners in the field of democratic innovation and public engagement."
  • PopVox (Google+): tell US Congress your opinion of bills
  • WikiVote "Russian non-governmental organization which goal is to develop effective means of citizens’ participation in lawmaking and strategic planning"
  • The Spark "Users post and vote on PROBLEMS that we face as a global community. The most popular problems are voted to the top. Users then post and vote on SOLUTIONS so that the community can take ACTION." - sounds similar to liquid agenda

techniques

discussion

plans