Liquid Feedback is a free open-source software platform for political opinion formation and decision making. This e-democracy software aims to shift participants away from arbitrary yes and no voting, towards collaborative learning, discussion and dialog before votes are made, ensuring maximum potential for cooperation is reached.
With over 3.2 billion internet users worldwide (according to a report published last year by the International Telecommunications Union), there’s a new kind of online democracy emerging. Known as Liquid or “delegative democracy”, this is a hybrid which combines the aspects of existing forms of democracy like representative and direct democracy.
Founding Father of the United States and chief staff aide to General George Washington, Alexander Hamilton said in 1788: “It has been observed by an honorable gentleman that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. And it is this dream that liquid feedback (LF) aims to address.
Liquid Feedback combines the concepts of a non-moderated, self-organized discussion process (quantified, constructive feedback) and liquid democracy (delegated or proxy voting).
It opens communication between voters and representatives and aims to deliver veritable results on what the people want, thus allowing voters to participate not only in the final ballot but also in the ideation, proposition development and brainstorming activity.
This platform allows voters to use the traditional “one person one vote method”, but also, it offers voters the ability assign their vote to a trustee or proxy. This can then be further delegated (or rescinded if the voter changes his mind…hence the word “liquid”) to yet another proxy thus building a network of trust. In this manner, anyone can become a delegate for other members, properly wielding the political power normally reserved for elected representatives. This is an option we would have, it may have some uses and in other cases we may find members completely against it. Knowing this option is avialble and discovering how it could be used, may prove to show promise for large scale collaborative democracy.
The idea for transitive voting was proposed by British author Lewis Carroll in a paper called, “The Principles of Parliamentary Representation. The idea of Liquid Democracy now can scale to the hundreds, thousands and even millions. A Public Software Group from Berlin, Germany, who developed the software has made it available free of cost under a license of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This software has been used by the Pirate Party and is not currently implemented on the RIPAC platform for members until we reach significant membership support to afford its application.
We need committed team members to make Liquid Feedback work for us. We need people who are certain to collaborate. We hope to begin when we reach 500 official members who will contribute time and financial resources. Hosting Liquid Feedback will cost $80+ a month and there are significant costs to install it properly that could reach in the thousands. Unless a volunteer who programs in Linux will join us, we will need to pay a professional to get this done in the meanwhile. We have all the core steps to install the program, if any Linux developers read this and would like to participate, please become a member of RIPAC and contact us today.