September 23rd, 2014 23:33

Internet Party Democracy

Fred Look
Fred Look Public Seen by 753

Are we agreed that democracy is disfunctional nationally, in the Labour party, in the Green party ?
How then are we to contest a democratic election in NZ ?
First we have to rebuild democracy, The only way we can do that is by example.
Here is my suggested democratic structure for the Internet Party.

Decisions are taken by the unanimous consent of three bodies, each body has a different responsibility and considers only that responsibility in giving consent. No body is ascendant if they cant agree then they have to talk more until they do.

The Members who generate and mandate decisions thru a democratic process of dialogue, information, and voting

The Party Organisation Operational and Political who must be convinced they can carry forward decisions in an organised, timely, coordinated, and legal manner. This group is a meritocracy

The Party Vision group who must be convinced that the decision does not turn the vision on its head or commit to any unethical act
This group consists of the party visionary, the general secretary, and others as they propose that recieve consent of the other groups.

There it is. A bare bones structure that i think is plausible.
Please consider that this is not just "off the cuff" for me. If you cant see why something is here have a think about it then please ask.

Fred Look

Fred Look started a proposal September 23rd, 2014 23:36

That a functional and effective internal democracy is important to the Internet Party Closed 10:08pm - Wednesday 8 Oct 2014

by Fred Look April 25th, 2017 09:29


This question simply askes if the discussion is useful not about any specific details of the discussion it self what feels right to you!

Agree - 9
Abstain - 9
Disagree - 9
Block - 9
10 people have voted (0%)
Fred Look

Fred Look September 23rd, 2014 23:40

The party organisation is still thinking and i am glad...... they could decide that in their informed opinion the brand is "borked". and so i hope i am not getting too far ahead


Stephen Bryson
September 24th, 2014 20:07

It may be a good idea to keep the proposal open for a while longer than 2 days and at least until some discussion develops on the thread.


Stephen Bryson September 24th, 2014 20:24

Fred for me the party vision group is the most important element. Get that wrong and all else suffers.

Would you propose that there needs to be special focus discussion on what is the party vision or is it presumed that some vision is already in place and it will evolve as the membership so determine?

I realize that this may be getting a little far ahead at this point of the discussion but fundamentally our sharing of the vision is going to be the determining factor in really building this movement.

Fred Look

Fred Look September 24th, 2014 20:55

thank you stephen Yes a focused discussion on each of the three groups is necessary. How I currently see the vision as it has developed so far would be.... People have a right to view cat videos online unhindered by poverty, discrimination, or fear of opression....so yes I think there is already a vision that we joined to support. but I do not think this vision is completly static it has and will develop as members interact with it.

Colin England

Colin England September 24th, 2014 21:20

Are we agreed that democracy is disfunctional nationally, in the Labour party, in the Green party ?

Nope. The Greens have been the most democratic party for a long time. I think we surpass that which is good but the Greens are still democratic. Labour is also democratic but not as much as the Greens. National? Well, lets just say that National doesn't like democracy.

Decisions are taken by the unanimous consent of three bodies

What decisions?

Fred Look

Fred Look September 24th, 2014 21:42

@colinengland there are two main classes of decision
1 operational decisions made by the person responsible for an agreed task
2 any other decision ......... under this proposal the only path for these is generated by members and then mandated by members thru a democratic process.

Operational decisions can also only be mandated by the members but this is done when they adopt a business plan from time to time. this is because democratic process is not functional or effective at making operational decisions and if applied becomes a vector for coercive resignation or dismissal which is hurtful, damageing, and promotes bullying.

Colin England

Colin England
September 25th, 2014 20:36

Colin Davies

Colin Davies
September 26th, 2014 00:14

good start


[deactivated account]
September 26th, 2014 04:15

Fred Look

Fred Look September 26th, 2014 04:49

we are very lucky that we started with a vision. Defining or updating our vision should not be attempted by our democratic process. It will destroy both vision and process. I have experenced just this (in another party) where an exhausting and polarising abuse of process legitimised the factions that had overtaken the party. I propose that we accept that we joined IP because of the vision and it isnt really a big problem if we all see it slightly differently. It may change thru our interaction with it, but not thru our democratic processes

Fred Look

Fred Look September 26th, 2014 05:28

this is how Vikram saw the vision when he became our CEO ......"non-ideological focus on the digital economy, environment, privacy, and building a Politics 2.0 party"


Stephen Bryson September 26th, 2014 10:13

What is a Politics 2.0 party?

Blair Robson

Blair Robson September 26th, 2014 18:48

I think a lot of our members are perhaps confused about what the Internet Party stands for politically.
I agree wholeheartedly with Vikram's vision and that is that it DOESNT have any political stand per say. Other than following a technologically progressive direction it needs to operate as a political vehicle to collaborate and drive member engagement with all of the areas of policy creation.

It should be able to brand itself in such a way that it can harbour policies and ideologies across the entire political spectrum.
Perhaps even somewhere that OTHER political parties come to test their own policies.

The Internet Party needs to avoid being labelled a left wing party... Naturally if it stays true to its vision, it will attract support from both the left and the right - Depending on who is in government at the time.

There is no reason WHY the Internet Party policies HAVE to align with any of its partnerships such as Mana.

Blair Robson

Blair Robson September 26th, 2014 18:52

Also - by remaining idealogy agnostic - It will protect us from being rejected by parties that DO hold a particular idealogy.

Fred Look

Fred Look September 26th, 2014 19:24

@stephenbryson also called "open source politics" it is the idea that social media and tools like this one allow us to work and share information and generate solutions directly rather then information and ideas being presented and disseminated from a few sources "top down". Also is the idea that in campaigning we can go directly to people thru social media without being filtered/distorted by the large media organisations


[deactivated account]
September 26th, 2014 19:44

Fred Look

Fred Look September 26th, 2014 19:45

I also am glad that "non idiological" is a core value. It wont protect us from being rejected by parties that use polarisation as an election tool but it may just save us from falling into the same trap!


seann paurini September 26th, 2014 21:59

Two things, sorry if this is the wrong forum. Redirect me if this isn't it. I'm confused by all the words all over the place. 1. Are there ever face to face get togethers? I've emailed everywhere (as in internet party officials) for the last two months and I've never received a response. I want to meet open minded members not blinded by ideology (which is how I basically see the IP)

  1. Relating to that & democracy itself I was a member of Mana from its inception (transferred from Maori Party). I joined the Internet Party about 6 weeks ago because I could see there are some actually original thinkers (in a politics context) involved. The ideology that guides me and has since I was a kid is socialism, closer to social anarchism, but as a pragmatist who has to live in the world with all sorts of people I've stuck with the idealism without illusions approach when it comes to democracy in technological/capitalist economies/societies. My interest is a better society by establishing civilisation in NZ. I don't think we're there yet. There are a measly 4.4m people in this rich country and we have absurd levels of social degradation. We don't even have a real democracy because about 1m people still aren't engaged enough to be interested in contributing. I was attracted to the IP because I think it's members are capable of progressing/promoting social entrepreneurialism/ethical capitalism and social & economic justice/fairer redistribution of wealth alongside advancing the best about technological society (pref not spying). I'm really attracted to the IP because I think we can press for all of the above in a very human/connected to the people way - without imposing dogma 24/7 which is what the rest seem addicted to in their own ways. I'd like to see the IP remove itself from identity politicking too. I don't think it's governments business. I'm interested in living in the freest, fairest country in the world. Sorry for rave but I'm f'd off about the result. I want to stay with the IP, it's like a little baby full of hope and trust - like a 'blank slate' - not yet poisoned by extremes or pretensions about centre left-right etc. So I'm looking for a 21st C values party in a way. Equilibrium where I'm able to live well enough and max social freedom.

Stephen Bryson September 26th, 2014 22:59


Well said, I heartily agree.

As I see it the Internet Party has a fantastic potential for letting the voice from the internet come out into the light. We know that the internet cannot be the vehicle for any particular agenda and therefore it is difficult to see how any true internet party can ever hope to hold to any particular agenda in turn, irrespective of any previous definition such as mentioned above, digital economy, internet freedom, the environment, etc.

Yes, these are great start-offs and have established some core interests for the meanwhile but we would be doing all the greatest of disservice by trying to hold these only.

The internet won't allow it and nor should we.

And in respect of the party vision I don't see how it can be easily tied down other than being something that is ever expansive and at the same time wholly inclusive.


seann paurini September 26th, 2014 23:17

Thanks Stephen. I just can't see how we can carry on with the charade of NZ as it is.

Brendan Jefferis

Brendan Jefferis
September 27th, 2014 02:39

Blair Robson

Blair Robson September 27th, 2014 05:32

Awesome post Seann...Its completely fine to hold idealogical views...you have to sit somewhere...

With respect to the vision and using your arguments to build consensus through the platform... I think if the IP can nurture a culture of accepting the collaborative process then people with strong views either way will find it easier to concede and move on to the next thing...

Takes 2 good opposing arguments to drill down to a valuable solution.

Colin Davies

Colin Davies September 27th, 2014 07:48

I think everyone sits at different spots here ideologically in this party. So we're not really left or right. However I think all members have a social conscious, and want to see everyone in NZ benefit. However the thing that is cohesive to all appears to be a belief that I discussing and arguing points online we can knock out better policies than other parties have.


[deactivated account] September 27th, 2014 08:29

@colindavies agreed. I think there is also a group of us who think this "thing" we're doing could evolve into a new kind of government that is less dependent or independent of corruptible power seeking politicians.


seann paurini September 27th, 2014 09:04

PS. Not opposed to ideology/political philosophy as a guide. That's useful in politics. A practical example of my concern is that some political parties and activist groups regularly prioritise or impose a 'standpoint' view in public in a way that can confuse, unnecessarily exclude and otherwise put potential supporters off. I think its that approach that can be detrimental, e.g. to an otherwise sound, solid policy direction, especially in shallow democracies like NZ. I see the potential in the Internet P as a promoter of stronger NZ democracy. PS. look at the LP, it fell apart last Saturday and its falling apart today!

Fred Look

Fred Look September 27th, 2014 22:44

wow try and get a simple definition of non-ideoligical online! .... it could mean "not holding to a fixed vision".....which has some interesting implications..... It might also mean that we act on the basis of information rather then from some theoretical basis and this view gives mandate to our information based policy formation. or both

Fred Look

Fred Look September 27th, 2014 22:52

I am glad that we are discussing those things that are outside of the democratic process we are here build and how they may or may not interact with that process first. I feel that the internal democracy we design eventually will be stronger for this


Stephen Bryson September 28th, 2014 01:07

Yes, from Merriam Webster:

Ideology: the set of ideas and beliefs of a group or political party.

It's hard to avoid. An ideology will invariably exist even it remains debatable as to just what it actually is.

Fred Look

Fred Look September 28th, 2014 02:05

my ideology is "no ideology"

Fred Look

Fred Look September 28th, 2014 02:10

I think the point is not do we have ideology but is that ideology the basis of our actions or do we rise above our ideology and consider facts

Colin England

Colin England September 28th, 2014 02:43

Wouldn't it be better to base our ideology on the facts?

Facts like:

  • climate change
  • limited resources
  • justice
  • democracy
Fred Look

Fred Look September 28th, 2014 19:46

ok I think we have some insight to the vision
1 it exists and connects us to common purpose
2 its bloody hard to nail down and is to some extent individual.
3 it is not static
The key point of this being that it if we try to nail it down thru our democratic process we will damage it and the process. ....... There is another area that the process has a relationship too and that is the caucus. it would be good to discuss this a bit I think as it will have impact on the design of any internal democracy


[deactivated account] September 28th, 2014 20:21

I think the biggest issue is democracy itself is being attacked. This policy incubator has been immensely informative. Even the internet party barely listens to what happens here. For me the heart of it is true representative democracy.


seann paurini September 28th, 2014 20:49

Facts best. Ideas/ideals are like a moral guide. Where the IP can be different to the others is it doesn't ram politics in peoples faces. Guided by ideas-ideals, remains grounded in practice. E.g. The greens often emphasise ideals but achieve very little, also, whether they like to admit it or not, as much as they go on about social justice their primary constituency is narrow - educated, upper-middle class liberals who seem often to respond more to feelings than facts. I like the Gs ideal, but that's all it ever seems to be.


seann paurini September 28th, 2014 20:52

The LP are abounds with ideologues - of all colours, they push the left-right agenda to the point of useless chaos, no one knows where they're heading. 4 leaders in 5 years? Come on, at this point the LP can't be taken seriously.


seann paurini September 28th, 2014 21:10

The Nat's are organised and their behind the scenes backers are very cunning, even smart. The IP needs to adopt that somehow, but strip away the authoritarianism, the 1980s capitalism the Nat's are still obviously into (the 'bad' capitalism that smart entrepreneurs eschew) with a focus on fairness across the board = widespread appeal - but also not be afraid to take a stand as well. E.g. Business. NZ is so fckin tiny we can afford to take risks in favour of small, smart, ethical business - and if big business don't play ball - we should distance ourselves from those greedy, 1980s-ish abusers of the environment, of employees and of the public - big companies think they should be allowed to get away with breaking laws, being immoral in the interests of shareholders. We could say NO in NZ. A 21st C business enviro should resist that arrogance always in favour of progressive entrepreneurship (esp. possible in tiny NZ) by pushing for law changes that favour ethics, care of people, small-medium business - and incentivise big businesses such as employee owned collaboratives like mondragon corporation? NZ could do it. Focus on cutting edge technology, education, environment, paradise tourism, this could = social and economic well being across the board. No one should be poor in NZ.


seann paurini September 28th, 2014 21:13

Ps. NZ is paradise, get out of the cities more. I want a country wide train system (incl. freight, get rid of ugly trucks). NZ So beautiful. : )


Stephen Bryson September 28th, 2014 21:45

Fred - I think you got it with your 1/ and 2/.

What do you define as caucus?

Fred Look

Fred Look September 28th, 2014 22:05

@mattkraemer I am not convinced that the loomio was "barely listened to" it may have been coincidental but I felt that policy was responding to the loomio discussion. I think that it cannot have formal representation because its value and purpose depend on its anarchic state.

Colin England

Colin England September 28th, 2014 22:15


The key point of this being that it if we try to nail it down thru our democratic process we will damage it and the process.

I don't believe that. In fact, I think a party does much better when they have a general vision for the community and some ideas on how to achieve that. I want a high-tech sustainable future along with excellent social conditions.


Even the internet party barely listens to what happens here.

I think they listen to everything said here - what we don't have is feedback on how it's being formulated into policy. I believe such feedback is essential as it helps people feel engaged.


What do you define as caucus?

Caucus is always the MPs in a party. Having one seems to cause problems as they seem to come to believe that they're the ones that should be directing where the party goes and not the members (see Labour's woes).

Fred Look

Fred Look September 28th, 2014 22:16

@stephenbryson Thank you! I think the caucus is not defined at this point hence the discussion. In some existing models it is those whom we have elected thru democratic process to lead us. But it is more than that. It is also that group that must make day to day decisions in the reality of the political rumpty humpty. I can see that a blurring of these two meanings could cause difficulties for our process


Stephen Bryson September 28th, 2014 22:47

Draco - I think we have to be careful about having the answers to anything, or indeed stipulating that there is anything that we want.

Fred Look

Fred Look September 28th, 2014 23:05

Oh and one other property of party vision that we discussed
3 The party vision is not static

Fred Look

Fred Look September 28th, 2014 23:11

@colinengland We were talking about the party vision. A community vision would be in a business plan agreed with the operational.(altho it would need to beware of becoming an idiology).

Fred Look

Fred Look September 28th, 2014 23:24

@colinengland All of us have lots to say. I value collumn inches. please dont waste.


[deactivated account]
September 29th, 2014 02:39

Colin England

Colin England September 29th, 2014 03:25


We were talking about the party vision.

So am I.

please dont waste.

I'm not wasting anything.

 The Working Poor Class

The Working Poor Class
September 29th, 2014 06:17

Fred Look

Fred Look September 29th, 2014 20:10

the thing about politics 2.0 is that it enables more direct participation and so there is less need for leaders. this would lead to more emphasis on caucus as an operational unit rather than as our leaders. this would suggest that it should tend towards a meritiocracy reather than elected representatives.("caucus" here meaning: in parliment, working towards being in parliament, and all their support)


Stephen Bryson September 29th, 2014 20:40

Draco I think the point may have been that the Markdown quotation feature is chewing up the column inches.

Maybe it is possible to turn on a smaller font somehow?


Loveday Kingsford
September 29th, 2014 20:52

Colin England

Colin England September 29th, 2014 21:16

Speak to Loomio about that. It used to just use the same font and font type and then it changed to bold and large. I suspect to enhance the quoted passage.


Stephen Bryson September 29th, 2014 22:16

Fred, if Singapore is a demonstration of tendency towards meritocracy then I'm not sure that meritocracy isn't basically flawed somehow. Yes, elements of the intellect being in play please, but surely we still need to have some moral dimension in the mix somewhere.

Or from a different attack, what are the checks and balances that will keep both the meritocracy and the caucus in sync and also consistent with certain basic values?

Therefore in parallel with working up more specific thoughts on caucus, its role and practical arrangements for discharging that role, do we also need to be learning more about the value system within which it would be expected to be operating?

I suggest that one simple way to help tie some of this altogether would be to get back to Loomio and ask for a small change to be made:

Whenever anyone votes on a proposal they should also be required to say something. In this way the essence of their personal view is also displayed and this becomes additionally informative for those working further down the track, both in writing policy and at subsequent caucus level in carrying that policy forward.

In fact at the moment that job is nearly half done, as the negative positions are often expanded but personal position on the positive side is usually left unstated.

For example, at the moment someone may vote for a proposal on quite slender grounds or after some quite deep consideration and surely if we are going to advance the quality of our democracy then this becomes quite important information to know.

Fred Look

Fred Look September 29th, 2014 22:33

yes there are good and bad examples of meritocracy and we would need some clear plan not just hope for the best. On the other hand I have seen too many examples where "democratic" process has derailed operational process and the one thing in common has been severe undeserved hurt. Is this a reason why "the left" is fractured? So we have to keep chewing this over untill we can see a way forward that is not guarenteed to fail


Loveday Kingsford September 30th, 2014 02:46

This is a difficult subject to comment on. I agree in general sense but can't envisage caucus functioning as a meritocracy except by rite of passage i.e. by sacred oath of allegiance to honour, integrity and intention to serve, minus corruption, private and public sectors and the community in general. Is this possible?
As corruption is embedded in the nature of politics and power any advance into a more moral order has to come rather, out of slow but persistent dissemination of ideas and understanding. Strategies for this may be worked out in a real meeting of interested members. Democracy has never been a clean process.

Colin England

Colin England September 30th, 2014 20:41

Can't say that I'm enthused by the idea of a meritocracy as they have a habit of becoming an aristocracy and that is something that we want, and need, to avoid. Democracy can be messy and certainly has problems of its own but it can do something that other forms of governance don't and can't do - responsibility for decisions can be brought back to the people rather than being lumped upon a small group of people at the top. Of course, that does require a participatory democracy and not a representative one.

In that light our caucus should be our Speakers but not our representatives. We make the decisions via democratic process and our Speakers transmit them to the general populace as well as turn them into viable policies and legislation.


Loveday Kingsford September 30th, 2014 21:23

The Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset wrote in 'The revolt of the Masses' that "Nobility does not appear as a formal expression until the Roman empire, and then precisely in opposition to the hereditary nobles, then in decadence." For Ortega "Nobility is defined by the demands on us - by obligations, not by rights. Noblesse oblige." so in this sense a meritocracy is not the same as an an aristocracy.

Fred Look

Fred Look September 30th, 2014 23:51

yes I agree with draco that meritocracy can become aristrocracy. That is what has happened with the rise of the managerial class which we have to address. so I am not saying meritrocracy is "better" or "safer" . then democracy both have to be watched and guarded. what I am saying is that having used our democracy to agree what must be done then someone/s have to do it and at that point they need to be appointed as the best person for that task and given a mandate to get on with it. as to how we stop them becoming their own little kingdom we have to figure something out..
I support the idea that we have a participatorial democracy rather then representative which is implied I think in politics 2.0. also caucus as speakers for rather than leaders of the party


[deactivated account] October 1st, 2014 00:00

"how we stop them becoming their own little kingdom we have to figure something out"

The development of some Anarchist based policies might help in a approaching this.
Take a leaf out of the ACT Party's book, and/or other anarchy based systems in determining how to create a just and safe democracy.

Fred Look

Fred Look October 1st, 2014 00:17

@williamasiata an example ?.......more?.

If caucus is leaders of the party then they should be selected democratically and answer to that democracy directly
If caucus are speakers for the party then they should be appointed as a meritocracy and have an operational mandate as the party organisation does.
If they or we arnt sure which they are at any particular time then we are "borked".

Fred Look

Fred Look October 1st, 2014 04:14

@colinengland a very nice man at loomio says he has written some code re

big block quotes

it might take a week to review & deploy they are busy developing

Colin England

Colin England October 1st, 2014 19:48

If caucus are speakers for the party then they should be appointed as a meritocracy

Not necessarily. We could democratically select the Speakers from their CV and defining their operational role at the same time. In fact, we could democratically select people into operational roles without them being Speakers.

Fred Look

Fred Look October 1st, 2014 20:14

draco I can tell you from much personal experience that what you propose would be a complete flustercluck.
however it is likely that persons could operate under several hats member, volunteer, employee, representitive, as long as we and they are clear about which hat they wear at any time.

Colin England

Colin England October 2nd, 2014 19:21

You were voting people in to a representative position on what they had on their CV?


[deactivated account] October 3rd, 2014 03:01

A political meritocracy isn't really a problem. Those that last, last. The problem is getting the Internet party to decide on what it is. Is it left, center, right, or futurist?
That being said, why build the same old hierarchy? You have the perfect vehicle for direct democracy with a few lines of code. Count the members votes, have a quorum rule, and post the verdict. For that matter, we wouldn't even need a member of Parliament (if we could get away with it).

Colin England

Colin England October 3rd, 2014 09:00

This is one example of Loomio being used for decision making,

I'm in favour of full participatory democracy but we also have to fit into the present system so that we can change it and that means MPs and a caucus/Speakers.

Fred Look

Fred Look October 3rd, 2014 22:21

draco it was "democraticlly selecting people into operational rolls" that made me choke. The problem being that members can then campaign against operational decisions which makes the job impossible so they leave and are replaced with someone less ethical and the process repeats until you reach the lowest common denominator.
In the end tho being a democracy we will have to elect/appoint some people to get things started and a CV based process has merit. I have observed a failure of that process. But I think it could work with care and is so far the best option put. IMHO

Colin England

Colin England October 3rd, 2014 22:36

The problem being that members can then campaign against operational decisions which makes the job impossible

My own thought on that would be to have it so that the members can't campaign against such decisions. Question and give feedback, certainly. Probably help write the guidelines under which such decisions are made but they most definitely should not be campaigning against them once they have been made. At that point, they should be giving full support to the person/group that made the decision.

Fred Look

Fred Look October 3rd, 2014 22:46

draco .agree I think that could maby be done if explicitly understood from the start.


[deactivated account] October 4th, 2014 00:34

I think it is crucial to allow members to campaign against operational decisions. I believe having real time democratic control over the representatives pay is the answer. If they go their own way they lose some of their pay check. Otherwise we have the problem of powerful leaders imagining that they ARE the internet party and destroying our reputation without protest.

Fred Look

Fred Look October 4th, 2014 03:06

@mattkraemer please think that through a bit. We are the information party. we want our operational decisions to be based on information not some populist decision. We want responsible decisions that build into a coherent total. It is absolutly essential that people make the best decision on the basis of availiable information. they cant do that if others are campaigning undermining them.

Colin England

Colin England October 4th, 2014 03:21

@Matt Kraemer

The Alliance has this in their constitution:

In all matters the Party’s parliamentary representatives shall abide by the Party’s constitution and policy.

Yes, we want our caucus/speakers to abide by our decisions but we don't want to be micro-managing them. That's just a waste of time that irritates everybody.

Yes, they'll occasionally make decisions that we disagree with and when that happens we will want to discuss it but we'll want to do it in such a way as to support them rather than undermining them. Set up some guidelines so that there's some ideas as to what decisions can be made by the caucus and which must come back to the party and a few other options that I can't think of yet. But I must stress that they'd be guidelines and not absolute rules cleaved in stone.


October 7th, 2014 16:21

It is a leap to suggest internal IP democracy will bear on the wider NZ democracy which is already addressed in the existing IP Objectives 3.1.9


[deactivated account] October 8th, 2014 05:48

Would it be possible borrow something from an already existing meritocracy based on open source principles. What about Debian? They have been around for almost twenty years.

Instead of running the Internet party as a normal party, treat it as a series of contributors, and maintainers, who come and go, all working toward coherent law and policy that achieve a certain set of aims. The person placed in Parliament would just be a mouth piece for the party with little or no power to make decisions (sort of a nice desktop).

In essence the party is a group of people who want to change the law. So could that law not be treated at source code?

We could just steal something that already is working.

If we wish to be a replacement for government then we need to be a snap in replacement for government (eg; government x86_64). We need to open source it, and we need to throw people at it until it breaks,and then change it and try again. We need a system that not only can take that, but encourages it.


Stephen Bryson October 8th, 2014 07:47

Tane excellent. Great stuff. Surely this has to be the future for the Internet Party as an evolving, decentralized, participative, internet based democracy.

Colin England

Colin England October 8th, 2014 09:31


I'd say that's what we're doing here. Need to get more people involved though and Loomio needs improving so that we can deal properly with policies and our limited resources.


[deactivated account] October 9th, 2014 09:43


Possibly a way of formalising it might be handy as well. Currently we have a proposal and many comments, but no way of refining the proposal, or checking it against other proposals, or referring to the comments that sit behind the spirit of a proposal.

In other words we can have a proposal such as,"That a functional and effective internal democracy is important to the Internet Party" with one person abstaining but we can't change the proposal to,"That a functional and effective internal democracy is important to the Internet Party and it should be envisaged in Feynman diagrams".


pilotfever February 28th, 2015 17:43

@fredlook Please take a look at the polls surrounding technocracy. Many support it, and it is having success in India and China. What I propose is a democratic executive with technocratic committees and technocratic candidates.


[deactivated account] May 20th, 2015 04:20

Below is a rehash of some of my recent statements, however I have since built on them to edit and include new ideas.

Loomio is a good example of an open cooperative internet platform. We could do well to adopt the ideas behind Loomio's model of administration.
We can even coin my given description of Loomio as the new name of the Internet Party: "Open Cooperative Internet Platform" - "OCIP"

As referred to in my recent notions on internal party democracy in alternate discussions, I feel the most fulfilling way to choose suitable candidates is to set up an internal party democracy whereby we are each free to rank each and every member at large that we approve and prefer by virtue of their contributions and our individual understanding and affinity towards their character. The resulting leadership scoreboards can be used to automatically nominate those members that receive the strongest overall rating from the IP people that are willing to take up the offer to the executive commitee and those that meet the MP candidacy requirements to run for office. These polls can be live and organic, changing throughout the days and years as peoples' preferences and approvingness evolve, and a snapshot taken every time it is time to nominate candidates for new elections.
We can do this for every Electorate, every Region, every District, every House, every Council where seats are open to election by the public thus producing local leadership scoreboards from which can be nominated candidates to participate in the local public elections for council, as well as local IP committees, etc.

I recently pondered upon voting methods which the digital age are ready for, and came to a dichotomous plateau in understanding where I couldn't distinguish the best of two voting methods to use when selecting candidates from the membership at large:

Preference Voting (PV) vs. Approval Voting (AV)

Preferential voting is an ordinal method that allows one to select any number of candidates and rank them from most preferred to least preferred. The votes are then tallied, and whichever candidates receive the highest density of high ranking votes from 50% of the total voters are preferred by the majority and therefore win the nominal available seats. However, candidates that may have been listed on the most ballots thus receiving the highest "approval" may not win.

Approval voting is a cardinal method that allows one to select any number of candidates which will each receive an equal vote. Voters must be discerning in who should be approved to their ballot and who is not worthy. The votes are then tallied and whichever candidates receive the highest total votes are approved to win the nominal available seats. However, candidates that may have been "preferred" by the majority of voters may not win, due to marginally popular candidates having also been included on many ballots.

Each method improves on the anti-democratic social exclusion inherent in plurality voting, which is 0-dimensional and doesn't allow for multiple cardinal or ordinal options.
However, though not as anti-democratic as plurality voting, both PV and AV exhibit a form of social exclusion that are each unique in quality, in that PV is incapable of catering to the cardinal dimension and AV is incapable of catering to the ordinal dimension, as previously mentioned.

Here lies the dilemma - if one does not attempt to extend their thought, one remains stuck in a dichotomy at odds over which method to choose over the other. However, perhaps a productive mode of thought will be to ask: How can a voting system be constructed that caters to majority preferences as well as the overall approval of candidates?

And here lies the answer: It can be done. We can integrate preferential voting and approval voting together to form preferential approval voting (a new term is coined, PAV! Better than STV).

PAV works by allowing voters to select any number of candidates and cardinally approving any number of them to any ordinal rank they prefer. Each ballot can list multiple candidates to any rank.The votes are then tallied, and whichever candidates are approved with the highest density of high ranking votes from 50% of the total voters are preferred by the majority and therefore win the nominal available seats.

PAV is reminiscent of some of the ancient religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and that of Aotearoa and Samoa that speak of ordinal levels of heaven or planes of existence that each embody a distinct cardinal quality in comparison to the higher and lower levels and each wherein can reside many beings of the same or higher cardinal value.



[deactivated account] May 20th, 2015 06:51

Buggered if I know. I've thought about it for an hour or so and, what ever I do, I just keep on ending up with a slightly different shaped bell curve. It might be wider or taller but since it can essentially be reduced to one vote, it appears to have most of the problems of STV. Perhaps I am missing something.

Ones of the problems I have with systems of voting is that they all are aimed at different things and different outcomes. FPP was fantastic if you wanted to go somewhere fast. Of course that somewhere may have been good or bad. MMP gives the smaller parties vastly inflated powers/per-person compared to FFP over the scope of the nation. STV clouds strong opinion. Really, it depends on what the outcome is as to which system you should use. William appears to be thinking from the perspective of the most consensus over the widest population base. The only way I can think to institute the PAV system would be to give half a vote by STV and half by AVM but all I can see this really doing would be elongating the bell curve. Sure there could be some interesting possibilities but since people are going to choose the AVM range as their STV range, I can't see where it would make a difference in the majority of cases.

@williamasiata Culd you possible write it out in a formula. STV vs AVM vs PAV so we can see exactly what you are aiming for?


[deactivated account] May 25th, 2015 08:29

Kia ora @tane hopefully this provides clarification.

Preference Vote ballots look like this:
Pref 1. Candidate A
Pref 2. Candidate B
Pref 3. Candidate C
and so forth.

Approval Vote ballots look like this:
Candidates A, B, C, D, etc.

Preference Approval Vote ballots look like the fusion of PV and AV:
Pref 1. Candidates A, B, C, D, E, etc.
Pref 2. Candidates F, G, etc.
Pref 3. Candidates H, I, J, K, L, M, etc.
and so forth.

PV candidate choices are ranked vertically in relation to each other, AV candidate choices are all laterally equal, while PAV ballots allow for the distinction of candidate choices on both a vertical and lateral basis.

Now I will describe the method of determining the winner.

Their are several methods of counting and determining the winner of PV. One is the Instant-Runoff form of Single Transferable Vote which tends to provide proportional representation when there are several seats up for election. However, IRV has the liability of not always appointing candidates that may have had a majority consensus. In the case of single seat elections IRV can not consistently choose candidates that have the majority consensus in all case scenarios. In this way I feel that IRV is a flawed method, a relic developed in the pre-digital age that is unable to treat votes in an egalitarian manner.

A method that can treat preference votes in a more egalitarian manner, however, is when all preferences are counted simultaneously and tallied for each candidate. In single seat elections the winner is the candidate who receives the largest proportion of high ranking votes from the majority (at least 50%) of the voter base. This could be considered a form of STV that consistently appoints the candidate with the highest quality majority preference. When several seats are up for election the candidates are appointed in descending order of the quality of their preference proportions from the majority voter base. If there are any ties within the 50% majority threshold then the winner is determined by examining the proportion of highest ranking preference above the 50% threshold, whereby higher ranking preference beats lower ranking preference, and if the rank is equal then higher quantity beats lower quantity.
If less candidates than the nominal seats up for election do not reach or pass the 50% threshold for their total tally of votes, then the remaining candidates are simply appointed on the basis of who featured on the most ballots - the highest overall percentage of support.
In several seat elections perhaps the method of simultaneous counting could be more aptly described as a Multiple Transferable Vote (maybe?...) because the situation is possible where more than one preference on a ballot contributed to the seating of several candidates. This method of simultaneous counting consistently appoints candidates with highest quality of majority preference.

It does not appoint candidates for multiple seat elections in proportion to the voter base, however a partial proportionality may be present.

AV is fairly straight forward. All votes are counted and whichever candidates receive the highest total votes are seated. In this case the candidates that reach closest to 100% approval from the voter base will win. This method is most popular consensus based.
This method actually bears similarities to the MTV in that all candidates listed on the ballot are counted simultaneously, however AV does not distinguish between the quality of vote given to each candidate - they are all equal.

Multiple seat elections will provide results that are not proportional to the voter base, however a partial proportionality may exist.

PAV is virtually the same as STV/MTV in determining the winners, however voters aren't limited to listing a single candidate to each preference rank. Like AV, voters can list any number of candidates they approve as their first preference. This can also be done for every subsequent preference.

All preferences are then counted. The candidates that receive more than 50% approval and closest to 100% approval on the first preference are clear winners.
Any ties are resolved by comparing the proportion of second preference votes and so on and so forth.
If less candidates than the nominal seats up for election do not pass the 50% approval threshold on the first preference then the rest of the winners are chosen in the same way as that described for STV/MTV.

Now the pros and cons.

PAV vs. AV vs. STV/MTV vs. FPP:
PAV allows anyone to vote in the same way as AV if they wish. PAV allows anyone to vote in the same way as STV if they wish. PAV allows anyone to vote in the same way as FPP if they wish (single bullet voting - all the eggs into one basket). PAV allows everyone to make sincere, well thought out votes, that do not carry risk or compromise on best interests. At the final count PAV will lead to the appointment of candidates that represent perhaps the best aggregated interests of the voter base that is possible - they represent focal points of maximum consensus and unity, e.g. they represent "something we can all agree on", a convergence to a singularity, or at least approximate it to the extent that the smallest minorities didn't vote for the winners.

The potential of AV, STV/MTV, and FPP all lose out on at least one of the freedoms mentioned above that PAV is capable of. AV, STV/MTV and FPP are incapable of appointing candidates that represent the most honest and maximum consensus from the voter base.

Consensus vs. Proportionality:
As alluded to above, voting methods that appoint candidates based on consensus across a diverse voter base 'represent' the highest form of agreement possible. This is especially important for single seat elections. For multiple seat elections, the hope is that the winners will be capable of working well together, joining their forces to drive diverse interests forward and facilitate progress.

If there are spaces available for dialogue across the voter base, this reduces the prevalence of any form of segregation and sectarianism, and therefore virtually everyone would accept the value of the winning candidates.

However if there are no spaces available for open and accessible dialogue across the voter base, then there is likely to be various forms of segregation and sectarianism present across the voter base, dividing the voter base, whether conscious/unconscious/explicit/implicit or not, and this can lead to a majority sectarian group appointing all the candidates to the exclusion of minority sects who would find the winning candidates unacceptable.

Fortunately we are an organization based on open and accessible dialogue at the most basic level (Loomio), therefore consensus based voting is probably most appropriate to our context.

On the other hand, when spaces are not available to engage in open and accessible dialogue, then there is a need to cater to the various sects, which calls for a proportional voting system such as MMP or IRV.

However sectarianism can often lead to outright violence of various forms, whether hard or soft, or structural or something else, therefore I condemn all forms of proportional voting, and encourage the establishment of spaces for open and accessible dialogue.


Courtney May 26th, 2015 02:44

So @williamasiata you are thinking along the lines of what the DHB's do for their boards? a voting system which is already in operation and should be transferable without to much problem


[deactivated account] June 11th, 2015 20:36

@williamasiata Here is another one for you.

Everybody votes in decisions but there is a background list of who has always voted on the winning side (eg; in pure democracy that is with the most people) and the people with the highest vote ranking over time are the people given the first chance to be in the exec...etc...

Peter voted (20 times) X (Over 4 elections) X (and was on the winning side 60% of the time) = 20 x 4 x 0.60 = 48

Paul voted (80 times) X (Over 1 elections) X (and was on the winning side 72% of the time) = 81 x 1 x 0.72 = 57.6

Mary voted (99 times) X (Over 1 elections) X (and was on the winning side 37% of the time) = 99 x 1 x 0.37 = 36.63

So, looking at the examples this means Paul who has put an enormous effort in over the last 3 years and has been on the winning side 72% of the time would be the first person offered a seat in the exec., followed by Peter who has only voted a quarter of the amount in the past 3 years that Paul has but has been in the party 4 electoral cycles.

Mary voted the most, but because she has only been in the party 1 electoral cycle and because she hasn't voted with the winning side she would be the third to be asked.

There would have to be a cutoff to the amount of the electoral cycle ratio, say an upper limit of three, otherwise the party could become to conservative due to age and this would put off new contenders.

It would seem to have some benefits in that it is lent toward the longer term people so the party can't be taken over suddenly but at the same time if the long term people don't vote with the majority they can be quickly taken out by the newcomers putting in some effort.


[deactivated account] June 21st, 2015 13:04

@maelwryth perhaps it would be good to have those metrics available - so that people can examine the quality of participation of each member and get a feel for their character.

It may be possible for gamers to scam the system by changing their vote on proposals to the winning side at the last moment, therefore providing insincere information about their personal character, worldview, and capacity to serve in congruence with their supposed "colours".

It does seem possible for it to entrench some form of elite class division - it limits who has a say, it proposes that one has to meet some form of arbitrarily imposed 'value', based on a limited set of parameters before one can be deemed 'worthy' of service as an institution - this may encourage (unhealthy) competition and may even lead to some form of lateral violence - stomping on our natural equals to get to the top.

I feel it may also exclude those people from receiving recognition that are already working hard with their peoples to transform their communities and not necessarily directly or consistently participating in the online forums.

I feel that the IP movement shouldn't be limited to just participation in an online forum. Members should also be recognized for the individual initiative they exercise in all aspects of their life and participation in society, organizing and serving humanity, directly engaging in material acts of service, and an online forum can provide the necessary infrastructure to unite people across all geographies, and provide a space to facilitate the confering of such recognition which I feel from the outset should come from the rational reality of each individual, each human being.
The only way to do this is through a purely democratic process.

As fun as a predictable algorithm may seem for the egoistic, competitive, and simple minded gamers, I feel that any attempt to reduce the power of human perception to a mere algorithm that chooses our leaders for us, is a laziness, a lethargy that allows the Machine to continue its rule, it allows the Man to keep us under his thumb, the Oppressor to continue oppressing us because we the oppressed have also decided to oppress each other by removing our freedom to choose and think for ourselves.

With these regards it might be good to step away from the idea that 'the party might be taken over suddenly', and instead regard every newcomer as intrinsically valuable on account of their existence and the fact that they already have a built up body of life experiences with which we can all share and garner learnings, insight, and knowledge from.


[deactivated account] June 21st, 2015 13:18

Erm, apologies if that seemed quite harsh... perhaps there is still use for such a setup somwhere...


[deactivated account] June 21st, 2015 19:07

@williamasiata No, harsh is good. :)


[deactivated account] January 23rd, 2018 00:17

Kia ora everyone, I am just going to leave this here.

I am doing some market research to learn more about what people need and to get feedback for a democratically owned social network idea.
If you have a spare moment please fill out this survey questionnaire, I would love to hear your thoughts & comments and any feedback is much appreciated.
Survey: https://manytribes.typeform.com/to/hHgf6J

Many Thanks,
— William