Liquid & Open Source Democracy - Questions from Undark.org


#1
  1. Are you familiar with the term liquid democracy? Do you consider the type of democracy you’re (you, your constituents and the population) creating to be a liquid democracy?
  2. Is Pol.is a distributed ledger, or is it on a centralized? Could you go through a little more in depth the tech behind how pol.is works? Who developed it?
  3. Is Pol.is a system that could be used by other governments, or do you feel that it’s interface is specific to Taiwanese use?
  4. In presidential or local elections, is Pol.is the same system that people use to vote for representatives? Or is it used only in referendums and deriving consensus for controversial issues? Is it the same platform used for the open-sourced budgeting?
  5. In the Pol.is system (and please correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not entirely sure), people’s votes and comments are open to anyone viewing them, is that correct? ie. Do you ever have worries about the negative effects that people being able to see each others’ political interactions might have?
  6. How do you access, or give access to the less-technically inclined communities, so that they’re not left out of the political process?
  7. Taiwanese associate democracy with technology, as you pointed out on several occasions. The system seems very ideal, but it works so well because of the context. Still, for people looking at Taiwan as a case study, what do you think are the best lessons that you can offer for those looking to implement a type of open source democracy?
  8. What might be the biggest difficulties to overcome - that you may or may not have faced in Taiwan?

#2
  1. Yes. No — it’s not delegative in nature.
  2. Neither; it is Free Software and we are working with the Pol.is team in Seattle on hosting it on-premise through the Sandstorm.io platform. Please see the code on how it works. These folks.
  3. Yes. The UI has been internationalized; it’s been deployed in many different locales.
  4. No. It is used as a “crowd-sourced agenda-setting” process to discover stakeholders. City-level participatory budgeting have not used Pol.is so far, but it’s possible in the future.
  5. One can vote anonymously. To post comments we currently require signing in — possibly through a throwaway/pseudonymous email address. People who want to associate their identities may also elaborate on it during the face-to-face meeting afterward.
  6. We bring the facilitation to local meetings; the online consultation is just one part between face-to-face steps.
  7. Align with career public servants. At PDIS we focus on being “public servants of public servants”, introducing engagement processes that lowers risk and reduces work for all involved.
  8. Be aware of Hype Cycles and set realistic expectations — bet small, and move fast.