Democracy

The following are a collection of questions regarding Democracy.

What is Democracy?

Democracy is the form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them.

What is the difference between direct and representative Democracy?

In Direct Democracy, or just simply Democracy, people propose and decide on issues and not on other people, which have repeatedly in all societies of the world, sought self profit and abused the power granted to them. One can easily understand that the current form of government is not Democracy, but elected oligarchy. To use the term “representative democracy” the elected body should actually represent the will of the people and not exploit them.

Representative Democracy is not representative. One can agree with the ideology of a political party on some things but not on others; however, by voting for that party he accepts everything that they put forward. In Direct Democracy the voter decides on each issue separately, therefore each result is completely representative of the people.

Moreover, today’s voter abstain rates in most nations are more than 40%. Add to this the fact that the party that is eventually elected often gets under 40% of the votes cast. That means that ultimately the political party that wins the elections is voted by a “majority” of 20% of the nation’s population, with 80% not supporting that party. That is clearly the exact opposite of representation.

How will we benefit in a Direct Democracy?
  • The people propose and decide everything. Politicians, lobbying and corruption will dictate the future no more.
  • Increased transparency. Decisions are not made behind closed doors.
  • There is a vastly greater array of opinions and minds contributing to the state and building the future
  • Truly representative. The entire population is participating therefore the system is much more aware of arising issues.
  • Direct democracy has educative benefits as involvement requires thought and discussion. People will gradually become more active, knowledgeable and mature.
  • Difficult issues and situations that demand change will be brought up by people and not avoided by politicians as it is done today.
  • The elites will have diminished power, as the people will manage and steer the country.
Who will be able to vote?

Everyone who is of voting age.

Won’t there be any representatives?

No, every decision and every proposal shall be put forward by the population.

Who will take action for all our decisions then?

Public officials will still operate as they now do, and take actions according to the new policies that are accepted by the people. It is just the politicians who will get replaced by the people.

Are the people ready to decide on their own for everything?

This system is a change, and every change should be slow and planed; through a gradual transition, along with proper education, people would not only be capable to decide, but the richness and the multitude of ideas would be far greater than those of a few hundred individuals in most countries.

People are diverse in a population and this is not an obstacle; on the contrary, this diversity enriches the opinions that contribute in the solution of issues that arise. Moreover, issues like state budget allocation, technical, or proposals complex in nature that make it very difficult for inexperienced citizens to design a legislation, will obtain joint stands and proposals from university boards, laboratories or research centers. Proposals will be selected based on their quality and not on who wrote them.

Education is better than ever before, people are more inclined to argue with their representatives, and their awareness of the world’s situation is far wider due to the internet and the media. We have grown up as a society and it is high time we took decisions for ourselves.

What about mob rule and oppressed minorities?

This fallacy is perpetuated by people who profit with the current situation. People are blindly fooled to believe that more Democracy would impose a rule of majority over a minority when they are currently hopelessly controlled by the rule of the minority over the majority.

People are much more sensitive about minorities than imagined. Many people support different minorities that they personally do not belong to, just because they believe in equality and inclusiveness for all.

Moreover, according to the “Wisdom of the Crowd” phenomenon, a large group’s aggregated answers to questions involving quantity estimation, general world knowledge, and spatial reasoning has been found to be as good as, and often better than, the answer given by any of the individuals within the group, an advantage that is deprived when a few hundred people take the decisions.

Additionally, Epitome implements various features that deal with this hypothetical problem to a great extend.

Wont people get fatigued from daily voting?

People won’t be forced to vote daily and will have the option to select the subjects in which they will participate. Most, if given the choice of building their future, would grab the opportunity and exercise it frequently.

What about people who don’t know how to use computers?

Different access points will help those who want to participate but lack the knowledge, and provide education and support. Peer and communal collaboration will be actively encouraged. Through its simplistic approach anyone who is be able to to read and write will be able through a quick guided intervention to acquire the basic skills needed to use Epitome.

Wont’s this system slow down progress?

Some people believe that it is easier to reach a consensus among a small group of elected officials than to find a consensus among a population, therefore Direct Democracy would slow down progress.

In a Direct Democracy the sensitivity in detecting issues and responding to them is greater the more citizens participate. Every idea that someone has can be directly submitted before the problem evolves.

Isn’t this Communism?

Capitalism, communism, socialism etc, are not forms of government. Those systems are economic systems, meaning they regulate how the wealth is distributed among the people.

Could Direct Democracy be abused from special interest groups?

Special interest groups are influencing the government much more today than they would be in a Direct Democracy, by lobbying the government and giving money to the politicians to promote their interests and secure their future prosperity. In a Direct Democracy this would not happen, as lobbyists cannot pay the millions of people to change their opinions and vote for a decision that would affect their lives negatively.

Won’t politicians or big corporations try to sabotage and stop this movement?

Politicians, those who profit from the present situation and extremists will probably oppose this idea. However, quality of life is an experience that is perceived as a whole. A person cannot live happily in an environment where everyone else is immersed in misery and poverty. People who benefit from the current situation should understand that the quality of life would improve for everyone, improving their lives as well.

If the majority of people understands what democracy really is and the potential it has to improve everyone’s lives no amount of suppression could stop its spread.

Don’t we need a new constitution?

Yes indeed; the Democracy Foundation has published the Constitution of Freedom, free to adopt or modify by any society.

You can read it here.

Epitome

The following are a collection of questions regarding Epitome, the online direct democracy platform.

What is Epitome?

Epitome is an open source, customizable and adaptable Direct Democracy web platform for societies of every size or need who wish to function as a fully featured direct democratic system of governance.

Detailed information about Epitome can be found here.

The source code for Epitome can be found here.

How can I use Epitome?

Epitome can be assessed from a web browser just as a normal webpage.

Will it be used only by countries?

Not only; Epitome can be adopted by any society of every size, whether a company, university or a group of people who want to practice Democracy. It is designed to run just as good for a group of 10 people or 10 billion.

How will I register in the system?

If the system is used in a nation, then people would be able to register in different access points.

If the system is used in another society, then the people can decide if they would register with just an email or someone would have to add them manually.

How can I propose?

More information on the proposal submission here.

How will I get help about the system ?

Through our community, or through volunteers in the access points.

Additional professional support can be provided through personal contact.

Can I cancel or change my vote?

In the default model, one can change his vote before the voting deadline by submitting a new vote.

Can I make changes in existing proposals?

More information on proposal amendments here.

Can I share a proposal in the social media?

Yes Epitome has social media integration.

How will I vote?

By clicking on an issue on the main page and choosing among “Yes”, “No” or “Abstain”.

On issues that require ranked voting, the voter ranks the choices from first to last according to his preference.

What about hackers and the security of the system?

More information on the system security here.

What about blind people or people with special needs?

All the themes provided for Epitome will have integrated assisting features for people with special needs.

How will I know my vote is not manipulated?

Each user will have a new and unique random voting ticket for each voting. He will be able to verify how his voting ticket was counted after the results are published. That will offer him the choice of validation with the advantage of anonymity.

Wouldn’t people be able to sell their votes?

Experts have argued that if a citizen is able to verify his vote later on, he will be able to sell it. Epitome deals with this problem, as future extensions will be able to prevent this problem while simultaneously allow users to verify that their votes where counted as cast.

Moreover in order to successfully make an impact, an individual or a corporation would have to buy hundreds or thousands of votes, risking by hundreds or thousands to report them to the authorities. Even if one would somehow manage to buy hundreds of votes with none of the people making a report this would cost a significant more time and money than it takes to bribe a handful of elected politicians.

Who will make the proposals and legislations?

Everyone can propose and create legislations, however according to the population size of the society, each individual will have a limit on how many proposals he is able to submit in a given time period to ensure optimum function of the society.

More information on the proposal submission process here.

How will people learn how to operate the platform?

A project under development by the Democracy Foundation will feature instructional videos on every language with the aid of volunteers.

What about those who cannot afford computers?

Those people will be able to have access to the system in special access points. Additionally, the requirements of the system are low, just like a simple webpage, which allow it to run smoothly even on single board computers that can be found from 10 – 20 $.

What about people who spam or abuse the proposal system?

People themselves will moderate the proposals submitted and guard the system against abuse.

How can I make an informed decision in a complicated issue?

Epitome will feature a video platform for each issue so that people can upload videos with their thoughts and a user will have a plethora of opinions to get informed on the current issue.

Foundation

The following are a collection of questions regarding The Democracy Foundation.

What is the Democracy Foundation?

The Democracy Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to bring Freedom, Democracy and Progress in the societies of the world.

We will empower different Direct Democratic communities throughout the world, equip them with instruments, ideas and connect them with each other to improve them and their progress.

You can read the foundation’s manifesto here.

I have an idea, can I contribute?

You are more than welcome to share your ideas or recommendations with our community in our discussion group. Your participation will improve us.

How can I support?

You can help us by translating into your language or contributing programming code to the projects. Here are the links to our GitHub and our Facebook development group.

You can help us by giving us an amount of money of your choice. Here is the link to the Donation Area.

Why should I donate?

By giving us an amount of money that you would normally give for a meal or a drink, you are helping alleviate costs such as server hosting for our platform and our website, services that we require to pay on our own. Moreover, we give financial rewards for requested contributions in Epitome, and by donating to us, you directly help the development of Epitome.

We do not include advertisements in our website because we believe in distraction free reading. We do not charge for our software or resources because our principles are progress and freedom. We believe people will be able to judge what is worthwhile and valuable.

I have some questions that are not listed here, how can I get help?

In case you wanted to ask something that is not listed here you can ask your question in our Facebook, on the IRC Chatroom, our Discussion Group, or Contact us directly.


Leo von Klenze - Palace in Athens

Leo von Klenze – Palace in Athens