DiEM25 Official Forums

 
SergioArbarviro
Topic Author
Posts: 10
Joined: 20 Mar 2016 19:50
Location: Lille (FR)
Contact:

Proposal: transform DiEM25 into a Trans-National, Democratic, Progressive Political Party

08 Oct 2017 06:50

The proposal is to transform DiEM25 into a trans-national, democratic, progressive, political party (abridged into: TNDPPP). I will refer hereafter to this proposed mode of operation as "the TNDPPP".

This proposal will be further developed in a physical meeting in Frankfurt / Main (Germany), on the week-end of 28-29 November 2017. To join, send me an e-mail at my address (based on the template GivenName.FamilyName (at) kuneagi.org) before Tuesday 17 October 2017, 12:00 hours noon CSET.

Why a political party? To have a concrete capacity to transform our economy, our society, the European Union and the world at large for the better of humankind, by leveraging existing democratic institutions and policy tools (regulation, tax, public spending) – while bearing responsibility for our action.
How does it work?
The TNDPPP operates in full democracy, fully on-line.
What I mean by "full democracy" is: (1) all members participate in decision-making; and (2) once democratically adopted, decisions are implemented by all.
The "fully on-line" operation of the TNDPPP means: all strategic decisions are taken on-line, in non real-time; i.e. no strategic decision is taken in physical meetings or in real-time interactions. Thereby, nobody is penalised by his/her geographic or schedule constraints, based on his/her social or economic condition.
The only internal decision-making bodies in the TNDPPP are: (1) the Bureau, which has the legal capacity to commit the TNDPPP financially and legally; and (2) the Arbitration Council, whose duty is to solve internal conflicts. The Bureau is elected as a team, so as to enhance its political cohesiveness; the Arbitration Council gathers people that are elected individually.
The Bureau takes operational decisions such as: negotiating and concluding contracts with third parties; recruiting and managing permanent technical staff; managing cash, assets and liabilities; engaging in legal action; ensuring the public presence of the TNDPPP in the press and social media; negotiating electoral alliances and coalition contracts with third political parties.
The TNDPPP uses a free, open-source, deliberative democracy platform, called KuneAgi (http://www.kuneagi.org) to take strategic decisions, including the definition of its political programme (see list below); it uses a free, open-source, transitive delegation software, called LiquidFeedback (https://www.liquidfeedback.org) to control elected representatives, in the Bureau and in official legislative or executive positions (see procedure below).
List of strategic decisions, taken using the KuneAgi software:
1.1 – the definition of the political programme, i.e. of the justified and ideologically coherent list of public policies (regulation, taxation, public spending), to be implemented once the TNDPPP is in government, ranked in priority order;
1.2 – the selection of the Bureau, i.e. of the physical persons bearing the legal capacity to commit the TNDPPP financially and legally;
1.3 – the selection of the internal Arbitration Council;
1.4 – the selection of the official elections in which to to participate, and thus commit the resources of the TNDPPP;
1.5 – the selection of the communication campaigns and actions in which to commit the resources of the TNDPPP;
1.6 – the selection, among members of the TNDPPP, of candidates in the selected official elections;
1.7 – the support of elected officials in their legislative work on amendments to legal texts;
1.8 – the definition of rules governing pre-electoral alliances and coalition contracts of government with third political parties;
1.9 – the definition of the internal budget, i.e. of the list of expenses to be performed by the TNDPPP, ranked in priority order, and of the financial contribution by members;
1.10 – the definition of changes in the statutes
1.11 – the definition of changes in the underlying software platform itself (KuneAgi).
In the KuneAgi on-line democracy software, all members of the TNDPPP participate in the decision-making, in the three phases (1) of the initiative of proposals, (2) of their amendment and (3) of their ranking in hierarchical order of importance, priority or quality.
Mode of control of members of the Bureau and of elected officials, using the LiquidFeedback software
All operational decisions of the Bureau above a threshold bearing on the financial or legal commitment are subject to a priori approval by all members of the TNDPPP. All votes of elected officials are preceded by a consultative vote of all members of the TNDPPP.
In order to avoid cognitive overload of the members, each member can delegate his/her vote reversibly to any other member. This delegation can be cancelled at any time, and can be specified as relating to one nature of operational decisions or of votes only. The delegation is transitive: it can be further delegated to another member.
How do members communicate with one another, in a horizontal, decentralised manner? Most horizontal communication between members is performed using the purpose-oriented tools listed above. All other general-purpose horizontal communication among members is performed using a generic tool such as Mattermost (https://about.mattermost.com/features/).
What is the role of the current DiEM25 movement? The current DiEM25 movement is maintained, as the public communication channel and the grass-roots recruiting and mobilising component of the TNDPPP. The functions of the Coordinating Collective (CC) are included in those the Bureau; those of the Validating Council (VC) are performed by the LiquidFeedback transitive delegation software. DSC's become the most frequent groups (but not the only ones) proposing communication campaigns or actions (function 1.5).

A full description of the proposal is downloadable at:
http://www.kuneagi.org/Telechargements/ ... lParty.pdf
Last edited by SergioArbarviro on 16 Oct 2017 20:50, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
lynX
Posts: 16
Joined: 16 Oct 2017 13:28
Location: Berlin / Rome
Contact:

Re: Proposal: transform DiEM25 into a Trans-National, Democratic, Progressive Political Party

16 Oct 2017 14:56

Dear Sergio, we have a lot of thinking in common, but I would like some extra "Separation of Powers" to guarantee improved inner democracy!

SergioArbarviro wrote:
Why a political party? To have a concrete capacity to transform our economy, our society, the European Union and the world at large for the better of humankind, by leveraging existing democratic institutions and policy tools (regulation, tax, public spending) – while bearing responsibility for our action.


Yes, but in some countries it makes sense to let existing parties do that part. If DiEM has a functional self-organizing internal democracy that produces proposals a go-go, then it would be serving its primary purpose. Being on the ballot directly or not is a secondary strategic decision, IMHO.

The "fully on-line" operation of the TNDPPP means: all strategic decisions are taken on-line, in non real-time; i.e. no strategic decision is taken in physical meetings or in real-time interactions. Thereby, nobody is penalised by his/her geographic or schedule constraints, based on his/her social or economic condition.


It seems like we have diverging interpretations of the word "strategy". What a Permanent Assembly can deliver is brilliant proposals on how to resolve certain political problems in a transparent way. I think of strategy in a short-term short-range confidentiality sense. For example, what happens if your political ally gives you confidential information you would like to act upon, but cannot possibly share it with the entire movement? In previous attempts at making 100% transparent movements (think die Grünen in the 80's) this has always led to the creation of secret informal power groups, so it is a better idea to have a coordinating collective be in charge of the non-public pieces of strategy. We could think of a late disclosure obligation, maybe.

The only internal decision-making bodies in the TNDPPP are: (1) the Bureau, which has the legal capacity to commit the TNDPPP financially and legally; and (2) the Arbitration Council, whose duty is to solve internal conflicts. The Bureau is elected as a team, so as to enhance its political cohesiveness; the Arbitration Council gathers people that are elected individually.


The architecture I would recommend is a bit more complex in that regard, separating the Moderators from the Court of Arbitration so that neither of them has ultimate power to express sanctions on participants. See http://structure.pages.de/goals for the work in progress in that regard…

The Bureau takes operational decisions such as: negotiating and concluding contracts with third parties; recruiting and managing permanent technical staff; managing cash, assets and liabilities; engaging in legal action; ensuring the public presence of the TNDPPP in the press and social media; negotiating electoral alliances and coalition contracts with third political parties.


Oh, with the "alliances" you are putting strategic powers into the hands of the Bureau. So you are indeed using the word 'strategy' in quite a different way than me. Also communication, staff and finances are big pieces of power. I hope for these functions to be spread over multiple bodies to avoid too much power centralization.

The TNDPPP uses a free, open-source, deliberative democracy platform, called KuneAgi (http://www.kuneagi.org) to take strategic decisions, including the definition of its political programme (see list below); it uses a free, open-source, transitive delegation software, called LiquidFeedback (https://www.liquidfeedback.org) to control elected representatives, in the Bureau and in official legislative or executive positions (see procedure below).


I thought it is a good idea to agree on having a Permanent Assembly first, then later discuss which softwares are best suited to implement it… so, looking at the roles for the PA I agree with all except for…

1.2 – the selection of the Bureau, i.e. of the physical persons bearing the legal capacity to commit the TNDPPP financially and legally;
1.3 – the selection of the internal Arbitration Council;
1.6 – the selection, among members of the TNDPPP, of candidates in the selected official elections;


Electing people by electronic means is a difficult matter. Either you make all the votes transparent, showing who supported who. This incentivates effects like being pressured or bribed to elect a certain person, or you make voting secret which means that the entire voting procedure can be falsified by the webmaster. Neither solution satisfies the concept of democracy, whereby in some countries such approaches aren't even legal. Alternative options are to either use aleatory methods based on real world lottery numbers, because you can never trust the random number generator of a computer (lesson learned from cryptography), or to use paper ballots at physical assemblies.

In order to avoid cognitive overload of the members, each member can delegate his/her vote reversibly to any other member. This delegation can be cancelled at any time, and can be specified as relating to one nature of operational decisions or of votes only. The delegation is transitive: it can be further delegated to another member.


Yes, that aspect of a PA is essential in order to be able to take many rapid decisions and still achieve democratic results. Luckily science has confirmed that the liquid democratic method actually works (see link above).

A full description of the proposal is downloadable at:
http://www.kuneagi.org/Telechargements/ ... lParty.pdf


Still need to check that pdf out. If DiEM refuses to democratize, we must make your cosmopolitan party a reality! ;)
 
SergioArbarviro
Topic Author
Posts: 10
Joined: 20 Mar 2016 19:50
Location: Lille (FR)
Contact:

Re: Proposal: transform DiEM25 into a Trans-National, Democratic, Progressive Political Party

16 Oct 2017 20:49

Dear LynX,
I thank you for your positive feedback!

lynX wrote:
Yes, but in some countries it makes sense to let existing parties do that part. If DiEM has a functional self-organizing internal democracy that produces proposals a go-go, then it would be serving its primary purpose. Being on the ballot directly or not is a secondary strategic decision, IMHO.


My big concern about DiEM25 not being present everywhere, and sub-contracting its electoral presence in some countries to existing parties, is that of legitimacy. Why would a national political party accept orders from an external organisation, most members of which aren't even citizens of the country where the party is operating? In case they do follow DiEM25's instructions at one stage, what happens if they start diverging later?
This is why I propose a unitary party: one organisation, operating at the scale of the whole EU, with one source of democratic legitimacy - all members.

lynX wrote:
The architecture I would recommend is a bit more complex in that regard, separating the Moderators from the Court of Arbitration so that neither of them has ultimate power to express sanctions on participants.

This separation already is present in the TNDPPP architecture. In the KuneAgi http://www.kuneagi.org software, the Moderation function is performed on each content, by a different set of randomly selected members, who do not know each other - so that they decide independently from one another. These randomly selected members performing Moderation are thus also distinct from the Arbitration Council.

lynX wrote:
Electing people by electronic means is a difficult matter. Either you make all the votes transparent, showing who supported who. This incentivates effects like being pressured or bribed to elect a certain person, or you make voting secret which means that the entire voting procedure can be falsified by the webmaster.

The technical solution provided by KuneAgi answers elegantly to your concerns (I say so because I did not invent it): when a member votes, his/her ballot is given a unique number, and the member stores the ballot number and the content of his/her vote. When the vote procedure is finished, (1) all ballots are publicly displayed with their number and content, so that each member can check by him/herself that his/her ballot was correctly taken into account; (2) the list of members who cast a vote is also made public, so that people that did not vote can check that they have not been attributed a ballot that they never cast (this prevents filling the electronic ballot box).

lynX wrote:
I hope for these functions to be spread over multiple bodies to avoid too much power centralization.

My main point is that there is a legal function to perform: that of committing the TNDPPP legally. This function is centralised in a given body, by law. This body (in my proposal: the Bureau) can then delegate its powers to other instances, but this delegation keeps a subordination between the delegating entity (the Bureau) and the delegated one. The only means I can imagine to prevent excessive concentration of power in the Bureau is to control its action, using transitive delegated votes as proposed.
 
User avatar
lynX
Posts: 16
Joined: 16 Oct 2017 13:28
Location: Berlin / Rome
Contact:

Re: Proposal: transform DiEM25 into a Trans-National, Democratic, Progressive Political Party

17 Oct 2017 08:31

Ciao Sergio!

SergioArbarviro wrote:
Why would a national political party accept orders from an external organisation, most members of which aren't even citizens of the country where the party is operating?


What about Italy? Its left-wing activist base is split across over a dozen political groups since decades now. At each round of elections they gather under somebody's coalition flag and manifesto/program, then they dismantle again. Sometimes that somebody runs away with the flag, so the coalition breaks early on, but that's another story. My gut feeling tells me that the Italian left would be willing to follow Yanis' flag, but the conditions of coalition must be clear and precise. If DiEM is strong enough, it would then be able to form a parliamentary group in the EP. But I agree that it's not the same thing as having people that pledged to the principle of the Permanent Assembly. You and I know that a well designed PA can be a strong guarantee that "taking orders" bottom-up is indeed okay, but I think the movement needs at least a year of practice having such a power before fully believing in it. I can imagine that many splinter groups would choose to join DiEM and surrender a chunk of their autonomy, but only after an initial success. Until then, I think it is a good idea to open up to a lot of coalitions and collaborations rather than being forced to construct the entire thing from zero.

Therefore I recommend to first introduce a PA, then discuss electoral strategies on a better democratic basis than the current set-up. The question of 'electoral wing' is simply in the wrong moment now, given DiEM has none of the suitable inner structure and none of the necessary experience with a better inner structure as to take such decisions in full awareness of the potentials. Asking the electoral participation question at a time when even basic internal coordination isn't functioning well is like having a referendum among blindfolded people. Let them have a functioning internal system the way you and I know that it works, then they will be able to have a rational discourse rather than a staple of opinions thrown into a corner and arrive at a consensus rather than picking the leadership's proposed option just to escape the cacophony.

The approach currently used by DiEM25 looks like democracy, but it actually isn't. Any student of political sciences should tell you that.

lynX wrote:
The architecture I would recommend is a bit more complex in that regard, separating the Moderators from the Court of Arbitration so that neither of them has ultimate power to express sanctions on participants.

This separation already is present in the TNDPPP architecture. In the KuneAgi http://www.kuneagi.org software, the Moderation function is performed on each content, by a different set of randomly selected members, who do not know each other - so that they decide independently from one another. These randomly selected members performing Moderation are thus also distinct from the Arbitration Council.


I think you are referring to the way you dealt with the initial quorum while I am speaking of social moderation in each of the platforms and physical meetings as well. How can a software randomly pick moderators at a DSC meeting?

The technical solution provided by KuneAgi answers elegantly to your concerns (I say so because I did not invent it): […]


Oh, that is simple and neat. Why hasn't anyone told me of this in all these years? It does have a weakness however which probably would still make it illegal in Germany: the fact that the webmaster knows everything and can try to bribe the missing votes to achieve their interests.

My main point is that there is a legal function to perform: that of committing the TNDPPP legally. This function is centralised in a given body, by law.


Which law requires the same persons to also employ the webmaster and social media team?

What do you think of http://structure.pages.de/goals — a chance you can agree with our ideas to reduce the number of proposals and increase the number of people behind the best one? :D