I'm on this great Discord server called True Democracy. The concept is simple: everything is decided democratically, based on proposals by members of the server. There is a 24-hour voting period on each proposal–at the end of that period, it is fair game to be enacted into law.
Greetings, salutations, and a warm welcome to my blog. This week, I will be publishing a manifesto I wrote in support of the Expediency Act, a way of making voting more efficient on True Democracy. Additionally, check out the companion StuFLaW on a new points promo and my perspective on impeachment.
More Explanation of True Democracy
Here are some sample acts from True Democracy:
The Vote Protection Act: I propose that everyone has the right to vote on their own proposals, unless that proposal affects them uniquely (eg nominating yourself for an office). Reasoning: this might disincent people from starting their own proposals, instead trying to get others to do it. Also, this is a democracy.
The Dibs Act: That claiming a province [in order to roleplay as the leader of that fictional province to make regulation less meta] shall be conducted under a dibs, or first-come-first-served, system.
The Commerce Act: The currency system used by the Federal Government shall be entitled "macbucks." The government has the sole and unalienable authority to produce this currency. This currency can be exchanged via a bot, entitled "Currency Bot," written by [redacted]. The money is persistent, and stored to machine epsilon. The government also holds the right to award contracts to citizens and corporations, wherein the government gives the entity an agreed upon amount of money to the entity, and in exchange, the entity performs goods or gives services to the government. This act also allows citizens and entities to hold contracts with one another, upon the same grounds. These goods and services may extend beyond the reach of this government, at which point they are nonenforcable, but are still binding.
Don't understand that last one completely, or at all? Me neither.
Due to the magic of bureaucracy, we're up to proposal 156 (and that was only since the passing of the Numbering Act relatively early on). It's largely meta-regulation: regulation about the process of regulations and the server, etc.*
Your Expedient Servant
Several days ago, I proposed the Expediency Act:
If at any time a proposal has a number of [check-mark] reactions equal to at least one-third of the number of members of this server (currently 4 is the lowest number that works) and no other reactions, that proposal may be legally enacted, if and only if that proposal's effects are demonstrably reversible. This is because such proposals virtually always pass, and it’s a waste of time to wait until the end of the voting period for a foregone conclusion. (Obviously, this does not apply retroactively.)
If a proposal has 4 yes votes and no other votes, then it passes immediately, instead of passing at the end of the 24-hour voting period.**
For context, there are a total of 10 people on the server, several of which don't access it regularly. So if a proposal has 4 yes votes, period, it's extremely likely to pass. But 4 yes votes and no nos? It's effectively guaranteed to pass.
There's been a heated debate on the server about whether this act should pass.
The Expediency Act Manifesto
I'm going to start with the basic argument for the Expediency Act. Next, I'm going to go through the two main rebuttals for it, and counter them.
Whenever a proposal has 4 yes votes, and 0 other votes, what does that indicate about the proposal? Probably that it's a common-sense legislation that everyone agrees upon. Not passing it immediately slows down the process of the server.
But you may be saying, what are the "actual" impacts of this? Take a look at the Dibs Act from above again. That establishes a process for calling dibs on provinces–but this only happens when the act officially passes. So it created a lot of confusion about when the dibs period would begin. If the Expediency Act were law, it would have expedited the entire process, decreasing confusion and allowing the roleplay thingy to happen faster.
So, to summarize here, the passing of the Expediency Act would decrease confusion, allowing things that everyone agrees on to pass more quickly.
Not everyone is allowed a chance to weigh in, which is unfair and takes away people's voting rights.
While this is technically true, in the situations where a proposal is 4-0, it's clearly a common-sense proposal that everyone can agree on. Even if other people disagree, it's highly unlikely that they will be able to get a majority. Looking at past proposals, other people weighing in has never affected the ultimate impact.
Rebuttal: Not So Unanimous
Here's a case where it matters. Let's say that 4 people agree with a proposal. It passes due to the Expediency Act. Then, someone, let's call them Alex, logs on later to discover they don't like the proposal. In fact, Alex has a strong argument in opposition to this proposal. This argument would have convinced 2 other people to vote against the proposal, so it wouldn't have passed. In this case, the Expediency Act has unfairly meddled with and modified the outcome of the vote.
Let's take a moment to expand out what actually happens here if the Expediency Act is passed. First, it passes, among only a group of people who appreciate it–so any flaws or loopholes discovered by Alex go unnoticed and unexploited. Then, Alex mounts their repeal,*** which should also pass if they have a consensus. So it's a win-win.
We've seen that the Expediency Act will simplify the process of bureaucracy and allow agreed-upon proposals to pass much more quickly, decreasing overall confusion. While it's true that this has corner-case imaginary harms, we have seen that there exist real-life harms from the Expediency Act not having been enacted. Therefore, it is imperative to support the Expediency Act.
The Expediency Act may be abstract, but a takeaway is to look at the tangible impacts; to ask, is this a literal actual issue that indeed happens in real life?
*We're in the process of setting up a fictional country to manage via laws, etc., but that's not fully realized yet.
**The 4 number is proportional to the total membership of a server. Also, there's a clause in there that says it only works if the proposal is "demonstrably reversible," meaning that it can be easily reversed. For instance, the deletion of a channel is not demonstrably reversible, whereas esoteric meta-regulations and the addition of anything are.
***Here's where demonstrably reversible comes in–if it's not demonstrably reversible, this corner-case repeal is not doable.