Delegative democracy in the manifesto


I had some thoughts while on holiday about how we could fairly easily implement delegative and liquid democracy in the manifesto creation process. I’ve filed it in some github tickets on the votebot - this is the main one, and there a few dependencies:

It wouldn’t take long to do, but I’m not sure that rolling it into the votebot is easier than replacing the whole thing with something like Loomio though - that needs investigating.


I guess the decider for me about rolling our own or using another system is how tightly the editing experience can be integrated.

If we were using an off-the-shelf system like Loomio, DemocracyOS or similar, while keeping the github editing, the voting and discussion would be divorced from where the change is being made. The beauty of the system at the moment is that everything is in one place, visible to all, even without our software in the middle. It feels tightly connected and fully auditable.

I’m worried we’d lose some of that if we used a third-party system. Also, would we be able to simply display the change itself in the voting interface in a separate system? Perhaps we would, but I’m not confident.


I’d started looking at Represent in the same way. While I haven’t gotten as far you with Loomio, I have been feeling increasingly convinced that we’d need to roll our own. I mentioned in Technology Stack that the main problem we need to solve is UX.

The actual tech seems like it’s relatively easy using existing tools, but the act of tying them together along with our need for accountability and transparency in the manifesto means users need multiple accounts just to contribute.

Having votebot do it all not only allows us to do authentication once but also exert complete control over the entire experience, rather than trusting third parties.


Over the last few days I’ve been giving votebot a major internal upgrade to have a proper database model, MVC, etc, and am now moving it to Rails from Sinatra, so we can build on it a lot more easily than before.