I just got a voting system idea (which might or might not be an already existing system) after watching two videos about voting. [1] [2]

Disclaimer: The question(s) will be at the end, but the main reason I am asking this is because I would like to hear some feedback about this idea and learn new stuff as I am fairly bad at politics and I do not know too many details in this field.

The idea would be that every citizen becomes eligible to state their preference, their supported politician or party (or both) at a given age - like in other voting systems. When anyone states their preference, that supported person becomes their preference until they change that to someone else or that political instance gets retired/disbanded.

This means that at any given moment there is a clear overview about the state of support of the political parties. This way there is no need to hold elections periodically as the support distribution would change rather quickly (more about this later). Politicians or politicians from parties would be elected as soon as the support percentage changes with a few practical restrictions:

  • Every winning person should gain a noticeable margin (e.g. +5% over the old elected president/prime minister/etc.) or the winning person should keep its first place for a specific amount of time (e.g. +0.1-4.9% for 2 months). This way there would be re-elections less frequently and less money would be consumed.

  • Elected persons would remain in their position for at least a given amount of time (e.g. 2 weeks), so they could prove their abilities if some initial citizen anger would try to remove them.

The main idea of this voting system would be the dynamicity: if an elected person proves to be incompetent then it would be replaced in a more effective way. Sometimes (when some bad thing is done by the government) people would be voting in larger chunks like in currently held elections, which could backfire with huge waiting queues, but this might be solved with local regulations (like opening up voting booths on weekends if more and more people start changing their supported person).

The current paper voting systems have good advantages, like anonymity and trust. [1] This new system would probably be less secure and would probably also have less anonymity over old systems. Even though the support percentages would change rather quickly, practicality and the disadvantages mentioned earlier would suggest that these changes should be applied with some periodicity and some batching. My idea would be, that every given period (e.g. week) the new votes would be sent to a central place, if there is a higher count than some number defined locally (e.g. for 1000 inhabitants there should be at least 10 votes on a weekend, so those votes could be sent).

Some concerns of mine about this voting system:

  • Less people would vote than in current voting systems, because there would not be a specific day for voting. Maybe people who are not into politics and politics related stuff would ignore this system.

  • The issue mentioned earlier: lots of people would start to change their supported politician or party when some bad decision is made, overcrowding the local permanent voting boots.

  • The previously mentioned permanent voting boots could be a higher expense than periodical elections.

  • Referendums and setting up ministries might not be that straightforward, I guess?

  • It's most likely less secure than a classic periodical voting system and the issue is greater on smaller governing instances, like small villages.

What I think are the positive traits of this idea but I am happy to be proven wrong:

  • Bad decisions would result in fast change of leadership.

  • As permanent voting booths would waste some money, we also could save a lot on periodical money waste (like campaigns)

  • There would always be an overview about the distribution of support between different political instances.

  • Electronic voting based on secure identities (and here I am taking the idea of SQRL as someone interested in this new concept [3]) could partially solve the problem of anonymity and trust but only if used with caution and regulated by government.

So, getting to the end finally... I would like to get some feedback, insights about this idea. I want to be proven wrong or be supported and I obviously want to learn about politics in the meantime.

And thus, the main question is: could this idea possibly enhance most voting systems or it surely would be a total backfire?

I know that the question might be broad, but I am willing to accept answers if they do provide answer to most of my concerns. Also, here are the sources mentioned throughout the question:

  • 1
    It's a nice story but only works for Star Wars world not real world... At least our real world in its current situation... – Alone Programmer Dec 13 '19 at 15:40
  • @AloneProgrammer Care to explain why do you think so? Star Wars should have notoriously bad reputation about politics going well... But anyways I get this part of your point, I'm just looking for the constructive response. – Lasoloz Dec 13 '19 at 15:50

This sounds like a variant of Liquid Democracy. In a Liquid Democracy, all citizens have a vote that they can transfer to other people for any reason they see fit... and people who have been transfered another vote can transfer their bundles to others... and each person who transfered a vote is able to recall and re commit the vote to another person at any point.

While not so defined, this sounds like a variant I term "Liquid Representation" where a politician is elected to legislature by a consituency to represent their interests in the legislative assembly. Unlike normal representative democracies, the Representatives votes are not equal but will be based on support that is distributed by citizens. Essentially, you're representative is selected through normal election means, however, his or her individual vote is only as powerful as his district's approval of his job... if a constituent doesn't support him, he is free to redistribute his "vote" to a person from another district who does. If you don't care, your vote defaults to your elected representation.

In both systems, this is usually done at a moment's notice and usually through a computer program that can be run from a PC or a phone app, rather than the voting booth. Ideally, in the later, there would be a lock period during floor voting to allow for the numbers to stop fluctuating wildly.

Some problems with this is that it could defeat voter anonimity... one of the benefits of paper ballots is that it's easy to count without tying it to a person unless they mark their names on it and it creates a "chain of custody" where all election judges must sign documents when transferring the ballots to another judge from counting and all parties can observe the count.

The other issue is vote security. For these systems, inter-connectivity to a central system is required if the changes are reflected in near instances. Current voting machines do not use this, even your electronic ones, because anything that can connect to a system can be hacked from somewhere in the system. Modern electronic voting machines are not capable of connecting to the internet by design and instead, their ballots are saved to a removable storage device (making a "physical collection" of ballots, but something that can still have a chain of custody) and can still print off reciepts for auditing purposes. However, with e-voting in a Liquid Democracy, it's susceptible for a bad actor to break the system and change a nations votes to the majority needed to get his/her side of the issue a win... and you do not have to be a voting citizen to do this. Most election hacking these days is about propagandizing the issues in a way that favors a political choices for their desired outcome... they do not hack the machines counting the vote.

Now, if you hold that the election of the representatives in a district is still standard, it's their power in the legislative function of government. The majority and minority coalitions would still exist and in Westminster styles of legislatures, the majority can still form the government and the ministers can still perform their exectuive functions. IN a Washington style legislature, the cabinet and head of government are not tied to the legislative majority

  • Thank you for the detailed answer. I will definitely look into the definitions you provided as soon as I have some time :) – Lasoloz Dec 13 '19 at 15:00
  • Just keep in mind that "Liquid Representation" is a term I coined, and may not be the actual term for the system so described... that said, I've not seen a system described in my readings. – hszmv Dec 13 '19 at 15:15

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