Meaning and Context
DDD is an acronym for "Democracy by Digital Delegation", which could also be called "Democracy by Continuous Digital Delegation", or simply "Democracy 2.0".
As the name implies, this is a proposal for the development of the democratic model.
This democratic improvement is digital, in the sense that IT and telecommunications play an important and innovative role.
It operates primarily through a delegation system that differs from the current electoral systems.
And this delegation is continuous, continually updated, while current systems are typically cyclical.
The DDD model comes from a larger study, the "M3M model". The M3M model combines a critical review of the current models (collectivist model, competitive model, democracy, particracy, work, business) with a new model and a societal project. The text describing the M3M model is organized in three parts. The first part is the criticism of obsolete models of society. The second part is a deliberate choice of simple values on which should be built a better and new model, intended to be translated into a kind of specifications. The third part describes the components chosen to implement the previously established specifications. It is from this third part that the essential part of the present document is extracted.
The original French version (DDD - "Démocratie par Délégation Digitale) is available here. The present translation may include some approximative translations.
Weaknesses of Western Democracies
In Europe, in America and throughout the world, the democratic model is sick: voters feel misunderstood, they no longer worry about exercising the right to vote, though hard won by their predecessors. The political class and the elected officials arouse, immediately invested with power, the distrust and suspicion of those who have chosen them. Whether or not these suspicions are justified, voters no longer feel validly represented in the numerous and complex institutions engendered by the increasingly tortuous and contradictory machinery of democratic structures.
The old democratic principle, namely the dignified and balanced representation of the elector, has been lost somewhere in the successive improvements of history. It is time to take a critical look at it, and to build something else, keeping the vital force of the democratic principle, but incorporating new structures and means suitable for the biotope of contemporary man.
Many authors and journalists have highlighted the limits and weaknesses of the democratic machinery. Here are reported, without orginality, the most significant ones, which will serve as contrasting base to the DDD proposals.
Strange success criteria for elected representative
Electoral campaigns involve candidates whose aim is to obtain a maximum number of votes. As a consequence, the elegance, the presence, the sense of distribution and the effectiveness of the media weigh more than the ambition or the clarity of the programs presented. These come down to well-chosen slogans, often developed by communication consultants whose performances will be paid not according to the quality of the program and the themes presented, but according to the votes obtained. As for the candidates themselves, the criteria of success mentioned - such as personality, media efficiency and others - will push forward and favor sympathetic and popular personalities, entertainment and communication people, such as journalists, actors, Charismatic affairs. These profiles can not be systematically denied human qualities, ideals and management qualities. However, given the challenges faced by elected officials, it is clear that these profiles are not a priori the best equipped to deal with these problems, compared to various specialists in the technical, political or scientific spheres. Alas, the latter rarely put their priorities in the techniques of electoral communications, or have no inclination for these exercises.
Democratic cycles are sources of dysfunction
In all democracies the same depressing cycles are observed in their naive repetition.
In electoral periods - mandates expiring and renewing - elected representatives in place are like their competitors eager to take their place. It is the period of promises in every direction, of the glorious results of those who have exercised power, of the deplorable results of those who wish that those who have exercised it will no longer exercise it and give way to it. During this election period, candidates are enthusiastically depicted by their troops, with disdain by their competitors, and objectivity gives way completely to the media circus. One of the consequences of these exercises is that the elected officials in this period no longer care to manage but to present an optimal balance sheet enhanced with promises brought to the tune of the day.
Then, during the exercise of the mandate, the elected member is gradually obliged to retreat in the face of the too optimistic promises that he has to advance in order to obtain the votes. Inevitably, or at least in the vast majority of cases, the popularity of an elected official is gradually weaker than he had at the time of his campaign. And in fact the management of the problems is biased and unhealthy, since the distortions between promises and constraints of ground imply a management in delicate equilibrium. It is during the term of office that elected officials can draw more or less legitimate, and never announced, benefits from their power. It is the period of elevator referrals, the inventory of debits and credits, and the search for the best returns on electoral investment. If he is undeniably integrity and devoted - but how did they get there? - it should also be noted that others who are less scrupulous know how to take advantage of the money invested in election campaigns. The former want and can deal with problems in the interest of the citizen, but the latter want and can deal with the same problems without forgetting the interest of their party, their friends and themselves.
Moreover, democratic cycles often have as a corollary the alternation of men and parties in power. Most often the end of a mandate and the beginning of the next one involve the pausing of the programs slowly put in place by the predecessors, and the gradual taking of information from the successors. This results in long periods of floating and management failure, either because programs can no longer be completed, or because they are not yet solidly supported by information or not fully constructed. In both cases, the possible management qualities of the predecessors and successors do not weigh heavily against the implacable logic of democratic cycles.
It is not in the interest of elected representatives to tackle the real problems
Why should an elected representative bravely tackle the most delicate problems he is being asked to tackle?
It has been shown that if the best solution to a problem involves unpopular measures, unlikely to retain or drain votes in the future, then an elected official has every interest in not treating it. It is better for him to take temporary, popular and, preferably, mediate measures, rather than addressing a problem at the source. Postulating hard decisions, conveying to others the delicate and unpopular need to treat them better is the most profitable political choice. This is a step in time: NIMTO (not in my term of office). The same logic exists for the fields of competence: NIMBY (not in my back yard). In other words, no politician wishes that a thorny problem falls within his sphere of competence.
Limits of Particracy
Political parties allow individuals with similar opinions to group together and thereby gain more representative strength. It is a laudable principle in itself, and a rather natural prolongation of human nature.
However, par- ticipation leads to various suspicious and reprehensible drifts. The individual voter often feels more affinities for a party's wing rather than for its overallity, or even for an individual or group of individuals within that party. Moreover, parties are debatable fields of negotiation and effective distribution of power, where voters and their interests are not represented or represented in a transparent way. Finally, relations between political parties and financial powers are often compromising, opaque, and incite forms of compromise, even corruptions. Party funding mechanisms are often investigated, and it can be assumed that those that are not being investigated are simply those that are organized in a more discreet manner.
Non-specialization of elected representatives and leaders
It is an generic effect of the democratic mechanisms, but is amplified by the particracy. Leadership posts, which always correspond to more or less broad areas of competence, are distributed to elected representatives either directly or indirectly through negotiations between ruling parties, and even more so within them. But in the vast majority of cases, executives set up and part of their teams have no expertise, no special skills. Their electoral and political successes give them the right to practice in the most diverse fields: health, environment, education, finance, justice, international relations, etc. It is as if none of these fields require knowledge As if the electoral competence was universally applicable and transposable.
At the same time, the voter who trusts a man or a party for certain areas of competence is obliged to choose the same man, or the same and only party for all areas of competence. What should be the choice of whoever thinks that a party's budget program is vital, while his approach to education is deplorable?
Difficult representation of minorities
Minorities consider themselves poorly represented in the great democratic states and in fact they are. Large entities in population and economic power, such as Greece (towards the EU), Scotland (towards Great Britain), Great Britain (towards the EU), Catalonia Spain), California (towards the USA) sees themselves as holders of badly or unrepresented identities, and wishes - and sometimes obtains - forms of secession, while this secession is a distressing prospect for many members of the super Entity or sub-entity. And of course in all parts of the world, smaller entities often experience more dramatically equivalent situations.
Ethnic, religious or cultural minorities live with similar problems, even if they do not have a defined geographical anchorage. These entities exist and are often represented by groups of influence or pressure, but often find in the democratic machinery only ineffective representations, often perceived as unfair.
Moreover, each of us possesses a mixture of multiple identities, and it would be absurd to try to force a person to define himself by a single identity, by a single party.
Existing democracies do not respect the identities of the minority groups they inhabit or the multiple identities of the individuals who make up the democracies.
When people say 'NO!' to the democracy
Beginning in 2016, the rejection of the democratic model was clearly manifested in major events in world political life.
In Britain, in June 2016, Britain's choice of the brexit expressed the disavowal of the European construction by one of its most important actors, thus opening wide the way to Euro-skepticism In each of its members.
In the United States, in the Republican primaries, and especially in the November 2016 presidential elections, the political class of the world's first power was slapped by a billionaire who was notoriously ignorant of politics and politics. diplomatic. To the great democratic and republican figures, he preferred a narcissistic and megalomanic clown to direct him. One hundred days after the start of the presidential term, a record of unpopularity is beaten by this new champion of democracy.
In France, in May 2017, the presidential elections brought together four candidates, each one separately receiving more obstruction, protest, denigration, and support. In the second round, the main messages express the 'need to block ...'. The president did not have 25% of voters in the first round, and he begins his mandate with more opponents than supporters.
In these three cases, the themes of identity withdrawal, far from the humanist ideals supposed to feed the democratic processes, were the most listened to.
Then in these three cases, the dominant message was a NO NO. Not to the political class in general, not to the 'democratic' supranational (European) construction, not to the major actors of political landscapes.
Finally, in all three cases, the diseases of the democracies mentioned above have been clearly emphasized and even demonstrated.
General principles of the DDD model
In the DDD model, in contrast to the standard democratic model:
- There is no cycle of democratic exercise: it is an ongoing process.
- There are voters, but no election event.
- The parties are replaced by more numerous and more flexible structures, the delegates.
- Competence fields are defined and serve as well-segmented territories of democratic practice.
Actors in the DDD model
As in the classic model, the citizen-elector defines choices. However they are structured differently, they may be very simple or relatively complex, but the general democratic principle remains applicable: the elected representatives are in fine designated by him, the elector, and his elector peers.
Any elector may declare himself a candidate in a given competence field. If this is the case, it is his responsibility to publish his program, his own choices and convictions.
The candidate is likely to become a representative ('direct representative'), receiving active responsibilities within a CF management college.
Any elector may declare himself a delegate in a given jurisdiction. This means that other voters can trust him and align their votes on his own voting choices. This is one of the delegation mechanisms. The representative does not necessarily have to publish a program and is not likely to exercise management responsibility.
An elector may be either a candidate or a delegate, but not both.
The (competence field) management college
Each competence field has its governing body, which is a management college consisting of a number of representatives designated by the mechanisms described below. One of these representatives becomes the general secretary of the college.
The delegating (structure)
The delegating structure - or more simply 'delegating' - is somewhat similar to the party concept in the standard democracy, in that it also brings together electors sharing opinions or concerns. However, the delegating structure differs from the party on various points. Delegatings can act recursively: a delegating can delegate its vote in favor of another delegating, and from this point of view, it becomes a kind of lobby. Delegating may be specialized in one or more competence fields, and their organisation may be segmented accordingly. The management, processing and financing of a delegating are organized according to their own rules. The only rule states that they are actually managed by known and identified electors.
A delegating transferring its vote to another delegating is called an indirect delegating. A delegating aiming at the the exercise of power - by sending delegated representatives to a CF management college - is called a direct delegating. A direct delegating may decide to become indirect and vice versa.
The DDD model does not define or impose any other rules on the internal functioning of a delegating. The mechanisms for selecting managers and delegated representatives is an internal rule of the delegating, as well as the rules for the division of electoral weights between the various delegated representatives .
The DDD model does not define or impose any kind of delegating membership concept. There are managers involved in the delegating, and users who vote for a delegating, and there are also possibly delegated representatives representing it in a management college, plus possibly any roles defined within the delegate, but which do not concern the general model DDD .
The delegation database
The operational management of the DDD electoral system is organized around a database that is constantly updated. This database contains all the choices of voters and delegatings. It is accessible online and permanently by all actors.
The DDD at work
Any elector things may proceed in the following ways.
Choices are made online. The electors connects frequently, rarely or never, according to their choice. When an elector connects, (s)he identifies himself in a secure way.
On the screen, he sees a list of competence fields (CF), and for each of them, he can consult and modify his personal choice.
In each competence field, his choice may be:
- nothing (this is a form of abstention, which is equivalent to delegating this choice to other active electors)
- A representative (his voice will be a copy of the representative choice, and the voter thus expresses that his confidence and vote will automatically be transferred where the confidence and vote of the chosen representative will be directed)
- A candidate (the elector expresses his confidence in the chosen candidate and contributes to his (her) chance to participate in the management college, and, where applicable, contributes to the electoral and collegial weight of the chosen candidate).
- Several candidates
- A delegating structure (his voice will be transmitted according to the choice of the delegate, whether direct or indirect)
The elector may, as an option, declare himself a delegate or candidate (at the CF management college).
If he is a candidate, his vote is unnecessary, because he automatically goes on himself. Additionnally, a voter can only be a candidate in a single field of competence.
If he is a delegate, his vote can not be empty, and he can not vote on another delegate.
Instead of a positive choice, the simple voter (one who is neither a representative nor a candidate) can also have a negative vote on a candidate or a delegate, and in this case his voice will be subtracted from (instead of being added to). It is, of course, a way of expressing, not an adhesion, but a disapprovall or an aversion.
If the elector has chosen several citizens-candidates, the weight of his vote is divided by the number of persons chosen. These are then half-voices, third of voices, etc.
For a delegating, the choices are quite similar, but more limited. A delegating may vote for herself (by default), for another delegating or for a candidate. It can not produce an empty vote or vote for an individual delegate.
However, where the single elector has a unit weight, a delegating has a total weight equal to the number of votes delegated to him, and the delegating's choice will be applied with this weight as a multiplicative factor.
Changes in election choices and electoral calculation
The elector, the representative and the delegating can regularly update their choices, but to avoid too frequent variations in electoral weights, it is not allowed to modify a given choice, for a given competence field, too frequently, for example not more than once a month or once a quarter. This brake must avoid an excessive governance turnover, and guarantee a form of continuity. It is probable that actually the average time for a change of vote would be ten or one hundred times longer than the minimum period for the change.
At the level of the database, simple and public algorithms propagate the votes of the voters towards the candidates, the delegates and the delegatings.
Ultimately, in each field of competence, there are candidates who have obtained, directly or indirectly, a certain electoral weight, as well as direct delegatings who have also obtained, directly or indirectly, some electoral weight.
All these figures are public.
The calculation is continually updated.
Competence Field Management College
The exercise of power - for each competnce field - is ultimately attributed to a combination of candidates and direct delegatings. Together, the candidates and direct delegating structures agree to form a CF management college supported by a simple majority of the expressed votes, so a simple majority of the electoral weights.
Each member of the management college receives as attribute a personal weight. It's his collegial weight. This weight comes as a coefficient in the decision-making votes within the management college.
Direct delegatings may delegate one or more of their members to the management college. These are the delegated representatives of the delegating structure. In this situation, the delegating gives to each of these delegated members a fictive electoral weight, so that these added fictive electoral weights are equal to the electoral weight of the delegating itself.
The collegiate weights of these delegated representatives is the proportion of their fictive electoral weights in relation to the sum of the electoral weights of all members of the college of management.
Similarly, for a individual representative present in a management college, his or her college weight is the proportion of his or her own electoral weight in relation to the sum of the electoral weights of all members of the management college.
Each management college appoints among his members a general secretary who has a coordination and communication function. He is designated by negotiation, and by default, the member with the highest collegial weight is designated.
When a change in electoral weight occurs and withdraws the majority from the college of management, the college and the other candidates negotiate to reconstitute a new majority, by adding new members and / or subtracting existing members. Until this objective is reached, no valid decision can be taken by the management college.
Decisions taken by the management college are taken by a majority of 60% (adjustable parameter), each member weighing in the count according to his collegiate weight.
Multiple mandates rules
The general concepts of DDD:
- Promotes transparency of powers
- Discourages the forms of cumulation that may lead to conflicts of interest or concentrations of power
- Promotes mechanisms that allow fluidity in democratic representations and decision-making processes
The main rules for allowed and prohibited mandate combinations are summarized below (subject to wide discussions):
- It is forbidden to be a candidate in several CFs.
- It is allowed to be representative in several CFs.
- One can not be both candidate and representative in any CF.
- It is allowed to be simultaneously deputy head (or administrator) of a delegating and representative.
- It is allowed to be simultaneously deputy head (or administrator) of a delegating and candidate.
- It is forbidden to be the deputy head of more than one delegating.
- It is forbidden to be the deputy head of a delegate and director of another delegating.
- It is forbidden to be the deputy head of a delegating and delegate of management for this delegate.
- It is allowed to be a simple administrator of several delegates.
- It is forbidden to exercise responsibilities in more than one management college, therefore to be delegated more than once.
Transparency of the database
In the DDD database, the electors' choices can be made public or not according to their individual preference, and this choice can be made independently for each jurisdiction.
The question of the secret or public nature of the vote is very interesting. Why ask for transparency from the elected representatives, and allow the secret opacity to the voters? If it is a matter of avoiding unhealthy pressures, is this precaution still valid for the great democracies of today involving tens of millions of voters? The author advocates for full transparency, but it is not a vital component of the DDD model.
On the other hand, the choices of delegating structures have to be completely public. If an elector refuses to make his or her choice public in any competence field, then in all competence fields he loses the opportunity to represent other electors by delegation mechanism: he loses the opportunity to be a representative or candidate, and he loses the possibility of being a director of a delegating.
The spirit of this rule is to force the transparent behavior of all actors who wish to play an active role in democracy.
The names of the candidates, their electoral weights, the names of the delegates, their electoral weights, all this information is continuously accessible to all kind of actors in the democratic game.
Special competence fields
Some subjects are related not to one, but to multiple competence fields.
On such matters, as well as on those which are under a higher authority or which require arbitration between competence fields which might be in disagreement, it is a special field of competence which operated in fine, the supervision competence field.
The latter may, if it is the only solution, take a decision on its own initiative. However, it must preferably act as arbitrator by deciding which competence field (s) must handle part of the files which are submitted to his arbitration. This comptence field is, in a sense, a supreme arbitration authority.
The operational functioning of the database, its transparency and its technical components are the responsibility of the supervision competence field.
If it were necessary to designate the individual with the ultimate responsibility in the DDD structures, it would be the general secretary of the supervisory field. But this responsibility is only activated when others fail to efficiently produce decisions.
In the DDD model, there is no classic distinction between legislative and executive power. Instead, it should be considered within the DDD that all competence fields are executive, with the exception of one whose sole responsibility is the legislative production. This legislative competence filed is not exposed to supervision, nor to any other compentence field. Its mode of operation may be specific and organized in layers. There may be within it separation between the mechanism of production of laws, and the mechanism of promulgation of them.
The rules of operation of the legislation field are thus quite specific. They are not reviewed here.
The management of justice is in the DDD model similar to that of legislation. It is under the authority of a dedicated compentence field.
The separation of the executive, legislative and judiciary fields is thus achieved by means of a separation of competence fields. This separation may be reinforced by specific provisions, stating that delegates and representatives active in the legislative sphere or in the sphere of jurisdiction can not be involved in any other competence field.
Geographical extension and granularity
The DDD model can be applied at different scales: subnational (regional), national and supranational. The mechanisms described are valid in all cases. Practically the electors would have sets of choice for each of the geographical entities in which they are included.
The DDD model is presented here as a more flexible and equilibrated form of democracy, enabled by the technological potential of our time.
It is not the intention of the author to present it as a definitive or rigid solution.
Its essential mission is to underline and to circumvent the obvious paralyzing weaknesses of the present democracies. It is up to the reader to judge the extent to which the DDD model is less exposed to theses weaknesses of democracy listed above.
And regarding the ways to run of the DDD model, or regarding its constitutional and legal support, numerous variants deserve attention. May this text nourish a necessary and fruitful debate!
Additional and complementary issues
Three issues may be linked to the DDD approach and are dealt with in the M3M texts.
The first touches on the concept of enterprise. Companies are responsible for covering several basic needs of the population, but they are mainly serving the financial interests of their shareholders.
The second relates to the role of work, which is no longer perceived as the object (the result of work, its output) but rather for its subject (the worker and his status). This biased perception biases in turn the debates on employment and unemployment, productivity and solidarity.
Nations and frontiers are a miserable invention of the human race. They nourish deadly identities, conflicts and wars.
There is a link between these issues and the creation of the DDD model. This articulation is analyzed elsewhere, in the M3M global document.
Text version number: 1.4.2
Release date: May 20, 2017
Software and demonstration model
Development specifications (link)
Demonstration model (pending)
URL (english): http://dddemocracy.gonze.org
URL (french): http://ddd.gonze.org
English PDF version
French PDF version.