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The RightToVote may be the single most important issue faced by VotingSystemCollaboration.
- Assuming this, it seemed best to create a separate page for this subject.
- Contributions are welcome.
Given that Founders collaborate to create an environment (in particular, a wiki) to which they choose to attract other contributors, a series of specific issues arises:
- A Mission statement needs to be crafted to define the nature of the Enterprise and its scope.
- The Rights of the Founders and those of the subsequent Contributors should be understood, ideally before a ConstitutionalCrisis is encountered.
- Specific issues that generally need to be addressed include:
- The nature of the organization should be defined. (e.g. WikiPedia, as a Foundation, has certain obligations and restrictions that can be legally enforced).
2. Table of Contents
- 1. Foreword
- 2. Table of Contents
- 3. Summary
- 4. Introduction
- 4.1. Background
- 6. Conclusions
- 7. Recommendations
- http://www.bl.uk/collections/treasures/magna.html - This short page introduces some of the concepts underlying Rights in a way that remains an interesting analogy, in spite of the fact that modern 'enforcement' or rights tends to rely more on Courts of Law than Military Force.
- They are included here for the convenience of meatball readers, without having checked if that is apporpriate under within the terms and considtions under which they were posted on the originating site. This will be investigated and appropriate adjustments will be made.
- In feudal society, the king's barons held their lands `in fee' (feudum) from the king, for an oath to him of loyalty and obedience, and with the obligation to provide him with a fixed number of knights whenever these were required for military service. At first the barons provided the knights by dividing their estates (of which the largest and most important were known as `honours') into smaller parcels described as `knights' fees', which they distributed to tenants able to serve as knights. But by the time of King John it had become more convenient and usual for the obligation for service to be commuted for a cash payment known as `scutage', and for the revenue so obtained to be used to maintain paid armies.
- Besides military service, feudal custom allowed the king to make certain other exactions from his barons. In times of emergency, and on such special occasions as the marriage of his eldest daughter, he could demand from them a financial levy known as an `aid' (auxilium). When a baron died, he could demand a succession duty or `relief' (relevium) from the baron's heir. If there was no heir, or if the succession was disputed, the baron's lands could be forfeited or `escheated' to the Crown. If the heir was under age, the king could assume the guardianship of his estates, and enjoy all the profits from them-ven to the extent of despoliation-until the heir came of age. The king had the right, if he chose, to sell such a guardianship to the highest bidder, and to sell the heir himself in marriage for such price as the value of his estates would command. The widows and daughters of barons might also be sold in marriage. With their own tenants, the barons could deal similarly.
- The scope for extortion and abuse in this system, if it were not benevolently applied, was obviously great and had been the subject of complaint long before King John came to the throne. Abuses were, moreover, aggravated by the difficulty of obtaining redress for them, and in Magna Carta the provision of the means for obtaining a fair hearing of complaints, not only against the king and his agents but against lesser feudal lords, achieves corresponding importance.
- About two-thirds of the clauses of the Magna Carta of 1215 are concerned with matters such as these, and with the misuse of their powers by royal officials. ...
- Prior to the Magna Carta, feudal societies were based on the presumption MightIsRight?.
- While RuleOfLaw? was a definite improvement, anyone observing the current machinations of the the American legal system and Sharia law, that also has not studied history, should be forgiven for looking for alternative forms of SocialContract.
Some very preliminary Conclusions, intended merely as 'straw man' items:...
- The Roles (and especially the Authorities) of the "Owners" and the Members and Contributors must be clearly documented before their Ownership Rights can be defended.
- A well documented Voting process will always be needed, especially as a Group acquires "Ownership" of "Assets" (even if only in the class now called "Intellectual Property") since it is most unlikely that 100% consensus will always be achieved.
- Extensive legal precedents already exist related to the protection of the Rights of 'minority' shareholders in both public and private corporations. Inevitably, the courts will try to apply these to the first such disputes they see that originate within a wiki.
- When that happens, a well documented Group decision making process would be a major defence against any claim against the Group or its 'Owners'.
These points were orginally posted on the ConstitutionalCrisis page.
Hans, why do you think that a RightToVote exists? If a founder makes his system accessable under the condition "everyone may contribute, but I decide, there is not right to vote", what could be wrong?
On the other hand, there may be voting, maybe even a right to vote, but this doesn't mean that this corresponds to decisions. And if there are indeed decisions, who says that people are obliged or will feel obliged to follow them?
I quite agree with your point that a Founder may make his system available, without granting the Right To Vote (in a binding manner, especially in such cases as on Constitutional matters).
- There is not likely to be much of a need for a Voting System (at least not one that is as rigorous as would be needed if a 'binding' decision is the objective of the Vote) or,
- At most, there may be a need for a way to Vote for such purposes as merely establishing the degree of consensus that exists amonst the Members and Participants, in order to help the Authorized (or Recognized) decision makers.
In these cases, though, it would be good practice for the decsion makers to remind the Voters that the Vote is merely a Polling device to measure consensus, rather than have anyone (especially the newer participants) assume that they are taking part in making a decision.
- Note that the preceding Reminder can be thought of a granting a 'limited' or 'conditional' Right to Vote.
I agree with your implicit distinction between Voting and Decsion making. In fact, I think this is a very important distinction that any configurable Voting System needs to be able to make, since all Groups will eventually wish to Vote on matters that have different levels of importance ('impact' or 'scope').
We can probably define a general solution to these needs by recognizing that the 'Right To Vote' needs to be distinguished as having at least a few Types(??) . (I'll start considering how to define these.)
As for the 'obligation' to abide by the decisions, I think there are a number of considerations that will come into play, that have already been touched on, to some extent, in other existing pages. For example:
- In an on-line community, the RightToLeave is a given.
- OffTopic declarations are a common example of a Group's tolerance and, conversely, acceptance of Subject matter and the posting Individuals.
- A Mission statement and Goal statement also help define the boudaries of inclusion in the Community.
- The Communities assumptions regarding the degree of CopyRight also sets boundaries that are sufficiently well defined in law as to be actionable and even enforceable.
Ultimately, Rights that are not respected, may have to be enforced and there are a great many mechanisms that will inevitably be brought into play as our Societies and Communities evolve.
- I happen to have done a lot of Corporate work in the past refining Business Plans on the basis of the interactions of Political, Economic, Social, and Technological (what I called the PEST) forces. As a result, I am convinced these forces will eventually affect any Group, most especially those that scale up quickly.
We may also need to distinguish, more clearly, the concepts of voting 'eligibility' and 'entitlement'.