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Offline oldman

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Mandatory Voting
« on: August 19, 2014, 12:53:45 PM »

The biggest failure of modern democratic governance is voter apathy.

The public becomes complacent and cannot be bothered to vote, decision making becomes concentrated, the democratic process is corrupted and cronyism rises.

Pretty soon you end up where we are today in most western nations - with a parasitic elite protected by self-enacted laws and regulations designed to funnel benefits to the top of the pyramid.

Bitshares and other DPOS platforms will start off with largely benevolent delegates and relatively high voter participation.

As the market cap increases the wolves will start circling - existing delegates may become greedy, new delegates may not be benevolent.

As adoption increases voter participation will decay - people will just want to make a buck and won't care how the system works.

Pretty soon we will have a small elite of delegates that will, in small increments, begin entrenching themselves and concentrating power/benefits.

If you take even a cursory look at every system of governance in human history you will see the inevitable centralization/corruption/failure.

Hell, look at how quickly Bitcoin centralized.

There is no decentralized system yet created that has not become centralize/corrupted and this is primarily due to apathy by the governed.

And Bitshares, unfortunately, will suffer the same fate in due course. Imagine the sort of folks that are going to show up when the market cap hits $2bn, $200bn, $2T, etc. Human nature, greed, is simply too powerful.

I believe that Bitshares will fail unless we implement mandatory voter participation.

The mechanism would look something like this:

1. There is an issue/incident that requires consensus

2. Delegates a pay fee to initiate a vote

3. Vote is pushed client side

4. Users must vote prior to completing next transaction

I cannot emphasize this strongly enough: If voting is voluntary Bitshares (DPOS) will centralize, corrupt and ultimately fail.

We should implement a voting protocol now and make rollbacks the first use case.

As Bitshares matures there will be other serious issues requiring forks etc.

A mandatory voting mechanism will ensure the system does not, can not, centralize and corrupt over time.

« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 12:57:35 PM by OldMan »

Offline emski

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Re: Mandatory Voting
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2014, 01:00:19 PM »
1st you cannot force user to make transactions. Some funds might not be moved for years.
2nd The initial proposal was that only delegates cast votes. Delegates are elected by all the shareholders but only delegates vote on the proposed decisions.

Offline oldman

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Re: Mandatory Voting
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2014, 01:21:39 PM »
1. The analogy would be having to vote on public school funding allocations before registering your kids for classes. We do not need to force transactions, only capture the participation of those using the system. And users have to make at least one transaction a year or pay an inactivity fee.

2. This is the point of failure; we are recreating a representative democracy and this opens the system up to all of the failures we currently see in western societies. Delegates are voted in by stakeholders. Right now we have a largely benevolent stakeholder base and the delegates reflect that. But sooner or later a few folks are going to buy up large stakes and vote themselves and their buddies in. They will grow richer, acquire larger stakes, expand their power structure and control more and more delegates - this system is pay-for-play. At the same time, new users will acquire smaller and smaller stakes (percentage wise as market cap increases) and, not having been involved in or care about the development of the platform, be less and less involved in voting etc.

Have you tried voting for delegates yet? How many did you pick? How long did you spend trying to figure out who was who? I bet most people will pick 10-20 before the novelty wears off/attention span is shot. Yes, there are slates... but all of this is only worthwhile if people actually vote. I'm betting the majority of users will not vote.

TL;DR: We should be pursuing a direct democracy with mandatory participation, not a representative democracy with voluntary participation.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 01:29:07 PM by OldMan »

Offline biophil

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Re: Mandatory Voting
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2014, 01:34:54 PM »
I agree that voting is problematic, but I think mandatory voting won't be as effective as you think it will be. The problem with a mandatory vote is that it doesn't fix user ignorance. Suppose I'm Joe Bloe who fires up his bitshares to make a transaction, and all of a sudden it says "you have to vote for at least 10 delegates!" I don't know anything about any of the delegates, so I just try to get my voting done as quickly as possible - which will mean voting for the top 10 according to whatever metric my particular client is using to sorting delegates. If "evil" delegates know how these lists of delegates are being sorted (maybe reliability -> pay rate -> alphabetical), they will be able to tailor their delegates' performance to move to the top of the list. If the list is being sorted randomly, then ignorant votes simply become useless noise.

I argued against voting from the beginning because of this issue, but I think voting needs to have less user input, not more. I vaguely liked the idea back in the day of automatic voting, but apparently that has not been a priority for the dev team.