An Electronic Direct Democracy (E2D) Manifesto (DRAFT)
The following are basic guiding principles to be implemented by political parties founded on the basis of Electronic Direct Democracy (E2D).
Signatory parties (2) of this manifesto will apply these principles to the best of their capacities and will try to help other member parties to reach the ultimate goal in their respective jurisdictions: Electronic Direct Democracy.
1. Right to vote.
- i. Every citizen (3) of the jurisdiction (4), recognized by law, has the right to vote on every proposed Issue (7).
- ii. Every citizen is allowed one vote – it is the responsibility of each party to put in place mechanisms to prevent voting fraud (e.g. cross-referencing with National Registry of Electorates, Digital ID cards, etc.); This can include registration or any other system that is appropriate.
- iii. Voting is made available electronically (e.g. Internet, iPhone App, etc.) to all citizens of the jurisdiction on website(s) hosted by the respective Party.
- iv. Voters can change their vote on any current issue before final vote count (if secure software allows it).
2. Right to propose law.
- i. Every citizen (3) of the jurisdiction (4) must be given an equal chance to propose an Issue (7) for debate and voting;
- ii. When a new law is proposed by a sufficiently large group of citizens then people are allowed to vote on it, just like in referenda.
- iii. Each party can decide how they wish to sort out issues for debate and voting. (e.g. the criteria can be subject to a citizens referendum, ranking system, etc.).
3. Political neutrality of the party.
- i. The Party (2) is non-partisan and not governed by any other principles than Electronic Direct Democracy (1);
- ii. Once established, voting citizens will decide the direction of the Party in the democratic manner stated above.
- iii. The party is also strongly encouraged to present for voting any Bill (8) proposed and debated by currently elected officials in the Legislature.
4. Political neutrality of representatives.
- i. When a party representative (6) (e.g. candidate in elections) is elected into legislature (9), the representative must always vote on Bills (8) in accordance with the views expressed within the Party (10);
- ii. As an individual member of the party, a representative may vote on Issues (7) any way he/she wishes and try to persuade, through logic, other members to vote likewise;
- iii. Party representatives must commit (e.g. signing a legal waiver, etc.) to respecting the Party’s official position once voted into the legislature, otherwise they must resign from their position and possibly face legal action.
- iv. In the case that a representative must vote on a Bill on which the Party has not reached an official position, the representative must abstain from voting.
5. Voting by proxy (delegation).
- i. If voting by proxy (delegation) is permitted within the Party, whereby a citizen may cast a vote on behalf of another citizen(s), there must be an official and public (or accountable) agreement between citizens involved;
- ii. The direct citizen’s vote on issues must always override the delegate’s vote and a citizen can change their delegate at any time.
- iii. Any citizen has the right to become a delegate; ensuring maximum participation of the citizenry.
6. Voting by (non)-members.
- i. It is recommended that only members (5) of the party (2) be allowed to vote on internal matters such as the functioning of the Party (e.g. Statutes, Constitution, Candidates, etc.).
- ii. However, members of other officially registered political parties (e.g. Liberal, Conservative, Labour, Green, etc.) as well as independent citizens are strongly encouraged to vote on any Issues while keeping their affiliation with their respective party (other regular voting members can choose to remain affiliated with the Party by default or independent); ensuring maximum representation of the citizenry;
(1) Electronic Direct Democracy (E2D) is the strongest form of Direct Democracy, in which Citizens are directly involved in the legislative function.
(2) Party (the) is a political party, recognized by law and/or endorsing Members seeking to become Representatives via elections, founded on the principles of Electronic Direct Democracy.
(3) Citizen is a member of society, recognized by law, entitled to vote in official elections of the Jurisdiction.
(4) Jurisdiction is the geographical area (National/Federal, Provincial/State, or Municipal/Local) to which authority of the Party applies.
(5) Member means a Citizen who is enrolled as a member of the Party.
(6) Representative means a Member who has been elected into Legislature.
(7) Issue is a proposed Bill under consideration by Members of the Party.
(8) Bill is a proposed law under consideration by a Legislature.
(9) Legislature is a deliberative assembly (e.g. Parliament, Congress, Council, etc.) with the power to pass, amend and repeal Laws.
(10) Note: In some states and countries, it is against the law to compel an elected representative to vote in a certain way or to force them to resign. But it is possible to use the party discipline, as applied in all current political parties. In that case, if an elected representatives votes in disagreement with the Party agenda, a General Assembly of the members can be summoned with this event on the orders of the day. The General Assembly is the only legal body allowed to suspend or exclude a member of the party, or to dissolve the party. In some jurisdictions it is, for the moment, only possible to ask an elected representative to step down and make place for his/her successor.