1 min read

Liquid democracy (aka soggy politics)

Most people are familiar with the idea of a direct democracy. Everyone votes on every issue directly. There are no elected officials, just engaged citizens. The problem is that this doesn't scale well. Keeping up on issues is a full time job, and voter turn out is a big problem in direct democracies.

Representative democracy is the natural response to this problem. Citizens only vote on a few issues. Most votes are just to determine who will represent their interests. Whoever wins the vote is responsible for keeping up on issues, proposing laws, frequent voting, etc. The main problem with representative democracy is being unrepresented. If your candidate didn't win, you're stuck with whatever laws your representative cares about. Even if your candidate did win, you might not agree with everything they stand for. Either way, you have no control over specific votes.

Enter liquid democracy. This isn't a new concept, but it hasn't been reasonably implemented (AFAIK) in the real world. Basically, you have a direct democracy by default, but anyone can choose a representative to give their voting power to. They can change their representative at any time or choose to vote directly on specific issues.

This is difficult to implement for a country, especially with anonymous voting. Blockchain creates new ways to secure voting and maintain anonymity. As such, blockchain will likely be at the center of any serious attempt to handle a country's voting securely and fairly.

Blockchains themselves also need governance systems, and liquid democracy is well suited to the task here. Most of the issues with applying liquid democracy in the real world are irrelevant for blockchain.

On Koinos, though not specifically laid out as a liquid democracy, the voting mechanism is in fact liquid. Any proof-of-burn miner has a direct vote by default, but they can also use a burn pool, thus delegating their voting power to a representative. As long as the burn pool keeps deposits liquid, you have a clear liquid democracy without needing to implement complex rules. It's all handled by user created dApps.


P.S. If you want to know more about proof-of-burn and burn pools on Koinos, I just published a podcast where Kui and I talk about our design for the Koinos burn pool contract. Enjoy! https://podcast.thekoinpress.com/episodes/koinos-burn-pool-w-kui-he