The future of participatory direct democracy, as advocated by Bernie Sander, lies in information systems of coordination that allow deep public opinion to be integrated within a whole reflexive administrative state. The ideal of a fully adaptive and sensitive autonomous governance system can be called a continuous democracy system since it samples the population opinions and recompiles these in its inner communication system on a continuous basis, thereby adapting as circumstances change and as public opinion shifts by developing on an issue of public importance.
The basic operation of a direct democracy system is simply voting on a referendum or a candidate for an office. To perform these operations on a more continuous basis is to change the public vote on a policy or candidate, perhaps before the official duration has been completed or at least within shorter election-cycles. Such would crowdsource administrative decisions of reflection to the wider public, and could even include modifications. Yet, there is still the problem of who sets the agenda, itself the function of electoral politics. The general problem with the presently practiced populist and yearly cycle of electoral democracy is often that the electoral system is not sensitive enough to the preferences of the total population or to its changes with time. This can be solved through including more frequent votes with lesser weight within government functioning and more depth in the voting as through partially ranked choices rather than single choices to generate changing public systems from the wisdom of the crowds. The choices for each deep vote are established through gaining a threshold of petitions. Clearly the official use of available virtual technologies can significantly improve populist democracy to allow temporal and spatial sensitivity without changing its underlying process structures.
One may also begin to think of a more complex component to continuous democracy systems by conceiving of it as an Artificial-Intelligence system that samples the population in order to both represent the population’s aggregate deep opinion, as a psuedo-law, but also functionally coordinate the society through this functional communication system, an emergent-economy. Clearly, as an autonomous system, participation (and thus coordination) would only be optional and so real economic transactions unlikely, rendering the functions as communicative, rather than directive towards peoples’ actual behaviors as with population control or commercial enforcement by the state. Yet, integrations between this complex system and the real economic-commerce and state-administration can be made.
In this Complex Democracy system, the ideals of frequent voting and deep opinion can be realized to a further level since it has less official validity and therefore real institutional administrative checks that consume much human resources. The underlying public opinion can be considered to be a quantum system, and hence a random variable with an underlying distribution. While with the real component to complex democracy a single conclusive vote is the output, for the imaginary component of complex democracy, the underlying distribution (a complex function) is the sought-after solution. In order to properly use this Social Information AI system to solve real problems, it is important to recognize that the crowdsourcing of research to the population, as distributed cognitive loads, performs these underlying quantum-computing operations. Its functional-system ‘code of operation’ is itself a pseudo or emergent legal-economy, interpreted both by the humans – for their quantum operations of cognition and communication – and the main digital AI computer system that learns and evolves with each iteration of population sampling and recompiling.
I am presently developing an experimental virtual continuous complex democracy system with the migrant population in Honduras, in partnership with Foundation ALMA (www.foundationalam.org) to help them reintegrate into the places they fled by helping them organize to solve the normative disputes in their communities and society that have caused such high local violence and national systems of violence.