Votizen.com may truly be disruptive technology – please check it out TODAY

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

I haven’t made the time to directly check votizen.com out, myself, too much. I started to join, but their system insisted on one of my twitter, facebook, or linkedin accounts, and I didn’t want to use any pre-existing ones. I’ll definitely join, later, but the potential of votizen to seriously shake things up seems too important not to be examined, by the FDL community, ASAP.

I had one main question, which I couldn’t get a solid clue to, before a little more googling, today. And that question is, DOES THIS TECHNOLOGY RESPECT 3RD PARTIES? People familiar with my writings know that I favor building up 3rd parties, but also reforming the Democratic and Republican parties. (For examples of my writings on voting strategies, see Recommended Short and Long Term Voting Strategies for the Dump Obama Movement and “Dump Corporate Dems” – Going Green at the State Level, to “make Dems do it” at the Federal level)

My biggest fear with votizen is that, while it may help break the stranglehold of corporate cash corrupting the legacy, D and R parties, it would hamstring the citizenry by not facilitating the wishes of citizens who want to vote for a 3rd party – either dumping the legacy parties, completely; or else, as I have recommended, being strategic about things, loyal to principles, but not loyal (or terminally averse to) any party.  Yes, even those dastardly Democratic and Republican parties.

From this page, it appears that they do, indeed, facilitate at least some 3rd parties – in particular, the Green Party, the Constitution Party, and the Libertarian party.

THESE PEOPLE HAVE GOT FACEBOOK PRINCIPALS AS INVESTORS, AND WILL HAVE NO CASH PROBLEMS DEVELOPING THEIR OFFERINGS. IF THIS TECHNOLOGY IS AS DISRUPTIVE AS I BELIEVE IT MAY BE, THEN YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF TO GET INVOLVED. THIS IS PARTLY BECAUSE IT COULD BE USED TO DISRUPT BUSINESS-AS-USUAL FOR THE 2012 ELECTIONS.

OTOH, IF IT TURNS OUT THAT 3RD PARTIES ARE MARGINALIZED, A MORE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE MIGHT BE TO A) BOYCOTT VOTIZEN, UNTIL THIS IS RECTIFIED  AND B) USE SOCIAL NETWORKS TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR 3RD PARTY FAVORING SOCIAL NETWORK ALSO BOYCOTTS VOTIZEN.

Votizen may be well be revolutionary, even though it (apparently) will operate at a primitize level of ‘voting bloc mojo’. I don’t want to get into a big discussion – you can google me re “voting blocs” for my previous comments. But, briefly:

A full voting bloc decides it’s own destiny, from the bottom up, both in terms of policies, candidates, and strategies. That is what reinventingdemocracy.us can offer, if it gets funded. A proto-voting bloc will have it’s (more limited) options laid out in a top down fashion, with some voting to decide on the group will. A proto-proto-voting bloc will only self-organize, in a granular fashion, around candidates, hopefully, eventually, reform candidates. It’s members’ “votes” (aside from their real-world votes, on election and primary day) are basically their membership in the an online group, akin to a fan group. It’s disruptive potential comes from it’s ability to grow cheaply and rapidly, and to be inherently non-preferential wrt incumbents.

In  this hierarchy, votizen is at the lowest level, though it also goes beyond this by allowing recruitment of volunteers from the ‘proto-proto-voting bloc’. It allows the formation of voting blocs with party and candidate boundaries. A mature voting bloc technology will make parties essentially almost irrelevant – the relevant boundaries are policy boundaries (and, implicitly, ideological boundaries).

For those of you that moan and groan about how bad everything is: You’re partly right, but you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you allow your negativity to blind you to what bright spots are out there. I haven’t come to a final determination of the potential of votizen, but don’t let that, or your own negativity, prevent you from coming to your own fair and open-minded conclusion.

2 comments

    • metamars on March 11, 2012 at 10:12 pm
      Author

    Well, if it’s done right. At firedoglake, I replied to a commenter who expressed doubt about this key feature:

    This part is silly: “reducing the influence of money”, given they don’t state how such is brought about by their product.

    Maybe they haven’t argued their case, convincingly, but from what I know of their system, this is, in fact, exactly what I expect to happen. And the reason is the same one that I gave in my diary Time to start formally ostracizing Democrats and Republicans

    Most Americans do not follow politics on blogs such as this one, and if the issue doesn’t get the amount of press that it should in the Main Stream Media, the Stenny Hoyers of this country can count on the public either not knowing about this issues, or else mostly forgetting. However, if they’ve received an ostracism report card, in the form of a post card mailed to their house, with links back to an informative web site, we can expect to have major influence with what I’ll call the ‘politically lazy’. A politically lazy voter is likely to be VERY susceptible to a reminder – especially a last minute reminder – of what his/her non-politically lazy PEERS think about a particular candidate. Not what pundits think, not what the media thinks, not what specials interests think, certainly not what the candidates’ campaign staff thinks, but rather what fellow voters think. And that is something very powerful, akin to testimonials by common folk in advertisements, but with a negative twist.

    (emphasis added)

    OK, there’s some differences between my ostracism proposal, and votizen’s scheme. My ostracism proposal conveys a negative message; one of sticks, not carrots. The ostracism message is, basically, “DON’T vote for this incumbent; or else, be aware of their exceptionally bad past, if you do.” The referrers only have a relationship via membership in the same party, and the message from those referrers is a collective one.

    OTOH, votizen conveys a positive, supportive message. These messages will, in many (most?) cases, carry more weight, because the person conveying them is somebody already known to you.

    The key similarities are that

    1) the source of the message is a “PEER”. The source is not being paid to manipulate you, and thus automatically has higher credibility and

    2) the message is being conveyed at extremely little cost (none in the case of votizen)

    3) manipulating the flow of political messages is prohibitively expensive, and cheating is likely to be detected. Basically, for well heeled candidates to manipulate the voting in my ostracism proposal, they would have to game the voting system, probably by paying people to use it.  (I’m assuming that the security system was at the level of online banking; I have to admit that security is an open-ended problem, that I don’t know a whole lot about.) For well heeled candidates to manipulate votizen would be even more difficult. You’d need hired agents to fake large numbers of people that are known personally to the other members of votizen. Such cheating would reveal itself, almost immediately, and I expect that votizen would be happy to prosecute for impersonation, so as to underscore the integrity of their system.

    And this is a system that would do more to change the ‘system’ than votizen

     The first thing I did when I learned of votizen was to send an email off to Nancy Bordier. I think votizen is very good for IVCS, at least potentially. I could have sworn that their numbers jumped from 500,000+ to 900,000+ in a matter of about 10 days.

    I certainly agree that IVCS is a more powerful system than votizen, and said so, in my diary.

    A full voting bloc decides it’s own destiny, from the bottom up, both in terms of policies, candidates, and strategies. That is what reinventingdemocracy.us can offer, if it gets funded.

    ….

    In this hierarchy, votizen is at the lowest level, though it also goes beyond this by allowing recruitment of volunteers from the ‘proto-proto-voting bloc’. It allows the formation of voting blocs with party and candidate boundaries. A mature voting bloc technology will make parties essentially almost irrelevant – the relevant boundaries are policy boundaries (and, implicitly, ideological boundaries).

    The difference of note, though, is that votizen is implemented and funded. Unless IVCS gets implemented, and funded, it can’t possibly do us any good.

    I believe that votizen will be successful, which will bode well for IVCS. Nancy is intent on treating this as more than a business, which one will typically sell out of, and thus lose control of, to venture capitalists who only care about $$$$. Even given such an ethical constraint, however, votizen being profitable has to be a good thing for IVCS. At least, I’m hoping so.

  1. I and many others have neither a cell phone Facebook page nor a linkin account.  Big fan of Igor Panarin though.

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