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The Open Proxy Party's Electoral Corruption Killer

By greengrass in Meta
Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 12:45:41 PM EST
Tags: (all tags)

Introduction

The Electoral Corruption Killer (TECK) is a publicly verifiable proxy voting system designed to stop the on-going betrayals of the public by Congress such as occurred with the 1998 expansion of H-1b visas when Congress overwhelmingly opposed the will of 82% of the public, at the behest of hundreds of millions of dollars of campaign contributions from industry lobbies.

Under TECK, constituents contact their local office and, with call-back or in-person authentication, vote for bills and/or proxy their votes for bills before congress or state legislatures. Their representative is elected on the Open Proxy Party's political platform which has one plank: Their representative will vote the way the constituents say via their open proxies.

TECK is the seed technology for what is to become the US third-party that succeeds in dramatically decentralizing, reducing and changing politics for the better:


The Open Proxy Party.

The Open Proxy Party's honesty is assured in the most obvious manner imaginable: everyone can see how everyone is voting at any point in time. The current votes and proxies are published on a web page generated by an open-source computer program. Currently this program consists of around 120 lines of Perl code (not counting preformatted text like this) to tally and present the proxies for the public.

Electoral corruption is an opportunity for Open Proxy candidates to win against incumbents. Electoral corruption has alienated the vast majority of the voters from the political process. With foreign labor displacing hundreds of thousands of middle aged technical workers in the United States, who have now redispersed to lower-cost-of-living districts, there is a pool of potential candidates who are more than capable of operating the TECK websites, more than motivated to clean up the electoral process and more than available to work for the modest salaries paid to representatives in State legislatures. Moreover, the majority of voters are more than ready for a reform of the political process.

Originally posted by Baldrson

Installation

Just for the heck of it you might have a campaign kick-off party and invite all the un/der-employed computer people you can find to join the fun of doing the TECK installation. An under-employed live band with pot-luck can't hurt either and will keep expenses down.

  1. Set up a website for your future office. This website must be able to run Perl CGI scripts that require as much as a CPU second on a modern processor and 100M of RAM. This website will be used only for publishing the current votes and proxies -- not for data entry.
  2. Copy the CGI script to the CGI directory of your website.
  3. Obtain a dedicated computer system with an amount of RAM at least equal to 32M plus 1K for each voter in your district. This system will be used only for data-entry.
  4. Copy the CGI script(s) to the CGI directory of your data-entry system.
  5. Make the database writable for the data-entry system: To do so, in the CGI directory where it is installed, execute the shell command: 'touch proxy_writable'
  6. The CGI directory must be writable by the web server because the database is automatically created and stored there.
  7. Start entering votes and proxies for the attendees of the party, just to demonstrate how it works. (It is recommended that voter-ids be 10-digit phone numbers so they correspond to their call-back numbers.)

You may want to send your guests home with a campaign statement along the following lines:

"82% of the public opposed expansion of the H-1b visa program yet Congress voted nearly unanimously to expand the H-1b program. That they did so at the behest of hundreds of millions of dollars of political contributions from industry lobbies, shows that our so-called 'representative democracy' is neither representative nor democratic. People are alienated from their government. <Your name> is running for representative to change that. He will vote only the way you, his voters, tell him to vote. You may tell him either directly on a given bill or, if you prefer, you can revocably proxy your votes to others in your community (but not to <your name>). You will be able to audit how your vote is being cast by visiting his web site at <URL>. Your vote will be public so everyone can verify the honesty of the system. If <your name> fails to vote the way his constituency requires of him, then it is their civic duty to recall him as their representative."

Running Your Campaign and Office

During the campaign simply run your office as you would during the legislative session:

  1. Solicit and accept input from voters on how they want to vote on various bills and to whom they wish to proxy their votes. Input it to the data-entry system.
  2. Optimize your office as necessary to secure it and speed it. An obvious suggestion is to give preference to processing easily-verified votes/proxies. For example, put up a caller-ID telephone answering computer for people to call. However, never rely on caller-ID -- rely only on call-back to known phone numbers. If they leave their name, and their caller ID is a listed phone number matching their name, then process their authorizations first. Process the others as you can afford the time and resources to authenticate them. Let people know how they can help ease your timely processing of their authorizations.
  3. Periodically (as often as you can afford given your resources) copy the proxy_data.pl file from the CGI directory on the data-entry system to a removable media (it might not fit on a floppy once a large number of constituents register their votes/proxies) and copy that copy to your website's CGI directory. Treat your data-entry system's web access log as your transaction log for disaster recovery purposes. This means you must periodically copy your web access log from your data-entry system to some other remote system or to a removable media for vaulted storage.

To Do

This simple script is meant as a starting point for experience-based dialogue, design and implementation of a comprehensive system. The TECK system is predicated on the existence of ample availability of technical talent that is under-employed and highly motivated to work to clean up the electoral corruption problem in the United States. As currently implemented the data-entry interface is a surrogate for what would presumably become a touch-tone interface for a phone call-in system (with call-back authentication), but that is only one of several directions the system could go. The direction it goes depends on how important features are to people actually running Open Proxy offices.

What follows are some of the more obvious improvements that could be made in a more comprehensive system without compromising the essence of the system's security-through-public-availability:

  1. Research on ways to use open proxies to run the Open Proxy Party itself. An example might be selecting Open Proxy candidates for a particular district from multiple options where such are available using possible synergy with techniques such as instant run-off, Condorcet and approval voting.
  2. A publicly available CGI-based data-entry system that provides a confirmation number to be read-back and/or entered during call-back from the office. This would allow users of the public website to enter data -- which would offload the work of the office substantially. Office workers would merely need to validate the caller id as a constituent of the congressman/candidate and enter the confirmation number received from that caller-id.
  3. Automated call-back authentication to provide touch-tone data-entry, preferably for an open-source operating system such as Linux or FreeBSD.
  4. An alternative to proxy.cgi that uses only static XML to provide the vote/proxy database to an ECMAScript embedded in an HTML page so that all processing is offloaded to the web browser. This would make it possible to download the entire database snapshot once to a browser and then allow the user to archive and/or peruse the entire proxy structure as well as tally votes with no further impact on the server. Suggested client-side ECMAScript environment: TIBET(tm). (Notice: I have a conflict of interest in this recommendation as I was involved in the early stages of the creation of TIBET(tm).)
  5. A web service alternative to the web-based data-entry system. This web service could start the specification of a Legislative Voting Markup Language (LVML). Suggested server-side environment: Rails.
  6. Integration of the ECMAScript (for offline-perusal) with the data-entry web service to implement a Legislative Voting Environment (LVE).
  7. Extension of the Legislative Voting Markup Language (LVML) and creation of an associated web service that can include legislative language from a variety of legislative systems.
  8. Inclusion of the extended LVML web service to present actual legislative language in the Legislative Voting Environment (LVE).
Credits: Support for development of The Electoral Corruption Killer came from the Randall J. Burns family. Early intellectual contributions regarding the politics of proxy voting was from David Schromm of Magic, Inc.

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Poll
Guilty:
o Jews 66%
o Blacks 55%
o Whites 11%
o Arabs 33%
o Japs 33%
o Chinks 33%
o Mud people 66%
o Rednecks 44%
o Faggots 44%
o Krauts 44%
o Women 44%

Votes: 9
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o on-going
o Congress overwhelmingly opposed the will of 82% of the public
o a web page
o 120 lines of Perl code
o Copy the CGI script
o instant run-off
o Condorcet
o approval voting
o TIBET(tm).
o Rails.
o Randall J. Burns
o Magic, Inc
o Also by greengrass


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The Open Proxy Party's Electoral Corruption Killer | 14 comments (10 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
Your idea is stupid and preposterous on its face (3.00 / 2) (#1)
by cockskin horsesuit on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 12:56:31 AM EST

and will go nowhere.

Much like this d-1ary.

Are you on the Washington State Ballot? Oregon? (1.50 / 6) (#2)
by Zombie Jesus Christ on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 03:11:33 AM EST

I'd have to make sure it would be legit but as I live right at the border between the two states I ought to be able to register voters for your party in both states.

Back in the day I made a significant contribution towards getting the Green Party on the California ballot.  The Green canvassers were offered pay for each new registered party member, but I donated all of my pay back to the party.  I wasn't trying to earn a living by registering voters, but to do something about the RepubliCrats who infest both Sacramento and Washington DC.

No amount of Perl code or enthusiasm from technically-minded people is going to get your party into office.  You have to captivate the interest of other people who have other political objectives.  For example rather than focussing on the H1B fiasco, which really only affected technical professionals, you can use the H1B problem as an illustrative example when explaining your positions to every American worker who is concerned about the loss of his job to those in other countries.

The single-most diligent bloc of voters, as far as actually turning out at the polls and taking their vote seriously, are retired people.  Unfortunately not all of them are the most critical of thinkers.  I've spent a couple of months now trying to clue my seventy-three year old mother not only why she should support the Occupy Vancouver and Occupy Protest movements, but further why she ought to go down and join them.

Instead she bitterly opposes the entire #Occupy movement because she is easily able to see on broadcast television that their tent cities are so untidy, and they make trouble for the civic authorities by for example not picking up their litter.

She is completely unable to understand or appreciate that the reason that there are so many homeless, hungry and destitute people in her community was the manipulations of the financial markets by the rich that created the subprime economic crisis.  

She profoundly fails to understand, and gets very, very concerned and tried to stop me, or shut me up, when I get so upset at seeing some poor fucker freezing in the cold rain or so, asking for a few hours of work so he can buy a bite to eat.  She sees those people as being very untidy, you see, in that they sleep out on public sidewalks, thereby blocking the path, or perhaps urinating or defecating in public.  

Despite the fact that my mother is in many ways an incredibly compassionate woman, she completely fails to grasp that she ought to be directing her compassion at those who truly need her help.

Conversely, she regards wealthy people as being completely above any moral reproach for no other reason than that they are generally very good about tending to their yards, and also because they dress well, have well-kempt hair, the men shave regularly and so on.

What does your party have to say to women like my mother?

You're going to have a really hard time getting her to believe that her own elected representatives do not actually vote the way she wants them to.  If they did so fail to represent her, she would of course vote for someone else.

The main way that she presently keeps up on politics is by watching Fox News and reading books by such blowhards as Bill O'Reilly.

I AM ABSOLUTELY SERIOUS

My mother is anything but a right-wing conservative.  In reality, she is just as much an ardent, hard-core lefty as I am.  Before she retired she was a school teacher, a medical secretary for a public health program whose main focus was on ensuring that the children of immigrant farmworkers were vaccinated before attending elementary school, and a librarian.

Librarians generally keep a low profile, but the fact that there is even such a thing as free speech in this country has an awful lot to do with the work of our librarians.  Witness for example the discussion at The Other Site this evening, over the tension between the desire of public libraries to perpetually and freely lend eBooks, while eBook publishers without any real justification argue that eBook license fees out to be repaid in full every time a book has been lent out a certain number of times.

That's not how it works for dead-tree library books.  Once a library has acquired a book, they can keep lending it out until The Heat Death of the Universe without paying another dime.

--
Mike Crawford for Clark County Commissioner
District 1 North County
mike@communard.org

Paid for by The Communard Party of Washington State


can we stick with the term ''liquid democracy''? (3.00 / 2) (#7)
by LilDebbie on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 01:33:22 PM EST

TECK doesn't seem like an appropriate name for an electoral system.

also bring back baldrson :(

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

TL;DR (none / 1) (#8)
by Del Griffith on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 03:08:05 PM EST

+1 section page.

-------
I...I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. Because I'm the real article. What you see is what you get. - Me


+1 because it's a fun idea to think about (2.25 / 4) (#9)
by localroger on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 08:01:42 PM EST

But it will go nowhere, mainly because the answers to the question "What could possibly go wrong?" could fill an encyclopedia.

One of our biggest problems is that the distance envisioned between our voters (who can, let's face it, be stupid ignorant fucks) and their representatives has been shortened a bit more than the Founders envisioned by electronic communication.

And that is what is so great about the internet. It enables pompous blowhards to connect with other pompous blowhards in a vast circle jerk of pomposity. -- Bill Maher

politics without corruption (none / 0) (#10)
by Ezra Loomis Pound on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 12:47:35 PM EST

would not be politics. States are just built that way.

:::"Let me tell ya, if she wasn't cut out to handle some fake boy online, well sister, life only gets more difficult, and you only get more emo as you age." --balsamic vinigga :::#_#:::
This may save the world (none / 0) (#11)
by Corwin06 on Tue Dec 27, 2011 at 04:43:07 PM EST

Shame it will never work
"and you sir, in an argument in a thread with a troll in a story no one is reading in a backwater website, you're a fucking genius
--circletimessquare
yes (none / 0) (#12)
by k31 on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 09:28:09 AM EST

...but I sorta hope that it does actually work.

Your dollar is you only Word, the wrath of it your only fear. He who has an EAR to hear....
[ Parent ]
How strange... (none / 0) (#13)
by Skwirl on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 06:56:42 PM EST

At first glance I was like, whoa, an earnest post in the K5 folder of my RSS reader? What year is this?? And then I saw the poll. Bravo to you, sir. But I wonder, why troll a dead site when there is life to be lived, wine and good food to be consumed, great literature to be read, wilderness to explore and beautiful women to make love to out in the world?

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
I vote for bread. (none / 0) (#14)
by Pentashagon on Fri Dec 30, 2011 at 01:54:16 PM EST

And circuses.

The Open Proxy Party's Electoral Corruption Killer | 14 comments (10 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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