Continuous voting

Continuous voting is a system in which the vote occurs on a continuous or frequent basis, rather than during discrete election periods.

Input: Ballot, randomized or universal electorate, easy mechanism for vote changing

Output: Frequent or real-time results

Background

Continuous voting mechanisms have been proposed in a variety of forms and contexts, though largely only since the advent of Internet technology that would streamline vote-changing and counting. Delegation systems like "liquid democracy" generally use continuous voting.

Economics blogger Steve Randy Waldman proposed in 2018 a model by which random subsets of the electorate would be polled on their representatives at frequent intervals. The same year, BlockScience CEO Michael Zargham proposed a model called "conviction voting," in which votes grow stronger the longer the remain with a particular choice, and greater stake in the system increases vote strength, among other properties. It has been adopted as part of the blockchain-based Commons Stack project.

Feedback loops

Sensitivities

  • Provides feedback closer to real-time
  • Reduces vulnerability to timed attacks on democratic deliberation

Oversights

  • No fixed terms of elected cohorts, reducing ability to plan for a session in office
  • Can instill greater insecurity among elected representatives

Implementations

Communities

  • Commons Stack (in development)
  • Various pirate parties using liquid democracy

Tools

Further resources