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James Hampton

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Everything posted by James Hampton

  1. You're really enjoying yourself now aren't you. Go on, let it all out now, don't hold back. You've already made it clear you don't have the spine to stand behind your own words. You've also made it clear you don't have a solution to this problem. J.
  2. That's the 4th person I've been accused of in this thread. Thanks Notwell. Having a stab at sock puppets, of sock puppets' sock puppets is really fun. James Trumpton: "However if Direct Democracy here worked as it does elsewhere that would eventually become less of an issue" It doesn't work well anywhere else. It's a joke concept dreamed up by idiots and Declan called it well in what he said "the tyranny of the minority" is probably all it can offer. But not even the minority but in your case the fabricated majority of unvalidated sock puppets on a play school democracy site with little credibility whatsoever. Yes mate, we've already established that you don't know what you're talking about, thanks. It works and works very well. You're not happy with the validation. That's fine. We've not tried to pretend it's anything it's not. You think the political system on the IOM is fine and everything is hunky dory, so I should just shut up. It's not going to happen, not sorry. J.
  3. That's exactly the system I would prefer. Ultimately we picked Democracy OS as it's very easy to use and is in use world wide already. We also looked at Helios, which does not have the comment features but would have been more difficult to set up. We had to work with what we had in a very short space of time. One of the first questions I asked is if we could disable the comments for exactly the reason you've just outlined. Ultimately we could, but it would mean doing all the coding - as I understand it. As you say, there are plenty of places people can debate elsewhere, and I would certainly support a format as you've outlined. Thanks again!
  4. It's a fair point. The reverse is the tyranny of the minority I guess - it's OK to allow a vocal minority to brow beat the majority, which is pretty much what we have now isn't it? I acknowledge that there is no right solution for all, that's democracy - it's not perfect at all. The problem when you introduce secrecy is while it can protect a minority from bullying, it can also protect massive vested interests and strong arm tactics. That's exactly the kind of thinking I'm trying to move away from. Ultimately the reason you want to argue for secrecy now is because the system we have is rigged towards the powerful (which I'm not denying). However if Direct Democracy here worked as it does elsewhere that would eventually become less of an issue - not a non issue, but far less significant than it is now. It's not so much the direct connection with a person for legal reasons that concerns me, that is relatively easy to establish (even for Mr Weevil it's been very easy), it's the way someone can use anonymity to try and force a debate that concerns me. I acknowledge there is no perfect answer and ultimately it shouldn't be up to me to decide should it?
  5. As I say Declan it's not an easy one, and I think ultimately it should be decided by the users democratically - I can't say fairer than that can I? From a personal opinion perspective, my feeling is if you allow people to use fake names some will feel at liberty to make wildly inaccurate statements - as we have seen in this thread. Clearly Mr Weevil doesn't feel confident enough in his position to use his own name, but is quite happy to make false statements in the security of anonymity - and could influence or put others off in doing so. How do you counter that? The flip side, as we have both acknowledged, is that some people won't feel confident to make comments if they know they can be identified. The position at the moment is that voting is anonymous, so at least if someone wants to vote on something they think their employer or someone else may not approve of they can do so. The comments thing is the only tricky bit really. As I say, personally I think if you want to vote anonymously thats's fine. If you want to make comments - and so feel your opinion is valid enough to contribute and potentially influence the debate you should have the guts to stand by them in your own name - to me that's the essence of democracy. I'm sure if the site becomes more established we can arrange a vote on the matter. If the majority ultimately feel you are right I'm sure it will change - I hope that's reasonable, apologies if you feel it's not. J.
  6. Messiah complex, I like that, did you think of it yourself? We have accepted the limitations of what we're doing for now (nobody is claiming anything to the contrary), and due to the low numbers involved at this stage we can if necessary prove that the vast majority who have taken part are real people. We are not claiming (and never have) 100% validation at this stage. If the project moves forward it will be possible to develop the system to absolutely verify people very easily, to way beyond the level currently achieved (and thereby completely weed out fake accounts). At the moment it is possible to remove fake accounts. If we do move to a system whereby accounts are fully verified clearly we will also need a system to ensure that verified accounts are not tampered with and that is provable - again all very do-able. If you actually knew what you were talking about you would grasp this. You probably do but your pathetic personal vendetta is making you sound like a loon. If I created the account of Phillip Dearsden back in 2014, and then made numerous posts in other topics since just so it would look real... so that in 2016 I could have a discussion with myself in this thread then yes, I am very clever. You're sounding more and more desperate with every post. Keep going. There is a question on the site to ask if this is the kind of process people want to see more of. Obviously this is slightly unfair as the majority of people who've made the effort to log in are clearly more likely to be in support. There are a couple of dissenting comments, mostly from Mr Weevil and his sock puppet accounts - however we've decided to leave these for now as clearly while he may be unhinged his right to oppose the idea is as valid as anyone else's and an open debate is what it's all about. J.
  7. I'm sure all the manx political discussion groups are greatly saddened that they do not get to benefit from your obvious brilliance. Nobody is being excluded. There's nothing to stop anyone from writing to their MHK in the good old fashioned way (with a photograph and a lock of hair attached for verification of course).
  8. Evening All... Bear with me, lots to get through... Nobody said anything about unelected committee. The idea that the site should be independent from government is clearly to stop any government of the day meddling with the results. We are comfortable with the idea that the site should ultimately be run by democratic governance - obviously. I appreciate you're struggling with the concept of democracy yourself. If enough people want this it will happen, so I'm afraid your impotent dictatorial demands will have to remain just that. Hi Declan, thanks for the comments. Yes, I would agree with you that we are stuck between a bit of a rock and a hard place at the moment. In order to get people through the door we have not requested any sensitive data, however as you say this means that really people can use any name they like, so for now the system is not ideal. In reality at this stage we're only talking about relatively small numbers on the site so it is still possible for us to manually verify that people are actually real by cross referencing publicly available data, and as has been pointed out by others it won't be possible for any outside person to prove their vote has been counted within the current framework. The simple answer is that long term if this moves forward it will be possible to absolutely verify people and allow totally secret ballots - this is entirely do-able technically, and has been done by other projects elsewhere in the world. From that basis then, should we allow people to use a nom-de-plume for comments and simply vote anonymously? Personally I would vote against that, for the reason that we have seen within this very thread. Personally I think that sort of unleashed debate could put some people off and mis-inform others. It's a tricky one though I will grant you that, as I know from when I prepared my Lisvane submission that some people were more than happy to vote anonymously but were very concerned when they thought (incorrectly) that I was going to add their names from the poll to the letter - the people who contacted me were all civil servants. Ultimately if the site were controlled democratically that would be up to the users. Hope that's fair enough? In reply to Phil... Yes there are multiple options for verification, and a lot of them don't really have to cost very much at all. As you say at the higher end, online banking verification is still relatively cheap in terms of hardware, and once the end user has that hardware in hand it's about as secure as it's possible to be (for the time being), and a lot more secure than the current paper system used in general elections. This type of system could easily be adapted. The team will be publishing blogs as the project develops and this type of discussion will be part of that. Ultimately what will be needed is some sort of cross reference with government as in essence they are the only body who can actually validate who anyone is in terms of voting - this is also not difficult to do. Anyone who has spoken to the Clerk of Tynwald regarding e-petitions will know that the basic requirement for them is simply name and address - they will then manually verify the petition! We decided people would not want to give us their addresses - understandable. Prior to launch we discussed text message verification, voter registration numbers, post codes, etc for this test, however the speed with which the site was set up and the need to keep the process as open as possible mean't we chose to do it this way - and simply be honest about the limitations for now. With regards my perception of the failure of executive government, how long have you got? There are so many ways we could consider this. At a broader level we are seeing the rise of extreme politics right across the western world right now - Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Austria not too mention the USA, the list goes on. All are seeing traditional politics loosing ground to polarising political narratives. For me this is very concerning, as the last time this trend was seen to this extent the end result was not good. Traditional politics has no counter for this. Why is this happening? Why are people turning to voices like Hofer, Trump, Le Pen? For me the answer is oppression or disenfranchisement - however you want to frame it. Maybe others disagree. When the lower orders who make up the majority of society feel the financial pinch, and feel like their political system has forgotten or is ignoring them, then it's far too easy for someone like Trump or Hofer to walk in with a sickly poison and pour it in a collective ear. What then? Representative democracy is like riding on a bus. Most of the people are asleep or sedated and the clever people think they're driving just fine. Every now and then the bus hits a rough patch (the clever people are not so clever, and they don't really care about the sleepy people). Only problem is the sleepy people will wake up if the road gets too rough, and they can overwhelm the clever people and steer the bus off a cliff because they're half asleep and they don't know what they're doing. You have a choice. You either accept that risk - that the people who aren't really paying attention could wake up momentarily and vote in a referendum or general election and steer your whole country off a cliff. Or you keep more people awake (by giving them responsibilities) and hopefully keep the bus on the right track. Or you don't allow the majority of people who are too stupid to vote. Which one sounds best? At a local level - yes we've done alright locally for the last few generations haven't we. Only a couple of problems really. The very high standards of living I've enjoyed all my life were actually largely dependant on other people's money it would seem - other people's VAT money - this in itself I see as abundant failure. It's easy to run a happy ship when there's so much money sloshing around nobody gives a monkeys. Those days are gone. If you think IOM public services are not on the point of disaster right now I can only assume you don't know anyone who works in them? The next few years are going to be make or break. Services will either be slashed, or taxes will rise, or our children and grandchildren will be loaded with debt they will never pay off. I believe there are workable solutions to that problem which are fair to all, but I also believe we've got next to no chance of seeing them if the current lunacy of our policy selection process continues. True direct democracy is only possible if the majority of people are actually engaged. That's will only happen if they're given real power. The idea that if the public is given real power only activists will vote is not borne out by the reality in the places where it is used all the time, or indeed in the instances where DD is used very badly - the brexit vote being the prime example. 17 million voters in the brexit vote were not activists. 17 million people turned out (more than any GE for a generation) because they had access to real power - simple as that. On your point about nobody knowing what the out-come of brexit will be, it is very easy for me to counter and say nobody knew what the outcome of remaining would have been. Given the overall political trajectory in the EU at the moment it is very easy for me to postulate that brexit was just the shock the EU needed. Your supposition that brexit was a failure because people did not have all the information, time or skills works both ways. If you think the process was wrong that's simply because you think the outcome was wrong. I think the outcome was right, and if the UK had remained I could just as easily argue that the majority had ignored the impeding implosion that's coming if they don't sort out the rise of the far right, right across the entire continent - which they are not. There are consequences for politicians? Would those consequences include walking away thinking you've done a marvellous job, with a nice fat pension? There are no consequences for politicians, how many times have you heard the phrase "lessons will be learned"? Are they ever? No. There are consequences for society, and that is why a society which has the power to make it's own decisions is the only entity that will learn. That is how the required skills are achieved, how society as a body learns to reconcile expectations. You may not think that possible, but that is what happens in practice. Your idea re voting for Chief Minister - really we should be talking about voting for a programme for government - which is exactly what Lord Lisvane has recommended. The way it works now is the Chief Minister decides what direct we're going in and nobody has any say after that. How it should work is that we tell the representatives what direction we want to go in, and they make it happen. In the UK you can vote Labour, or Tory, or Green, or UKIP and know what direction that is (more or less). Over here, no chance. The further point of course is that if you vote Labour or Tory or whatever, you're stuck with that whole bundle of polices, some of which you may not like. Why would you do that when you don't have to? It's entirely feasible for us to assemble a program for government based upon the majority vote across the board, and have that as a fluid thing - again as Lord Lisvane has recommended. The idea that we get stuck with a program for government we don't vote for, for 5 years, is just plain bonkers to me. I'm not sure if it makes sense to anyone else? Thanks for your comments Phil, don't worry it'll take a lot more than some bedroom warrior to put me off. Thanks IIap, that's the hope. I'm not doing anything more than standard social media promo at the moment. I'm not an expert. Very open to suggestions?
  9. Have you any relatives connected with the Steam Packet ? No. No connection with the Steam Packet other than as a user - as we all are. This was the first question I asked the team before we set up the site. Thanks Declan. Yes there certainly will be plenty of things which will be discussed if the idea moves forward. We have discussed establishing a committee so that other people can be involved with the running of the site, to keep it entirely independent from government interference. We've also discussed the various ways verification could be improved, including verifying back to the voter and the public how each vote is cast, and ideas like short term ad-hoc representation - recognising that the public will not be interested in voting on all the issues all the time, but should have the power to step in if they feel something is obviously not in line with the policy direction they support. I'm not pandering to Mr Weevil, I have a fair idea who he is and I just thought it was worth correcting the obvious misinformation he's put up. I've done that now so we're all good. I'm sorry that you feel the rule which requires people to use their real name is irrational. You wouldn't (shouldn't) be able to vote in a general election using anything but your real name, and this service is pushing in the direction of hopefully one day allowing people to have a say on national issues - even if it's just policy direction (which we don't get at the moment). I can't see any way we could do that, or work towards a system of improved validation, if we don't ask for real names? However we are open to suggestions if you have any. Joke initiatives deserve to me shown up for exactly what they are. If this information is also being used to drive a vote by an MHK in Keys it needs to be shown up even more for the sham that it is. There is no governance around anything and no ability to verify anything - not even that people voting actually exist and are real people. It's a complete joke and it will be exposed for the complete joke it is too. Do you have another record? This one's scratched.
  10. Oh dear, did mummy not let you play with other children much? Maybe it is doubtful it will ever achieve much. Do I care what you think? Are you proposing a solution? Is anyone pretending it is anything other than exactly what it is at this stage, or that it has any credibility beyond that which the parameters we have set can achieve? No. This is the first step. If the public want this kind of choice can we resolve all of the acknowledged issues with validation? Yes. Don't worry I'll make sure once all the votes have been counted I'll put one back in for you against Direct Democracy - in the "Angry on Social Media" category. (Joke - I don't and won't have access to the numbers, ever.) J.
  11. 1. I couldn't give a toss if you do take me seriously. This isn't about me. 2. Happy Wife = Happy Life. Unless you're providing sexual favours in return for hair, no deal.
  12. Evening Ladies & Gents. Some people still seem to be struggling with the facts, so just for the record let me go over it again. What's happening at the moment is an experiment, as the topic of the thread rightly states. Some people seem to have concerns about validation process. These concerns have already been publicly acknowledged and the limits of what we're doing at this stage fully accepted. This has been made clear to the MHKs taking part, and will be reiterated when the results are discussed. The results of the polls this week will not be binding upon any decisions in Tynwald, they will be for the MHKs who have taken part to use as they choose at this stage. Clearly the team could have implemented a system with a much higher level of identification required and this was discussed, however the likelihood then is that we would not have got anyone to take part - for obvious reasons. Getting people on board with minimal effort was the whole point at this stage. The bar has been set very low for this reason and acknowledged as such. The team will be discussing the various options there are to make the votes as verifiable as possible if the idea moves forward. Ultimately the current system of official electoral registration and then voting is largely unverified, so the bar we have to beat isn't exactly high. Some of you obviously have an axe to grind against Phil, and that's fair enough. He's a politician, goes with the territory. I'm sure he can handle the love, and I'm sure he's aware that the views of a handful of angry people on social media are not necessarily those of his wider electorate. Again, just for the record, I first pushed this idea to Phil back in 2011 and he did not think it viable then. I have been pushing him again over the last 7 months or so. There are a number of reasons he is humouring me now, which he has discussed in public, one of which is of course getting re-elected. I'm struggling to see why people find this surprising. To be clear though, the website was my idea, the steam packet vote was my idea. I'm not doing this for Phil, and he's not agreeing to take part for my benefit. He doesn't have access to the voting data and neither do I. As to those of you who think that the basic premise of direct democracy is not a good idea, I guess we could debate the finer points of why you are wrong - starting with the clear and abundant failure of virtually all systems of executive government - but is there really any point? Your opinion and my opinion as individuals is irrelevant - that's democracy for you. I intend to offer this choice because it's a solution that has a demonstrable track record of success when we are facing total failure, and because it is a choice we are not being offered otherwise. People will either want this or they won't - and if they want it they will get it. Maybe now is not the time, maybe things have to get much worse on the IOM before enough people start to ask why and look for solutions. If they do have to get a lot worse before people seek change so be it, I will keep this option on the table because for everything that's wrong with DD the other options are much much worse. Thankfully this won't be decided by the members of Manx Forums, as I'm sure you'll all agree. J.
  13. Great to see such enthusiastic comment, thanks all! Just to note, it has been quite publicly stated that this is an experiment, the data which is generated this week will be non binding, and fake accounts are being filtered out. Have a nice day everyone. J.
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