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Weevil central

Experiment in direct democracy

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What about the policies?

 

Teaching about Manx politics.

Negotiating with the Steam Packet.

Buying land in Liverpool.

etc

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Look, anything that gets the Pokemong generation interested and engage and INFORMED is a good thing, James, what are you doing to bring on board the Pokemong generation?

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Buying land in Liverpool.

 

A bit of a Phil Gawne winge I'm afraid, but on Manx Radio the other morning he was saying how we've told them "we're not going above £3.5milllion".

 

Seriously ffs, what sort of a negotiating tool is that, telling all and sundry via the radio station your supposed top line. And no, please don't tell me that is Phil Gawnes style of game plan. He really doesn't have a clue when it comes to money.

 

Like when the wind farm thing was going "oh, we could get £5million a year out of this". Well is £5m a year a lot or what? Does he have a clue? Perhaps if someone had told him we were getting an extra £5million a year in extra VAT revenue for all those years he would have been cock-a-hoop.

 

And while I am at it, was this the guy who broadcast/bragged about successful queenie beds off the Island, and boats from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales promptly came in and scooped them up.

 

Sorry, off on one there, it was the mention of buying land in Liverpool and Phil Gawne that done it.

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I disagree with James and have done so with my real name on FB about this whole direct democracy thing. That being said, the animosity exhibited here has convinced me that James may well be onto something, he's obviously struck a nerve, and I will come back later with some more in depth thoughts on the matter. I think direct democracy aside, the platform concept is essentially sound. Idiots like weevil should grow up and grow a spine. Post and engage with James on Facebook with your real name and stop being a bell end.

A great number of people don't live their lives on Facebook for a start and couldn't care less about Facebook Groups. Again this sort of voting platform disenfranchises them hugely. Maybe if these people inhabited the real world they might actually realize why things like this piss people off.
What a dumb reply. You don't have to live your life on Facebook to post on there.

It's not a dumb reply. Most of the Manx politics groups are piss poor and full of idiots. There is no requirement to have to contribute to debating with idiots. There are lots of politically active people who do not live their lives by Facebook. Again this sort of defective online democracy idea just excludes all those people and actually they are the people who are more likely to vote in real life and seek out and actually speak to candidates standing.

Edited by Weevil central

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Evening All...

 

Bear with me, lots to get through...

 

So an unelected committee running the site keeping it independent from government...

Have you even read the definition of 'direct democracy'?

I'm beginning to think that the only regular thing you can spot under any pony tail...is an arsehole.

Begone with your undemocratic idea of democracy.

 

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.

 

James - you could require a real name at registration, but allow a screen name, nom-de-plume on the site.

 

I could easily re-register with a name that looks more believable than Declan IOM, but it wouldn't necessarily be my name would it? Your requirement that "it's a real name" is bonkers, if you don't validate that name.

 

Your analogy with an election falls down because -

 

- An election is a secret ballot.

- the identity of the person voting is verified.

 

However, currently, you are at proof of concept stage, there's nothing binding about the vote, it is an expression of opinion site - like here, or a facebook group.

 

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.

 

 

Look, anything that gets the Pokemong generation interested and engage and INFORMED is a good thing, James, what are you doing to bring on board the Pokemong generation?

 

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?

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It's not a dumb reply. Most of the Manx politics groups are piss poor and full of idiots. There is no requirement to have to contribute to debating with idiots. There are lots of politically active people who do not live their lives by Facebook. Again this sort of defective online democracy idea just excludes all those people and actually they are the people who are more likely to vote in real life and seek out and actually speak to candidates standing.

 

 

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).

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You're missing my point. How are you going to prove that those accounts were counted up in the process if they simply publish "Yes X No Y". Whether it's true or not, they could just claim they weeded out all fake accounts and you can't counter that unless they publish details of every vote, which I highly doubt that they would do (even more so now that you've been gleefully telling them your plan like a crap Bond villain)

 

 

 

What he said /\

 

Very funny.

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It's not a dumb reply. Most of the Manx politics groups are piss poor and full of idiots. There is no requirement to have to contribute to debating with idiots. There are lots of politically active people who do not live their lives by Facebook. Again this sort of defective online democracy idea just excludes all those people and actually they are the people who are more likely to vote in real life and seek out and actually speak to candidates standing.

 

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).

So says a dickhead with some sort of perverse messiah complex.

 

To answer your response to Ans above. You know you can't delete votes. It's a standard part of these sort of platforms that you can't. If you could you would effectively invalidate the credibility of the platform further as then the admins could basically decide the outcome of everything by deleting votes and deleting users at will. So no you can't do that and don't pretend you can just to try to save face. There's so many fake votes on their already that the outputs are meaningless. If votes in Tynwald are placed using that duff data as a basis for the vote I can assure you that there will be lobbying to have the whole thing disregarded.

 

The whole thing is a joke. But then again it's just another joke or farce political initiative you have been associated with isn't it? The Internet is littered with failed Facebook sites and press articles documenting some sort of failed initiative or other by you.

 

Finally whose Phil, you really are not very clever are you?

Edited by Weevil central

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I struggle to see why comments and polls on the Direct Democracy web site are any more valid than polls, comments etc on here, IoM Today.com, face book etc. The real only difference as I can see is that they have given it an official sounding name.

 

Having said that some appear to have every confidence and belief in it. I don't but there is a simple test and that is to ask them to put their money where their mouths are and ask them to put a couple of questions on the site and see if they are prepared to accept and act on the result.

 

For Gawne there could be two questions. Firstly " Should Phil Gawnre seek re-election as an MHK?" Secondly "Should Phil Gawne remain as a minister of the DoI?"

 

You could come up with similar questions with regard to the site. "Are poll results and comments on the representative of the public as a whole?" "Should MHKs vote according to results on the Direct Democracy website?" "Should the Direct Democracy website continue?"

 

If the parties have such confidence in the site and the results it produces they should be happy to be demonstrate that confidence, if they are unwilling it probably reflects their doubts.

 

 

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I struggle to see why comments and polls on the Direct Democracy web site are any more valid than polls, comments etc on here, IoM Today.com, face book etc. The real only difference as I can see is that they have given it an official sounding name.

 

 

Absolutely bang on. It's a pretentious attempt to sound credible when really you might as well rely on a poll on here. Also if it sounds credible Gawne can try to latch on to it, as he is, as some sort of valid movement to enhance his election campaign when really it's a badly designed website with no controls on it that allows people to express an opinion framed by an MHK. Again not to far distant from on here. Maybe the Admins should change the name of MF to "The Manx Democracy Forums" and all of a sudden they'll get invites for tea from the Governor and the Clerk of Tynwald and feted by people like Phil Gawne?

Edited by Weevil central

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But Lost Login, it's a test, an experiment, a proof of concept.

 

They aren't super-confident in it because it's at the earliest stages of determining it's validity.

 

Why is that so hard for people to grasp?

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So says a dickhead with some sort of perverse messiah complex.

To answer your response to Ans above. You know you can't delete votes. It's a standard part of these sort of platforms that you can't. If you could you would effectively invalidate the credibility of the platform further as then the admins could basically decide the outcome of everything by deleting votes and deleting users at will. So no you can't do that and don't pretend you can just to try to save face. There's so many fake votes on their already that the outputs are meaningless. If votes in Tynwald are placed using that duff data as a basis for the vote I can assure you that there will be lobbying to have the whole thing disregarded.

 

Finally whose Phil, you really are not very clever are you?

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

I struggle to see why comments and polls on the Direct Democracy web site are any more valid than polls, comments etc on here, IoM Today.com, face book etc. The real only difference as I can see is that they have given it an official sounding name.

 

Having said that some appear to have every confidence and belief in it. I don't but there is a simple test and that is to ask them to put their money where their mouths are and ask them to put a couple of questions on the site and see if they are prepared to accept and act on the result.

 

For Gawne there could be two questions. Firstly " Should Phil Gawnre seek re-election as an MHK?" Secondly "Should Phil Gawne remain as a minister of the DoI?"

 

You could come up with similar questions with regard to the site. "Are poll results and comments on the representative of the public as a whole?" "Should MHKs vote according to results on the Direct Democracy website?" "Should the Direct Democracy website continue?"

 

If the parties have such confidence in the site and the results it produces they should be happy to be demonstrate that confidence, if they are unwilling it probably reflects their doubts.

 

 

 

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.

Edited by James Hampton

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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?

 

 

 

This is a bizarre post.

 

What reason have we seen in this thread?

 

As far as I can see you are setting up a bully's paradise if you use real names. What happens if someone's employer is firmly in favour of policy X are they disenfranchised from supporting policy Y? Trade Unions have abandoned the mass show of hands for precisely this reason.

 

You certainly need to validate the identities of people (otherwise people would just use a real sounding name), but either make everything anonymous or allow nicknames.

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This is a bizarre post.

 

What reason have we seen in this thread?

 

As far as I can see you are setting up a bully's paradise if you use real names. What happens if someone's employer is firmly in favour of policy X are they disenfranchised from supporting policy Y? Trade Unions have abandoned the mass show of hands for precisely this reason.

 

You certainly need to validate the identities of people (otherwise people would just use a real sounding name), but either make everything anonymous or allow nicknames.

 

 

 

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.

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