The United Blog


Our democracy could serve us exponentially better.

Liquid democracy is a 21st-century upgrade for democratic decision making.

It blends the best of direct and representative systems into a smarter and more accountable combination.


Thousands of years ago, we invented direct democracy, where everyone can vote on all legislation.

But direct democracy is not practical at scale: how could everyone possibly stay informed about everything?

There’s just too much to keep up with.

And so we elect dedicated political representatives.

Instead of expecting everyone to know the ins-and-outs of policy, we give the work to a small number of legislators.

535 for our country of 320,000,000.

This helps, but introduces new problems:

  1. We may not agree with any of our limited choice of candidates.
  2. We’re often stuck with electoral campaigns dominated more by personality than policy.
  3. Worst of all, once elected, politicians can become huge targets for corruption, with little accountability. Even the President admits this.

Liquid democracy solves all three problems.


How does it work?

Direct Voting

In a liquid democracy, every person can vote for or against every piece of legislation.

Instead of calling your reps to request they vote your way, you can do it yourself.

Representation is good, but sometimes we just want to represent ourselves.

Proxying

You can also empower trusted proxies with your extra vote, for whenever you don’t use it yourself.

Unlike an electoral system, these are personal representatives.

Any time you don’t vote on a piece of legislation, our liquid democracy platform United.vote looks up how your personal representatives felt and automatically adopts their position.

You can select anyone in your jurisdiction. The people you already know and trust now become options to represent you.

Click for an interactive demo of liquid proxying

A Network of Trust

In a liquid democracy, voting power passes transitively, from one person to the next.

This means that if you pick your close friend Alice, and she proxies to her smart coworker Rob, Rob can vote for all three of you.

This allows for a network of much closer connections, rewarding the most trusted leaders.

Your personal reps don’t need to vote on everything, because they have their own trusted representatives. Each step can empower the network, until reaching someone who feels informed enough to vote.

More Accountability

With a liquid democratic legislature, you no longer need legislative elections.

Right now, we run expensive elections to take the pulse of the electorate. These are supposed to keep politicians accountable.

But in the future, we won’t have to wait. We can remove personal representatives at any time, for immediate accountability.

It’s your voice. You stay in control. You won’t need to give it up for years.

Proportional Representation

Currently, a candidate only has to get 51% of the vote, but they go to the legislature to represent 100% of the district.

These winner-take-all elections entrench a polarizing two-party landscape.

But in a liquid democracy, when 51% of voters choose the same representative, exactly 51% of the voting power flows to them. And alternative candidates keep a voice proportional to their supporters.

Liquid democracy can include many more communities than our current electoral process allows.


Now what?

By adopting liquid democracy, we can empower our most trustworthy leaders, give ourselves true choice and accountability, and transform our politics and society.

We’re creating technology for healthier representation at the local, state, and national level. And we can do it without legal changes like a constitutional amendment.

Join us. Sign up for more info: www.united.vote.

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David Ernst


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