Flux Party- thoughts?

Read a Fairfax story on these guys. Couldn’t get link to work, so you’ll have to find it yourselves…

This link ?

Its difficult to enforce voting by MP’s in minor parties, they can just walk away from party like happened to PUP. Its different for the major parties where MP’s re-election chances are tied to the party rather their own behaviour.

Minor parties have to be more about the person being trusted to make good decisions, like Xenophon is.

This flux system seems like a new type of corruption, they are auctioning their vote to special interest groups.

The guy behind Flux Party actually posted here last year with a similar idea:

The main difference from now is that in the linked thread, they conceded the system would be hard to manage as a political party where every member gets a vote. They had initially proposed a kind of minor party coalition, where each party gets X votes based on how highly they preference the NVB/Flux Party at elections.

Several questions were raised about the practicality of the system. I don’t think many of them have been addressed, particularly the ones around security raised by @danielrheath. So every member gets one vote - in practice, what defenses are there against one person or group of people stealing your info and using your vote however they want? Even people with literally millions of dollars stored on their computers are unable to secure them against attack. How do you expect your average Aussie voter or minor party to keep their digital voting tokens safe?

Some of @XertroV’s comments on security in the thread:

In the early years it will be mostly parties using this system, so easy to manage the security of it with so few actors. Also, since everything is done on the blockchain it’s super easy to notice when things happen you don’t approve. The authority and voter can work together to nullify any attack quickly.

This is clearly unworkable for a system that aims to encompass every voting person in the country. Most people don’t care that much about online security, let alone politics (current company excluded of course!). They will sign up to Flux using the same password they use for their email, their Facebook, their dodgy shopping sites, their dating profiles… they will forget about it in a few weeks and won’t notice or care if someone has quietly taken their vote. You’d only need a small number of stolen votes to have a big impact on policy.

Of course, this is all playing along with the idea that this is a real attempt at forming a political party and not a masterful satire of our corporate-owned Senate… or a ‘blockchain awareness’ stunt :stuck_out_tongue:

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Thanks for your patience and your input, people. I hope you don’t think I’m fishing for an angle- I’m neither a political nor a technical guru, just a schlub who’s had a gutful of the duopoly.

My apprehension about it is essentially: ‘What problem does this aim to solve?’

Is it to break the two-party system? If so, there are many other parties trying to do this. So many that the parliamentary parties are actually trying to enact reforms to reduce the number. Yet another small party only exacerbates this (I say that, perhaps hypocritically, as a member of the Pirate Party). If destruction of the two-party system is the goal, it would be much better for people to give their time and money towards already established parties that reasonably represent their interests, and which would be amenable to new policy ideas.

Is it to create greater participation in politics? If this is the goal, I’m doubtful as to how desirable it is. People are already given an opportunity to participate in the political processes and they do quite a bad job of it. I have no confidence that electors possess the critical thinking skills necessary to determine what good and bad public policy and legislation actually is. If transparency and participation is what people wanted, why do they vote for two parties that are demonstrably non-transparent and non-participatory? Either that isn’t what they want, or they’re not able to understand that the people they’re electing aren’t what they want.

Is it to create an option that people want, but which doesn’t exist? The fact that it doesn’t exist indicates to me that people don’t want it. I predict the Flux Party will not achieve stellar results, but will be yet another so-called micro-party doing exactly what all the rest of us are doing: not winning elections.

Hey all, sorry for the late response. Max here, leader of Flux.

As a preface the philosophical underpinnings of Flux (fallibilism and realism) are best explained in the book: The Beginning of Infinity. I’d encourage everyone read that both in relation to this topic and life in general.

If this is a serious criticism I’d love to hear more about it. We’ve gone to great lengths to ensure bad policy is hard to pass, and good policy is easy. We don’t care if it comes from a special interest group or not, there are plenty of those that are good (though ofc many that are interested in passing policy which privileges themselves, which we count as bad policy as it’s not resistant to criticism).

We have a few ideas beyond the obvious but we’re not going to choose candidates willy nilly. We’re not interested in candidates not driven by the same mission, or those who don’t believe in a system’s ability to make better choices than an individual, regardless of who the individual is.

This is still the proposal, just the site is angled differently to attract members instead of provide some grand, detailed, philosophical vision (much less sexy). We anticipate Flux members would probably control 20-30% of the bloc.

Billions of dollars are secured via the Bitcoin network and a great deal of infrastructure has evolved to help protect this. Furthermore those criticisms are parochial – totally addressable with technology and innovation. We’re confident we can leverage existing solutions to provide reasonable security (wearables, cheap hardware devices, etc). If that’s the only concern then it’s a very very minor one.

Since the article you posted was published there are plenty of hardware wallets that have been developed: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Hardware_wallet

This is the same question banks and medicare and whatever have. There is a very established KYC infrastructure in Aus which we’ll use. Ultimately we plan to also help develop next gen ID infrastructure too.

We don’t. We expect them to delegate and be notified of changes, then we react and fix if there’s a problem. These criticisms really aren’t nearly as existential as you seem to think. Minor parties are another issue but hardware wallets are easily cheap enough to justify, even the high end ones.

We probably won’t use passwords. There won’t be a central site. There may be integrations with other services like twitter or FB.

Remember the Get Swap Vote system is particularly designed to make passing bad policy expensive. This is a market, supply and demand matter.

That democracies are slow, becoming less effective, and not competing with other forms of government as competently as they can.

This is a side effect. We outcompete and make the old model redundant. No party is like us; we’re fallabilist to the core. All other parties are an answer to ‘who should rule?’ – see Karl Poppers philosophy and the beginning of infinity for more.

Side effect again. We don’t want everyone participating, just the comparatively best people at a given time, hence GSV (get swap vote) and a market based system including arbitraging political expression over time.

Ofc not, also if they tried they’d spend the rest of their lives learning enough to even start.

That doesn’t really make sense. Think about every new product that ever reached mass adoption. Nobody wanted it day 1.

Anyway, I’ve published lots of details about Flux over the last year, check voteflux.org/#archive for more.

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Our system is supposed to elect an individuals to make decisions for the whole electorate, not special interest groups, or people from outside the electorate.
With the flux system you are electing a person to be a proxy for some random people, the MP isnt making decisions for themselves, you are effectively voting for an algorithm, not a person.
I guess it could be argued its not much different than major political parties where all the MP’s vote like zombies and dont even understand what they are voting on.
But still, i dont think it would improve the status quo, and I dont think it would lead to MP’s making decision that are reflective of the values of their electorate.

Flux is designed to produce good policy, or accelerate the production of good policy (we’re aiming for at least 10x).

That’s why we look different; we’re not an answer to ‘who should rule?’ ; we’re an answer to ‘how do you produce good policy consistently?’. This is also behind why democracy has slowed to an unproductive pace in the modern age: it was never designed to be productive

Not at all. It’s designed to facilitate the comparatively best person for the issue to make the decision. Ofc this is all within the cycles of conjecture and criticism we’ve been careful to include in the design.

To clarify: not knowing who will have a say on what issue implies nothing like a random person making the decision.

It is said that the best tutor is someone close to your level of understanding, a Professor will often have a difficult time seeing a problem with young eyes, and they arent necessarily the best communicators. Smarter, isnt always better.

Experts should definitely be handling all the details, but there still needs to be someone above them looking at the big picture, to make sure they remain focused on the right area incase the periphery of the problem changes. The current system should work like that.

An improvement to the current system i think would be allow governments to put unelected experts in cabinet, so for example, if the government realises they dont have any clue about technology capable of leading, they appoint someone from industry to do the job.

Are you arguing for centralised planning? Who decides what is and isn’t significant? Is it even possible to put someone in this position of authority without compromising the ability of citizens to contribute meaningfully? Does it prevent innovation? Does it mean the one voice with a valid criticism is drowned out by the arrogance of appointed officials?

I’d really suggest you read TBOI; what you’re arguing for feels profoundly anti-fallibilist, though perhaps I misunderstand.

Technocracies have not had a good track record. Experts should be able to contribute, but so should everyone else, and under the same rules: what matters for progress is the quality of criticism, not credentials of the person suggesting it.

It would be nice if it did work like that: to quote Sagan: (pale blue dot)

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

It doesn’t matter what we think should work. The Universe doesn’t care what we think should work. What matters is what does work.

I have concerns about this, whose version of good and bad? I notice that your system is built to empower specialists by the blurbs on your page, but would this mean that an algorithm would stack the deck in favor of bad policy from an identified expert in the field over good policy from a unidentified member of the public?

Nobody’s version. One reason Flux is so powerful is avoids answering the ‘who should rule’ question. However, we know the properties of good ideas. These are explored in detail in David Deutsch’s breathtakingly profound book The Beginning of Infinity (2011).

Briefly: policy is essentially an explanation (with some extra bits). Bad explanations do not align well with the universe (IE newtowns theory of gravity does not explain mercury). Good explanations do align well (IE General Relativity). What matters is the mechanic around this; in the same way businesses build on bad explanations do not survive, policy built on bad explanations should not survive if we have a better explanation. Market mechanisms, opportunity cost, comparative advantage, and open participation are the building blocks we use to make this work.

but would this mean that an algorithm would stack the deck in favor of bad policy from an identified expert in the field over good policy from a unidentified member of the public?

There is no algorithm in that sense. Policy areas are not allocated.

Think of Flux as the scientific process (not method) for politics. Nobody decides who can do research, and nobody decides which explanations are correct. The universe determines that. Similarly, in Flux, nobody decides who can write policy, and who can criticise policy.

Please see TBOI for more on good/bad explanations. PDF