Dear @miles_w and Pirates,
I am sorry for answering so late.
Thank you very much for your interest and this very nice open question. Of course, it is a pleasure for me to introduce you to possible first steps towards practising Extended Liquid Democracy (ELD).
To remind you, the Goals of Extended Liquid Democracy are:
to ensure an open, pluralistic and humane win-win scenario for discussion and selection of contents before the final resolution (instead of only and always the same monistic quality-unspecific majority voting constituting anti-pluralistic, polarizing win-lose scenarios without ensuring basic human rights, progress and representativeness)
to ensure a value-/goal- and client-oriented (i.e. quality-specific) discussion/rating and transparent selection of issues before the final resolution
a reduction of alienating (mass-)manipulation and top-down government
In the following, we therefore developed 3 introductory modules for Quick and Selective Consensus and quality-specific majority voting (Traffic-Lights Module) that refer to the discussion and selection phase before the final resolution.
In summary the 3 introductory ELD Modules consist of:
three discussion methods, each with an info/brainstorming and a discussion/rating phase, and a certain cut-off point (for selecting accurately fitting priority issues)
three primary criteria of quality measurement (Formal Precision, Relevance and Suitability/Fit)
three levels of measurement (please see the following footnotes)
With metric quality measurement (Selectional Consensus), for example, one can transparently determine the intensity of needs and the extent of differences in quality between proposed issues.
With ordinal quality measurement (Traffic Lights Module), one can (only) determine the rank of needs or suitability of proposed issues, i.e. more relevant, suitable, i.e. better or worse, but without knowing the absolute intensity and extent of differences.
With nominal quality measurement (Quick Consensus), one can (only) determine wether a proposed issue has a certain quality or not, but without knowing the absolute intensity, extent of differences and rank concerning the expected quality of issues in question.
The ELD Theory thereby proposes that the level of measurement and the scale’s range have to be adopted according to the amount of issues to be discussed and differentiated from each other, which will be fully enrolled within the advanced version of ELD. s.a.:
"Between the Yes and the No,
there is the [innerdemocratical] scope
of the Self [and the Weltgeist]"
"… the unity with it Self,
given by itself [the individuality],
is exactly the liquidity of differences…"
Proposal for a start-up ELD architecture
As a minimal start-up architecture for beginners to practise und learn the principles of ELD, we suggest the following modules 1) to 3) with three different quality measures and measurement levels:
1) Quick Consensus ELD Module: For preliminary reduction of redundancy and optimization of comprehensibility, clarity, formal/logical accuracy, and comparability of collected proposals and arguments on different argument levels. Therefore, a closed (quality-oriented) question is asked that is related to Formal problems with 1 single, a pair or bunch of proposals and that can be answered by either “Yes” (1 = one or more problems) or “No” (0 = no problem = quick consensus), e.g. “Do you see any concrete problems or possibilities to reduce redundancy and improve comprehensibility, clarity, accuracy and comparability of proposals x and y?” “Do you have any formal objectives against a proposal?”. This step ensures that all proposals are Formally equivalent and therefore comparable to eachother before any other content-based quality rating is performed, if possible without being confounded by any misspellings, missunderstandings, formal differences in issues’ description, and relatedness to different levels of abstraction etc.;
2) Selective Consensus ELD Module: For gathering, prioretizing and selecting the most important problem(s), interests/needs, content-based common goal criteria, core themes, tasks, solutions and lower level arguments. In contrast to a quick consensus procedure, selective consensus building starts with an open question and gathering of priority issues, partly including a passive solution (ps) reflecting the current status unchanged, or without the need to be changed, e.g. “There is no problem”, “Everything is fine”, “No (additional) common goal criteria” (brainstorming phase); whereby in the following discussion phase, each formally equivalent issue is rated on a seven- or eleven- point metric rating scale ranging from “strongly irrelevant” (-3 or -5 ~ high resistance) to “strongly relevant” (+3 or +5 ~ low resistance), in case of more than 2 or 3 issues to be rated. Additionally, reasons for higher or lower resistance as well as suggestions to improve Relevance are simultaniously gathered. Group mean scores of each priority issue are finally used to rank issues with highest priority on top; and to select a previously fixed number of most relevant issues, or all issues with Mean priority scores (Mp) above a certain cut-off point, e.g. Mp > 0, Mp > Mps, Mp >= 2 etc.;
3) ELD Traffic-Lights Module: For quality-specific majority voting based on ratings of 1 to max. 3 openly gathered or preselected solutions, including a passive solution (ps) that reflects the current status remaining unchanged, e.g. “Everything stays the same” . After ensuring comprehensibility and formal equivalence, each solution is rated on an ordinal traffic-lights scale according to their Suitability/Fit with the most relevant common goal criteria. Besides ratings for “No Fit” (-1 = red ~ resistance), “Conditional Fit” (0 = yellow ~ ambivalent) and “Good Fit” (+1 = green ~ no resistance), the ELD traffic-lights discussion process differentially captures (the most relevant) reasons and suggestions to further improve the solution’s fit, i.e. reasons for no Fit (= cons / disadvantages), concrete change suggestions to improve the solution’s Fit (= conditions for a better Fit), and reasons for a good solution’s Fit (= pros / advantages).
These are the basic, introductory modules, we would suggest.
Next steps for advanced ELD users
The next step for advanced users would be the context-sensitive combination and iteration of these 3 introductory ELD modules.
At the most advanced level of practising ELD, the discussion methods with primary quality measures (as described above) and additional secondary quality measures, as well as different scales’ range and levels of measurement (i.e. nominal, ordinal or metric) vary, depending on the stage of collective will forming and convergence, as well as the specific goal of a discussion and the amount of issues to be rated and differentiated from each other.
I hope, this helps you.