Talk:Main Page

From Metagovernment - Government of, by, and for all the people
Revision as of 08:47, 12 August 2008 by Jayvdb (talk | contribs) (Jefferson letter to Samuel Kerchival: new section)
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This was written before the mailing list discussion started.

Many things written here seem to have garnered agreement on the ml, whereas others seem to have spawned controversy.

Would it be ok to edit-out sections of hte main page that do not yet have consensus on the mailing list?

Today I showed the (static version of the) page to an activist who replied with disagreement about a few topics that I knew don't have consensus, and it made me think that maybe we should show a more updated vision to newcomers...

--AurSaraf 00:40, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I think that would be a good idea. Hopefully others will contribute to your edits. — Ed Pastore 02:32, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Basic principles

For a discussion of the Basic Principles section of this page, please see: Talk:Basic principles.


The easiest and most practical way to transition from representative democracy to an open source government might be to have dummy candidates run for office. By that I mean have a candidate run for office under the "open source party", and if elected have them legislate as they're instructed to by the metagovernment. As the metagovernment would have to function within the existing framework of representative democracy, its abilities would be somewhat limited, and may not allow for the more sophisticated scoring system. For example, within a parliament or congress, metagovernment legislators would often be limited to voting "yes" or "no". Despite these limitations, this may be the most pragmatic and quickest way to achieve a kind of open source government.

Once the metagovernment has a large enough majority more fundamental institutional changes could be made, such as the implementation of the scoring system.ErikPressman 14:44, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

this is not really acceptable in many countries. For what I know politicians, ones they get in the job the swear that they will vote according to their consciens and not following external influences. I know many (most? all?) politician do not follow this code of conduct and are instead up for grab t the biggest lobby, but to have a strategy that openly requires it is just asking for trouble. It's a bit like the story of the man pissing in the swimming pool. He was harshly criticised: "don't you know it is illegal to piss in the swimming poll?". "But everybody does it!". "Yes, but not from the diving board" :)
--Pietro 12:21, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

I think the transition will follow two paths. One will be the introduction of shadow governments, dedicated to watching existing governments. Existing legislation will be put in a repository and the discussions in the parliament will be transferred into metascore. The communities using metascore will then generate feedback which the government won't be able to ignore. The shadow governments, will become ''the place to go, in order to talk about politics and it will be much easier and effective, than writing to your senator.

The other path will be organizations who adopt metascore to cope with their organizational complexity. I think many large organizations could use our system, to eventually direct the company, according to the will of its employees, rather than its CXOs.

Of course at first, we will need to sell the system to them as a way to filter and distil all the information in the organization, get feedback from shareholders, so that they can make better decisions. Of course the transparency in the organization, that comes with the system, will force them to stay in line, with the those participating in the discussions. Eventually people will realize that they don't need the people in power, and that they can govern by themselves. By then, the system will already have been put in place and the transition will be complete. Manuel Barkhau 20:20, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

This is very similar to how I see it working as well. The beauty of this approach is that it does not require any sort of active attempt on our part to displace any government; we simply invite societies to change their form of government to ours when they see fit.
It is significant to note here that several national projects seem to be getting underway. In addition to our Israeli friends at, there is also Free Government recently launched in the United States and Demoex in Sweeden. And probably more I am not aware of. While these efforts are all fantastic... I am starting to wonder how they can be brought together. Making insular national governments seems necessary for the shadow government stage, but at some point, the world is going to realize that we are one internet. Restricting participation based on geographic happenstance doesn't seem useful anymore. — Ed Pastore 23:22, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

I was wondering, what if instead of getting power from the current government, we went straight to the people and asked them to ratify a constitution? We could copy the US and require 75% of nations to approve the constitution with a majority vote. We could conduct the vote online. — Ben Ochoa 13:50, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

That is pretty much the approach we are following, but we're trying to be patient about it. First, we need some software. Then we need some participants in the software. Then once we have something that people find to be superior to the status quo... people should have the motivation to figure out the best way to make it become the real government. — Ed Pastore 15:21, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Direct democracy

I reverted a change in the Main Page (by G Fencer ) that was not being discussed here. The change was saying that the metagovernment would be a form of direct democracy. Since we asked in the first line to

Use this page to discuss the Main Page before you make changes to it.

DO we all agree that "metagovernment would be a form of direct democracy"? Should we put it back?--Pietro 15:13, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

I would say that yes, the word is a good description of this project. But as we note on the direct democracy page, this implementation should avoid the pitfalls of conventional direct democracy. "Open source governance" is probably a more accurate description (if for no other reason than that we are in the process of defining open source governance). But it may be useful to use the words "direct democracy" somewhere on the home page, so that people more readily get it. — Ed Pastore 14:47, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
Also, I should mention here that I had recently made some undiscussed edits to the Main Page, though they were mostly removal of old sections which may not be relevant anymore. However, I'll restore the timeline at Startup/Timeline and see if anyone wants to help bring it up to date. — Ed Pastore 14:47, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
I personally would vote against. I agree that it does represent quite well the project. But as we said elswhere direct democracy on the net is different than outside where it runs the risk of becoming populist. I think we more risk of losing people who do not want to support a populist project, more than gaining people. Who is really for direct democracy on the net, is generally well aquainted with the fact that what they want can also be described as open source governance.--Pietro 21:28, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
That makes sense. In that case, I think we should probably remove the reference to wiki government as well. I just got done replying to a blogger who got the impression that we were advocating simple government by wiki. — Ed Pastore 22:55, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I just removed that ref. to wikigovernment, since the Wikipedia page has been deleted. — Ed Pastore 17:42, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Jefferson letter to Samuel Kerchival

I noticed the nice quote on the right, and went away to attribute it and add it to Wikiquote, only to find conflicting dates.

According to bottom of this, which gives a more complete quote, it was July 12, 1810. Project Gutenberg etext 16784 has the complete letter identified as CXXXV, and a date of July 12, 1816. To confirm the PG etext was accurate, I have put a digital edition of the four volumes onto Wikisource. The quote begins on leaf 302, and the date can be seen on leaf 297. The entire letter can be read at Letter to Samuel Kerchival - July 12, 1816.

The revision that introduced the "1810" makes me wonder where it came from. I'm not feeling bold enough to change the main page on my first second edit, especially as I've only checked one set of historical pagescans. John Vandenberg 13:47, 12 August 2008 (UTC)