Facebook PixelA platform where citizens define the top problems they want the government to work on, resulting in a prioritized national to-do list
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A platform where citizens define the top problems they want the government to work on, resulting in a prioritized national to-do list

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Feb 17, 2022
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A government-run platform where each citizen defines their top ten problems they would like the government to solve. AI then groups and sorts all problems by popularity resulting in a prioritized to-do list for the government.
Why?
  • Consensus by statistics.
  • Governments get to find out what citizens actually want them to do. There's no pretending they didn't know.
  • Ignore the people's will and you're gone in the next election. Work on your own agenda instead and people will remember it.
  • See how your vision aligns with that of your fellow citizens. Also, see what people in other countries want. Maybe you are better aligned with people in another country and should consider moving.
How it works
A government-run platform where every citizen gets to specify up to 10 problems they wish the government would prioritize.
GPT3 language model that uses deep learning is good at summarizing or rewriting something in a different way while maintaining its meaning. Future iteration will be even better. GPT3 can therefore identify which problem descriptions talk about the same problem. This makes it possible for software to group and sort the problems by popularity.
The people have spoken. The government now has a to-do list that came directly from people that elected them.
2
Creative contributions

Would it end up in a list of non-novel problems and do we already have a solution?

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola Feb 18, 2022
I remember a session with a similar idea. John Laviña posted an idea of an app where you can report problems in your close vicinity and potentiate local authorities to solve them. Your idea feels like an upgrade of this app with a national note. I think it could be smarter to start with small local issues and gradually build up towards the national and more general ones.
Problem - it will end up in a list of non-novel problems
One reason is that citizens are not specialists in all fields such as employment, business, agriculture, taxes, etc., but they all are specialists in reporting a hole on the pavement close to their home. A platform that collects opinions of the citizens on problems like this would end up solving thousand of small infrastructural issues - a job that is currently done by the local authorities and could be covered with the above-mentioned John Laviña's app. On the other hand, citizens reporting on bigger and more general problems should maybe have some expertise, or else it will end up being a list of common and non-novel problems, which are often very hard to solve.
Solution - starting small and building a app reputation, citizen engagement and feeling of importance
Starting from small local problems could empower citizens to act and engage them more, since their local problems could be solved faster and more efficiently. They could see the progress with their own eyes. Then, the members who are very active could get an invitation to courses and conferences (like Google Maps contributor program) where government bodies, high institutions and experts discuss and debate current issues of wider reach (national level). That way a community would get a lot of experts (influencers) familiar with the situation and could think of and promote new solutions. Citizens would rather listen to them than the authorities, which would also make this platform an independent, peer-driven platform for communication of the local communities.
What do you think?
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic7 months ago
The problems don't need to be novel. This is a way of feeling the pulse of a country's citizens. Whatever people most commonly want, the government should work towards solving. If not, then people need a new government that will do it.
Even if the govt. considers the problem solved, obviously, people do not. So the govt. needs to come up with a way for people not to feel the problem anymore.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola7 months ago
Darko Savic Okay, yes, I agree. How would you handle tons of reports like "salaries too low", "food is too expensive", "oil and gas prices are sky-high", etc.?
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Michaela D
Michaela D7 months ago
J. Nikola 100% agreed. This platform would be great for problems that can be solved more easily and more directly (garbage bins, recycling, bus stops, pavements). If you orient people in this direction they will pay more attention to issues like this, otherwise, they will only complain about salaries, inflation, etc. Of course, these are important issues and hopefully the focus of the governments already. However, it is not like they can be solved within weeks. On the other hand, reporting smaller problems would be a win-win situation. People feel they have a say and then they see an improvement in their everyday lives. Also, sometimes taking care of the small things can lead to change in the big things, as well. For example, increasing recycling or public transport in every municipality would lead to benefits at the national level.
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Why not just go for direct democracy instead, especially in the digital era?

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Povilas S
Povilas S Feb 26, 2022
What you suggest resembles an instrument of direct democracy. Direct democracy is not just a theoretical concept, it is a working part of politics in some (even though very few) countries. The best living example of this is Switzerland. In Switzerland people not only vote on many political issues directly, they can also raise popular initiatives by which they can propose to adopt new laws or modifications of the current constitution.
While in most of Switzerland (except a couple of states) direct democracy is not in its pure form but is rather semi-direct, there's no reason why a pure form of this political system couldn't be adapted anywhere in the world, especially given the possibility to transfer all or part of the voting process to a digital space. Digital voting systems greatly simplify the process and make direct democracy way more convenient. The latter might be referred to as e-democracy.
With the help of internet and AI it would be possible (at least theoretically) for people to not only vote on each separate issue/law directly and frequently but for AI to create solutions based on the distribution of votes. E.g. if 20 percent of the populus voted against a certain law, even though normally those 20 percent should simply accept the (unfavorable for them) situation, AI could suggest a smart compromise to (at least partially) satisfy those 20 percent as well. Then all the voters would review the suggestion (or a few possible options) generated by AI and vote again whether they want to accept it or simply adopt the law in its initial form.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic7 months ago
Yes, that would be even better, but for some reason or another, it's not happening even though we've had all the tools ready for many years.
I would guess there are "forces" that can't let us decide for ourselves. God forbid we might want something that's not in their geostrategic interest.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic6 months ago
General voting is supported by any regime when the outcome is predictable. Otherwise, voting is avoided by deciding things through commissions, panels of experts, etc. People can transact money securely online, but can't vote. No government is in a rush to let people make any unpredictable decisions. We have democracy on paper. In reality, it is more like "manipulocracy"
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Povilas S
Povilas S6 months ago
Darko Savic Yes, that's, likely, at least part of the reason. Another reason might do with something that J. Nikola mentioned about ordinary people not being competent enough to handle political problems, you need to have knowledge and experience for this, so if the masses would start influencing things directly, it might lead to chaos.
On the other hand, masses do elect representatives that are also incompetent and don't have enough political knowledge, emotions and marketing play a lot in the election process, so not sure if this is better.
I think people are used to taking responsibility off themselves and that's what indirect democracy does. In a direct democracy, they'd have to think about every single sociopolitical issue and take responsibility for it, in other words - grow up. So staying incompetent is convenient in that regard. You can blame others for your problems.
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General comments

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Spook Louw
Spook Louw7 months ago
I love this idea, I've thought of similar approaches to reach real-time, representative consensus on issues, the problem I keep facing though is the increased possibility of cyber attacks on such a system.
There will always be a sense of mistrust in technology when it comes to political implementation, which is why so many ballot systems have still not transitioned to electronic systems and those that have, have a history of being contested.
It might seem less likely for people to manipulate votes on what issues a community is facing, but this kind of data can easily be changed to benefit one group over another, which means it provides an opportunity for corruption, which would be more than enough motive.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic7 months ago
Spook Louw open source software, public ledger where you can verify whether your vote/submission is what you wanted it to be. Only citizens who are eligible to vote can get a digital key to do so.
Every vote/key is pseudonymous - the owner can verify while everyone else can see it but not trace it to the owner.
Every key/vote is directly traceable to the owner. Only as many keys exist as there are citizens.
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