Citizen Participation - Draft Proposal

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Jon Seattle
I need a hobby
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Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 6:18 am

Citizen Participation - Draft Proposal

Post by Jon Seattle »

(The third of three draft proposals. Note that this third proposal needs to be integrated in to the government and confederation proposals that Moon is working on.)

Citizens should be able to participate in setting goals and plans for the community. Right now citizen participation is limited to voting for a faction without seeing the larger consequences of legislative action.

This proposal advocates the introduction an element of direct democracy as applied to one aspect of Nuefreistadt governance and cooperative projects. Everyone will be invited to participate in the planning process.

The current government organization is designed to be conservative, that is to preserve existing structures and covenants so as to maintain the aesthetic integrity of the city as an artifact. This proposal introduces a counterpoint, a source of continuous, consensual, change and re-development.

[b:7nup6u6s]Planning Festival[/b:7nup6u6s]

The festival would be held once a year and would include the election. The festival is intended to be a public event celebrating Nuefreistadt’s democratic polity.

Before the start of the festival, participants would join teams that may or might not correspond to electoral factions. Each team would each develop a proposal for redevelopment of the sim and changes in the covenants or laws. A proposal might include maps for street layout changes, public projects, new architecture styles, or proposed changes in covenants. It might propose radical change, gradual change, or no change at all.

Teams would present their ideas by building walk-through exhibits, models, and posters in the central square. The planning festival would be an event open to the second life public and a way to interest others in our democratic process and values.

Once the festival opened, citizens (only) would register their support for one or another proposal by having their avatar wear a scripted badge. The badge would only disclose the particular proposal the citizen favored to the wearer. The total number of supporters for any one project would change dynamically and could be tallied at any time.

Team proposals and displays would change during the festival. Citizens would be free negotiate with any team, offering their support in exchange for favored changes. Teams could also decide to pick up more supporters by merging their proposal with that of another team.

After a fixed amount of time (say one week), the proposal with the most votes at or over 65% of the total would be enacted. The RA would be committed to implement the enacted plan over the coming year.

[b:7nup6u6s]Technical Note[/b:7nup6u6s]

Some elements of the proposal were developed and tested in another online community, MediaMoo (, but as far as I know, these have to been applied yet in second life. Functioning in a software environment allows us to replace voting with a continuous indication of our preferences. This is important as the proposed mechanism for evolving plans is designed to include a process of negotiation between factions or interest groups.

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