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Liquid democracy

Liquid democracy

A system of governance that combines direct and representative voting.

Liquid democracy, also called "delegative democracy", is a model for democratic consensus that combines both direct voting with personally-designated proxy voting.

Participants preselect designated representatives, called "delegates". These can be changed at any time. Then, whenever an issue comes up for a vote, each individual has the choice to vote directly. But if they don't vote directly — because they don't have the time, feel qualified, or any other reason — their delegate gets an extra vote on their behalf.

These additional votes can be passed transitively. Thus, if 5 people delegate to Alice, who's delegated to Bob, and neither Bob nor his 5 constituents choose to vote, Alice could vote for all 7 of them.

This system has the property that it can recreate the expert-driven ideal of elected representative democracy, while simultaneously allowing direct participation for individuals that want to be more involved.


Further Resources


 Delegative Democracy

Bryan Ford

Academic paper

Google Votes: A Liquid Democracy Experimenton a Corporate Social Network

Steve Hardt, Lia C. R. Lopes

Academic paper

Liquid Democracy In Simple Terms


November 18, 2012

Liquid Democracy with Google Votes

March 12, 2014

Liquid Democracy with Santiago Siri

Apr 1, 2017


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