The Liquid Democracy Journal
on electronic participation, collective moderation, and voting systems
Issue 6
2018-07-27

Editorial

by the Editors, Berlin, July 27, 2018 other format: text version (UTF-8)

In our last issue, we wrote about “The Origins of Liquid Democracy” mentioning Rob Lanphier's assessment that verification of identity is of such general importance for many internet applications that he expected a solution to emerge. But almost 25 years after this assessment, identification remains one of the biggest challenges for online decision making systems. For many, this fact is hard to accept, and some even suggest to allow non-verified voters to take part for the sake of inclusion while trying to limit the influence of such voters and encourage verification by assigning different voting weights.

In this issue we publish “A Mathematical View on the Sockpuppet Problem” which was written during the course of a scientific cooperation. It contains a (rather trivial) mathematical proof, explaining why allowing non-verified voters is a bad idea, which was to our surprise all but obvious to scientists of some disciplines.

Right after the publication of Issue #5 of this journal, the Association for Interactive Democracy joined a Digital Democracy Workshop of the Centre for Digital Culture at King's College London which was hosted by Newspeak House London. Multiple stakeholder engagement workshops in London, Milan, San Donà di Piave and Turin have been organized.

A pre-release version of LiquidFeedback 4.0 is part of the WeGovNow pilot platform in the City of Turin. In this platform, LiquidFeedback also serves as the authorization server for all other applications, which is also aiming at solving the general problem of voter identification on the net. Turin has been the first medium scale use case for the new unified user management with some 10,000 registrations within the first month. Some weeks later the City of San Donà di Piave started their WeGovNow platform using the new role accounts feature provided by LiquidFeedback's unified user management. This issue of the Liquid Democracy Journal will inform about the “Unified User Management with LiquidFeedback”.

The principal theme of this issue is the “Roadmap to a Decentralized LiquidFeedback” using “The LiquidFeedback Blockchain”. In this context, one article highlights the topic of “Decentalized Accreditation” and a difficult challenge regarding correctability of online voting is discussed in our article “Practical Consequences of Arrow's Theorem for Open Electronic Voting”. Four articles and a working prototype of the LiquidFeedback Blockchain describe the motivation, the considerations, the solution, and the challenges.

The Editors