MaidSafe voting systems


Continuing the discussion from Can MaidSafe Help Global Governance and Save The World from UKIP Too?:

Perhaps it’s better to discuss this important point in a dedicated thread. I agree with @russell, an instant survey, polling and voting system within MaidSafe would be a killer app and do a lot of good. I recently opened a discussion on blockchain-based voting system on the Bitcoin Forum and Stack Exchange:

After thinking and analyzing the replies I believe that Bitcoin, though pointing to that general direction, isn’t really made for that. How can we do this in the SAFE network. Question: In a blockchain-based polling/voting system, what is the best way to ensure that nobody votes more than once, and what is the best way to
keep votes secret (if that’s a requirement)? The info available in the
blockchain should be 1) who voted and 2) how many votes for each option.

Voting Systems

Woo hoo. This is brilliant and very much what I had in mind. I confess I’ve not thought about how this would be done, though I am pretty sure @dirvine has - he’s certainly mentioned this kind of capability somewhere.

I guess we are talking about different kinds of voting. For example: polls by anyone and everyone, versus polls which are restricted in some way and would require some kind of anonymous voter authentication (ie the equivalent of the electoral roll), so for example Japanese people don’t get to vote on how US Taxes are spent - or maybe they should!

So any ideas about anonymous voter authentication. I guess we’re getting into crypto here - some way a government can issue each voter with a voting key or voter identity, that the voter can use without their identitfy being revealed. Is that a simple known crypto feature or something not yet solved?


An issue I do see, (though I haven’t a ready answer for it) is that majority consensus is not necessarily the ultimate good - how do you protect minorities. For example it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a majority view given say religious motivations is that all homo-sexuals should be hanged, capital punishment is ok and some people are more equal than others to paraphrase Orwell. Any thoughts on how we address this issue?


Exactly (democracy is 2 wolves and 1 lamb deciding, by majority vote, what to have for dinner).

I think in a hypothetical democracy2.0 not everyone gets to vote on everything, but only those who can be affected by the outcome. Of course the devil is in the details and deciding who is entitled to vote, on a case by case basis, is a complex issue.

I wonder if distributed decentralized blockchain voting can help, for example by crowdsourcing the selection of who is entitled. For example you can vote on something subject to approval of others who can vote on the same thing (multisig?), something like that.


The only answer I have to that is good governance I’m afraid :wink: - in the form of universally agreed human rights (existing examples are of course the Geneva / European conventions, UNHCR etc.).

People have to give up freedoms (to commit murder, genocide etc.) in order to obtain freedoms (to be less likely to be murdered etc.), and I don’t forsee a time when this will just be normal human self regulation. In fact, that seems against nature to me as I’ll explain.

Even the authority lacking ant colony needs to protect itself from new threats - by which I mena it isn’t a utopia that doesn’t involve something that falls between regulation and governance. For example, an external threats, or new dysfunctional members due to “mutations” that cause behaviour that threatens the whole, in which case the regulation occurs through the authority of genes/established behaviours, designed to detect and respond to those occurances. I know this is a subtle point, but such behaviours are restrictions on freedom, in an analogues way to human made laws and regulation - the difference is that one is a product of genetic evolution, the other a product of cultural evolution (both can create good or bad “regulation” / “governance” from the point of view of the whole. If an individual ant could think, and feel envy, greed etc. he might well not want to be a soldier, and have a cushy life milling around the queen :-). But they don’t - lucky ants!

These self regulating systems are not fool-proof though, they can still fail to measure up to existing or new challenges thrown up in nature, and this is why we have diversity in the gene pool, diversity in individuals, and diversity in species (or in humans diversity of ideas, systems of government, governance, economics etc.). So by against nature, I mean that a homgenous self regulating population would not be as robust to new threats, as one with diversity - including what we might regard as dysfunction. If our environment changes suddenly, we might need those psychopaths to save us from an alien invasion (far fetched, but trying to illustrate the point).

Another analogy is the immune system and viruses. Nature doesn’ t create utopias, these are purely human conceptions, a false hope of perfection brought by the human capability to imagine, but which of course is also part of what enables us to improve without relying purely on non-intellectual forms of evolution (e.g. genetic). I agree we imagine these ideas, and that gives us destinations and motivations to work towards. They don’t have to be workable to have benefit, and I would never say don’t dream, don’t imagine, those are amazing human faculties, and ones which I value.

I’m also a fan of utopian ideas. Speaking of imagination, I’m also a big fan of Aldous Huxley. In his final novel Island, he imagines a utopian island society that is very much the kind that you suggest might one day solve our problems. There are lots of good practical ideas in it, but he ends his story by showing how vulnerable the utopia is to the forces that remain outside his island, and I think the message of that is that while we strive towards better, even utopian ideas, we need to be realistic about what is workable, and can survive, or else we risk what we create being crushed by other forces. This IMO includes the necessity for unpalatable means when what we value comes under threat, not just the imperfections of governance, but in the extreme, also violence. Because violence can be aggressive and destructive, or defensive, protective and sustaining.


Nice idea - decentralising the authority to vote :slight_smile:


I agree we may not be able to achieve perfection, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying to get as near as possible. I would argue that the ant colony is utopian by its literal meaning:

A utopia is a community or society possessing highly desirable or near perfect qualities

“Nature doesn’t create Utopias”, I feel is wrong.

I disagree that “normal human self regulation goes against nature”, because Humans are part of nature. You may say it goes against Human nature which is debatable, i.e. is our nature immutable or can it be trained? We are increasingly utilising the neo- cortex over the Amygdala and this is a continually evolving process.
The analogy of genetics, which I think is your main argument has a certain utility in highlighting that we will still be left with bad actors or psychopaths, but I feel these are edge cases that whatever we do will always exist.
I don’t have an answer to that really, unless to further the analogy, we genetically modify people – ie reward the rational over the irrational animal instincts somehow!
I agree there are times when violence may be necessary in a defensive role and on a personal level when physically attacked, but not a national or global level. I think we can evolve past this. If some de-centralised voting system does prove to be efficacious, it can prevent this happening to a large extent.


Never fully trust something that is done on a computer, because Botnets and AI’s can be used in the future to put a big spender in power.

With this whole ID issue we should start from the bottom and have real people in the real world going into real buildings to get voting ID’s (This voting ID’s contains your name, home address and can only be accessed by you the owner, (when you move from address, this is auto updated) Ideally would be 1 privatekey with multiple publickeys to vote).

The whole idea to vote for politicians is wrong, who needs them, they are only “talking a lot”. Laws should also be made by professionals, after scientific proof /research and in some cases specifically regional. If we can program rules in a car to NOT drive hard in a certain place, we don’t need cops to go out and look for people to give tickets, the car automatically adjust to the right speed, if their are no factors that make it neccessary to do otherwise. Maidsafe can be integrated into systems to inform the car and override the rules if needed. If a car from Germany enters Belgium it autoadjust to the new rules of governing.

When a law pass, it should be visible to all what it is about and in some cases it shoulden’t be the mayority of votes that count (when it hurts people, financially, emotionally or what have you).

Maybe when we talk about voting, we should also think about who is allowed to vote. May Robots, Ai’s and artifical life vote? The basic question when allowing laws should always be will it help or hurt people? If somebody wants cigarettes for instance this should be allowed, as long as other people are not bothered by it (No smoking in a place where other could be inhaling your smoke, if you do smoke with others around they could snap your picture and you would get a fine (The fine is based on the costs that the people around will potentially have) (The Maidsafe system would find your picture and attach this fine to your account, only people in the same location can attach a fine to you, this to prevent missuse , the system can ID you, but only you and your family/allowed people can see this info).

Depending on someones level of addiction, family members or caretakers, should be able to limit their purchasing of alcohol for instance. The power to have influence on somebodies spending should only be govern by love ones and NEVER a all mighty force.

A system where the small people govern eachother is way better. Voting will only get more difficult as intelligence is added to our world