"Public Servant Accountability" topic (political talk)

This topic is formed to split the “Public Servant Accountability App” topic.

Enjoy the discussion :thumbsup:

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When this app was scaled up to the federal level (in USA for my example), I imagine it looking something like this;
President is responsible for approving the national budget. In this case he would have publicly documented his approval of total budget, as well as how that overall budget was distributed to the various federal departments. He owns ultimate responsibility for the entire .gov system.

Each department head would be responsible for documenting where their portion of the budget went. They would be required to document each project they authorized, the amount of money dedicated to that project, and who was responsible for that particular project.

An individual person would then be publicly responsible for documenting how each projects funds were spent.

I understand there are many more layers involved at the federal level, but the logic is the same. A single person being held accountable for public money by being required to document where money they distribute is going. At any point in the chain of command the public could see where their funds went. It would make ‘losing track of’ trillions of dollars, as the current and previous administrations have both done, impossible.

Does this address your concern about the hierarchy of command? I don’t see any way a unit as large as the american federal government could be made into a flat(ter) chain of command as you suggest, although it would be an interesting discussion. I also see anything that would change the actual .gov structure as counter productive to making this become a reality, as it would add a large target for existing .gov to use while resisting getting this implemented.

10-4 :slight_smile: I’ll keep the current event / philosophical discussion elsewhere.

Can you split it? Move the anti-everything stuff to off-topic. There is a real opportunity here for this app but not with the current dialog. Thanks for the heads up.

That would be lovely. However, those who could make it reality are the same people whose personal interests are the most misaligned with that accountability… But the idea itself is lovely, I was thinking about something like this before. I imagined it as a network of glass tubes through which you could follow every penny you paid flow down to their final destination, mixing with all the other people’s money. You could see if what you paid for road tax was indeed spent on maintaining the roads. You could see if your health insurance money was really spent on healthcare. You could tell in a second “I contributed to this project $0.00019222” and feel all fuzzy about it. It’s just that nasty agent problem…

Asking the current government to regulate themselves in such a way would go nowhere. My current thinking is this would have to be a multi-election cycle process as it gained support. Once a certain critical mass was accumulated by the various cities/counties/states adopting the process, it would be possible for the people to require the next federal election candidates adopt the technology on the federal level.

I could also see how this could be used to make the political party system irrelevant by providing a free platform for candidates to state their qualifications and policy positions without the need for massive campaign funds. That’s something I haven’t spent a lot of time on up to this point, but I will make sure I include it as I put together a formal project outline.

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A key point to make, and something I am hoping this app would achieve, is making it very clear to everyone that the politicians are public servants, by definition they are supposed to be serving the public. Will they try to resist being accountable? Almost surely, and when that happens the public needs to have a large enough voice to put them in their proper place.

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Yea, that may actually work. There are bound to be places with non-corrupt officials leading them, and if those few decided to push this through, that may quickly turn it into a demand elsewhere. A good thing about the US is that it’s still fairly decentralized in many aspects, so things like this has a chance to gain traction step by step. Any ideas how this could work in a more centralized country?

But also, how to introduce it on any level of government?

Could not-for-profit organizations be early adopters instead?

  • With an honest NGO (yes, they do exist), we no longer have the agency problem.
  • It could be a useful tool for them for decision making and managing finances, which is a win for them.
  • The total transparency it would lend could help building good reputation, and that’s more incentive.

Once it becomes better known through the NGOs, there could be a move to propose it for government use.

(Slightly unrelated: you may wanna check out this thread for something similar to your app idea, though it didn’t go too far.)

I working on the assumption that city level elections are the best starting point. The subject of .gov corruption and how to stop it is almost always a talking point in electoral debates. If a candidate came along that gave more that some shallow rhetoric on how to solve this issue (as well as the monetary accountability) I would think they have a massive advantage.

Another possibility would be to offer people money to join. In this case, I am thinking of figuring out the total weight of gold & silver owned by private & public america. Divide that up by the number of total american citizens and create a two tiered crypto-currency where each american got an equal weight of “digital gold & silver” attached to their initial registry. There are some complications with this I’m still working through, but if crypto currencies keep gaining in popularity and ease of use this could be a strategy to gain massive popularity very quickly.

My prime focus would be getting the average individual to want this technology in their government and working from the bottom up rather than trying to get .gov adoption first.

Really not needed, imho. We need the app to be independent of government. To be able to organise ourselves. Its a waste of time to try to make them do things they don’t want to do. We need the possibility to do it ourselves.
Ultimately, we need to make governments and hierarchy obsolete.

An app like that seems like a perfect tool for that task. It has to be easy to use, mobile, secure, easy to change to your specific needs.

I imagine such an app would first be used by communities, maybe like us? For example, we could govern this forum ourselves. Vote for moderators, for penalties, for bans, for deletes, moves, etc. Decentralize ourselves first. Then the rest. :dove:

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Or, this could start without doing anything with the government on any level at all. Instead, as @fergish put it, it would start as distributed republics, clans, mutual interest societies, ethnic- or philosophic-based organizations. Slowly, as they grew, they would start to represent actual political force. This may sound to be more about predicting the unpredictable rather than discussing the how to get there, but it also expands the possibilities we should consider.

For example, why restrict the idea to keeping elected officials at check, when you can make them redundant? I don’t mean you have to, but a good system should be able to accommodate both versions: direct votes and decision making through representation. And anything in-between.

It doesn’t even have to be about politics: I wanted to make a fandom oriented social thingy a while back (I even bought a cool domain name, but yea it was way too big of a thing for me) and it would’ve had things like:

  • fandoms, connected to complex concepts (stuff like “Doctor Who” and “Matt Smith”, but also “Doctor Who as played by the actor Matt Smith” or “The bowtie Matt Smith wore as he was playing Doctor Who”)
  • local “chapters” (e.g. “Los Angeles Doctor Who fans”) who could, for example, organize meetups
  • alliances of fandoms and other alliences (e.g. “All Things Matt Smith” or “Bowties Are Cool”)
  • a few other cool things

The fun about it all would’ve been that everything would’ve been decided by the members. Should we join an alliance? Let’s vote! Should we (the alliance) accept this fandom to join? Let’s vote! Who should be our representatives (if any)? … guess what? Let’s vote! (or, let our King or Council or House of Representatives decide; depending on the choice of the group)

How the voting should be done? Majority? 2/3rd? Required % of membership for it to be valid? How quick? How long? All these would be decided by the rules of the group, first set at its founding, then changed by … however the founders decided they could be changed. The organization structure (or form of government) would also be set and could be changed as such. Basically, the whole thing would be just an engine that groups could use to build whatever form of government they prefer, and then trust that those rules would be automatically upheld no matter how big they grow, and who joins and who leaves. So, founding members would not necessarily have a higher rank than anybody else, if so they decided at the time of founding. Or, they could be King and Queen; it’s their choice, and whoever joins (or is allowed to join) must accept it.

I was thinking fandoms were cute but would also secure quick adoption (“more moneyz more quickerz”), but there would’ve been nothing to stop it from moving forward into becoming something more general. Similarly, making the Public Servant Accountability App into something more general (e.g. a fandoms app, or something to support the glorious mess @fergish was talking about) could get us quicker to the end goal of keeping public servants accountable.

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@Tim87 & @rand_om you both make a very good point I hadn’t considered inside my own little thought bubble. You’re both right about this not being restricted to .gov use, although that is still the main area of need I see this sort of application addressing.

So individual people use the app and have their anonymous account. From there they can create any sort of group they desire while using the app to set up the decision making structure, process, rules, etc? From there it would just be a matter of what each group wanted to use the app for I guess. Everything from a national government to a elementary school staff could make use of it. Thanks to both of you for the thoughts!

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:clap:

Couldn’t agree more.

Power is the ability to project your bias/will into the lives of others without accountability. No politician will ever willingly accept accountability as it would prevent them being able to do all the things they want to do. Politicians are, by definition, seeking power, not public good.

We just need to hold them accountable, we don’t need their permission or support to do it.

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Taxation is theft.

Cryptoland is led by example of voluntary world, which ancaps envision.