a hepagram might be a neat logo:


don't know where to put this:

Transparency and Comparative Executive Clemency: Global Lessons for Pardon Reform in the United States


Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index 2016 indicator questions (note: the multiple choice answers, which i have omitted here, are also enlightening, because of the different thresholds; eg it's great if 7% of the population is a member of a political party or NGO; it's great if <50% of the population favors rule by experts instead of government; but <10% of the population has to favor military rule for that to be considered great):

" I Electoral process and pluralism

1. Are elections for the national legislature and head of government free? Consider whether elections are competitive in that electors are free to vote and are offered a range of choices. 1: Essentially unrestricted conditions for the presentation of candidates (for example, no bans on major parties). 2. Are elections for the national legislature and head of government fair? 3. Are municipal elections both free and fair? 4. Is there universal suffrage for all adults? Bar generally accepted exclusions (for example, non-nationals; criminals; members of armed forces in some countries). 5. Can citizens cast their vote free of significant threats to their security from state or non-state bodies? 6. Do laws provide for broadly equal campaigning opportunities? 7. Is the process of financing political parties transparent and generally accepted? 8. Following elections, are the constitutional mechanisms for the orderly transfer of power from one government to another clear, established and accepted? 9. Are citizens free to form political parties that are independent of the government? 10. Do opposition parties have a realistic prospect of achieving government? 11. Is potential access to public office open to all citizens? 12. Are citizens allowed to form political and civic organisations, free of state interference and surveillance?

II Functioning of government 13. Do freely elected representatives determine government policy? 14. Is the legislature the supreme political body, with a clear supremacy over other branches of government? 15. Is there an effective system of checks and balances on the exercise of government authority? 16. Government is free of undue influence by the military or the security services. 17. Foreign powers and organisations do not determine important government functions or policies. 18. Do special economic, religious or other powerful domestic groups exercise significant political power, parallel to democratic institutions? 19. Are sufficient mechanisms and institutions in place for ensuring government accountability to the electorate in between elections? 20. Does the government’s authority extend over the full territory of the country? 21. Is the functioning of government open and transparent, with sufficient public access to information? 22. How pervasive is corruption? 23. Is the civil service willing to and capable of implementing government policy? 24. Popular perceptions of the extent to which citizens have free choice and control over their lives. 25. Public confidence in government. 26. Public confidence in political parties.

III Political participation 27. Voter participation/turn-out for national elections. (Average turnout in parliamentary elections since 2000. Turnout as proportion of population of voting age.) 28. Do ethnic, religious and other minorities have a reasonable degree of autonomy and voice in the political process? 29. Women in parliament. % of members of parliament who are women. 30. Extent of political participation. Membership of political parties and political non-governmental organisations. 31. Citizens’ engagement with politics. 32. The preparedness of population to take part in lawful demonstrations. 33. Adult literacy. 34. Extent to which adult population shows an interest in and follows politics in the news. 35. The authorities make a serious effort to promote political participation.

IV Democratic political culture 36. Is there a sufficient degree of societal consensus and cohesion to underpin a stable, functioning democracy? 37. Perceptions of leadership; proportion of the population that desires a strong leader who bypasses parliament and elections. 38. Perceptions of military rule; proportion of the population that would prefer military rule. 39. Perceptions of rule by experts or technocratic government; proportion of the population that would prefer rule by experts or technocrats. 40. Perception of democracy and public order; proportion of the population that believes that democracies are not good at maintaining public order. 41. Perception of democracy and the economic system; proportion of the population that believes that democracy benefits economic performance. If available, from World Values Survey % of people who disagree with the view that the economic system is badly run in democracies. 42. Degree of popular support for democracy. 43. There is a strong tradition of the separation of Church and State. 44. Is there a free electronic media? 45. Is there a free print media? 46. Is there freedom of expression and protest (bar only generally accepted restrictions, such as banning advocacy of violence)? 47. Is media coverage robust? 48. Are there political restrictions on access to the Internet? 49. Are citizens free to form professional organisations and trade unions? 50. Do institutions provide citizens with the opportunity to petition government to redress grievances? 51. The use of torture by the state. 52. The degree to which the judiciary is independent of government influence. Consider the views of international legal and judicial watchdogs. Have the courts ever issued an important judgement against the government, or a senior government official? 53. The degree of religious tolerance and freedom of religious expression. Are all religions permitted to operate freely, or are some restricted? 54. The degree to which citizens are treated equally under the law. Consider whether favoured groups or individuals are spared prosecution under the law. 55. Do citizens enjoy basic security? 56. Extent to which private property rights are protected and private business is free from undue government influence 57. Extent to which citizens enjoy personal freedoms. Consider gender equality, right to travel, choice of work and study. 58. Popular perceptions on protection of human rights; proportion of the population that think that basic human rights are well-protected. 59. There is no significant discrimination on the basis of people’s race, colour or religious beliefs. 60. Extent to which the government invokes new risks and threats as an excuse for curbing civil liberties.


for the user levels, i used to call the level just above Member "Senior Members" but i felt that this sets the expectation that every Member should eventually become a Senior Member if they stick around. So i looked for another word. Some words made the position sound too prestigious ('peer', 'partner', 'Core Member'). Some words are too weird (Censor, Tribune). The only powers of Senators over Members are: (a) to give away their own Influence (!) (b) to vote on Member and Senator admissions and expulsions (c) to vote on Bylaw amendments (d) possibility of being raised to Steward. These are all 'political' things involving that many people wouldn't be interested in, especially people who hate 'politics'; they all involve either (a) choosing who to trust or (b) governance procedure. So i felt that by giving them a 'political' name that seems a little out-of-place, it would show that this isn't really a job that everyone wants to do. I settled on Senator. A little awkward, because the Boardmembers are the things that most closely correspond to US Senators. But in some older systems the Senate was a lifetime or inherited appointment of (supposedly) 'respected people', and that's what i'm getting at here. Also, the word 'Senator' lines up nicely next to 'Steward' because 'Steward' has implications of just being a regent for others, whereas 'Senator' has implications of making one's own decisions.

Another alternative, though, would be to call Stewards Regents or Custodians and Senators Stewards. That might be better to avoid silly-sounding political names in non-political institutions.

what's the difference between Steward and Custodian? [1] says Stewards are active, Custodians are reactive. [2] says Stewards set policy and Custodians implement it. So i think we want what i used to call Stewards be called Custodians, and call Senators Stewards.


"The landmark 1984 Supreme Court ruling involving the Chevron oil company held that courts should defer to federal agencies’ reasonable interpretations of ambiguous federal laws."

we still don't have any 'regulatory agency' stuff in the Bylaws. Would private companies need an analog of that? Also, this ruling is an interesting approach which differs from our Clarification approach (which is determined by the Procedural Tribunal alone).


Q: Why don't you use Quadratic Vote Buying? A: This is not robust to 'sock puppets', online situations in which one person can control very many 'user accounts'.

but.. what about a system where you COULD buy additional votes, and the cost increased proportionately to the square of (# of additional votes / your initial voting weight)?

well if there are shares then you can already buy those, so it's only useful to the extent that it's cheaper than shares, and only then for allowing money to have a say.


todo check these awesome (but only tangentially related) sites out:



probably should add some of these:

" Judicial Independence — This index is drawn from a paper by Ginsburg and Melton, Does De Jure Judicial Independence Really Matter? A Reevaluation of Explanations for Judicial Independence. It is an additive index ranging from 0-6 that captures the constitutional presence or absence of six features thought to enhance judicial independence. The six features are: (1) whether the constitution contains an explicit statement of judicial independence; (2) whether the constitution provides that judges have lifetime appointments; (3) whether appointments to the highest court involve either ajudicial council or two (or more) actors; (4) whether removal is prohibited or limited so that it requires the proposal of a supermajority vote in the legislature, or if only the public or judicial council can propose removal and another political actor is required to approve such a proposal; (5) whether removal explicitly limited to crimes and other issues of misconduct, treason, or violations of the constitution; and (6) whether judicial salaries are protected from reduction. "

note however that many "free" countries score low on this according to so it's questionable that they picked the right indicators here


" The role of courts in adjudicating constitutional matters is picked up by John Ferejohn and Pasquale Pasquino. While the literature on constitutional adjudication often focuses on the French and German models, these authors make a convincing case for the overlooked Italian model.60 Each of these three models contains a constitutional court with the sole power over constitutional adjudication.61Their differences lie in “when they can overturn a statute . . . , whether they can control legislative or judicial as well as parliamentary and executive actions[,] and what parties are able to gain access to them.”62

The French model allows the constitutional court to overturn a statute before it goes into effect, whereas under the German model the court can overturn statutes that are already in effect. Also under the French model, the court cannot review administrative or judicial decisions, whereas Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court can. Finally, only members of the House or Senate can send a statute for constitutional review in the French system, whereas any person can send a constitutional complaint to the court under the German system.

The Italian model allows review of statutes (but not administrative or judicial decisions) that are already in effect, and constitutional issues are referred to the court if they arise in a particular case and the judge desires, or is willing, to send the issue to the court.

However, the value of this essay is not merely in accurate taxonomy. Ferejohn and Pasquino show that the Italian model is increasingly widespread (with several post-communist countries63 and many Latin American countries64having adopted elements of the Italian model), and also offers several benefits over the other models. Unlike the French model, the Italian model does not require referral to the constitutional court by political actors, but rather individual citizens can bring claims through the court system. However, since constitutional adjudication under the Italian model requires referral by a lower court to the constitutional court, it does not suffer the extremely heavy caseload of the German Constitutional Court, which receives over 5,000 cases per year and has barely enough time to act as a deliberative body.65

   While   the constitutional court in the Italian model is restricted to reviewing parliamentarystatutes, the Italian model gives a country that is serious about human rights “a way  to  give  rapid  access  to  rights  protections  to  citizens,  avoiding  at  the  same time the flood of individual complaints.”66 However, the authors’ analysis stops just short of considering the benefits of   Italian-style   constitutional   adjudication   compared   with   American-style judicial review. What are the advantages of adjudication of constitutional issues in the  abstract, as opposed to the  American style of reviewing particular cases? Since  the  caseload  faced  by  the  U.S. Supreme  Court  is  so  heavy, is  the  Italian style  of  referral  from  a  lower  court  a  better  way  to  keep  the  docket  of  the constitutional  court  not  overly  burdened? Or  is  the  diffused  power  of  judicial review  throughout  the  U.S. circuit  courts  a  more  effective  way  of  deciding constitutional  decisions  than  having  a  centralized  constitutional  court? Having identified  the  Italian  model, comparison  with  the  U.S. model  would  strengthen and complete the analysis.

John Ferejohn & Pasquale Pasquino, Constitutional Adjudication, Italian Style, inCOMPARATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL DESIGN 294, 294 (Tom Ginsburg ed., 2012). Constitutional adjudication should not be confused with American-style judicial review. The latter concentrates disputes about constitutional matters to a particular tribunal, rather than being diffused throughout the judiciary; it may permit a priori review of legislation; and it considers constitutional questions only in the abstract, not with regard to specific fact patterns.

" --


i skimmed the TOC of Comparative Constitutional Design By Tom Ginsburg and skimmed the article Constitutional Amendment Rules: TheDenominator ProblemRosalind DixonRichard T. Holden, i didn't see anything new for me there.


i guess what we really want is: which constitutional features, as captured by the CCP, are correlated with:


" Long dominated by the fascinating theoretical work of individuals like Charles McIlwain?, Walter Murphy, Stephen Elkin, Jon Elster, Sotirios Barber, Sanford Levinson, John Finn, and many others, the study of constitutions (and, here, I am not talking about the study of constitutional interpretation or judicial politics) has always welcomed the qualitative analyst. Rarely, though, has it embraced the [*84] quantitative scholar. Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg, and James Melton, however, take an interesting theoretical question – why do some national constitutions endure while others do not? – and attempt to locate a mostly empirical answer. The book is most certainly a work of constitutional theory, and yet it is imbued with rich and persuasive quantitative analysis. "

they apparently argue for a lot (but not too much) of "“flexibility” (the extent to which constitutions are adaptable through the amendment and modernization process), “inclusion” (the extent to which constituencies were invited and voices were heard at the drafting stage and the extent to which parties embrace the constitution during its run), and “specificity” (the extent to which the design of a constitution is detailed), "

" The theoretical work of Walter Murphy is illustrative here. Murphy argued that constitutions should be placed along a continuum between those that are more or less authoritative and those he called shams, which are mostly ignored by political leaders, not worth the parchment they are written on. The difference between an authoritative constitution (like in the United States) and a sham (like that which governed the former Soviet Union) is significant and could account for differences in mortality rates. Should political leaders in polities constituted by sham [*87] documents scrap those constitutional texts in favor of different ones? Does it make sense for the tyrant to draft a new Constitution when the one he has does not really control his ambitions and impulses anyway? Thus to place all constitutions in the same data set and treat them all more or less equally does not account for these rather important variations.

The same is true if we apply Nathan Brown’s crucial work on nonconstitutionalism to THE ENDURANCE OF NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONS. In CONSTITUTIONS IN A NONCONSTITUTIONAL WORLD, Brown examines the constitutions of most Middle Eastern regimes and concludes that they are fundamentally different than the ones we take for granted in Europe and the Americas. He argues that these texts are nonconstitutionalist in that their principal function is to enhance the power of the state rather than limit or control that power. These fundamental laws, Brown insists, are not shams, they are authoritative in every sense of the word; and yet they differ in arguably the most critical way from the constitutionalist instruments of the West whose primary purpose is to constrain the authority of political leaders and their institutions. I can just imagine Brown, like Murphy, gently pointing out to the authors of ENDURANCE that these subtle distinctions matter. " -- [3] by Beau Breslin


Constitutional Designs of Eastern European Countries by Young C. Kim calls into question the hypothesis that Parliamentary systems are more stable than Presidential.

"According to a quantitative analysis of ninety-three developing countries, it is hard to say that any one type of constitutional designs has better performed for democratization than the other did"




--- comparative constitutional engineering seems like a good search term but all i find is a book. i don't think i'll read the book.

"But perhaps Professor Giovanni Sartori has found a way to transcend this stark either/or choice. His proposed hybrid regime begins each electoral period as a parliamentary-style democracy, in which a prime minister and her cabinet rule with the support of a majority of MPs. If, however, the prime min-ister fails to maintain parliamentary support, power shifts to an independently elected president, who can rule by decree during the remainder of the electoral period. With the next election, however, Sar-tori’s system shifts back to a parliamentary model — in which the president is on the sidelines as long as the prime minister can sustain majority support. Sartori calls his proposal “alternating presidential-ism.” SARTORI, supra note 62, at 153; seeid. at 153–60, 165–69. “So long as the parliamentary sys-tem works, it is allowed to remain. But if it fails to meet given standards, then the parliamentary en-gine is switched off and a presidential engine supplants it.” Id. at 153. While “alternating presidentialism” gets high marks for ingenuity, it strikes me as a bad idea. Quite simply, the independently elected president has overwhelming incentives to undermine parlia-mentary support for the cabinet so that she can gain power. Sartori seeks to eliminate this possibility by barring the president from rewarding MPs by putting them in her cabinet after they have voted to unseat the prime minister. Id. at 157. But there are many other indirect ways to reward MPs for aban-doning the initial parliamentary government" -- by Bruce Ackerman


todo lookup "comparative corporate governance""comparative"+"corporate"+"bylaws"+design"comparative"+"corporate"+"bylaws""comparative"+"corporate"+"bylaws"+delaware+normative

i don't see much.


well i posted my proposal workflow but no one replied. A voting methods expert friend whom i talked to liked it, though:


hmmm maybe forum should not even be able to veto Directives?

maybe they should not be able to initiate Directives?


Decision-making (the Forum and the Board)

A Proposal to issue a Directive may be made in the Board, and a Proposal to change Policy may be made in either the Forum or the Board, where it is debated and voted upon. "



... Directives must originate in the Board, and Policy proposals may originate in either the Board or the Forum. "




the words "private ordering" seem relevant, also "mandatory provisions" also "certificate" or "article" or "charter"




toread intro

tombread comparative corporate governance Comparative Study OfCorporate? Governance CodesRelevant? to the European UnionAnd? Its Member States Comparative Corporate Governance and the Theory of the Firm: The Case Against Global Cross Reference ---


"On the possibility of "computerized" constitutional design, see for example David Law, Constitutions,in The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Research (Peter Cane & Herbert M. Kritzer eds., Oxford U. Press2010)."



"So, for example, an empiricalassessment of the actual contribution of federalism and proportional representation onmitigating strife in multi-ethnic polities, suggests that both "highly touted solutions toethnic divisions," have at best mixed effects.27

27. Zachary Elkins & John Sides, Can Institutions Build Unity in Multiethnic States? 101 Am. Pol. Sci.Rev. 693 (2007). "


"Or, to pick another example, while activejudicial review is regarded by the emerging global consensus that both Melkinsburg andJackson explore, as the epicenter and sin-qua-non of any vibrant democratic politicalsystem, very few if any of the top twelve countries in the comprehensive DemocracyIndex? conducted by The Economist sport a long tradition of American-style written constitutionalism, high-voltage judicial review, or a culturally engrained constitutional sanctity. 28

28. The Democracy Index conducted by The Economist focuses on five general categories of democracy:electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation, and politicalculture. Regimes are assigned a score on a zero to ten scale, where ten is the closest a country can get to fulldemocracy. According to Democracy Index 2009, North Korea scored the lowest with 0.86, while Swedenscored a total of 9.88 (the highest result). The rest of the top dozen countries include Norway, Iceland, theNetherlands, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Australia, Canada, and Ireland. The United States was ranked eighteenth with a score of 8.22. 29.Ran Hirschl, The "Design Sciences " and Constitutional "Success", 87 Tex. L. Rev. 1339 (2009). "



"there does seem to be some evidence that common law countries provide stronger protection for property rights and possess more independence courts" -- [4]



"Alas, we have, to date, very little knowledge about how to create more endur-ing constitutions (Negretto2008; Ordeshook1992; Sutter2003; Weingast2006)."


The Endurance of National Constitutions (2009) By Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg, and James Melton


Yaniv Roznai review of The Endurance of National Constitutions


review the governance 'bylaws' implicit in:




toread: House and Senate Rules of Procedure: A Comparison, Judy Schneider The Speaker of the House: House Officer, Party Leader, and Representative

they say that the Speaker of the House has much more power over agenda, etc, than the presiding officer of the Senate. Look into that.

also mb ask their authors for advice, and mb House and Senate parliamentarians, and other people who work in the Congress and Judiciary branch of the Congression Research Service:

Introduction to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress How Legislation Is Brought to the House Floor: A Snapshot of Parliamentary Practice in the 114th Congress (2015-2016) (i saved this one not for the stats, but for the brief discussion for a few pages in the middle-beginning about the ways that measures may be brought, which differs from 95-563.pdf) How Measures Are Brought to the House Floor: A Brief Introduction (recommended by the House republican cloakroom) The Legislative Process on the Senate Floor: An Introduction The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction Commonly Used Motions and Requests in the House of Representatives The Amending Process in the House of Representatives The Amending Process in the Senate Expedited Procedures in the House: Variations Enacted into Law The President Pro Tempore of the Senate: History and Authority of the Office (note: there is not any substantive mention of the Parliamentarian here, and as we know from other sources, in the presiding officer part of the President Pro Tempore, they usually defer to the Parliamentarian; therefore i assume this document is more of a theoretical treatment than a practical one) Flow of Business: A Typical Day on the Senate Floor How Measures Are Brought to the Senate Floor: A Brief Introduction Introducing a Senate Bill or Resolution Considering Legislation on the House Floor: Common Practices in Brief The Budget Reconciliation Process: Stages of Consideration The Committee System in the U.S. Congress some notes from this (i still need to read the rest of it): the process of amending a proposal in committee is called 'markup'. The quorum for markup committee meetings is usually 1/3. In order to approve a proposal and send it to the full body, however, a majority quorum is needed. When a proposal has been approved in committee and sent to the full body, the chair and ranking minority member of the committee that sent it often control debate on the floor of the main body, and "Especially in the House, committee members also have priority in recognition to offer floor amendments" Suspension of the Rules in the House: Principal Features (recommended by the House republican cloakroom) Senate Standing Committees’ Rules on Legislative Activities and Executive Business: Analysis for the 114th Congress Amendments in the House: Types and Forms Amendments in the Senate: Types and Forms House Standing Committees’ Rules on Legislative Activities: Analysis of Rules in Effect in the 114thCongress The Committee Markup Process in the House of Representatives

not sure if i will read: The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction Committee Assignment Process in the U.S. Senate: Democratic and Republican Party Procedures House Office of Congressional Ethics: History, Authority, and Procedures Senate Select Committee on Ethics: A Brief History of Its Evolution and Jurisdiction Senate Rules Restricting the Content of Conference Reports Instructing Senate Conferees Instructing House Conferees Senate Conferees: Their Selection and Authority Conference Committee and Related Procedures: An Introduction Floor Consideration of Conference Reports in the Senate Amendments Between the Houses: Procedural Options and Effects "The House and Senate must agree to the same measure with the same legislative language before a bill can be presented to the President. To resolve differences between House and Senate versions of legislation, Congress might appoint a conference committee to negotiate a compromise that is then reported to each chamber for consideration. Alternatively, Congress might use the process of amendment exchange. In this process, each chamber acts on the legislation in turn, shuttling the measure back and forth, sometimes proposing alternatives in the form of amendments, until both chambers have agreed to the same text. " Resolving Legislative Differences in Congress: Conference Committees and Amendments Between the Houses House Offset Amendments to Appropriations Bills: Procedural Considerations

read/skimmed already, don't need to read again but placed here for future reference: Guide to Individuals Seated on the Senate Dais by Valerie Heitshusen Considering Measures in the House Under the One-Hour Rule The one hour rule is one of several modes of debate in the House. Under the One Hour Rule system, there is a debate for one hour, in which the majority party's Chairperson of the committee that reported the bill controls half of the hour, and the minority party's ranking member of the same committee controls the other half. These two (called 'floor managers') then get to decide who else gets to speak and when, by lending their time to them. Amendments are not usually in order (although a majority can get around this by ordering the committee to immediately report back with the desired amendement). At the end of the hour, there is a vote to close debate (by simple majority) which almost always succeeds. If the House votes not to close debate, however, the minority floor manager may offer an amendment, or may call on someone else to do so, and debate is extended for a second hour on both the amendment and the resolution. Questions of Privilege in the House One type of privilege is the 'personal privilege' to rebut allegations against you. A member whose integrity is criticized may 'rise to a question of personal privilege' to speak in response. Privileged Business on the House Floor There is a rule-defined "daily order of business" but it is almost always ignored through various parliamentary tricks. Certain kinds of bills are 'privileged' (fast-tracked), these are budget bills, interactions with the Senate and President, rules amendments, ethics, and committee assignments; and other bills are considered either by unanimous consent, pursuant to special rules, or under motions to suspend the rules. Introducing a House Bill or Resolution (this one is very practical) Introducing a House Bill or Resolution updated version Sponsorship and Cosponsorship of House Bills appears to be purely cosmetic Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2017 the Speaker of the House is elected. The Speaker must get a majority of those voting; otherwise there is immediately another vote. People almost always vote for their party; only once since at least 1943 did someone vote for someone not in their party. "From 1913 through 1943, it usually happened that some Members voted for candidates other than those of the two major parties. The candidates in question were usually those representing the “progressive” group (reformers originally associated with the Republican Party)...From 1943 through 1995, only the nominated Republican and Democratic candidates received votes, reflecting the establishment of an exclusively two-party system at the national level...In nine of the 12 elections since 1997, however, some Members have voted for candidates other than the official nominees of their parties. Usually, the additional candidates receiving votes have been other Members of the voter’s own party." Procedural Distinctions Between the House and the Committee of the Whole Committee of the Whole: An Introduction [5] Congressional Membership and Appointment Authority to Advisory Commissions, Boards, and Groups Congressional Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Legislative Considerations commissions are when congress appoints a bunch of non-congress-members to study something and give a report to congress Casework in a Congressional Office: Background, Rules, Laws, and Resources casework means serving random constitutent requests House Committee Chairs: Considerations, Decisions, and Actions as One Congress Ends and a New Congress Begins stuff like, make the new committee's budget; set the new committee's rules House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures Points of Order, Rulings, and Appeals in the House of Representatives "For example, no Member can challenge the way in which the Speaker exercises his or her discretionary power of recognition, nor can a Member appeal the Speaker’s ruling that a proposed motion is not in order because it is dilatory." Points of Order, Rulings, and Appeals in the Senate nothing too surprising to me Offices and Officials in the Senate: Roles and Duties stuff like who is in charge of security Senate Rules Affecting Committees stuff like committees must usually have open meetings Senate Committee Rules in the 114th Congress: Key Provisions similar to previous Senate Committee Funding: Description of Process and Analysis of Disbursements that is, funding to hire committee staff an the like. Not sure if i read it there, but interestingly, the agreement is typically that the committee chair (majority party) gets to allocate 2/3 of the money/staff, and the ranking minority party member gets to allocate 1/3 of the money/staff Bypassing Senate Committees: Rule XIV and Unanimous Consent Senate committee consideration can be bypassed with unanimous consent Filling the Senate "Amendment Tree" the majority leader has the ability to offer first- and second- order amendments against a bill before anyone else does, and since tertiary amendments aren't allowed, this can prevent other amendments Budget Enforcement Procedures: The Senate Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) Rule the Senate actually has a don't-increase-the-deficit rule; but [6] claims that it doesn't apply to discretionary spending Calling Up Business on the Senate Floor "Under chamber rules, technically any Senator may offer the necessary agenda-setting motions “to proceed to the consideration”of a bill, resolution,or item of executive business. However, by long-established custom, in practice only the majority leader or hisor her designee offer agenda-setting motions". This document describes those motions. "Among the items of privileged business are budget resolutions, reconciliation bills, conference reports, measures to resolve election contests,and measures to impose disciplinary sanctions against Senators. Motions to go into executive session to consider a nomination,treaty,or resolutionon the Senate Executive Calendarare also privileged and non-debatable." Other things generally go thru commitee (but can sometimes be considered more quickly by a 60% vote?) Introducing a Senate Bill or Resolution "Part of what makes the American political process unique is that it affords all Senators an ability to propose their own ideas for chamber consideration. By comparison, most other democratic governments around the world rely on anexecutive official, often called a premier, chancellor, or prime minister, to originate and submit policy proposals for discussion and enactment by the legislature. Legislators serving in other countries generally lack the power to initiate legislative proposals of their own." The rest of the document is rather practical. House Committee Reports: Required Contents. Stuff like 'must include a cost estimate' Veto Override Procedure in the House and Senate One-Minute Speeches: Current House Practices. The House lets any member speak for one minute in the morning, but there are complaints that this just encourages partisian soundbites. Reform proposals include moving the speeches to the end of the day (because i guess they are less newsworthy?) or having 'Oxford debates' instead (dunno what this is but [7] suggests it's where there are two teams, each team gives a seven-minute opening statement, then there are audience questions and questions between the teams, and then at the end a two-minute closing statement. Quorum Requirements in the House: Committee and Chamber Quorum in committees is 50% for most important stuff, 1/3 for some stuff, 50% on the House floor in theory, except that the House has its "Committee of the Whole" procedure which allows it to weasel it's way out of a quorum in some cases? Calendars of the House of Representatives A "calendar" is a list of bills which are queued for possible consideration (not necessarily in the order queued). The main calendars are the Union Calendar, the House Calendar, or the Private Calendar, which are money-related bills, general bills, and bills affecting specific individuals or entities, respectively. There is other information that is tracked similarly, such as eg "A list of any motions to discharge committeesthat have received the required signatures of 218 members and that are awaiting action by the House", and some other stuff like that is in this CRS report. "In modern practice, measures are sometimes brought directly to the House floor by suspension of the rules, by special rule, or by unanimous consent without being reported and placed on a calendar." Rules and Practices Governing Consideration of Revenue Legislation in the House and Senate good read but probably specific to the US govmt The Motion to Recommit in the House of Representatives Currently in the House, the motion to recommit has a weird function. The minority party has the right to propose a motion to recommit at the end of debate, and special rules are not allowed to abridge this right. The motion to recommit may actually commit the bill, or it may demand that the "committee" immediately report back the bill, with specified amendments, in which case it's really a motion to amend. The motion to recommit is basically used just to give the minority party a chance to potentially propose an amendment (or to actually propose recommitting). A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress good read/skim; overview of some recent rules changes and their partisan context Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Committees, 2001-2015 a lot of these guys don't get paid enough. There seem to be a lot of $30k and $40ks. There's a few $100ks and over, though, esp. the managers. Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Member Offices, 2001-2015 again, a lot of $30k and $40k and even some $20ks. The only $100k is the Chief of Staff and the District Director. Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senators’ Offices, FY2001-FY201 Much better than House members, but still some $30k and $40ks. Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senate Committees, FY2001-FY2015 Again, better than House, mostly decent but i see a few $30k esp. in the 'minimum' column. Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in House Member Offices, 2006-2016. As you might expect, 8% >5-year retention in the most underpaid jobs, 20% >5-year in the highly paid ones, about 33%-50% <=1 year. Median around 1-2 years. Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in House Committees, 2006-2016. As you might expect, slightly better than House members, 15% >5-year, 33% <= 1 year. Median around 1.5-3 years. Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in Senators’ Offices, 2006-2016. As you might expect, slightly better than House Committees, about 25% >5-year except for the remaining underpaid positions, most of which are still 8%. Median around 1.5-3 years. Staff Tenure in Selected Positions in SenateCommittees, 2006-2016 Significantly worse than Senators Offices. Median around 1-2 years.

Expulsion, Censure, Reprimand, and Fine: Legislative Discipline in the House of Representatives "The most common forms of discipline in the House are now “expulsion,” “censure,” or “reprimand,” although the House may also discipline its Members in other ways, including fine or monetary restitution, loss of seniority, and suspension or loss of certain privileges...The underlying justification for legislative discipline has traditionally been to protect the integrity and dignity of the legislature and its proceedings, rather than merely to punish an individual;...The House may generally discipline its Members for violations of statutory law, including crimes; for violations of internal congressional rules; or for any conduct which the House of Representatives finds has reflected discredit upon the institution. Each house of Congress has disciplined its own Members for conduct which has not necessarily violated any specific rule or law, but which was found to breach its privileges, demonstrate contempt for the institution, or reflect discredit on the House or Senate. ....and such internal legislative process is additional to any potential criminal or civil liability that a Member might incur for any particular misconduct...Unlike members of the legislatures or parliaments of many foreign nations, there is nogeneral immunity from all criminal prosecution for Members of the United States Congress during their tenure in office. Rather, Members of Congress have a fairly narrow (although complete) immunity from outside prosecution for “Speech or Debate” in either house of Congress....An “expulsion” is a removal of a Member from the House of Representatives by a two-thirds vote of the House. A “censure” or a “reprimand” is a legislative procedure where the full House, by majority vote on a simple resolution, expresses a formal disapproval of the conduct of a Member. In addition to thesepunishments or disciplines by the entire Houseof Representatives, the House Committee on Ethics—formerly called the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct—is authorized to issue, on its own accord, a “Letter of Reproval” to a Member when thatcommitteedisapproves of conduct but makes no recommendation for legislative sanctions to the full House of Representatives. The committeehas also from time totime expressed its disapproval of particular conduct in informal letters and other communications to Members.There is no precise listing or description in the Rules of the House of Representatives of the specific types of misconduct or ethical improprieties which might subject a Member to the various potential disciplines. " Changingthe Senate Cloture Ruleat the Start of a New Congress

Questions of the Privileges of the House: An Analysis "A question of the privileges of the House is a formal declaration by a Member of the House asserting that a situation has arisen affecting “the rights of the House collectively, its safety, dignity and the integrity of its proceedings.”...The chamber eventually found it necessary to create a definition as part of a rule that would prevent Members from consuming floor time under the pretext of raising a question of the privileges of the House...Questions recognized as valid comprise several categories, such as: •questions related to the organization of the House and the rights of Members to their seats or leadership positions, •questions related to the House’s constitutional prerogatives, such as their power to originate revenue legislation, •questions related to the conduct of Members, officers, and employees of the House, •questions related to the integrity of the legislative process, both in committee and on the House floor, and •questions related to the comfort, convenience, and safety of Members. ...A question of privilege has been held to take precedence over all questions except a motion to adjourn...Once a question of the privileges of the House is raised, the Speaker must, at some point, entertain the question and rule on its validity. House Action in the Event That the Question Is Ruled Valid Once the Speaker rules the question to be valid (or the House overrules the Speaker’s ruling that the resolution is not valid)...A question of the privileges of the House is considered under the “hour rule,” which means generally that a maximum of one hour of debate may occur on the resolution... While uncommon, during consideration of the resolution, amendments may be offered but only (1) if the amendment is offered by the Member raising the question of privilege, (2) if the Member raising the question yields to a Member for the purpose of offering an amendment, or (3) in the event that the previous question (described below) is not successful... If the House defeats the previous question, another hour of debate would occur, and amendments could be offered...Additionally, a sponsor may choose to withdraw a resolution after it has been offered. This does not require unanimous consent; the Member has the right to withdraw the resolution offered even after debate has occurred... When a question of the privileges of the House is raised, the prohibition on debate referencing the conduct of a Member or the House may become complicated. Because of this, the Speaker often states that an exception to the general rule is in order but that it is closely limited. Specifically, the Speaker states that, while a wide range of discussion is permitted during debate on such a resolution, the rule still “prohibits the use of language which is personally abusive.” ... A Member objected to the remarks of another Member and demanded that the “words be taken down” because they violated the House’s rules on decorum. The offending Member then asked unanimous consent to withdraw his remarks

 “A Member may demand that the words of another Member be taken down. This typically takes place during debate when one Member believes another Member has violated the rules of decorum in the House. The request requires that the Member’s remarks be read to the House so that the Speaker may determine whether they are offensive or otherwise violate the rules of the House. If the Speaker determines that the words are out of order, the violator is customarily given a chance to withdraw or amend them, and the Member may ask the House for unanimous consent to strike the words from the Congressional Record. If there is objection, a motion may be offered to strike the words from the debate. Upon the demand that the words be taken down, the alleged violator must immediately sit down and await the Speaker’s decision. A Member whose words have been ruled out of order may not speak again on the same day without the House’s permission, but the Member can vote.” As stated in CRS Report RL32207, Commonly Used Motions and Requests in the House of Representatives, by Christopher M. Davis"

"The Congressional Research Service has prepared numerous other reports on the Senate and its procedures, including CRS Report RL30788, Parliamentary Reference Sources: Senate, by Megan S. Lynch and Richard S. Beth; CRS Report 98-836, Calling Up Measures on the Senate Floor, by Christopher M. Davis; CRS Report R43563, “Holds” in the Senate, by Mark J. Oleszek; CRS Report RL30360, Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate, by Richard S. Beth and Valerie Heitshusen; CRS Report 98-853, The Amending Process in the Senate, by Christopher M. Davis; CRS Report 98-306, Points of Order, Rulings, and Appeals in the Senate, by Valerie Heitshusen; CRS Report 96-452, Voting and Quorum Procedures in the Senate, coordinated by Elizabeth Rybicki, and CRS Report 98-696, Resolving Legislative Differences in Congress: Conference Committees and Amendments Between the Houses, by Elizabeth Rybicki. A large number of additional reports on specific topics related to Senate procedure are also available (categorized by subject area) at Senate procedures in specific relation to executive business—that is, nominations and treaties—are not covered extensively in this report, but CRS has prepared additional reports on these topics, as well; for an overview, see CRS Report RL31980, Senate Consideration of Presidential Nominations: Committee and Floor Procedure, by Elizabeth Rybicki, and CRS Report 98-384, Senate Consideration of Treaties, by Valerie Heitshusen."

" For additional information on the practices governing appeals, see U.S. Congress, House, Constitution, Jefferson’s Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, H. Doc. 110-162, 111th Cong., 2nd sess., [compiled by] John Sullivan, Parliamentarian (Washington: GPO, 2009), §629; or CRS Report 98-307, Points of Order, Rulings, and Appeals in the House of Representatives, by Valerie Heitshusen. Appeals may not be made, for example, in response to parliamentary inquiries, decisions concerning recognition, the dilatoriness of motions, the chair’s count of the number rising to demand a roll call vote, or the determination that a Member’s time in debate has expired." [8]

reference works:

other CRS reports: (for some reason Google can access and we can't? Or are they just guessing at some documents there via hyperlinks elsewhere?)

other intro to US government procedure stuff:

Our American Government Enactment of a Law HOW OUR LAWS ARE MADE [9]'s Learn About the Legislative Process webpage The hypertext US Government Manual lists and explains every government body in all branches of government. (tangentially provides an introduction) (tangential: provides an introduction for new members of congress; other stuff on this website are similar)

other references: The Constitution of the United States of America As Amended: Unratified Amendments: Analytical Index The Constitution Annotated (>2000 pages) Current Rules of Practice & Procedure for US Courts

Legislative Procedure in Congress: Basic Sources for Congressional Staff (CRS Report) recommends the following CRS reports, as well as some of the non-CRS links above:


toread/recruit: this guy apparently has some procedural suggestions:

this one too (Brian Flynn):


"The Constitution contains 4,543 words...It contains 7,591 words including the 27 amendments." [10]

The current draft of the bylaws contains 14320 words. The (also, tangentially, but remember, toread see also )

shows that 14320 is in the middle of the pack. And the CCP's 'enduring constitutions' book concluding that a moderate amount of 'specificity' is good for a constitution, so i guess the shortest ones aren't as good (although otoh these other guys say that ). So maybe it's not way too long after all.


some Robert's Rules resources on the web:


when she finishes it, read "“Are Members of Congress Simply ‘Single-Minded Seekers of Reelection’?: An Examination of Legislative Behavior in the 114th Congress”" by


the page found by mentions the following official U.S. documents and periodicals: us code, federal register, code of federal regulations, us reports, federal reporter, federal supplement

There is also the Congressional Register. And United States Reports, which reports some court decisions.

A good introduction to some of this is Thurgood Marshall Law Library Guide to Legal Research, CHAPTER 10 RESEARCHING A FEDERAL LAW PROBLEM.

"The Federal Register is the official journal of the federal government. It contains, among other items, the text of new and amended regulations, as well as proposed new regulations and amendments, and notices of repealed regulations. ".

The US Code and Code of Federal Regulations contain statues and regulations (sub-laws written by regulatory agencies as directed by statues), respectively. In other words, the Federal Register seems to contain the 'diffs' to the documents in the two Codes.

United States Reports contains Supreme Court decisions. Federal Reporter contains Circuit Court (level below the Supreme Court) decisions. Federal Supplement contains District Court (the lowest level federal courts) decisions.

"We investigate the relative importance of the twenty-four provisions followed by the In- vestor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC) and included in the Gompers, Ishii, and Metrick governance index (Gompers, Ishii, and Metrick 2003). We put forward an en- trenchment index based on six provisions: staggered boards, limits to shareholder bylaw amendments, poison pills, golden parachutes, and supermajority requirements for mergers and charter amendments. We find that increases in the index level are monotonically asso- ciated with economically significant reductions in firm valuation as well as large negative abnormal returns during the 1990–2003 period ... Finally, although our investigation is limited to the universe of IRRC provi- sions, our findings have significant implications for those investigating other sets of governance provisions. In particular, our findings cast some doubt on the wisdom of an approach recently followed by shareholder advisory firms. Responding to the demand for measures of the quality of corporate governance, some shareholder advisory firms have developed and marketed indexes based on a massive number of governance attributes. Institutional Shareholder Ser- vices (ISS), the most influential shareholder advisory firm, has developed a governance metric based on 61 elements (see Brown and Caylor 2006). Gover- nance Metric International has been even more ambitious, including more than six hundred provisions in its index. The development and use of these indexes has put pressure on firms to change their governance arrangements in ways that will improve their rankings. Our results indicate that this “kitchen sink” approach of shareholder advisory firms might be misguided. Among a large set of governance provisions, the provisions of real significance are likely to constitute only a limited and possibly small subset.... Furthermore, there is evidence that firms’ announcement of a classified board adoption are accompanied with negative abnormal stock returns (Faleye 2007) and that firms’ announcements that they are going to dismantle their staggered board are accompanied by positive abnormal stock returns (Guo, Kruse, and Nohel 2008). " [11]


when you look up supermajority voting thresholds (should it be 3/5 or 2/3?), you find a lot of campaigns in the US for various government legislatures to have to meet a supermajority threshold to increase taxes. Here's a legal theory paper that talks about that and supermajority voting more generally. I haven't read it:






i actually have had better luck finding this sort of thing by searching for specifics, eg

i think because much of the stuff that ppl talk about in constitution design best practices etc is general stuff like 'have a diverse and hard-working Board!' and 'don't put too many substantive things in the Bylaws' (and some say 'don't get too detailed, keep it simple!', while others say 'be sure to cover every eventuality!'). Whereas what i am looking for is very specific advice on provisions and mechanisms.



these guys have some suggestions:

other pages on the site go into detail, eg

which can be reached from index pages and then

these guys have a list of grantees who work on this stuff:


note that there are 6 elected Boardmembers (in addition to the randomly chosen one), of which 3 are elected each cycle, but there are 7 Boardelectors each cycle. If there were just 6 Boardelectors per cycle, and if the same Boardelectors were elected each Cycle for many cycles, and if the prohibition on term limits and multiple officers were not in force, then they could simply arrange for all of them to sit on the Board all of the time. Since the Boardelectors may be chosen in a mass-media campaign, this would defeat the purpose of the indirect election. Having 7 Boardelectors each cycle prevents this steady-state, and ensures that, unless there is huge voting strength disparity between the Boardelectors, that the Boardelectors will do some choosing amongst themselves.

hmmm... i dunno.. 21 isn't a very nice number. It should probably be either 12 (4 per cycle) or 15 (5 per cycle) or 30 (10 per cycle).

A reason to make it 30 is that, if there were the same 7 getting elected over and over again, and if there were a powerlaw distribution in their voting strength, then the top 6 would just cut off the 7th every time. With 10, there are 4 getting left out, and so they have a better chance of ganging up and changing something. Of course if it's not the same people every time, then 21 people are already enough to have a real choice for the top 3.

30 is close to the size of various US state senates, eg the Texas state senate has 31 members, the Wyoming has 30. The Alaska state senate only has 20 members, the smallest in the US according to [13]. See for more.

30 is at the lower end of state senate sizes, but there are a few under 30 (Utah 29, New Hampshire 24, Nevada 21, Hawaii 25, Delaware 21, Alaska 20). In a company, everyone with about 3.3% of the vote or more could be a Boardelector if there were 30 of them elected at once; but they aren't, only 10 are elected at a time, so that's 10%, which is 2x the amount by after which beneficial owners must declare their stake in a public company. I think there are plenty of conference rooms that don't quite comfortably fit 30 people.


who would these 10 Boardelectors-per-year be? In public companies, i imagine they would consist first of the major shareholders, which i guess would be pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, activist investors, and maybe for newer companies a founder or CEO. As for the rest, i suppose that there would be various 'professional boardmember/corporate governance providers' whose candidates would be commonly chosen by smaller investors. This could lead to more homogeneity among corporations, if everyone's board, instead of just being the same economic 'class' of rich people, was actually the nominees of the same small group of entities, California Pension Fund, Professional-Boardmembers-r-us, etc. And these professional boardmembers would probably take a more active roll than the random rich people of today, so the effect would be to homogenize corporate management and strategy, too. I doubt i'd like that. But, if it happens, it does seem to just be the result of a system democratic enough to give people who they want, rather than having the existing board members choose random people who are confirmed by the voters without much thought.


hmm in legal stuff about corporate board of director bylaws there is a lot of worrying about malevolent outside actors (usually acquirers) turning the voters against the long-term best interests of the corporation (or against minority shareholders), and focus on things like staggered ("classified") boards of directors to prevent this sort of thing. So mb we shouldn't let the Forum call early elections, and maybe don't let many early elections in quick succession clear out the entire Board, etc. We do want to have some early elections, though, so that the Board can get rid of misbehaving Chairs.


an interesting idea to reduce complexity in Wikipedia's rules:

" Just as there are established ways to create new rules, and there are specialized functionaries dedicated to eliminating vandalism, Wikipedia may need a specialized, volunteer-driven, trusted task force, working to eliminate the bureaucratic creep. Whether elected or self-nominated, these editors would attempt to reduce the number and length of communal rules, as well as to simplify them and delete the ones that have gradually become obsolete. Granted, such simplification is already possible through general discussions and requests for comments. However, establishing a new group of users, with such a specific task assigned, would change the framework dramatically. " -- [14]

Could we use that here? Could we give some body the power, not to make new rules, but to delete them?

The obvious thing to do would be to elect an anti-Board, which can't make new rules, but can delete old ones. But that's adding a lot of complexity (although it may be worth it in the long term).

We already have a bias towards deleting rules in that deleting rules requires only a simple majority, whereas most new rules requires 4/7.

But perhaps we could empower some body other than the Board and the Forum to delete rules, without empowering them to make new ones.

Obvious choices seem to be:

Note that we also may (or may not) want to allow these anti-legislators not just to actually delete, but also to 'simplify', where simplification does not have to preserve the EXACT consequences of the law they are simplifying, just most of them, and such that the value of the simplification is greater than the loss of nuance (as determined by the Procedural Tribunal).

As usual, the greatest expertise here lies with the Procedural Tribunal, but we don't want to politicize them. The JSC seems to have the same politicization problem and not as many expertise benefits as the ProcTri?, so they're right out.

Anti-legislation is very in-tune with the spirit of the Chairs, although it might politicize them more.

Giving it to the Boardelectors and the Boardnominees doesn't seem to help much, because the Board can already remove rules and the Board is a creature of the Boardelectors which is a creture of the Boardnominees. Similarly, the CEO is a creature of the Board.

This seems like a pretty weighty responsibility to assign to the partially-randomly-selected cross-councils, although not too much.

So i guess the best choices would be:

ok i added a mechanism called the Simplification Committee. It's like a Forum Proposal Committee, except that it may only make deletions and simplifications, rather than any kind of change, to Policy; and action requires a vote of 5/7 instead of 4/7; and it is presided over by the Chairs.







"comparative parliamentary procedure is a barren field from which few practical ideas flower1 1: The concept of a parallel sitting of the house of commons in Westminster Hall normally to debate matters raised by individual members, while the main chamber is sitting on other buisness, is an idea the origins of which lie in the federal Australian Parliment in Canberra, and may be an exception to this rule"


UK Parliament's Question Time ( )





a book on AP Comparative Government and Politics



"rights around the world"



the comparative parliament refs at the end of:

Structuring Committee Decision-Making: Rules and Procedures in US State Legislatures

Aiding Democracy Abroad: The Learning Curve Thomas Carothers Agenda Setting in the German Bundestag: a Weak Government in a Consensus Democracy Ulrich Sieberer Europeanization and Domestic Parliamentary Adaptation –A Comparative Analysis of the Bundestag and the House of Commons



P.C. Jessup -- Parliamentary Diplomacy, section Parliamentary Law in National Legislatures Presiding Officers of National Parliamentary Assemblies: A World Comparative Study Parliamentary Practices in Presidential Systems"legislative+assistance" USAID HANDBOOK ON LEGISLATIVE STRENGTHENING commonwealth parliamentary association Parliament and Parliamentarism. A Comparative History of a European Concept european information and research network on parliamentary history

--- todo1

possible great read

procedure and rules in legislatures muller and sieberer ---

interesting US govmt reform proposals from 1992 (that i don't totally agree with):

mb i should talk to Michael Lind, though




some things i learned today:




" On the "Westminster tradition" see especially R A W Rhodes and Patrick Weller "Westminster Transplanted and Westminster Implanted: Exploring Political Change" in Haig Patapan, John Wanna and Patrick Weller (eds) Westminster Legacies: Democracy and Responsible Government in Asia and the Pacific (University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2005). "


claims that 'proportional representation' was a main weakness of the Weimar Republic. mentions this too. Huh. I'm still for it, but it's good to know an argument against it.


" "

Presidents and Assemblies: Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics By Matthew Soberg Shugart, John M. Carey

page 291: "the sequence of events in Chile thus calls our attention to the undesirability of permitting constitutional revision to be carried out by even a two-thirds extraordinary majority of a congress that may be temporarily under the effective sway of..."

page 104: "besides preventing one party from assuming full executive power despite a preelectoral coalition, a co-presidential format would make far less likely the three-way races that preceded and followed the1964 Chilean election. With the..."

page 200: "But if was the constitutional reform of 1970 that went farthest in underminig the consensual basis of Chile's presidential system, placing the regime in a category all its own: exceptionally strong president and moderately strong parties."

page 36: ", and that these presidencies have had an inordinate prportion of unconstitutional transtions of power. He goes on to argue that in at least three cases -- the overthrows of Presidents Fernando Belaunde in Peru, Joao Goulart in Brazil, and Salvador Allende in Chile -- conressional-presidential deadlock was the primary factor triggering the military coups. Valenzuela's (1978) account of polarization and crises in Chile under Allende certainly supports Suarez's thesis.

page 186: "If a congress has preeminent legislative power, parties cannot afford exessive slack in discipline and inefficiency and still carry on with legislation. Because the electorial system reduces the salience of pork in campaigns, compared to the systems of Brazil, Chile, and Columbia, parties in the United States do not need to distribute particularistic benefits to regional politicians to the same great extent as in those other systems."

page 277: "In Chile, the existence of honeymoon elections made for a potentially destabilizing and temporary enhancement of the partisan strength of some presidents' parties, even though the presidents had been elected as part of much broader coalitions."

page 199: "THE DEMISE OF THE INEFFICIENT SECRET IN CHILE. Changes made in Chile in the final years before 1973 demonstrate that the inefficiency of congressional elections combined with moderately strong presidential legislative powers were the secret to that regime's previous success. The first of these changes that began to undermine the inefficient secret concerned the electoral laws. In 1957 a center-left coalition abolished joint electoral lists in an effort to eliminate the "corrupt" practice of structuring pacts among candidates of different parties at the local level for mutual electoral benefit. Valenzuela (1989b:182) says that "while this reform succeeded in making pre-election arrangements less 'political,' it also eliminated an important tool for cross-party bargaining."...its difficult combination of a strong presidency and parties increasingly attuned to national rather than mainly local concerns."

page 249: "Without a presidential contest to polarize the campaign, minor parties fare better, just as the separate elections in Chile helped support a multiparty system there."

page 280: "The link between the gradual strengthening of the presidecy in Chile and the deepening crisis of that regime calls attention not only to the role that the electoral cycle might play in affecting the balance of powers but also to the link between politicans' and parties' interests and the resulting..."

page 243: "Our empiricial investigation of nonconcurrent elections continues now with Chile, a case that especially demonstrates the consequences of haphazard electoral timing"

page 175: "We, along with Mainwaring (1992a), have wondered why the fact that Chile remained a stable multiparty presidential system for so long has gone unnoticed in the comparative literature. Still more remarkable is that Chile so closely resembled the archetype of a presidential system in which the electoral constituency of the congress is predominantly local and parochial..."

page 248: "We have now seen how nonconcurrent elections in Chile allowed for fluctuating strengths for parties in a multiparty system. The reason why there was no consolidation of the party system around the supporters of the major presidential contendenrs was that in each Chilean presidential term there were subsequent elections in which the parties could test their strengths independently."

page 203: "...congressional majority, holding vastly superior legislative powers, and with three years remaining in his term, the midterm election could only intensify polarization and stalemate. What Chile needed in 1973, given that Allende would remain the constitutional president whatever happened in the elections, was not a great national "referendum" on two competing sociopolitical visions. That would await the 1976 presidential election. What Chile needed was an institutional way to resolve a deadlock that had reached..."

page 206: "In Chapter 9, we noted that Chile for many years combined a multiparty congress and, ordinarily, two-candidate competiton for the presidency. In this chapter we generalize this observation with analysis of electoral rules. Students of electoral..."

page 12: "Balancing efficiency and representativeness. In fairness to those who advocate parliamentary democracy, few today encourage the adoption of either the British model or high-magnitude PR for emerging democracies. Some, such as Linz..."

(what do they mean by 'efficency?':) page 10: "Efficiency is best served when there are two principal options from which voters may choose, so that one of the options will be certain to hold executive office.

" Few presidential systems seem to have successfully struck the requisite balance between legislators' responsiveness to their local constituents and their commitment to a national party. We can identify three that, impres- sionistically, appea rto have done so: Costa Rica, Chile and the United States ± the last two, of course, in systems that generate a relatively high separation of purpose. There is no single unifying cause that we can point to that has allowed these three countries to strike the local±national balance in legislative incentives. In Costa Rica, the mix of incentives results from national-level control over nominations coupled with informal internal party structures that encourage members to remain close to their local com- munities (Carey, 1996; Taylor-Robinson, 1996). In Chile, national-level nomination control is combined with a personal vote in two-seat districts, which means that intraparty competition is avoided but candidates are in competition with anothe rmembe rof the same multipa rty alliance fo rthe votes of thei rdist rict. 14 However, in the United States, there is no national nomination control whatsoever but there is competition within parties at the stage of primary elections for the privilege of carrying the mantle of the party in the general election. Synthesizing, what these three cases have in common is limited or no intraparty competition at the general election, yet incentives to represent the party at the local level ± whether through infor- mal party rules (Costa Rica), intra-alliance competition for personal votes (Chile) or primaries (United States). No other presidential system contains such a mix of electoral incentives, so perhaps the key to establishing the right mix of legislative incentives in presidential systems is to avoid intraparty competition while nonetheless retaining responsiveness to the community. Clearly, it is a dif®cult balancing act. This is an area that cries out for empiri- cal and theoretical work, because it would help us identify the conditions under which members of congress in presidential systems would have the incentive to be accountable fo rnational policy " --

" Ch. 11: REPRESENTATION, REGIONALISM. Considers how the relationship btw votes and seats can differ in parliamentary than in presidential systems (although many studies ignore this) for two reasons: since presidential systems have separate elections, there are two separate agents of the electorate; and these elections can be held at different times. Concludes that presidentialism plus a PR assembly isn't a great combination: presidentialism plus first-past-the-post assembly is better.

Ch. 13: CONCLUSIONS. Parliamentarism may in fact be good for divided socieites, as many have claimed, but presidentialism, when "properly crafted," can also have "conflict dampening advantages." Two conditions must hold: (1) the assembly is elected by PR, and it has (in pure presidentialism) superior legislative powers relative to the president or (in premier-presidentialism) the ability to censure/replace the cabinet; and (2) the method of electing the president ensures a broad preelection coalition, and the president has "carefully circumscribed authorities," such as (in pure presidentialism) a veto that can be overriden only with a supermajority or (in premier-presidentialism) "conditional power to dissolve the assembly and call new elections." " --


need some limits on who is even allow to post in the Forum, so that we don't have to manage zillions of posts from people with only a few votes, in case we aren't using an automated forum software and ppl are sending the poor Speaker emails or letters or something. Mb use SEC guidelines for proxy access. Their rule is 3% for 3 years [15].



should there be a way for the Forum to expedite a vote if there is a 2/3 vote for something?

still wondering if mb we should make the board size 11 (3 class of 3, plus 2 randomly chosen). Then we could have an ordinary supermajority threshold of 60%, but also have an amending supermajority threshold of 66%, and have them be distinct, and distinct from a simple majority (6/11, 7/11, 8/11). This also lets us have 1/3 be distinct from the largest minority (4/11 and 5/11).

But in this case, the number of Boardelector-elected boardmember is close to 10, the current number of annually elected Boardelectors. And, 11 seems kind of unweildy, esp for small groups.

i looked up and found:

most of which suggest that both 7 and 11 are reasonable, but 7 may be better (some even suggest that 5 is better than 7).



internal, external, governance


could stick with a 60% (5/7) ordinary supermajority, but just require that amending requires "the greater of 66% or one more vote than is required for 60%", eg 6 members. That's a high bar to amend though; 5/7 is already almost 75%.

i guess i like that. todo.


ThePhysicist? 2 days ago [-]

Surprised that no one mentioned the new EU data protection directive, which goes a long way to fix the first issue mentioned in the article, the loss of control over our personal data (only for users in Europe though). I studied it in detail as I work in data analysis and consult companies on this, and I honestly think it is one of the best laws produced by the EU so far:

It gives users a multitude of rights such as being informed about exactly which kind of data a company has about them (and even get a digital copy of that data), how the company uses that data and for which purposes it is used. And if you're subjected to algorithmic decision making (e.g. an algorithm decides if the bank should award you a credit) you have the right to know which kind of algorithms were used in the process and to contest the decision. You also have the right to demand the deletion of your personal data and to revoke the right of a company to process it, as well as to demand correction of inaccurate data. The legislation also allows for severe fines and punishments for companies not respecting the regulation (up to 4 % of yearly turnover of the whole company group), so even companies the size of Google or Facebook should have strong incentives to follow the regulation.



this is nice and short:

let's try to be shorter, like they are!

huh, the wayback machine doesn't work on that page, so i'll copy them to here:

" Bitcoin Unlimited: Articles of Federation

(...some introduction about the motivation for this project, afaict this is technically just an introduction and not part of the Articles...)

Article 1: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System for Planet Earth (...a list of substantive principals specific to the Bitcoin project...)

Article 2: Confederation

    All Bitcoin Unlimited (henceforth BU) activities shall be recorded and be publicly accessible.
    BU roles shall consist of:
    President: a publicly identified (real-life identity is known) BU Member who is responsible for the ongoing activities of the confederation. The president shall resolve BUIP number conflicts, organize BUIP discussion (in the forum designated by the secretary), and schedule/initiate voting (within the limits specified in these articles).
    Secretary: a publicly identified BU Member who is responsible for recording activities and vote results, and making this information publicly available. The Secretary is responsible for creating, maintaining and moderating a public forum where discussion can be held. Moderation is exclusively limited to moving content with an indication of it being moved - no content may be deleted. The secretary shall tally and report on votes.
    Developer: a publicly identified BU Member who is responsible for maintaining the BU code repository, choosing which committers have access to the software repository, reviewing and merging patches, and periodically releasing BU software. The Developer is an outreach position - s/he must actively work to encourage others to work on submissions, and to convert one-time submitters into regular committers.
    Pool Operator: a publicly identified BU member who is responsible for running the BU Mining pool as specified in Article 4. The position of pool operator might be vacant and pool operation is optional, as resources permit.
    Member: an individual who is invited (by BUIP) to join the Confederation, signs this document, and has joined or voted within the last 1 year. Non-publicly identified members may have restricted voting or other restrictions as determined by subsequent BUIPs - this measure may be needed to restrict duplicate accounts.
    Officer term is for two years. For continuity, elections shall be staggered by 6 months and take place 1 week prior to responsibility transfer. Beginning with the President on Jan 15, 2018, then Secretary, Developer, and Pool Operator. This means that the initial officer term may exceed 2 years. Voting for all the initial officers shall occur on Jan 15, 2016.
    Formal interaction between members, including but not limited to BUIP submission and voting must occur via cryptographically verified identities. Members shall supply a Bitcoin public key when applying for membership and sign all formal communications with the corresponding private key.
    Decisions shall be made via the following procedure:
    Any member can propose a "Bitcoin Unlimited Improvement Proposal" (the Proposer). The Proposer can submit a proposal on behalf of another non-member. The president or secretary shall assign this Proposal a number and make it publicly accessible. The President, Secretary, or Developer has a 2 week opportunity to review the proposal and suggest modifications, within their own domain. That is, the President reviews proposals related to the operation of the Bitcoin Unlimited Confederation, the Secretary reviews proposals for adherence to BUIP standards, and the Developer reviews proposals related the the Bitcoin Unlimited code. The Proposer may choose to extend this 2 week period as long as desired.
    After this period, the officers may attach an opinion or counter BUIP to this BUIP. This package shall be presented to all members and opened for discussion for a minimum of a 2 week period. The Proposer may choose to extend this period for a maximum of 6 months. At the end of the public discussion period, members shall vote whether to adopt the BUIP. A BUIP is adopted if accepted by a majority of voters (51%) with at least 50% of members voting OR a 75% super-majority of voters with at least 25% of members voting, unless otherwise indicated in this document (BUIPs that change these articles or remove officers).
    If a counter-BUIP is proposed, voting occurs in a twofold manner: first each member votes his preference, BUIP, counter, or none, with a 33% majority. Then if the BUIP or counter-BUIP wins, each member votes to accept it or not with the normal majority requirement. Note that members could make both votes simultaneously (I vote for the counter, but if BUIP wins I vote to accept it), depending on the Secretary's implementation of this process.
    Voting shall be open for a minimum 48 hour period and a maximum of 5 days. Members who will not be available during that period may submit an early vote in a manner described by the Secretary. Members may not change their vote. All votes are publicly recorded.
    Additional BUIP requirements on patches.
    If a BUIP contains a patch, the Developer may review the patch for acceptability (including but not limited to bugs, tests, coding standards) AFTER BUIP acceptance. The developer may work with the Proposer or other party for as long as necessary to ensure the patch is acceptable. After 2 months, if the Proposer believes that this process is taking too long, the President, Secretary, or Proposer may propose that the patch be included "as is", via the same BUIP proposal channel and schedule a vote (normal BUIP majority rules). This vote may not occur within one 1 week of the formal "commit as is" proposal.
    If the BUIP does NOT contain a patch but suggests technical changes, it is the responsibility of the Proposer or any other party to produce this patch. After the patch is produced, the Developer reviews it as suggested in the preceding paragraph, except in the "as is" case, the normal BUIP schedule and process must be followed. In the unfortunate situation where a patch is deliberately accepted which does not agree with the Proposer's BUIP, the Proposer's recourse is to resubmit the BUIP with a patch.
    This document can be modified via a greater than 66% majority vote on a BUIP with at least 75% of the members voting.
    Elections occur via the following procedure. The Secretary (or President then Developer if the Secretary/President is vacated) announces vacancy or impending vacancy of a position to the BU public forum and an election date not earlier than 4 weeks subsequent to the announcement. Interested members submit a BUIP announcing their candidacy, real-life identity, and including any other desired information. Submissions can happen at any time. Public discussion of the candidates is allowed and follows the same mechanism as other BUIPs.
    During the election, a modified BUIP voting process occurs where members vote for the candidate of their choice. If there are > 2 candidates, a second round of voting occurs solely between the 2 candidates with the most votes. Largest number of votes wins. Note that for expediency purposes, the Secretary may choose to collapse the voting operation into a single phase (where voters make multiple choices in a manner similar to the BUIP/counter-BUIP system) if the number of candidates is small enough to reasonably do so.
    The President, Secretary, Developer or Pool Operator may voluntarily resign before term completion, via a signed public message posted to the BU public forum. In this situation, elections occur prematurely via the process outlined in VII starting from the date of resignation. In the case of abrupt departure, an interim person may be appointed by the President, including someone currently holding another role. In that case s/he will not vacate the originally elected role.
    An officer can be removed via a "no confidence" BUIP. This BUIP follows the normal schedule, however it must pass with a 75% super-majority of voters, with at least 33% of members voting. A BUIP advocating for the removal of a particular officer may not be occur within 4 months of a prior unsuccessful proposal advocating for the removal of that officer. Removal proposals will be managed by an officer who is not affected by the BUIP. Multiple officer removal BUIPs are not allowed. Submit them separately.
    If actions of the President, Secretary, Developer, Pool Operator, or Member is in violation of these rules, that is grounds for removal. Any member may submit a "no confidence" BUIP as per section IX. Members are exhorted to vote based on their belief as to whether the individual broke these rules rather than their personal opinion of the individual's fitness for the office. A removed officer may re-run for any position.

Article 3: Operations and Resources

This article provides guidelines for operations assuming that Bitcoin Unlimited becomes a non-profit corporation. Yet it also provides instructions for operations before that event occurs.

    Any unallocated funds raised shall be held in a 2-of-3 multi-signature account with the President, Secretary, and Developer holding the keys. Fiat currency holdings shall only occur to ensure that commitments can be paid regardless of Bitcoin's volatility and shall be held either by the President or in a Bitcoin Unlimited non-profit corporation account.
    Allocated funds may be held temporarily by the person who will employ them.
    Funds donated to Bitcoin Unlimited may be applied to any purpose (including the Bitcoin Unlimited Pool) that furthers the project's goals and is authorized by majority vote via line items in a President's "Operational BUIP". Donations may not be used to pay salaries, bonuses, etc. for the President, Secretary, Developer or Pool Operator. These volunteer roles are unpaid, with the expectation that these individuals will benefit from Bitcoin's success.
    However, the people fulfilling these roles may be paid upon completion of particular tasks that exceed their stated role. For example, the Developer may be paid to implement a particular feature -- however the time required to review and merge the feature is unpaid.

The source repository administrative account shall be held by the President. But the President may only add and remove committers on the recommendation of the Developer. Additionally, the President may not use his administrative account to directly commit software to the source repository. Instead, these contributions must be submitted as a fork or patch and be reviewed and merged by the Developer or another committer.

All domain name registrations shall be controlled by the Developer.

Public Forum infrastructure shall be controlled by the Secretary.

Source repository committers may commit to the master branch repository without explicit BUIP approval during the course of their day-to-day work. Commits that implement a particular BUIP should reference that document in the checkin comments. However committers have the responsibility to implement any large or potentially controversial change on a fork or branch and bring it to Member attention via the BUIP process. Committers have the responsibility to respect the efforts of independent submissions by ensuring that authorship attribution is correct in the final commit to the BU repository. Committers must work respectfully with independent submitters to ensure coding, testing, documentation, and formatting standards are met as defined by the Developer.

A Member that feels a commit needs BUIP approval can submit a BUIP referencing the commit arguing against the change. This change may remain in the repository until the issue is determined but the Developer may not issue (non-experimental) binary releases containing any commit that is under BUIP debate.

The Developer may release experimental features under the Bitcoin Unlimited brand, and develop them in Bitcoin Unlimited repository branches. However these releases must be named and advertised as distinctly separate from the primary Bitcoin Unlimited release. Additional flavors of release may also be recommended to be created by members through the BUIP process.

Administrators of resources (source repository account, domain name, public forum, and any others) are responsible for paying for the resource for the duration of the administrator's term. However, these administrators should be compensated or pre-compensated out of BU funds if available, via an Operational BUIP.

The President may periodically issue a special BUIP called an "Operational BUIP" that details proposed payments and other organizational activities. This BUIP follows the same voting methodology as any other (detailed in 2.IV).

The President, Secretary, Developer, or Pool Operator can issue (or issue on behalf of another member) a special BUIP called an "Informative BUIP" which allows members to vote on a non-binding issue or question. These BUIPs allow the community to formally give feedback on future directions for the project. For example, an informative BUIP could be "Should we look into and then propose partnerships with hardware wallets?" Issuance is restricted to reduce BUIP spam.

Article 4: The Bitcoin Unlimited Mining Pool

(...more stuff specific to this organization; in Concord we'd say this is ordinary Policy...)



if pleading is allowed, one should be able to plead:


could consider four levels of agreement amongst Chairs:


another phenomenon arguing in favor of supermajority decision-making is that if everything is by simple majority, and the group splits into 2 factions each about 50%, then at any one time, one faction will be 'in power'; and each faction also makes decisions by simple majority within itself and all members of the faction adhere to party discipline to vote with their faction, and if each faction also splits into subfactions each about 50%, then a sub-faction of slightly over 25% controls the whole group (presumably the more splits, the weaker the party discipline, so we don't have to continue this argument forever; but in real life this does seem to occur to some degree in the U.S. government; there are two main parties each of about 50%, and within each party an ideological core controls and there is fairly good party discipline, meaning that at any one time an ideological core of less than 50% is ruling against the wishes of >50% of the total members). It would be impractical to raise the voting threshold so much so as to make this stop happening (sqrt(.5) =~ 70%), but at least it's reduced with supermajorities (.6^2 = .36, which at least is over the 'blocking threshold' of 1/3, unlike .5^2=.25).


some ideas for a shorter one:




here's a guy who supports simple majorities instead of supermajorities:

Learning to Love the Nuclear Option by Steven Waldman

he doesn't give any reasons; instead he gives examples of laws that would have passed if there were simple majorities


should ask the authors of this article for their advice:

James Wallner Ed Corrigan


mb call it a 'governance forum'


mb simply say that amendments require a 2/3 vote in the Governance Forum but a 75% vote in the Board

the motivation is that, if an ordinary supermajority is 5 Boardmembers, then that is already 71%, so to make this higher than that we need something like 75%. But 75% would be much easier to achieve in the Board than in the Forum, so make it lower in the Forum.


mb ask this guy for any ideas about how to make a more absolute freedom of speech in terms of content yet still have some sort of campaign finance regulation:


this person, Ulrich Baer, seems to be against absolute free speech? or at least against universities allowing anyone to speak? i can't quite tell what e wants:

but they seem to say that is a good policy so i should read that (although Baer seems to think that it should be superceded by a new standard based on disallowing speech that questions the rights of others to speak? i'm not clear)


maybe add back some self-selection of Boardelectors by previous Boardelectors? says that US political party candidates used to be selected by the incumbent congresspeople of that party. suggest that the switch to popular primaries caused US politics to become more polarized.

if we have 10 Boardelectors each term, maybe 3 of those could be pre-selected by the previous incumbent Boardelectors.

otoh actually selecting these guys is very different from just making them candidates.. also the entire Boardelector-elected Board is just 2 classes of 3, so it could be filled only by these perpetually selected ppl who coerce others in their party to re-nominate them. hmm... what would 'nomination' even mean in this bottom-up agglomerative clustering situation? It could mean skipping the first few rounds of cuts, but surely anyone influential enough to get nominated by the incumbent Boardelectors would achieve that anyway. Is there a way that the nominees could be 'put to a vote' by the electorate?

a little bit on the details of US corporate shareholders votes on Boardmembers:

otoh the 'open primary' system is thought to be depolarizing, so maybe that's good enough (i guess our system probably already has this quality):


about present-day Boards of Directors:


do higher supermajority thresholds reduce cyclic preferences?


what's the rule about brokers being the default proxy in shareholder votes? can we use this to make forum quorum feasible for online groups in some abstract generic way by having default proxies? looked it up briefly, it seems to be a nyse rule, not a government one?!? seems like brokers can only proxy vote on routine matters, but if at least one routine matter is on the ballot then those proxy votes count towards quorum


when the Constitution is actually an Articles of Incorporation, we still want a supermajority to amend, or to dilute votes, but we dont want to make it too hard to issue new shares. Perhaps a simple majority, or a smaller supermajority, just to issue nonvoting shares?


i dont want to add this to Concord, but one thing i think about sometimes is if we can introduce more 'specialization' into parliamentary procedure for groups.

The Six Thinking Hats discussion methodology:

" Managing Blue – what is the subject? what are we thinking about? what is the goal? Can look at the big picture. Information White – considering purely what information is available, what are the facts? Emotions Red – intuitive or instinctive gut reactions or statements of emotional feeling (but not any justification) Discernment Black – logic applied to identifying reasons to be cautious and conservative. Practical, realistic. Optimistic response Yellow – logic applied to identifying benefits, seeking harmony. Sees the brighter, sunny side of situations. Creativity Green – statements of provocation and investigation, seeing where a thought goes. Thinks creatively, outside the box. " -- Six Thinking Hats

Some of these could translate to:

and we may also have:


ask this guy for his feedback:

"John O Kenny is an Ethereum enthusiast who is passionate about decentralization. John does research and analysis of blockchain projects and is especially interested in blockchain in the energy sector. John is a proponent of decentralized governance and is currently developing what he describes as a "new & exciting DAO." John is a guest writer for ETHNews."


mb should read this sometime:

this is interesting:,%20Authority%20and%20Command.pdf

you would think this would have more like that, but i skimmed it and it doesn't appear to:


" In general, military personnel give orders only to those directly below them in the chain of command and receive orders only from those directly above them. A service member who has difficulty executing a duty or order and appeals for relief directly to an officer above his immediate commander in the chain of command is likely to be disciplined for not observing the chain of command. Similarly, an officer is usually expected to give orders only to his or her direct subordinate, even if it is just to pass an order down to another service member lower in the chain of command than said subordinate.

The concept of chain of command also implies that higher rank alone does not entitle a higher-ranking service member to give commands to anyone of lower rank. For example, an officer of unit "A" does not directly command lower-ranking members of unit "B", and is generally expected to approach an officer of unit "B" if he requires action by members of that unit. The chain of command means that individual members take orders from only one superior and only give orders to a defined group of people immediately below them.

If an officer of unit "A" does give orders directly to a lower-ranked member of unit "B", it would be considered highly unusual (a faux pas, or extraordinary circumstances, such as a lack of time or inability to confer with the officer in command of unit "B") as officer "A" would be seen as subverting the authority of the officer of unit "B". Depending on the situation or the standard procedure of the military organization, the lower-ranked member being ordered may choose to carry out the order anyway, or advise that it has to be cleared with his or her own chain of command first, which in this example would be with officer "B". Refusal to carry out an order is almost always considered insubordination, the only exception usually allowed is if the order itself is illegal (i.e., the person carrying out the order would be committing an illegal act). (See Superior Orders.) ...

    rank – especially military rank - "who outranks whom" in the power structure
    strict accountability – those who issue orders are responsible for the consequences, not those who carry them out
    strict feedback rules – complaints go up the hierarchy to those with power to deal with them, not down to those who do not have that power
    detailed rules for decision making – what criteria apply and when
    standardized language and terminology
    some ethics and key beliefs in common, usually enforced as early as recruiting and screening of recruits

" -- [16]

" In mission-type tactics, the military commander gives subordinate leaders a clearly defined goal (the mission), the forces needed to accomplish that goal and a time frame within which the goal must be reached. The subordinate leaders then implement the order independently. The subordinate leader is given, to a large extent, the planning initiative and a freedom in execution which allows a high degree of flexibility at the Operational and Tactical levels of command. Mission-type orders free the higher leadership from tactical details.

For the success of the mission-type tactics it is especially important that the subordinate leaders understand the intent of the orders and are given proper guidance and that they are trained so they can act independently. The success of the doctrine rests upon the recipient of orders understanding the intent of the issuer and acting to achieve the goal even if their actions violate other guidance or orders they have received. Taking the risks of violating other previously expressed limitations as a routine step to achieving a mission is a behaviour most easily sustained in a particular type of innovative culture. That culture is today often associated with elite units and not a whole army. " -- [17]

"Superior orders, often known as the Nuremberg defense, lawful orders or by the German phrase Befehl ist Befehl ("only following orders", literally "an order is an order"), is a plea in a court of law that a person—whether a member of the military, law enforcement, a firefighting force, or the civilian population—not be held guilty for actions which were ordered by a superior officer or an official.[1][2]" -- [18]

"Tactical seniority, also known as "battlefield seniority", is the manner in which a senior officer in command of a given tactical situation is determined. For instance, within the United States Navy, groups of ships performing exercises together will have one ship designated as the tactical senior unit. The commander of said ship is the senior tactical officer and may in fact be junior in rank to the other officers of the tactical group. For multi-national exercises, such as the Sharem event in South Korea, ships of foreign nations are sometimes given tactical seniority and thus may issue routine movement orders to United States vessels. Actual combat would fall under the Task Force system, in which a United States admiral, with clear seniority, would take command over all vessels.

Groups of Army units, especially in active combat, may be placed under tactical command of any officer, regardless of rank seniority, for completion of a single mission. During World War II, the term "mixed unit" was commonly used to denote military formations created from several other smaller units, most often "on the spot", due to operational confusion and the need for a single battlefield commander to take authority over all units physically present. Army Air Force bomber groups operated on a similar principal, in that tactical command could pass to officers who were not necessarily the senior most present, given the specific needs of the mission or casualties during the mission itself." -- [19]



blockchain stock ledgers explicitly permitted in Delaware:


these guys have mostly case studies but they look cool:

they have a companion site about constitution writing:

but it is more about giving advice for the procedure for writing the constitution (eg "Informal practices point to the desirability of supermajority voting rules on all sensitive items, if not as a general matter. Supermajority rules provide a greater incentive for people with diverse interests and viewpoints to use persuasion or to compromise. Similarly, voting item-by-item allows individual delegates with special knowledge of a specialized matter to make their information available to the assembly. It may slow the process but it also fosters more informed discussion.") , instead of advice about what procedures the constitution should choose.

here's the sort of data they study:

their links may be useful:


recently, there was a lot of attention on Poland, when they passed a new law (by 235-192 with 23 abstentions) that gives the president power over the high court. Apparently there were three similar laws passed. The outcome was that Poland's current president, President Andrzej Duda, vetoed two of these laws and let the third one stand.

What exactly did these laws do? What exactly is (was) Poland's constitutional procedure that allows such laws to be passed with only a 55% majority?


mb call it 'assembly', not 'forum', after all, b/c 'forum' gets confusing when you have an 'online forum' for discussions related to the 'forum'


complexity budget design choices faq

Q: why have proportional voting? represent minority factions

Q: why have score voting? give moderates a chance, and no spoiler effect

Q: why have directly elected chairs? oversight

Q: why have 3 chairs? represent minority factions

Q: why have stratified board? seems to be best practice for long-term decision-making

Q: why have 7-person board? seems to be a number that many different organizations can live with

Q: why have 9 high judges? average over time (and longer than board) so *3; also represent minority factions so *3; also odd.

Q: why have JSC? seems to be best practice for creating relatively impartial judiciary

Q: why have bidding procedure for trials? reduce legal fee advantage of wealthy

Q: why have rules for emergencies and line of succession? many long-lived organziations, even small ones, will face these situations someday

Q: why have rules for board debate? if we don't, people will argue about it someday

Q: why have rules for assembly debate? there's gotta be some way to make proposals, but also to prevent spamming with too many proposals

Q: why give chairs the roles of speaker, secretary, treasurer? someone's gotta do these things anyhow. By giving them to the chairs, we give them more oversight over the board

Q: why have procedures for removing people? eventually someone will be sick or abusive or crazy, so we need some procedure to remove them


complexity budget design choices faq part II (things that might be too complex)

Q: why give high judges all those powers? history has showns that some high courts accrete these powers, better to be explicit


"Many investor rights advocates, including the Council of Institutional Investors, have publicly challenged this practice of discretionary broker voting on routine matters--which was originafly established to help issuers achieve quonlm at meetings involving nonroutine rnatters-as undermining the corporate democratic process." [20]


mb we should summarize some of the 'main changes' and their benefits vs traditional corporate governance structure:


" diplomacy over violence knowledge as the greatest treasure mercy for those who harm you love for all creatures "


flexie 10 days ago [-]

In the EU you cannot bind consumers by such arbitration clauses:

Consumers can usually sue corporations at a court in their own jurisdiction. Many European countries also allow class action law suits. Yet, we have few law suits against corporations. There are other reasons for this:

Few who know consumer matters in both the US and the EU would trade the European system for the American.


todo read about south africa's ombudsman/public protector:


another way to reduce legal costs at trial may be to precede the trial with a 'pre-trial', with free or no defence council, where (a) if the result is 'innocent', then there is no further trail, but if the result is 'guilty' then we proceed to the full trial, (b) what is said at the pre-trial cannot be used as evidence later in the full trial. This allows the defendent to attempt to be cleared for free, before having to pay for a lawyer.

This could very usefully be used in conjunction with the legal costs bidding procedure, because it would shield rich defendents from having to pay for their own prosecution for at least the most egregious parasitic/bad faith 'spam' lawsuits.

we already have grand juries, which are sort of a pre-trial. But they seem slanted towards the prosecutor. Perhaps follow a grand jury with an anti-grand jury, which are slanted towards the defender. Or just have a real pre-trial.


another mechanism to improve the legal costs bidding procedure to shield rich defendents from paying for their own prosecution in bad faith 'spam' lawsuits: let the defendent choose between (a) doing the bidding procedure, or (b) not having any sort of 'loser pays' (including indirectly via countersuits based on the fact that the other guy sued in bad faith). So, the defendent can choose (b) in which case each side pays their own legal fees in whatever amount they wish.

Note that even (b) satisfies the criteria that a poor person can sue a rich person without the risk of being bankrupted by a huge 'loser pays' fee if they lose.

ok, i put this into the Concord bylaws.


replaced the following verbiage from Concord bylaws:

However, there is an exception to the above in the case of claims between the organization and its voters (in their capacity as voters). In this case, the party containing the voter(s) may choose between (a) no bonds to be posted and no restrictions on fees, or (b) for both sides to be bound by the above procedure. The party may only choose (b) if they are able to, and choose to, waive any provisions of law that would restrict the procedure from being binding on them.


removed the following verbiage from Concord bylaws:

Furthermore, no voter(s) or other stakeholder(s) shall have the standing to bring a case against the Organization unless: (a) the case regards an action or inaction of the Organization which specifically targeted or primarily or greatly disproportionately impacted an individual or class of voters/stakeholders with less than 6% of the votes, or (b) the party bringing the action has the support of at least 3% of the votes, where the percentages are computed as of the time the claim should have been discovered.


mb 12 boardelectors, bc 12 is a nicer number

maybe raise electors to 17 or 23


note in governments maybe a good idea to have a civil service and a top layer of 60% confirmed political executive appointees. in companies, top layer can be executives and officers, and could civil service be replaced by a standard company wide hiring process like google promotion committees?


mb have a legislative jury to decide when the board and the assembly disagree (and when the disagreement would not lead to immediate repeal)


mb in the intro explicitly state that one function of the chairpeople is to promote transparency


if there is a tie for last place in the elector elections of board members then eliminate candidates not in the tie and vote again. If 3 Rounds go by without a change then the secretary breaks the tie


this shows that even a cartel of 17 voters is big enough to sometimes be derailed, informing our minimum constituency size:

" The fiscal cliff further diminished Boehner’s standing on the right. When the new Congress convened in January 2013, some two dozen House conservatives plotted to overthrow him. Any speaker needs a majority of votes cast on the House floor on the first day of a new Congress; Huelskamp and others concluded that if 17 Republicans voted against Boehner, that would force a second ballot—and he would step aside out of shame. Huelskamp says the coup participants “signed their names in blood” the night before the vote—not literally—and he was stunned the next day to see just 12 of them follow through. Boehner survived, but was embarrassed by the revolt. It was the first attempt on his speakership, though not the last. " -- [21]

Our current minimum of 60 is way over 17, so this is evidence towards 60 being big enough, or maybe even too large.


maybe some additional wording to redundantly emphasize that the organization defers to the jurisdiction of external courts

maybe some additional wording to make it easy for a number of organizations, all of whom have adopted variants of this, to cooperate with each other. Stuff like:


more proof that a method for private unverifiable revokable publically counted proxy voting is impossible:

the voting machine gives you a receipt when you set your proxy. This receipt would allow you to revoke it. Now, the flaw is, the recipt could also allow you to prove who you voted for to someone else, which enables corruption.

Is it possible to use some fancy homomorphic etc encryption to make it impossible to tell from the reciept who you voted for?

i think not, because the ballots are also being publicly counted. So, when you later revoke, you are going to be putting a copy of the number on your receipt onto your revocation ballot. And this number will then be publicly seen, for counting, and there is no secret information that the counting authority has. So, say someone is trying to intimidate you into voting for them. They threaten you with force and demand to see your reciept after the vote. You provide the receipt. Then, after the next election at which a revocation would have been possible, they compute how the election would have turned out if the number on your receipt (which you were coerced to show them) had been entered as a revocation. From the difference between the computed hypothetical vote tally and the actual vote tally, they know who had an extra vote revoked in the hypothetical tally, and this must be the person for whom you orginally voted.


shows that mandatory 'accept written comments' rules are subject to sockpuppetting:


" I won't try to summarize all of the principles of due process, but here are some of the most fundamental, well-established principles:

    The accused receives adequate notice of the allegations.
    The accused has an adequate opportunity to respond.
    Judgments are made by an unbiased tribunal.

These principles are followed by criminal courts (where, as an extra protection, defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty); by civil courts (where the winner is whichever side has the strongest overall evidence); by arbitrators; etc. "


took this out:

i was going to change it so that, only if the Judge feels that the plaintiff is likely to succeed, then matched legal fees are allowed. But in the following bullet point, we let the defendent choose whether matched legal fees will occur or not, so this would probably not be necessary.



recc. by at


voter participation numbers in blockchains:

" One of the main criticisms of coin voting mechanisms so far is that, no matter where they are tried, they tend to have very low voter participation. The DAO Carbonvote only had a voter participation rate of 4.5%:


The EIP 186 Carbonvote had ~2.7 million ETH voting. The DAO proposal votes did not fare better, with participation never reaching 10%. And outside of Ethereum things are not sunny either; even in Bitshares, a system where the core social contract is designed around voting, the top delegate in an approval vote only got 17% of the vote, and in Lisk it got up to 30%, though as we will discuss later these systems have other problems of their own. "



if quorum isn't met at three consecutive properly called meetings, then the next meeting has no quorum requirement, and may amend the quorum requirement.


chair may adjourn without a vote in case of an emergency or a disruption that would prevent orderly continuation of the meeting


informal discussion is permitted when no motion is pending


chair must recognize a minority report from a committee, if any such report had at least 1/3 of the votes, immediately after the committee report of majority (before the vote is taken on any votable questions given in the majority report)


the proposer of a motion may amend or withdraw it, with the consent of the chair, until the assembly is voting on it or until the assembly passes a vote on it (including a vote to amend or commit, etc; note that such making a motion to amend or commit does not end the period when the proposer can amend or withdraw it, only the passage of these other motions do)


remove the words 'bylaws', 'articles', 'constitution', 'charter' from the bylaws document, since these have specific legal meanings in some contexts. Just call it 'this document', and maybe suggest that this document might be used as bylaws, articles, constitution, or charter.


'civil grand jury' like in San Diego; a committee of volunteers, elected by lot for one year at a time out of ppl nominated by a Judge, who examine whatever they want, or respond to complaints, about the organization's functioning

in San Diego they just produce reports, but i would give them standing to prosecute, or to direct the DA, or something like that -- similar powers to the Chairs i guess

i would have them just be another Tribunal, (a Board-colored committee plus Judges)


someone in a forum claimed that "systems with greater proportionality in legislative elections produce higher satisfaction with government". Citation?


in the article [23] there is the picture [24] that shows "the Communist Party Congress in Beijing last fall". The Congress appears to be made up of 7 rows of 17 people in each row (in the front row, 3 people appear to be off-camera). So this helps give a real-world sense of how big 119 people is.

It looks medium-large. On the one hand i've been in school assemblies that are much larger, on the other it would take a long time and conscious effort to get acquainted with that many people, much less discuss anything serious with all of them, so i guess frequent deep discussions would be right out. The picture is larger than the pictures you see of joint research teams or early companies (eg this picture of early Google, with 34 people: [25] ). The number of scientists slated to work at the Los Alamos subproject of the Manhattan project, certainly larger than most research projects, was only a little larger than this: "Oppenheimer initially estimated that the work could be performed by 50 scientists and 50 technicians. Groves tripled this number to 300. The actual population, including family members, was about 3,500 by the end of 1943, 5,700 by the end of 1944, 8,200 by the end of 1945, and 10,000 by the close of 1946." [26]. Even one row of (17 people) would not fit standing in my bedroom (unless squished), and would be a medium-large party even if spread throughout my apartment. One row is at least 2 two-pizza-teams, and you get the sense that if one row (17 people) were hanging out somewhere to informally discuss something important and detailed in small groups, it would take quite awhile for everyone to circulate around and talk in-depth with each of the groups. Otoh 17 is close to the number of people we put in when we were trying to formally organize CommunityWiki?, so it's not that large. How much smaller would this group of 119 people have to get before it felt significantly smaller? You can imagine eliminating one row and one column at a time. Since only 14 people can be seen in the front row (presumably 3 are off-camera), start by eliminating 3 rows and 3 columns, to get 14*4 (14 columns in 4 rows = 56 people). This still looks like a ton of people. Eliminating one more, we get 13*3 - 39 -- this looks like it feels slightly smaller. Eliminating one more, we get 12*2 = 24 -- this definitely feels smaller.

You can also try to divide the 116 visible people into groups, and see what's the smallest number that would be expected to have a representative from the smaller groups. I don't know anything about these people and they all have similar facial expressions and they all seem to be clapping (except i can't see the hands of the uppermost leftmost guy, but it looks like he is just low to the ground so his hands are hidden), so there's not much to go on besides the way they are dressed. Most people are men wearing a dark blue or black jacket and a tie (the guy at the upper left is wearing similarly dark clothing but i don't see a tie, and there are maybe about two other guys who i can't tell if they are wearing a tie, but i bet they are). There are about 16 people with miliary uniforms. And there are about 8 or 9 women. And there are about 7 people not wearing either dark blue or black, or military uniforms. So let's look at that last group, the group of people who are interesting in a sartorial sense (it is either all or almost all made up of women, but not all women are wearing something colorful). 116 visible people / 7 sartorially interesting =~ 16.5.

So we'd need a group size of about 17 to expect to have one sartorially interesting person. But if we had a group of just 17 we'd often get zero such people; an increase of 50% would be 17*1.5 = 25.5, and the nearest prime to that is 23. An increase of 100% (the population of sartorially interesting people should have two representatives, in case one of them isn't good at being a representative, right?) gives 17*2 = 34, of which the nearest primes are 31 and 37. If we counted 6 instead of 7 people in the group of 116, we'd have 116/6= 19.3 instead, and the nearest prime to 19.3*1.5 is 29.

So this suggests that the number of Board Electors should be between 17 and 37; the geometric mean of that is 25 and the arithmetic mean is 27; nearby primes are 23 and 29.

If the number of Board Electors were 23, then assuming that 6 distinct Board Electors had Board seats, we'd have 17 BoardElectors? not on the Board. Since the elected seats on the Board are in two classes of 3 seats each, that means that each of these three seats has an average constituency size of 17/3 =~ 5.7 BoardElectors?. With 29, that computation is (29 - 6)/3 = 7.7. Both of these are close to the ideal Board/committee size of 7 and within the 'two pizza teams' range, large enough so as to suggest that the range of expertise and representation in the Board Electors will be significantly wider than the Board, large enough that the Board Electors will mostly think of themselves as separate from the Board itself (because there is little chance that every Board Elector will eventually be a Board Member; even if they rotate, the rotation would take so long (over 3 Electoral Cycles; 29 - 6 / 6 =~ 3.8) that some Board Electors would no longer be serving by the time it was their turn to be on the Board), while small enough that the constituencies of Board Members remain small enough to make each Board Elector someone that their Board Member cares about keeping happy. This suggests that either 23 or 29 are good numbers for Board Electors.

The size of the upper house in the EU is 28, but most countries (especially most of the largest/most powerful/most well-known countries) have significantly larger upper houses and lower houses [27]. As for US State legislatures, the smallest appears to be the upper house of Alaska, with 20 members; however there are only a few (maybe 3? upper houses in Alaska, Delaware, Nevada) U.S. states with any house of legislature less than 29 [28].

And this is the only branch of the whole governance system with a bunch of different people in it. So maybe, for both the sake of broad expertise and for trying to get at least a few non-corrupt people in there to tell everyone else what's really going on, we should choose the higher number here, although still not too high because we want a manageable number of people. So this argues for 29. On the other hand, thinking again of actual meetings, it seems a lot harder to fit 29 people in a room, and to have a good discussion with them, than 23. Also, whatever we say, groups will have a tendency to increase, and not decrease, this number, so maybe we should start small. Also, it'll be significantly harder for the public to think of 29 people as important (in fact maybe 17 would be the upper limit there).

So, i'm leaning towards 23.

later: i asked a friend and they immediately suggested you want the larger number to get a few non-corrupt people. they're probably right.

So, i'm leaning towards 29.


Y'know, with the BoardElectors?, if we just say "there's one point in time and at that point in time, we simply take the top 3 BoardElectors? in terms of support from the other BoardElectors?, and make them BoardMembers?", then we'll have a problem. Perhaps in some faction, although the faction as a whole has the votes (that is, amount of BoardElectors?) to send 1 BoardMember?, there may be multiple contenders for this spot among the BoardElectors?. This is the sort of negotiation where neither side may back down until the last second; which may cause a miscalculation in which the deadline is exceeded, the vote to be split, and the distribution of BoardMembers? omits the faction that split the vote.

TODO: To prevent this, i suppose we need to mandate the additional complexity of eliminating the BoardElectors? one at a time (or as few at a time as possible, at least), by raising the support requirement one number at a time and progressively eliminating BoardElectors? who fall below the requirement.


yknow, if it's 29, that's prime and so won't lend itself to those symmetric architectured meeting halls that ppl like for legislatures (not sure if that really matters, esp. since we are targetting companies not govmts and since meetings may be online!). But still, it would be nice to add one more person to make 30. Who shall we add? There are 3 Chairs, so no -- the CEO may be a Boardmember or Boardelector, so no. How about we add either the inactive Boardnominee who was randomly chosen to sit on the Board, or another inactive Boardnominee?

this would give these 'people's representatives' two more powers -- first, some influence in the election of the other Boardmembers, and second, some influence in the recall of the other Boardmembers. Actually, though, that's a bad idea; we made the number of Boardelectors prime for a reason; to reduce stasis. 30 is a roundish number and so would be bad for that. We want the total number of Boardelectors to be prime, so adding one more won't do. And letting that guy sit there but not vote might be confusing (and some groups would end up letting em vote).


hmm, i wonder if we should restrict the random Boardmember to be not just an inactive Boardnominee, but an inactive Boardnominee with no Boardcoloring?


" According to Supreme Court protocol, only the Justices are allowed in the Conference room at this time—no police, law clerks, secretaries, etc. The Chief Justice calls the session to order... According to Supreme Court protocol, all Justices have an opportunity to state their views on the case and raise any questions or concerns they may have. Each Justice speaks without interruptions from the others. The Chief Justice makes the first statement, then each Justice speaks in descending order of seniority, ending with the most junior justice—the one who has served on the court for the fewest years.

When each Justice is finished speaking, the Chief Justice casts the first vote, and then each Justice in descending order of seniority does likewise until the most junior justice casts the last vote. After the votes have been tallied, the Chief Justice, or the most senior Justice in the majority if the Chief Justice is in the dissent, assigns a Justice in the majority to write the opinion of the Court. The most senior justice in the dissent can assign a dissenting Justice to write the dissenting opinion. ...

When there is a tie vote, the decision of the lower Court stands. This can happen if, for some reason, any of the nine Justices is not participating in a case (e.g., a seat is vacant or a Justice has had to recuse). " [29]

"Former Justice Scalia professed frustration that there is little substantive discussion,[16] while former Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote that this makes the conference more efficient.[17]" [30]

in Canada however, the Canadian Supreme Court often reaches unanimous decisions, which is sometimes attributed to a greater degree of collegiality and deliberation [31] The Transformation of the Supreme Court of Canada: An Empirical Examination By Donald R. Songer (2008) -- but NOT to 'logrolling', that is, trading of votes between different cases.

(why is this? i guess we should look at the selection process in Canada -- it appears that in Canada, the Prime Minister essentially makes the selection without the legislature or opposition parties getting any veto [32] [33] -- so this procedure is more majoritarian but less politicized -- also they have a formal expertise criterion, and a tradition of dividing the appointments by geographic region: "The Supreme Court Act limits eligibility for appointment to persons who have been judges of a superior court, or members of the bar for ten or more years. Members of the bar or superior judiciary of Quebec, by law, must hold three of the nine positions on the Supreme Court of Canada.[13] This is justified on the basis that Quebec uses civil law, rather than common law, as in the rest of the country. The 3 out of 9 proportion persists despite the fact only 24% of Canada's population resides in Quebec. As explained in the Court's reasons in Reference Re Supreme Court Act, ss 5 and 6, sitting judges of the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal cannot be appointed to any of Quebec's three seats. By convention, the remaining six positions are divided in the following manner: three from Ontario; two from the western provinces, typically one from British Columbia and one from the prairie provinces, which rotate among themselves (although Alberta is known to cause skips in the rotation); and one from the Atlantic provinces, almost always from Nova Scotia or New Brunswick." and they have a retirement age of 75.)

"The major difference between the two courts now really lies in the appointment process. Where in the United States the process of appointing Supreme Court justices has become a political battle, the Canadian process only has a very limited political element and is much more focused on appointing qualified candidates rather than justices who appear willing to extend or support the ruling party’s political agenda." -- [34]

So, my best guess is that the fundamental difference between the US and Canada is from (a) the appointment process, (b) the amount of partisanship in government in general. The appointment process is less balanced, so maybe the it leads to a bunch of justices who sort of agree with each other anyways? And if the amount of general environmental partisanship is less, than maybe the Prime Minister would see less value in appointing very partisan justices to support em. Kind of surprising to me all the same, because you'd think the additional balancing forces in the US side (the senate review, which until Gorsuch was constrained by the need to avoid a minority party filibuster, which effectively means a supermajority of 60% was needed) would lead to more centrist justices. Hopefully my JSC combined with 'triscore voting' proposals would lead to more centrist results.


each Justice has 4 law clerks:

"the court’s law clerks — four handpicked staffers per justice who are usually top law school graduates or junior staffers at prestigious law firms, chosen to assist each justice for one term." [35]

"Each Justice is permitted to have between three and four law clerks per Court term" -- [36]

so when a Justice is discussing with eir law clerks, that's a meeting of 5 people


probably need to state that The 29 board electors cannot recall the randomly-chosen guy, just the other 6 Boardmembers


" If you take the Global Corruption Barometer, whose most recent edition surveyed 72 countries, you see that those that have managed to establish effective control of corruption are not unified by the presence of any particular anticorruption tools or legal regulations. Instead, they have reduced corruption opportunities for the ruling elites and increased the capacity of their society to monitor and sanction corrupt behavior.

We can observe this in the few countries that have progressed from bad to good governance in the last thirty years: Estonia, Georgia, Costa Rica, Chile, Uruguay, South Korea, Taiwan. They have done so through a mix of policies advanced by domestic advocates, not by importing legal silver bullets from abroad. Researchers from ANTICORRP, an EU-funded research project (which I manage), have captured this in the Index of Public Integrity, a statistically tested and objective measure of the capacity to control corruption. This index assembles six components: freedom of the press, digital empowerment of citizens, independence of the judiciary, red tape, fiscal transparency, and trade openness. The results of the index correlate with other indices that measure the perception of corruption, such as those produced by the World Bank and Transparency International. But in contrast to them the IPI is not subjective, but based on six straightforward and measurable policy components.

If the index does not measure legislation or give credit for the existence of dedicated anticorruption institutions, it is because trying to control corruption through specific legal mechanisms only works when rule of law already exists. Where it does not, any new scheme introduced by would-be reformers will simply be captured by the system. It turns out that the rule of law and control of corruption are nearly synonymous.

For that reason, defeating corruption must be a political process, rather than a technical one. Controlling corruption effectively is thus not the result of specific institutions, such as anticorruption agencies or an ombudsman’s offices. Countries that have more restrictive party financing rules or conflict of interest regulations are not less corrupt than others — in fact, many corrupt countries can today boast of tough anti-corruption legislation, but it rarely seems to be doing much good. What enables a country to get corruption under control is the combination captured in the IPI: a reduction in opportunities for rent-seeking (less red tape or barriers to trade, more fiscal transparency) combined with effective public scrutiny and collective action to sanction corrupt behavior. Without active citizens, free journalists, and independent judges, control of corruption is impossible. Any country can check how it ranks on the IPI against other countries and the rest of the world and plan its improvement. The current ranking has Norway at the top, with the best control of corruption, and Venezuela at the bottom. These measurements happen to correlate fairly precisely with the perception of citizens in these countries. " -- [37]