the commentary has not been written yet. These are some notes towards it.


some primary and unique features of the system:


write a presentation introducing in terms of/justifying in contrast to Robert's rules for boards


These are oversight, not policy-making, functions:

In these roles, a Chair generally acts or co-signs at the direction of other entities, and they may refuse to do so only if they believe the actions are contrary to the Bylaws, to policy, or to the rights of the members. What happens when a President, Secretary, or Treasurer refuses to do their duty, or mis-performs it? Provided the action that they are refusing to approve is, in fact, valid, the reluctant Chair may be bypassed or overruled. The other two Chairs may overrule a Chair (and, if necessary, for example if some external agency requires a witness or co-signature, may appoint a temporary President or Secretary or Treasurer, who acts in the place of the reluctant Chair). If the other Chairs refuse to overrule, the CEO, or the Forum, or any member of the Board, may petition the High Court to appoint a temporary President or Secretary or Treasurer (provided that the High Court disagrees with the Chairs, and determines that the action in question is, in fact, valid). Note that temporary President/Secretary/Treasurers are in place only for a single action, and must be re-appointed for each action.

A simple majority of the Board can call early elections; this is recommended in the case of obstructionist Chairs who repeatedly refuse to do their duty as President/Secretary/Treasurer, or who abuse their power to demand information for the purpose of wasting the time of departments of the organization.


high officials and their rank:

Speaker Secretary Treasurer CEO Boardmembers High Court Judges


some properties:


we use the word 'votership' in place of 'membership' because there may be some organizations who have some non-voting 'members'


goals for a simple parliamentary procedure, compared to Robert's Rules:


a desirable property of the system: no lifetime appointments (because, what if medicine improves and lifespans greatly increase? the people in office during the increase might be there way too long)


board-coloring is like the concept of "stratified sampling" in polling science


in the US, if there were 6 electors right now, we might imagine they would be:


i saw in communitywiki that even in a small organization you can get 17 ppl; so 18 electors isn't way too large


Concord's dispute resolution and forum committees could be used for:

in addition to ordinary disputes and policy proposals


note that the various organs send representatives to NEXT CYCLE's JSC, and that the JSC elects new members to NEXT CYCLE's Procedural Panel, for a total delay of 2 Cycles; in addition, terms of these judges on the Procedural Panel are 3 Cycles long. So in sum, the selection of representatives to the JSC don't begin to affect procedural decisions for 2 Cycles, and continue affecting them until 5 Cycles.

This delay and long duration of effect is intentional and is thought to make it more difficult for a faction with transiently high popularity to corrupt the Procedural Panel (because by the time they can affect it, the transient surge in popularity will probably have ended), to reduce the politicization of the Procedural Panel (because by the time you can affect it, the issues you were probably concerned about have probably already been decided), and to decrease the frequency with which subsequent Procedural Panels flip-flop and change their minds about some interpretation of procedure.


the motivation for the 60-or-1/60th eligibility requirement for Boardnominees is to make it harder for the Mafia to intimidate/bribe people, by making it unprofitable to ask people to Back Boardnominees which few other people are Backing. If the Mafia demand that a person back someone, but the person knows that most likely a large number of other people are being presented with the same demand, the person can vote how they like in the secret ballot and assume that the Mafia won't be able to tell exactly which people disobeyed out of all the people they instructed to vote for that person.


what is the motivation for the relatively complicated process for the election of Boardmembers via Boardnominees and Boardelectors?

In traditional organizations, candidates who are not backed by the incumbents must engage in the mass media in order to achieve name-recognition, a process which rewards soundbites and namecalling as opposed to deliberation and compromise. We wish to avoid restricting Boardmembership to the union of (a) those who have broad name-recognition among the voters, and (b) those who garner a nomination from the incumbent Boardmembers.


earlier versions of the Bylaws contained detailed constructs to guide the process of Boardnominees (initially called 'Delegates') coming together. There was the construct of a Constituency, a sort of sub-organization or political party which aggregated voters and gave their votes to a single Boardnominee, whom they would have the ability to recall and replace at any time. There was also multiple deadlines during which the pool of Boardnominees would be progressively reduced until it finally was only 10 Boardelectors (initially called 'Electors').

I think those structures would have been useful but we need to keep it simple.

i still worry that Boardelectors will just mount mass campaigns. Especially with the stripped down system, the system really just guarantees the possibility, not the necessity, of getting elected without a mass campaign.


With 6 Boardelectors per class, and 6 Boardmembers, then when Multiple Seats are permitted, it's possibly that the same 6 Boardelectors would get elected over and over again in multiple classes, in which case there would only be 6 distinct Boardelectors and they might arrange so that they elect each of themselves as Boardmembers. Since the Boardelectors themselves might be chosen via mass campaigning, this would defeat the purpose of the Boardelector step: to have the Boardmembers be people whom the Boardelectors personally interviewed and liked, rather than chosen through mass campaigning. However, when Multiple Seats are disallowed, as they probably would be most of the time in large groups, this would no longer be a problem, because the 18 Boardelectors would be distinct; and in small groups the downsides of a 'mass campaign' aren't really present because there will be few enough Voters that they will be able to meet directly with their Boardelectors when they wish.


Note that when there are Recalls (of Boardmember by Boardelectors, or of Boardelectors by Boardnominees), all members of the electorate vote on the recall, not just the backers of the person being recalled. Initially i considered allowing just a person's Backers to Recall them, in order to strengthen their accountability to their Backers after the election. But i decided that it was more important to allow the representatives to make tough decisions which involve compromise between factions; if Backers alone can recall, then the representative (really a "delegate" in that case) is beholden to the hardcore factional extremists who probably backed them, leading to increased extremism. By contrast, the current recall mechanism, in which the entire electorate votes, makes extremists most vulnerable to recall votes.


what if there are more cases needing Tribunals than there are available judges or volunteers, or more proposals for the Forum than the Forum Proposal Committees can handle?

I used to have a 'workflow' of 'pre-screening' tribunals and committees which would conduct a quick, preliminary examination, and throwout cases and proposals with little chance of succeeding, via a supermajority vote to reject a case. However many groups won't need this, and it added complexity. So i ripped all that out; large groups that really need it can add something like that back in.


note that Tribunals have 3 Judges and 4 Boardnominees, and a requirement for 5 votes to convict. This means that either of the following is sufficient for innocence:

the purpose of the majority of Boardnominees is to protect the Voters from a situation in which the establishment stacks the Judges with corrupt pro-establishment Judges (who either wrongfully convict innocent people, or wrongfully acquit guilty allies of the establishment). The bar to becoming a Boardnominee is low (anyone can become an Unaligned Boardnominee by voting for themself in an Election; and anyone who can get either 60 votes, or 1/60th of the total, can become an Aligned Boardnominee) so a sample of the Boardnominees is close to a sample of "the people".

the stratification of the Aligned Boardnominees, and the proportionality of Judge Panels, ensures that the outcome of Tribunals (and Committees), although almost sampling from "the people", in politically polarized cases will still tend to reflect the factional power distribution, which imo is important for legitimacy.


On internet discussion forums, could use Concord Tribunals to investigate and 'convict' for rules violations after posts are flagged. The boardnominee stratification helps to fight forum 'flagging rings', that is, corrupt groups of people who target and flag their opponents, and then volunteer for the Tribunals to try to stack them.

--- Another feature of the Boardnominee stratification is to allow 'jury service' to be volunteer-based, while at the same time preventing any political faction from 'stacking' the pool of volunteers with their loyalists (at least, not without also giving away a few votes; they could order their loyalist Boardnominees with the minimal number of votes to Back other factions, which i call the 'mole' attack).

You could protect against this even better by making the chance of being called up for service on a Tribunal proportional to votes, rather than a waiting list. But this would take away the "common person" aspect of Tribunals.

Also, note that, if there are many committees and tribunals, then, within a Boardmember's faction, one's subfaction can have more representation on committees and tribunals if the subfaction has more Boardnominees, regardless of their number of votes. This provides a small incentive for factions not to run mass campaigns to funnel large amounts of votes to one popular candidate; it is slightly better for the faction to have voters give their vote to many different Boardnominees, because now there are more of this faction's Boardnominees available to serve on committees and tribunals.


i'm actually quite torn here. It pains me to leave the system open to the 'mole' attack. This loophole could be easily closed by randomly choosing stratified Boardnominees proportional to their Initial Boardnominee Voting Strength, rather than by service or in waiting list order. Also, since in some contexts (like corporations) you don't have one-person-one-vote, it seems silly to interject something with that dynamic here.

But there are good reasons on the other side:

...ok i changed my mind. The mole vulnerability has got to go.



The rule that Tribunals and Committees can proceed without one Boardnominee, in the case of insufficient volunteers in one category, serves three purposes:


Why do we require that "each ballot section must be cast separately, for example, it must not be possible to later find out which Chair election ballot was cast with which Board nominee ballot"? This is to make it harder for the Mafia to associate individual ballots with individual voters. If the Mafia wants to coerce someone into voting for their candidate on the Board, they might tell each person, "vote for yourself as Chair, and vote for this guy on the Board"; if ballots sections were not cast separately, they could then see if there was a ballot who voted for you for Chair and who voted for their candidate for the Board; if there wasn't, they would know that you hadn't obeyed them.


The primary function of the Chairs is oversight, but they can also be said to lead the organization. Through their roles as Speaker, Secretary, Treasurer, they preside over Board and Forum meetings, have some control over the Board agenda, speak at these meetings, address the voters with 'state of the union'-style reports, and moderate the pay of the CEO and the governance officials. Note, however, that the Chairs have no votes on the Board, nor do they have the ability to nominate or veto appointments. The idea is that their leadership roles, the legitimacy gained from being the only directly elected high officials, and their positions at the center of the Organization's communications with its members will make the position of Chair presigious, visible, and authoritative, which will aid them when they attempt to fulfill their primary function of overseeing and challenging the organization's officials. The absence of voting, appointment, judicial, or executive powers is intended to disadvantage candidates for Chair who run on a 'positive' platform of changing Policy or improving execution, in favor of Chair candidates who run on a 'negative' platform of improving oversight and reining in the rest of the Organization's leadership.


in older versions, i used to have a lot of the Speaker/Secretary/Treasurer functions decided by a majority of Chairs (2 of 3), but i decided that this would be too cumbersome for many less formal organizations to tolerate.

So now these functions are generally assigned to a single Chair, but in case of an obstinate Chair, the other two can forcibly swap roles with them.


Let's look at how the quorum and adjournment might work with hastily called meetings.

Let's say that 6 of the 7 Boardmembers, and the Speaker, happen to be hanging out in a room together. It takes 3 Boardmembers to call a meeting, so perhaps three of them, just to be annoying, call a meeting immediately. With 6 of 7 Boardmembers plus the Speaker present, there is a quorum, however, it only takes 50% to adjourn, so the other 3 Boardmembers can immediate adjourn the meeting (or one of them can simply leave, depriving the meeting of a quorum).

If, however, all 6 are seriously interested in a meeting, then they can pass bills with 4 out of 6 votes. 4 people would still have been enough to pass most bills if all 7 people were present, so there is no danger here.

This explains, however, why we didn't set the hastily called meeting quorum to 5/7 instead of 6/7. If it were 5/7, then if 5 people were present, 3 of them could call a meeting, and the other 2 would not have the votes to adjourn it (in most situations they could simply leave the room, destroying the quorum, but not some situations perhaps they cannot leave); and then the same 3 who called the meeting could then pass most bills with 3 out of 5 votes; however, considered as a fraction of the total 7 Boardmembers, 3 is a minority, so here we would have a loophole by which a minority could pass bills against the will of the majority.

In the rare truly urgent situation, 6 of 7 Boardmembers may not be available. In this case, if all of the Chairs (or their understudies) unanimously agree, the hastily called quorum requirements may be waived. In all of these cases, the Boardmembers may be replaced by their understudies.


Let's look at how urgent business might be conducted. In most cases, urgent business can be disposed of by the CEO (possibly with the Treasurer's co-signature, given at the CEO's direction) without needed the involvement of the other governance constructs. But what if a proposal must be passed urgently?

The Forum has no facilities for urgent consideration, so the Board has to do it. Either the Speaker, or three Boardmembers, must call a meeting. If there is not two weeks notice, the quorum is the Speaker, plus 6 out of 7 Boardmembers (or their understudies); if this cannot be achieved, then all three Chairs or their understudies must be contacted, and if they assent the quorum may be reduced to 4 out of 7 Boardmembers (or their understudies). The Boardmembers must pass the urgent Proposal as usual. However, typically any Proposal passed by the Boardmembers would not come into effect until the Forum has a chance to veto it, which takes about two and one half weeks (1/5th of a Subcycle). So, the Chairs must unanimously agree to allow the Proposal to provisionally come into effect immediately.

In the case of an even more pressing emergency, in which there is no time even to have a Boardmeeting, the CEO and all three Chairs (or their understudies) may unanimously together declare a state of emergency. This empowers the CEO to unilaterally issue decrees and to declare Temporary Exceptions. Any Chair, any Procedural Tribunal Judge, or the Board, or the Forum, may end a state of emergency.


the Bylaws say that 'Policy may require a voter-verified paper audit trail.' I highly recommend this whenever feasible.



should we allow transitive delegation of Forum proxies? Instantaneously? Each quarter (in which case, should the expiration of proxies go smoothly over quarters?) If we don't allow instantaneous transitive delegation, then what happens when A proxies to B and B proxies to C?

i think we should not allow transitive delegation at all. There is the Mafia threat; also it is more complex. If A proxies to B and B proxies to C, we can't return A's votes, because it was a secret ballot and we don't know who A is; the simplest thing is for B to be able to vote A's votes personally, even though their own vote was proxied to C. If people are concerned about this, there could be an out-of-band list of people willing to accept proxies; but that shouldn't be formally included in the governance system because (a) it's unnecessary complexity; this can be done out-of-band, and (b) the powers-that-be could intimidate people into not putting their name on that list.

--- presents a study that shows that company Boards meet about 8 times a year on average (that is, about every 6 weeks; note that with the method of computation, the median frequency will probably be lower than this). suggest that the typical range of Boardmeeting frequency ranges from monthly to quarterly; the other article notes that 8% of companies meet more frequently than monthly, but meeting less frequently than quarterly is "very rare".

This suggests that the approximately 2.5-week (1/5th of a Subcycle) voting period given for the Forum to vote on vetoing something the Board does is appropriate, as if the Board meets monthly, this would allow the Forum to ratify (ie decline to veto) the Board's actions in between the Board's meetings, and it also gives the Secretary about a week after each Boardmeeting to get around to posting the Board's recent decisions to the Forum for voting.



Why do we cut off the process of choosing Boardelectors as soon as 5/7 is in the top 6, instead of 6/7 (because the top 6 will have 6/7th of the Board votes)? With 5/7, this means that the last 2/7th of Boardnominees, who will become Unaligned (in fact, usually more than 2/7th, because we are only counting 5/7 of eligible votes, but there may be ineligible votes too, who already failed subcycle thresholds) will only be 'represented' by 1/7 of votes on the Board (the last Boardmember is randomly chosen out of all Unaligned Boardnominees, a sort of stochastic alternative to representation). The reason for 5/7 is to give an incentive for rapid coalition forming by introducing a 'musical chairs' dynamic; if the 5/7ths is triggered, then the Unaligned may compose 2/7ths or more of the initial votes, but only have 1 Boardmember in 7 drawn from their number; this gives an incentive to minority parties to join forces and Align with one of the top 6. Because this dynamic hurts minority faction the most, it is majoritarian.


Note that the Median Chair Preference procedure gives a slight advantage to the Treasurer, who gives their preference last after hearing the preferences of the other two chairs. They essentially have the power of choosing the result, within the constraint that it be inbetween the other two Chairs' answers, inclusive. This is intentional; each of the Chair roles of Speaker, Secretary, Treasurer have some slight discretionary power.

The Speaker's discretionary power is their ability to preside over Board and Forum meetings (even though a majority can overrule them). The Secretary's is their ability to send reports, including subjective ones, to the voters. The Treasurer's is having the most control over compensation.


We accept separation of power between judicial and the others, but we reject separation of power between executive and legislative (partially because of research which suggests that executive/legislative separation may contribute to instability in some cases).

We follow 'best practices' in indirecting judicial selection through a broadly composed judicial selection committee which also contains 'delays'.


todo should answer the faqs here for Concord:


why not just call the Forum's "potential veto" "ratification", a positive rather than negative phrasing? Because if for some reason the Forum has no opinion either way (which can't happen with the current Bylaws, but perhaps some organizations will amend it to make it possible), then a Proposal passed by the Board comes into effect.


on the selection of Boardmembers via Boardnominees and Boardelectors:

The purpose of this multistage process is to make it possible for relative unknowns to be chosen by their peers as Boardmembers.


The Chairs serve in the roles of Speaker, Secretary, and Treasurer. Initially, the first Chair (the first one selected in the proportional score voting procedure) is the Speaker, the second is the Secretary, and the third is the Treasurer. However, at any time, two Chairs may vote to swap the assignments of two of these roles between two of the Chairs (not necessarily the same two Chairs voting for the swap).


A simple majority of the Board can call early elections; this is recommended in the case of obstructionist Chairs who repeatedly refuse to do their duty as Speaker/Secretary/Treasurer, or who abuse their power to demand information for the purpose of wasting the time of departments of the organization.


A simple majority of the Board can call early elections; this is recommended in the case of obstructionist Chairs who repeatedly refuse to do their duty as Speaker/Secretary/Treasurer, or who abuse their power to demand information for the purpose of wasting the time of departments of the organization.


Justifications for the presence and complexity of various novel components:


how is this system more secure against the officers marginalizing the voters than traditional ones?


how is this system more 'secure' against power grabs than traditional ones?


how does this promote better and faster decision-making than traditional ones?


Some of the questions and answers below are taken verbatim from Q&A for Robert's Rules without quotation marks.

todo check out the rest of the questions from these sources:


Q: In determining the result of a vote, what constitutes a majority? A: More than half

Q: When a proposal is before the Board, can the Board require more than a majority vote in order for the motion to be approved, even if more than a majority vote is not required by the Bylaws? A: This could be accomplished by the Board passing a Temporary Exception to the Bylaws, which requires a >=2/3s vote, and the consent of all three Chairs

Q: Can we round to the nearest number in computing the result of a vote? For example, since two thirds of 101 are 67.3333, will 67 affirmative votes out of 101 votes cast meet the requirement of a two-thirds vote? A: "No. The requirement of a two-thirds vote means at least two thirds. As a consequence, nothing less will do. If 101 votes are cast, 67 affirmative votes are not at least two thirds. It is less than two thirds, and will not suffice."

Q: Do abstention votes count? A: Unless otherwise specifed, what is required is that a certain threshold proportion must be reached out of the votes cast. Abstentions are not considered 'votes cast'.

Q: Can the Speaker vote in a Boardmeeting? A: No, unless they are also a Boardmember.

Q: Can the Speaker vote in a Boardmeeting to break a tie? A: No, unless they are also a Boardmember.

Q: What if there is a tie when the Board is electing a CEO? A: The Board can continue to vote until there is no tie. In the meantime, the incumbent CEO stays in place.

Q: What if there is a tie in the election of Boardmembers, Boardelectors, Procedural Tribunal members, Judges, or JSC members? A: The Secretary breaks ties in the election of Boardmembers, Boardelectors. The Treasurer breaks ties in the election of Procedural Tribunal members, Judges, or JSC members.


Q: What if the CEO resigns or dies? A: If they designated an understudy, the understudy becomes CEO. Otherwise, the Speaker becomes provisional CEO until the Board replaces them.

Q: What if some Board members can't make a meeting? A: The rest of the Board may meet provided the requirements for quorum is met: if two weeks' notice of the meeting was given, then a majority of the Boardmembers must attend; if less notice was given, then either 6/7ths of the Boardmembers must attend, or, if all Chairs consent, then just a majority. If quorum is met, then unless otherwise specified, the voting thresholds are relative only to the Boardmembers there who vote, rather than to all of the Boardmembers.

Q: What if some Board members leave a meeting early, or miss part of a meeting? A: If the absence of these members causes the meeting to fall below the quorum requirements, then no Proposals may be passed upon in their absence.


Q: When early elections are called, does this cut short the term of office of currently serving officials? A: Yes. The Cycle truncated by the early elections is counted as a full cycle for the purposes of terms of office.


How do we... questions

Q: How do we get something done fast? A: It depends on what you mean:

Q: How do we remove the need for the elected Treasurer Chair to co-sign everything, or transfer their signing authority to a treasurer employee? A: Two ways; (1) the elected Treasurer Chair can set a signing limit for certain accounts under which their signature is not necessary, (2) the elected Treasurer Chair can delegate their authority to the CEO or to a treasurer employee.

Q: How do we replace the CEO? A: The Board holds an election using Score Voting with Runoff, where the Runoff candidate is the incumbent CEO.

Q: How do we recall and replace a Chair before the next election? A: The Board (by simple majority) or the Forum (by >=2/3s vote) may call for early elections. In extreme cases, for cause, a Chair may be immediately removed by unanimous vote of the entire Procedural Tribunal.

Q: How do we recall and replace a Boardmember before the next election? A: The Boardelectors may recall a Boardmember by a vote of >=2/3s, after which the Backers of the recalled member

Q: How may early elections be called? A: An early election may be called by the Board by a simple majority; or by the Forum by a >=2/3s vote; or by the Chairs unanimously.

Q: How may we lengthen the terms of Boardmembers? A: Some organizations may want their Boardmembers to serve for terms of office longer than 2 years. The best way to do this in Concord is to lengthen the Electoral Cycle time. For example, if the Bylaws were amended so that the Electoral Cycle time were 3 years instead of 1 year, then the term of office of Boardmembers would be 6 years.

Q: How may we have 3 staggered classes of Boardmembers, instead of just 2? A: Amend the Bylaws to set the Board size to 11; 9 Boardmembers elected from the Boardelectors in 3 staggered classes of 3 each, plus 2 randomly chosen Boardnominees. The reason for maintaining 3 Boardmembers in each class (at the expense of having a large-ish Board) is so that "third party" factions have a chance at Board representation.


Q: How many Board members are required for various majority thresholds? A: Assuming a 7-person Board with all members present at the meeting, 4 people (4/7) is a simple majority, 5/7 is the supermajority needed to pass ordinary proposals, and 6/7 is needed to amend the Bylaws and take other extraordinary actions.

Q: How many voting power must a faction have to guarantee success in any proposal on the Board, assuming that they use their voting power optimally? A: A faction with >3/4 of the votes can over time singlehandedly choose 8 of the 10 Boardelectors, which means they can singlehandedly choose all three Board members each Cycle, which guarantees them 6 of the 7 Board spots each cycle, which is the number needed to amend the Bylaws and take other extraordinary actions. Note however that a mere >2/3 suffices to pass such actions in the Forum and then cause the Board to ratify them.

Q: How many voting power must a faction have to guarantee a vote over any Bylaw amendment or extraordinary proposal on the Board? A: A faction with >1/4 of the votes can over time singlehandedly choose at least three Boardelectors, which means they can singlehandedly choose at least one Board member each Cycle (todo: doublecheck), which guarantees them 2 of the 7 Board spots each cycle, which is the number needed to block amendments to the Bylaws and other other extraordinary actions on the Board. Note however that if the opposing faction has >2/3, this suffices to bypass the Board and pass such actions in the Forum and then cause the Board to ratify them.

Q: How many Boardelector votes are required to guarantee the election of a Boardmember? A: 8. If one candidate has 8 votes, then in order for them not to win one of the 3 elected Board spots in a given cycle, there would have to be 3 other candidates with 8 or more votes. But those other candidates would have to have 8*3 = 24 votes between them, and since there are only 30 Boardelector votes in total, and our candidate has 8 votes already, there are only 22 votes left for the other candidates.

Q: How many Boardelector votes is the minimum required to elect a Boardmember? A: None. In theory, all Boardelectors could abstain, in which case the Secretary would choose all three Boardmembers. This is extremely unlikely, however.

Q: What happens when members of a loose faction of Boardelectors have the votes to elect a Boardmember but cannot agree amongst themselves on who to choose for Boardmember? A: In this case, it comes down to plurality voting. A loose faction of Boardelectors is vulnerable to 'splitting the vote' and having 'their' Board seat taken by other, better organized, factions. There is also strong incentive for Boardelectors to rally behind one of the three candidates who will be elected to Boardmember; because if they end up casting their vote for someone who does not become Boardmember, their backers will not be eligible for the 3 affiliated spots in tribunals and committees; and also they will not have any chance of voting on the replacement for any recalled Boardmembers. Note that there is the possibility that a majority sub-faction might 'freeze out' a minority sub-faction by telling the minority to vote for the wrong Boardmember. This seems unlikely except when the subfaction is universally hated, however, as it would probably push the minority subfaction into the arms of another faction.


Q: Where did you get the proportional score voting procedure A:


an example of where corporate governance and governments should have different rules is in the provision:

"Furthermore, except as constrained by Policy, the Organization may expel (but not otherwise punish) Voters who don't share its core values."

Imagine that a member of a private organization publicly espouses support for murder or slavery or some other despicable thing. The organization will be shunned by the public if they do not cut ties with this member. Therefore the Bylaws permit them to expel the member, even though, in a government, it would be unwise to permit the government to expel voters merely for their expression of political views.


some quotes from "Comparative Executive Clemency" by Andrew Novak:

" What works best?

Though the image persists, modern clemency is no longer a personal and lonely decision of a sovereign wielding mercy as a fortuitious act of grace. In short, it is no longer a charismatic process. Especially in the very largest jurisdictions, clemency is bureaucratic, often housed in a ministry of justice or legal affairs. Such procedure allows the application of formal criteria and expeditious handling of large numbers of cases, though inefficient processing, as in India, affects the quality of the final recommendation. In small jurisdictions - particulaly in Afraica, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific - clemency recommendations or decisions are made by a specially-appointed committee. This involves more actors in the clemency process and resists "capture" of the clemency mechanism by law enforcement or prosecutorial interests, but it lacks the political and due process safeguards of a routine and defined process. Both constitutional structures have relative advantages and disadvantages and possess almost unlimited variation across the English-speaking world. Piecemeal evidence from the United States suggests that the most active clemency mechanisms are those that are most insulated from political considerations, such as an independent board of experts. Balancing the interests of victims, the public, the justice system, and the clemency-seeker befits no single clemency structure. This inherent tension has made clemency perpetually controversial from the very earliest times, but it nonetheless survives in every common law system. " -- page 198 (the last paragraph of the book, before the Index)

and on page 135, near the end of Chapter "Comparative Mercy Committees",

" What works best?

An impartial committee, insulated from politics, is probably more likely to grant routine pardons and clemency requests than an elected official acting alone. As Margaret Colgate Love has written, this is true among US states, where clemency is most frequently granted by independently-appointed boards of experts that operate in regulated proceedings, hold hearings, and produce binding decisions. States where either a board produces the final mercy decision or where the governor requires a recommendation from..." (i can't find the rest of this section online)

here's the rest of what Novak apparently thinks:


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

Andrew Novak, George Mason University Abstract

This Article argues for transparency in the clemency process and contends that the concept of clemency as a benign sovereign’s “act of grace” is no longer appropriate in the modern world where executive action is subordinate to principles of constitutional due process and administrative equity. Despite calls for federal clemency reform in the United States, little comparative research examines clemency elsewhere in the common law world. This Article compares common law countries’ constitutional clemency mechanisms designed to promote openness, public and victim participation, and rational decision-making. In addition, this Article proposes four reforms to the U.S. pardon system that other English-speaking countries use, which will be explored in the four parts that follow: implementing an open decision-making structure (Part I); allowing judicial review of clemency decisions (Part II); applying freedom of information laws and reporting and publication requirements to clemency deliberations (Part III); and creating a role for victims and communities in the decision-making process (Part IV). Recommended Citation

Andrew Novak, Transparency and Comparative Executive Clemency: Global Lessons for Pardon Reform in the United States, 49 U. Mich. J. L. Reform 817 (2016). Available at: "


Why do we make it easy to have many Alternatives on the table at once, all voted upon at the end, compared to having a single Proposal which is incrementally amended? In some cases (for example, with the voting paradox known as "cyclic preferences"), it's possible for a series of amendments to give different outcomes depending on the order in which they are presented (which advantages whomever can most influence the meeting agenda). For this reason, we present them all at once.

And why do we always have the runoff between the status quo and the winner when voting on Proposals? Because we want to give the status quo as much chance to win as possible. Because of various "voting paradoxes", it's sometimes possible for a vote between three or more alternatives to give a misleading result, for example, an alternative other than the status quo could win even if, in a head-to-head vote, the status quo would win. In case this happened, we want to double check that the proposal we are passing is preferred over the status quo.


Why do we use Proportional Score Voting?

A "proportional" method means that, for example, if 55% of the voters are democrats and 45% are republicans, then we want about 55% of their elected representatives to be democrats and about 45% to be republicans. What we don't want is to get 100% of the elected representatives to be democrats, which could occur if, for example, the voters are divided into districts and each district elects a single representative. A "proportional" voting method is one that tries to match the factional makeup of the elected representatives to the factional makeup of the voters, when multiple representatives are being elected at one time (a "multiseat election").

Other things we like about Proportional Score Voting are:

Why do we allow only +0, +1, +2 as the votes? Because the wider the range of scores, the more that the result is determined by the idiosyncracies of how people choose to assign numbers to their feelings. With just +0, +1, +2, we figure that a lot of people will just use the obvious numbering; +2 for their favorite(s) and +1 for moderates that they would be okay with. Also, when counting ballots by hand, it can be simpler to apply the proportional voting formula when only +0, +1, +2 are allowed. Also, when you are only considering a single choice (not a multiseat election), then with only +0, +1, +2, you can take votes in person without written ballots, by raising hands. Why don't we allow only +0 and +1 (which has a name; "approval voting")? Because then a lot of people would just vote +1 for their favorite and +0 for everyone else, which doesn't allow the system to help moderate candidates as much as it could.


why have Boardnominees and Boardelectors? Why not just one or the other?


Why.. questions

Q: Why doesn't the board elect chairs, instead of a direct election?

A: Because we want the Chairs to be independent of the Board, so that they will be motivated to investigate and uncover any failure to follow rules or corruption on the part of the Boardmembers.

Q: Why don't you allow transitive proxy for Forum votes?

A: We want to make it more difficult for any organization to coerce or bribe voters. If transitive proxies were allowed, a coercive organization could tell Person A and Person B to proxy to Person C, and tell Person C and Person D to proxy to Person E, etc. By creating a structure that collects and pools votes yet with each node having a small indegree, they could make it more likely that they could find out who, if anyone, disobeyed their orders.

Q: Why have the complicated procedure for choosing Aligned and Unaligned Boardnominees in Forum Proposal Committees and Tribunals?

A: This is supposed to be a way to combine the virtue of randomly chosen jurors (that is, to give the 'common people' the ability to submit proposals over the objections of an oppressive system, and similiarly to give them the ability do find their peers innocent of oppressive rules) with a volunteer system.

Q: Why do we let the Board call early elections? A: To have a chance of replacing a misbehaving Chair (of course, the early election will also eventually effect the composition of the Board, too).

Q: Why do we let the Chairs call early elections? A: To have a chance of replacing a misbehaving Board. The Chairs can only call early elections unanimously, so it is expected that this will be rarely used.

Q: Why do we let the Forum call early elections? A: If the voters/their proxies strongly disagree with the preferences of the current Board, this provides a mechanism for them to change the Board quicker than waiting for the next election. Note that, although the Boardelectors and the Board have multi-Cycle terms, the Forum could call early elections multiple times in rapid succession to 'use up' these terms. This requires a >=2/3s vote because, unless there is very strong disagreement with the Board, we want the Boardmembers to be secure in their terms of office and take a longer-term view, rather than doing what is popular.

Q: Why is there a Right from discrimination on the basis of gender, race or religion, but not based on other categories? A: I used the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index 2016 survey as inspiration for this Right. Questions 29 and 57 mention gender equality, questions 53 and 59 mention discrimination by religion, question 59 mentions discrimination by race.

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'.

Q: Why do you have a fixed-size 7-person Board? For very large groups, wouldn't you instead want a 'Congress' of hundreds of people, so as to minimize the number of constituents that each representative is representing? A: We want a small Board, not a big 'Congress', because (a) we want the Board to have good, lengthly discussions, and to really get to know each other's positions and reasoning, which is difficult when you have too many people, (b) we want efficient discussions, (c) we want there to be few enough people so that the voters can keep track of everybody, (d) in large bodies like the U.S. Congress, you have a problem where each member needs to get some sort of influence over something important in order to attract donations from lobbyists and publicity from media; this encourages the Congress to expand its responsibilities so that there are enough important things to oversee to go around (e) in the U.S. Congress, there are a few people who become more important; e.g. the House Speaker, the majority and minority party leaders, the majority and minority party whips, etc; these people have a lot of the power, but they answer only to their constitutents, not to every voter; if we admit that much of with a handful of people in any case, then we can have a Board made up of only those people (f) if you are one voter among very many, then you may feel that your vote doesn't matter, in which case you can vote as a social statement; if you are a dictator, then depending on your personality you may feel the weighty responsibility that comes with having the power to causally effect a decision; if you are one of only a few Boardmembers, then although the weight on your is not as large as for a dictator, it is still much larger than if you are one of 100.

Q: Why is there weird capitalization in the Bylaws? A: The names of important structures and procedures defined by Concord are capitalized only to call attention to the fact that these are the names of formal constructs of this system. For example, in that document, 'Clarification' refers not just to anything that would be called a 'clarification' in ordinary English, but rather to a formally defined category of rule document issued by the Procedural Tribunal. There is no need for other authors to capitalize these words in other documents -- eg feel free to write "chair" and "speaker" instead of "Chair" and "Speaker".

Q: If Tribunals are not bound by precedent, then why have Opinions? A: Opinions are useful for various reasons: (a) force the Judges to make only decisions that they can explain as being consistent with the rules (b) inform others about how the decision was reached (d) defend the Tribunal's decision against critics who otherwise may presume that it used some other, incorrect line of reasoning

Q: Why does a losing defendant get to write their own Opinion? A: Often you hear about situations where a losing defendant believes themself innocent and have their own perspective on what really happened and how the reasoning in the winning Opinion is flawed or incomplete. It seems only fair to publish this alongside the winning opinion, so that there is some chance that future readers of the winning opinion are also informed of the defendant's complaints about it.

Q: If Tribunals are not bound by precedent, then how do you encourage uniform interpretation of ambiguous rules? A: The Clarification mechanism allows the Procedural Tribunal to create and modify standing interpretations of rules. It is hoped that these Clarifications shall perform a similar function as case law in common law systems, but more concisely and with better clarity, accessibility, and organization.


Suggestions regarding Amendments

If you amend the Board selection process to make it simpler by eliminating the indirect elections (the Boardelectors and the Boardnominees), be sure to have the vote-counting method be Proportional Score Voting (and let each voter give a score to each candidate rather than just one).


note that the imposition of a presiding officer by popular vote, as we impose the Speaker upon the Board, over time puts pressure on the Board to adopt fair and deliberative rules of procedure rather than ones that favor the majority; contrast the US House, which elects its presiding officer and gives them significant power, to the US Senate, whose presiding officer is the popularly-elected Vice President, and whose presiding officers have little power:

" With the threat of a hostile vice president, the Senate over time devolved the powers of the presiding officer, said Steven Smith, a professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis.

“Because he’s not elected by the Senate, he’s not subjected to control of the majority party, so that majority party is not going to put rules in place that might be used against their interest,” said Smith, who is co-authoring a book on Senate leadership. “So the presiding officer of the Senate is very weak in comparison with presiding officers in most American legislative bodies.” " --


Q: For each listed right, can you give a single (non-comprehensive) example of the sort of things that would infringe on it? A:

Q: Are the Rights absolute, or are there reasonable exceptions? A: This is up to each group. The group can clarify what the Rights mean through Policy or through amending the Bylaws; otherwise the Procedural Tribunal can clarify them through Clarifications, or can interpret them when deciding cases.

Q: Why isn't there a right to dignity? A: It's too abstract and ill-defined.

Q: One of the categories of Proposal that can be passed by simple majority is "Delete entire sentence(s) from Policy". Does a Proposal which deletes a sentence and then also adds another sentence qualify? A: No. To fall under this category, the Proposal must "do nothing except for..delete entire sentence(s)". Adding a sentence means that it is doing something else besides deleting, conflicting with the "do nothing except for".

Q: One of the categories of Proposal that can be passed by simple majority is "Delete entire sentence(s) from Policy". Does a Proposal which deletes a sentence and then also deletes a word from a second sentence qualify? A: No. To fall under this category, the Proposal must "do nothing except for..delete ENTIRE sentence(s)". Altering ANY sentence in ANY way other than deleting it makes a proposal ineligible for this category. This is to prevent things like sneaking in non-simplifying modifications by deleting words like "not", etc.

Q: One of the categories of Proposal that can be passed by simple majority is "Delete entire sentence(s) from Policy". Does a Proposal which deletes a whole paragraph or section or document qualify? A: Yes. This qualifies because it is accomplished by doing nothing except for the deletion of sentence(s).

Q: Why is the threshold for passage of a voter initiatives on the election ballot or by written consent 2/3 (3/4 for Bylaws amendments)? Isn't this very high? A: This is high because ordinarily the voters can and should use the Forum, which is more deliberate. The Forum allows for screening of proposals by committees, debate, amendment, and per-Topic Category proxying, and allows the Board to veto Forum resolutions (although the Forum can eventually overcome that veto). If the problem is that the Forum Proposal Committees won't consider a proposal, these committees can be bypassed by a voter initiative without bypassing the rest of the Forum. The voter initiative mechanisms which bypass the Forum are only there so that, with rough consensus, the voters can take expedient action over the objections of the Board, or as a failsafe in case the Forum is somehow being prevented from expressing the clear and overwhelming will of the voters. These should be rarely used.

Q: Why does the seniormost member preside over the Board when the Chairs aren't attending? Why not have the Board or the committee elect the committee's presiding officer? A: Three reasons. If the Board or its committees elect their presiding officer, then first, if one faction has a majority they can install their members as presiding officers in every committee. Second, the leadership of the majority faction could control which of their faction's members are presiding officers, and demand that only those within a faction who are most obedient to the leadership may preside over committees. Third, if the Board majority faction knows that a committee may sometimes be presided over by someone who is not in the faction, they are likely to set fairer rules of debate for the committee.

Q: Aren't you worried that the people elected as Speaker, Secretary, Treasurer may have no aptitude and no interest in presiding, taking minutes and keeping track of documents, and finance respectively? A: In this case, these people can delegate their functions to others. Also, if the other two Chairs think one Chair is doing a bad job, they can force a switch of roles. Also, this is no worse than many traditional systems, which choose the Chairperson based on criteria other than their skill at presiding at meetings.

Q: Why do the Chairs have the powers to investigate and 'declassify'? A: There should be someone with both the power and the incentive to do these things. The issue is that these are negative powers, and if an official has both negative and positive powers, the tend to be incentivized to focus on their positive powers, because only the positive powers directly help in getting things done. For example, the executive also has these powers, but the executive is mainly focused on getting things done using their other positive powers.

Q: Why do the Bylaws bother to say >=4/7 for a Board vote, instead of just saying simple majority? A: If the Board is enlarged to 9 or 11 or 13 or 15 or 16 or more (perhaps because of Boardmember criteria such as independence and financial literacy being added to the Bylaws), then it is possible to have a simple majority less than 4/7 (for example, 5/9).

Q: Why do accepting new members, expelling members, and amending the bylaws/articles require a supermajority? A: If these required only a simple majority, then any procedures which try to constrain the majority in order to protect a minority could be defeated by a majority.

Q: Why can the Board vote to overrule the Speaker's agenda and hear a committee report with a vote of >=1/3? A: Committees should be given a chance to report back to the Board, and typically the Speaker should schedule their report in the first third of the meeting. In case a stubborn Speaker, supported by a majority faction, is trying to delay a committee report or force minority faction Boardmembers to use their time to host the report, this allows the committee to report.

Q: Why is there a minimal vote threshold for Boardnominees to be classified as representative? A: To make it harder for organized crime to intimidate voters into voting for them; if the criminals must try to force a large number of others to vote for each of their candidates, then if someone secretly refuses to do so, it's harder for the criminals to know who did that.

Q: Why do Boardnominees who don't meet the representative threshold get any voting strength at all? A: We don't want to disincentivize self-nomination.

Q: Why not have a nomination phase for Boardnominees prior to voting on them, instead of imposing the representative threshold afterwards? A: That would give more opportunity for a repressive incumbent faction to put a stop to an opponent's campaign before it could gather any momentum.

Q: Why does the threshold for Representative Boardnominees have three parts (60 votes, or 1/60 of votes cast in the previous election, or 1/60 of the sum of voting strength of all eligible voters?), and how where these thresholds chosen? A: Let's break this question down into parts; see the following questions.

Q: Why does the threshold for Representative Boardnominees include 1/60 of votes cast in the previous election? A: For small groups, we want this threshold to scale down; the '1/60 of the sum of votes cast in the previous election' ensures that the threshold is always small enough that (assuming there are 60 people who want to be Boardnominees), at least 60 Boardnominees can qualify as Representative. This threshold is based on votes cast because otherwise it would be very hard to become a Representative Boardnominee in a group with extremely low turnout.

Q: Why does the threshold for Representative Boardnominees include 1/60 of votes cast in the PREVIOUS election, instead of the current election? A: It is votes cast in the PREVIOUS election so that the threshold to meet is known before the election takes place.

Q: Why is it important that the threshold for Representative Boardnominees is known before the election takes place? A: Voters who vote for candidate Boardnominees who do not end up meeting the threshold have 'wasted' their vote and are not represented by any Boardnominee; therefore voters may demand assurance from relatively unknown candidates that this is unlikely to occur. The candidates can provide this assurance by producing a list of supporters who publicly promise to vote for them. A known threshold is desirable because if the list of supporters has at least as many votes as the threshold (plus a few more, in case some of the public supporters break their promise), then it's unlikely that the candidate won't meet the threshold.

Q: Why does the threshold for Representative Boardnominees include 1/60 of the sum of voting strength of all eligible voters? A: In the initial election, there is no previous election, so "1/60 of votes cast in the previous election" can't do its job. So in the initial election, candidates may at least rely on 1/60 of all potential votes.

Q: Why does the threshold for Representative Boardnominees include 60? A: For very large groups, we want an upper limit on this threshold because we want individuals to be able to be Representative Boardnominees without running an expensive campaign. We figured that 60 is large enough so as to fulfill the function of the threshold, that is, to make it difficult for organized crime to force a small number of people to promise to vote for their candidate, and then figure out which voters didn't do so just by seeing the number of votes they got.

Q: 9 Judges on the Procedural Tribunal, plus other Judges, seems like a lot of people for a small group to field A: Judges are optional; the group can choose not to nominate, or not to confirm, Judges, in which case the Chairs serve as acting Judges should an issue come up.


note that there are 6 elected Boardmembers (in addition to the randomly chosen one), of which 3 are elected each cycle, but there are 10 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 10 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.


another reason why two-party dominion is a problem: