Copyright (C) 2006 RedHog (Egil Möller) <email@example.com>
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".
DemoWave is a web-application for conducting referendums that
DemoWave was written by RedHog (Egil Möller) with support from Max Lundkvist in form of comments, ideas and discussion.
Testing has been performed by members of the Swedish green party.
The voting model used by DemoWave was first developed by members of the Swedish direct democracy party (however, the author of DemoWave is in no way affiliated with this group any longer).
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA
Throughout the DemoWave application, there is context help available by clicking on the ? symbol next to the item you need to know more about.
DemoWave uses a voting model that allows anyone to propose a new referendum, and where minorities can get their voice heard, while effectively hindering "referendum spam" - large amounts of referendum proposals inserted by a malicious user to overwhelm other users and prevent them from finding the relevant referendums.
This is accomplished by factoring in time in the voting process - the more people who vote the same in a referendum, the quicker the referendum is completed. A referendum can still be completed with only one vote, or with half the voters save one voter against (these two cases are handled the same by the system), but it will take considerably longer time than a referendum where evryone agrees.
At every point in time, your vote in a referendum can be either "yes", "no" or "no vote cast" (indescissive), represented by the numbers 1, -1 and 0 respectively.
You can change your vote at any time, and it will from then on stay the same until you decide to change it again
At the beginning of a new referendum, everyones' vote is "no vote cast".
This is the sum of all votes in a referendum at any given time, divided by the number of eligable voters at that time.
Since all votes are between 1 and -1 and there are no more votes than voters, this value is also in the range of 1 to -1.
This is the sum over time of all current vote sums, or, votes times time.
Short version: If everyone votes "yes", this is the amount of time it takes for the referendum to go through. Example: 5 days 3 hours means that it takes 5 days and 3 hours for a descission that everyone votes in favor of to go through.
If the total vote sum reaches the breakpoint value, the referendum goes through, and if it reaches minus the breakpoint value, the referendum is dismissed.
The time at which the referendum was first entered into the system.
The time at which the proposal was passed or rejected if the referendum is completed, or the time at which the referendum will complete unless someone changes his/her vote.
The above graph shows the vote sum changes over time for an example referendum that is about to get rejected.
The graph was generated at about 18:32 (the point where the dark red field ends).
The dark red field is the total vote-sum which fills the area from where the graph crossed the x-axis the last time until the current time.
The light red area is the current estimated total vote-sum up until the estimated completion time. If no one changes his/her vote before that, the referendum will end with a rejection at about 18:44.
The first vote was cast at about 18:22, and was a "yes" vote. Thereafter, other "yes" votes dropped in, until about 18:24, when people started changing their minds and previous "yes" votes where changed into "abstain" or plain "no" votes, or new "no" votes dropped in, until 18:26 the majority changed to a rejection.
Just before 18:29 someone voted "yes" again (or a "no" vote was changed into "abstain"). After that, not much happened until about 18:31 when two people voted "no" (or a "yes" vote was changed into a "no" vote).
All referendums are sorted into categories, where all referendums in a certain category shares some common properties, e.g. they may all be over a certain type of questions, or the decisions may all be carried out by the same executive body.
Categories can have sub-categories, which in turn can have sub-categories. To designate a particular sub-category of a particular category, paths, very similar to paths in the filesystem of a computer, are used. Path-entries are separated by dots (.). For example, the sub-category for decisions concerning the Murraylands College of the sub-category for Schools of the category for South Australia might have the path 'SA.School.Murraylands'.
There are three types of referendums - referendums on texts, referendums on laws and referendums on categories. All referendums in the same category are of the same type.
Each referendum on a text consists of that text, and it is up to the description of the category to tell how that text is supposed to be used once the proposal is passed.
A category of referendums on laws contain a set of laws made up of paragraphs of texts. Each referendum might add, change or remove such paragraphs.
Referendums on addition or removal of categories specify all the parameters for that category, namely the path for the new category, the type of referendums for referendums in the category, and the breakpoint.
Version 1.2, November 2002
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