The purpose of these Suggestions is to give the
Boule (i.e., Citizens' Initiatives Assembly)
the benefit of miscellaneous ideas and thoughts that have been developed
prior to its convocation, but which are not appropriate to become rules
for adoption by the Amendment. They are for the guidance of the
Boule, to be interpreted, used or discarded as the Boule sees fit.
Election of Temporary Officials
The first order of
business at the Initial Convocation should be the nomination and
election of a temporary
Moderator (i.e., Chairperson),
a temporary Recording Secretary, and a temporary
Sergeant at Arms to
oversee the first day only of the first Plenary Session of the
Boule. More permanent officials should be elected on the second
Independence of Boule
The second order of Business at the Initial Convocation should be to re-adopt the
Boule Rules in order to
substantiate the independent authority of the Boule.
All persons on the Boule premises must wear a photo identification
badge hung from their neck while in public. The badges will be issued by
the Security officer. The badge will be color-coded to indicate
function. Members' badges will show legal name, nickname and start date
of full membership.
In addition to any standard blogs, the Boule has the authority to
organize Deliberative Blogs that use standard blog features modified as
necessary to suit specific Boule purposes. Participants
will consist of a cross-section of registered voters selected from those
willing and able to participate, using a stratified random-sample
selection process. The size of the
cross-section will be chosen by the Boule and will probably be about
150 bloggers—this number will vary based on experience and questions to
be addressed. The bloggers will generally be paid an honorarium for good-faith participation. They will participate with write permission on a blog
housed on a secure server. Each blogger (i.e., registered member of the
blog) will have a unique username but
their identity will be kept secret and only the blogger may reveal their
true identity. The Boule will choose one or more fixed questions or
the blog to address. The Boule will be responsible for and have final
authority over blog
administration and moderation. After a period of about a month—duration
will vary based on experience and questions to be addressed—the
Deliberative Blog will vote on the questions. The results of the vote
will be posted on the blog. It may be a dark blog, or with the knowledge
and concurrence of the bloggers, the Boule may permit anyone to view the blog with read-only
access. The discussions will provide valuable insight into the issues
that the Boule wants guidance on or could not take up.
Note that a related mechanism is the
PICOLA Deliberative Poll®
(Public Informed Citizen Online Boule)
developed at Carnegie Mellon, which may evolve or be modified to become
an effective alternate.
The Boule also has the authority to establish a cooperative
platform to help groups develop initiative ideas in the same type of
environment that other Wiki projects use. In this case, a group of
Citizens would start a Wikinitia
initiative development process. They would identify
the persons and groups they want to participate and would control the
content and evolution of the ideas.
Preliminary Initiative Ranking
Selection is an elimination process using
a ranking system and common sense. Rapid initial elimination slows to
lengthy deliberation. The process is divided into a series of steps. The
following may serve as a starting point that can be simplified by the
Boule for practical use:
information shall be entered into the database in real time as the
evaluations are made. Fields shall be provided for explanatory comments as
the evaluators feel necessary for someone using their findings later.
Log the Proposed Initiative so it achieves the
status of Communicated Initiative. This should be done prior to the
selection process proper
and may be accomplished be contracted services. If the newspapers cooperate, they will
provide electronic text of all proposed Initiatives. The master set of
source Initiative will be all those that have been published at any time
in the past. They must be kept current on a searchable database. The
proposed Initiative shall be accessible to the public on the Internet;
Boule evaluations shall be kept on a secure internal database.
Weighting computations shall be automatic and
other features shall help the Members work efficiently without excessive
database shall present the proposed Initiatives in any order requested
based on the criteria or weighting chosen.
Selection Step Two. A two
Deliberative Task Forces (DTFs) shall be assigned to make the first
evaluations. They shall consist of
Members drawn by lot. The task Force shall be reminded to exercise their
oath of duty to act as deputies of the People and forgo personal
preferences. Compromise and averaging of Member opinion is expected, but any
members of the task force must promptly report back to the Boule any
serious discriminatory practice of the Task Force.
Check for duplications
in the database, and link to any duplicate proposed Initiative.
The criteria are from 0 to 10, ten being best.
Assign Primary Criteria (0-10). These are
fundamental to the proposed initiative such that it cannot be significantly
advanced by subsequent editing and refinement.
▪ Value (e.g.,
Add the primary
criteria values to get the Primary Weighting (0-30).
Assign Secondary Criteria (1-30). These relate
to how the proposed Initiative meets the Direct Democracy Guidelines
order of priority considering:
▪ Set policies, objectives and limits to help government best benefit the
▪ Resolve issues that the government finds difficult to deal with.
▪ Solve other matters troubling to the People.
Secondary Weighting (0-30).
Assign Tertiary Criteria (1-10). These relate
to how the proposed Initiative meets the objectives of the Boule.
▪ Specific project
vs. program vs. policy.
▪ Special interest
vs. nationwide public interest.
▪ Controversial vs.
legal and constitutional soundness.
Add the tertiary criteria values to get the
Tertiary Weighting (0-30).
Assign Quaternary Criteria (0-30). These are
important to the proposed initiative, but can be significantly advanced
by subsequent editing and refinement.
▪ Quality of ideas
(e.g., Logic, Research)
▪ Quality of
presentation (e.g., Persuasiveness, Proposed Initiative Guideline
(e.g., Brevity, Clarity)
Add the quaternary criteria values to get the Quaternary Weighting (0-30).
computations should be performed automatically on the database
the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary weightings to get the Overall
Additive Weighting (0-120).
Multiply the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary weightings and
divide by 810,000/120 to get the Overall Multiplicative Weighting (0-120).
(Multiplicative weightings can indicate overall balance.)
Every weighting criteria or weighting shall be orderable and searchable,
independently or in groups.
Three. A second Task Force shall independently review the
first Task Force's evaluations in Step One using a similar process. The
database shall provide the capability to enter their findings. They shall
report back to the Boule and resolve any substantial differences between
the two independent findings.
The Boule in Plenary Session shall establish a current set of cut-off
criteria for the database of proposed Initiatives. It shall assign two
independent task forces to review the rankings and recommend those proposed
Initiatives that should advance to the rank of Assigned Initiatives. The
Boule shall resolve differences of opinion and then approve the current
list of Assigned Initiatives subject now to intensive review by the entire
Five. Elimination of Assigned Initiatives shall be done by
vote in Plenary Session. Those not eliminated become Nominated
Initiatives and start to consume relatively large proportions of the time of the entire
Boule in debate and review and application of its
Six. Promotion of Initiatives to Candidate status are the
final steps before the Initiatives are put to the Electorate, and receive
the focus of the entire Boule with all of its resources. The prioritized order of the
finalists shall be obtained with rank order or pair comparisons by the full
Seven. Annually, the Boule shall assign task forces of
Members to search the database for any worthy Communicated Initiatives that
were missed by earlier task forces or have a change in
status due to passage of time. If necessary,
their evaluations shall be adjusted so that they rise up for re-examination.
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