Bot Legislators: A Proposal

The Meaning and Challenges of "No Party to Support"

The problematic concept of "No Party to Support"

There is a political party called "No Party to Support" which seriously advocates for having "no policies". Despite its name, which may appear to be a ridiculous and insulting organization, what does this party actually want? They do not have any political ideology of their own and instead they solicit votes from constituents on every vote that comes before parliament and cast their votes in accordance with the outcome of those votes.

No Party to Support

For instance, if this party were to hold three seats in parliament and the vote resulted in 70% in favor and 30% against, they would cast two votes in favor and one vote against.

If this party were to gain a seat in parliament, the decision on several seats (meaning the "number of votes" for a resolution) would not be controlled by bureaucrats or party leaders or even influenced by the personal judgment (character/ideology) of individual politicians. Rather, it would require them to act in accordance with the collective and direct will of the people (voters) that arises from the tally or statistics for each case.

Thus, the parliament would have what can be called "floating seats" that cannot be controlled by bureaucrats or party leaders, and whose results cannot be calculated in advance, until the votes are tallied. We could say that this is a hybrid mixture of collective knowledge (statistics) within the context of deliberation (politics).

The current electoral system has implicit unfairness, such as advantages derived from succession or local bases, and outcomes that are significantly affected by meaningless and coincidental factors such as weather on election day. However, once elected, politicians can maintain their power for a long time. In other words, they are very "insensitive" and "slow" to reflect the will of the people. We, who regard this as a significant issue, basically empathize with initiatives like "No Party to Support."

The direction of algorithmic politics and Denmark's "Synthetic Party"

According to an article by GiGAZINE, there is a political party in Denmark called the "Synthetic Party (Det Syntetiske Parti)," whose leader is an AI that has learned policies from various minority parties that have not won any seats (currently, this party itself is nothing more than a tiny minority).

The purpose of this party is to represent the voices of the 20 percent of eligible voters who always abstain from voting. However, it is questionable whether the judgment of the AI, which has become a "synthesis" of policies of many minority parties, can reflect the opinions of the people who abstain from voting (in this respect, the idea of "No Party to Support" is simpler and better). Ensuring the transparency, explainability, and legitimacy of the AI's synthetic process alone requires considerable deliberation. When it comes to minority parties that have not won any seats, it is also dangerous in that it immediately evokes images of parties that promote conspiracy theories or racism in Japan.

Nevertheless, in both cases, the tendency is to value the results of machine learning (the "synthesis" of policies of minority parties) rather than individual discretion (ability, capacity, personality, ideology), which is a commonality with "No Party to Support." The "politicians" synthesized are bound to follow the results automatically derived by the algorithm rather than their own ideology or situational judgment.

These movements suggest that some people who recognize the problem of the current representative system, which gives individuals who are elected in elections too much power for too long a period, are sharing the sense of crisis regarding the current state of democracy. We may need a mechanism that prevents a president who has only been delegated authority through elections from deciding to wage an aggressive war that many citizens oppose.

As We pointed out in another text ("Social Singularity, Sensor-Based Planned Economy, and the Future of Separation of Powers"), the ultimate outcome of this algorithmic trend may be a sensor-based democracy that does not even require voting. In a world with vast sensor technologies that recommend movies favored by similar people by tracking the gaze patterns of people watching movies and computers capable of simulating the thoughts of all humanity, sensor-based information collection can become a substitute for voting. It is a world where public opinion is automatically collected and calculated. In such a world, the distinction between voting and marketing disappears, and sensor-based democracy=sensor-based planned economy.

However, it may be too much of a leap and lack realism to go straight to that point. It is dangerous to deny all discretion of "especially talented individuals (experts or elites)" in a given skill. Sensor-based democracy based on modern technology shares a commonality with communism, a nineteenth-century scientific ideology, in that it has a "strong" basis of science=technology that appears objective. In the past, the strength of this basis led to coercion and intimidation to believe in the imaginative and distant "communist society after the revolution," and disregard for the pain of the present as a means of creating a dictatorship of humans who cleverly exploited such situations, resulting in an enormous number of deaths in the twentieth century. We must not forget this fact. In order to consider the possibility of political non-discretion=algorithmization from the present reality that is also visible as a future, we want to take a closer look at the idea of "No Party to Support."

Algorithmic and discretionary legislators

Here, let us assume that the "legislators without their own will" that we have seen so far are called algorithmic legislators, and we want to distinguish them from normal legislators (let us call them discretionary legislators). Algorithmic legislators are the name of the concept that pairs with discretionary legislators, but it is somewhat difficult to use, so we propose the nickname "Bot legislators" here (with a touch of self-deprecation, irony, and humor). Bot refers to a relatively simple program that automatically collects web pages or conducts stock trading.

Of course, not all legislators should be algorithmic (bot) legislators. For example, if a bot legislator becomes the Minister of Foreign Affairs (who will deal with many confidential matters), it will cause great confusion. However, I believe that there is significant meaning in having a certain proportion of bot legislators in the parliament (bringing in elements other than the power relationship between political parties).

In fact, the existence of such "bot legislators" is not such a far-fetched idea. For example, there are already existing legislators who have been endorsed by their party simply because they have name recognition, but have no strong political beliefs and just follow the wishes of party executives. If there are legislators who are obedient to party executives and bureaucrats, then it wouldn't make much difference if they were replaced by legislators who are obedient to the results of aggregation. In fact, it is not necessary to significantly change the current system to realize bot legislators. However, their existence would give rise to a new delegation form of "politician" with strongly limited discretion.

Even if the election system functions perfectly and accurately reflects public opinion, and only politicians with sufficient political power are accurately selected, we still believe that having a certain proportion of bot legislators is desirable.

The reason for this is that we are skeptical of the premise that "deliberation (collective decision-making)" and "expertise (elitism)" are always superior to "collective knowledge of a diverse group (statistics)" in any situation. Collective knowledge has the potential for simple benefits that can neutralize unconscious biases that even the best individuals cannot avoid, and can make judgments beyond human cognitive limits.

Challenges for "No Party to Support"

However, in the current situation, it is difficult to determine whether "No Party to Support" is a reliable organization that can properly execute their policies.

First of all, it is unclear how to ensure that elected officials with significant privileges and powers do not use them for their own political beliefs. Just as a candidate running as an independent can join a ruling party after being elected and do as they please, elected officials can use their power to conduct political activities as a typical "politician" despite their claim to support "No Party to Support", betraying the voters who supported them.

Candidates must be individuals without political ambition who will not betray their principles, but how can the party find such individuals? And how can voters determine whether a candidate is truly "trustworthy"? It would be good if a system could be created where the candidate only receives their salary after proving that they did not betray their beliefs, but it is difficult to implement this with the current party system.

Similarly, it is also difficult to judge whether "No Party to Support" as a party can be trusted to operate as they claim, without deception and fully disclosing their policies. It is difficult to check whether the party is operating honestly and transparently in every detail of their policies, just like any other established political party where backroom deals and corruption are possible. In this regard, they are no different from other political parties and their novelty is not recognized.

There is also the issue of how to ensure a sufficient number of diverse members with enough voting power to make decisions on all the various resolutions. While it may be possible to secure a sufficient number of votes on issues that many voters are interested in, it is possible that resolutions related to less popular issues may not receive enough votes. Additionally, if the members are a homogeneous group with certain biases, their majority may not carry much weight.

While "No Party to Support" lawmakers can participate in the resolutions proposed, they cannot devise their own policies. It is natural that they cannot have their own opinions, but it would be even better if there were ways to leverage collective intelligence in the policy-making process.

If "No Party to Support" is Realized through DAO (decentralized autonomous organization)

What is DAO?

However, if the attempt to create "No Party to Support" is done through DAO, there is a possibility that these problems could be resolved, which is the proposal of this text.

DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) is an organization that is operated automatically by voting and smart contracts without a centralized leader, made possible by blockchain technology. Here, smart contracts refer to transactions where predetermined processes are automatically executed without human discretion when certain conditions are met.

By using voting rights assigned to members called governance tokens, all members who enter the organization through the acquisition of these tokens have some degree of equality and the operational policy is determined through open discussion and voting by governance tokens (the process is recorded on the blockchain in an unalterable form).

In other words, DAO is a way of organizing that can achieve (1) equality without a leader, (2) automatic execution of predetermined contracts without human discretion, and (3) complete transparency in operational policies and decision-making processes, made possible by blockchain technology.

The concept of equality and transparency is beautiful, and various DAO experiments are currently being conducted with the expectation that blockchain technology can make it possible. However, it is not necessarily clear why it has to be DAO, what it is for, or what advantages there are in being DAO, other than the beauty of the ideal itself.

There may be a possibility that an organization with some cheating and with people in power is more sustainable and resilient, and ultimately results in happiness for its members. So far, there is no clear example of the good use of the beautiful ideal of DAO, nor is there an example that clearly demonstrates the benefits of being decentralized. However, it is thought that there is a positive meaning in being DAO for the attempt of "No Party to Support", and it could become one of the examples of organizations that are possible precisely because it is DAO.

What's good about running "No Party to Support" as a DAO

As a rule, DAO members are generally equal, and there is no leader who would cause the DAO to collapse if they were missing. In this case, it is the members' votes, not the discretion of powerful individuals, that determine who will be the actual candidate. Additionally, there is an incentive for bot legislator members to vote for individuals who appear to have little political ambition, rather than based on leadership or political prowess. This is because those who commit to the system of the bot legislators are likely to be dissatisfied with discretionary-based politicians. At this point, selection based on whether or not the member is a "trustworthy person" is carried out.

The method of elections and how candidates and electoral districts are determined from the voting results will be clearly defined and automatically decided through smart contracts. The flow of party funds (subsidies, donations, and parliamentary allowances) and accounting mechanisms, as well as their operational policies, will also be made transparent. For example, if a system is established whereby rewards are paid out to only those legislators who did not betray their party, this can be executed without discretion if it is pre-determined as a smart contract.

If this method functions according to its principles, it will make it difficult for "hereditary succession" and "succession of turf" to occur.

The way in which the party functions as a DAO can be designed in various ways. As previously mentioned, the method of selecting candidates or electoral districts through voting can also be done by drawing lots. Furthermore, if a rule is established that once someone becomes a candidate (or is elected), they cannot run as a candidate again, it is possible to completely eliminate hereditary succession and prevent collusion. And it's simple.

In other words, there may be multiple "No Party to Support" parties that are designed in various ways, not just one. Depending on the differences in how candidates are selected, whether it is through voting or by drawing lots, how the funds are used or how the rewards are designed, and the voting system for resolutions by eligible voters, it is possible to assert the individuality of the "party" or "legislators."

Bot legislators are executed automatically through smart contracts, and the process is transparent, so they are ideally unable to tell lies. In other words, it is impossible to commit fraud such as saying that candidates are chosen by drawing lots while secret negotiations are actually taking place behind the scenes.

Of course, the blockchain is also vulnerable to collapse due to even the slightest flaws, such as when a program that is supposed to randomly select is outputting predictable values in advance and cheating occurs. Therefore, it is not known whether bot legislators can function ideally.

However, if people with various ideas each create and implement bot legislators in various ways, it will ultimately be an experiment to see what kind of design will work best. Even if one method does not work well, others will come up with different methods. In fact, the history of blockchain mechanisms is also a history of periodic disruptions every few years.

Bot legislators have the weakness of being able to participate in bill voting but not being able to formulate policy. However, if a system is developed that allows them to create policy packages like building a deck of cards in a card game, it may be possible for groups to collectively construct complex policies.

To reiterate, the birth of bot legislators does not necessarily require changing the current political system. For example, if the total number of electoral districts in the House of Representatives is roughly 300 nationwide, and the deposit is 3 million yen, then 6,000 supporters donating 150,000 yen each can nominate bot legislators in all districts. Whether this is considered a high or low hurdle depends on the individual, but if this is all it takes to reduce statistical biases and prevent the system from going out of control for a system that moves on the scale of 500 trillion yen, then the cost-effectiveness is good.


Let's summarize what we have seen so far. Firstly, we believe that the current electoral system has "slowness" and "dullness" in reflecting public opinion, as well as a strong dependence on irrelevant factors (such as the timing of elections or weather), and thus, there is a need to improve it. At the same time, we are aware of the problem that an excessive reliance on individual politicians' expertise, ideology, personality, and popularity has led to the consolidation of power, corruption, abuse, and ultimately, dictatorship, which has resulted in the deaths of millions of people.

The idea of a bot legislator, who acts according to the voting results rather than personal political beliefs or party policies, has the potential to be a countermeasure against the reliance on individual discretion and also serves as a pathway to "collective wisdom" in addition to reflecting public opinion sensitively.

What is important is that there is no need to change the system (probably not much) to realize bot legislators. It can be achieved with a relatively light "revolution" by changing the awareness of the candidates and voters, rather than the regime. Also, it is easy to export the system to other countries.

However, the current "No Party to Support" cannot guarantee (trust) that the elected officials will not use their power for their own benefit or engage in political activities. Additionally, there are problems such as it is difficult to check whether party operations are being carried out as declared (such as candidate selection and party operations ultimately being determined by the "discretion" of the party's powerful members).

Therefore, it was proposed to make "No Party to Support" a DAO, so that (1) all members become equal, (2) the established rules are executed automatically without human discretion, and (3) the entire process of operation becomes transparent and verifiable, which could solve these problems.

Remaining challenges (Blockchain vulnerabilities and ensuring sufficient votes)

There are two challenges mentioned in the section on "Challenges of No Party to Support" that have not yet been fully addressed. One is the sustainability and robustness of the blockchain technology itself, and whether it is more stable than centralized and coercive systems. Also, even if the basic mechanism of the blockchain is robust, adding the layer of Bot legislators could lead to its collapse.

The second challenge is how to ensure "sufficient votes and diversity" for each individual issue. It may be easy to attract many votes for highly publicized issues, but it is difficult to motivate people to vote on less visible proposals. Moreover, if only a few people with similar interests and biases vote, the system may revert to the current discretionary system in which decisions are made without the majority being aware.

There is no fundamental solution to this problem yet. However, Bot legislators could engage in information gathering, research, and organization of information and issues related to various proposals, and use this to proactively promote less publicized issues to attract voter attention. Also, members could modify the news recommendation algorithm for the Bot legislators' app to help address this issue. For example, the proposed "Pain Token" may serve as a mechanism for achieving this goal.

In addition, for individual voters, it may be possible to create tools such as self-diagnostic tools for political ideology, which help voters gain a more detailed understanding of their political and ideological tendencies, and increase awareness of the policy preferences they seek. This could lead to more active voting. The Mirror Badget is a good reference for such tools.

The importance of vision

Why do we have to consider such radical ideas instead of engaging in down-to-earth activities or power struggles through existing political parties? Isn't it true that only which party comes to power matters realistically?

Nevertheless, authors hope for a liberal and democratic society, no matter what. However, they witness people who have lost hope or become exhausted with existing democracy, drifting towards charismatic authoritarianism, conservatism, or authoritarianism. This resembles the situation in the early 20th century that gave birth to the Nazis.

Honestly, I can somewhat understand that sentiment. Liberal democracy demands too much from us (responsibility, justice, ethics, and right choices). Although they are reasonable, executing them is challenging, and there are hardly any personal rewards, and it can even be detrimental.

Therefore, we think that there should be a "democratic" image that can have some sort of "hope for the future." Even if the possibility of it being realized while "I" am alive is low, a vision that democracy has a possibility for the "future" beyond that is necessary to prevent fatigue (and despair) from the "burden" and meaninglessness of executing liberal democracy.

Criticism of the current regime is essential and necessary, but if that's all we do, we will become tired, and a reaction based on despair is waiting. Therefore, even if called a pipe dream, we talk about hope for the future.

However, not only as hope, but even realistically, by taking a position between the slow-changing political world and the fast-changing IT industry, we believe that there is a sufficient possibility that Bot legislators could gain their first seats in the next decade or so. And in the long run, it is not unlikely that the number of Bot legislators will increase. There should be many people who feel skeptical about the current politicians = discretionary legislators and Bot legislators could be closer to the true nature of democracy. Also, collective knowledge has the potential to overcome individual cognitive limitations.

If you are disappointed with current democracy, why not choose authoritarianism? If we concentrate all the power on excellent individuals, won't we avoid fatigue from meaningless procedures? Many superior intellects may even prefer this type of reasoning, leading to authoritarianism.

However, as we have mentioned, we have a strong caution against excessive dependence on "individual discretion," which we think could easily lead to charismatic (dictatorial) authoritarianism. Also, once established, the "dictatorship" is incredibly robust, making it extremely difficult to break down. At that time, even if there were excellent authoritarianism or totalitarianism, history teaches us that it would lead to a tragic collapse.

Eventually, we may have an equal number of Bot legislators and discretionary legislators in the world.

CREDITS Original Idea and Article Summary: Asaki Nishikawa
Article Creation: Toshihiro Furuya
Proofreading: VECTION

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