As an observer of the OGN, and in the same spirit of a personal piece of work, there is one glaring omission conspicuous by its absence, to wit: the PROCESS of decision-making. There are many references to data leading to better, informed decisions, but no mention anywhere of HOW it may be used when decisions are made, never mind making the best choice, regardless of the number of participants and their diverse, subjective viewpoints. Both sides of the divide need help. Active participants (decision-makers) need to be assured they have made the best choice, whilst those in whose name decisions are made (passive participants) need to understand (not necessarily agree) how the decision was reached (accountability). For this to happen, four elements, for each participant, are essential:
- Structured, common definition of the issue comprising criteria, options and weightings
- Populate every option for each criterion with merit/value-judgements using a universally understandable ‘language’,
- Weightings to express priorities/preferences, currently using standard percentage scale
- An innovative algorithm to process this data (alone or jointly with others) to produce the BEST option. Professors of Decision Theory have proclaimed it to be “ingeniously simple”
Thus we achieve cognitive inclusion (engagement and empowerment of all interested parties), using a universally understandable ‘language’ (psychologically safe and transparent) and all assured the best option has been identified (unity and commitment).
By focusing on the issue, not emotive, distorting irrelevances, it is discrimination-blind, non-partisan and egalitarian. Most important of all, the transparency invoked by this unique and innovative App is the most powerful governor available; it is all-pervading, yet benign. It is, we believe, the blueprint for deliberative/direct democracy, and, thereby, leading to safe devolution through its universal transparency.
A suitable decision for UK/EU referendum is an example in the public domain at www.eunicorn.uk (for clarity, that’s EUNICORN). Moreover, we intend to offer the App free of charge, forever (like www.) on a website free of commercial influences to ensure it stays beyond reproach. Once transparency is truly understood to include people’s views, priorities and the process of reaching a decision, then trust in democracy will be restored and rebuilt to the point of government of the people, by the people, for the people. How much more OPEN can it get?
Hope this helps you in your quest.
Michael La Costa