Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What's in a name?

I'm a facts and figures guy.  I'm no good at art.  I can recognize attractive, but I can't create it.  And I feel like I'm no good at naming things, either.  Picking a name is just too much of an artistic and marketing exercise.  So....

I'm working on a project that needs a name.  I've researched and come up with a list of possible choices.  I need your feedback on which name you like best.  You are also welcome to suggest other names.  But, frankly, all of the good names are taken.

What It Is
(Feel free to skip this part if you think you don't want to get too caught up in the details.)

Representative democracy is a form of government where the people elect representatives, and the representatives write the laws and manage the government.

Direct democracy is a form of government where the people debate each and every decision themselves--everyone is involved in every decision.

There are dozens of other variant forms of democracy.  Anticipatory, Athenian, Christian, Consensus, Constitutional, etc.  Each of these different forms contains a different set of rules concerning:
* Who makes the decisions (laws, treaties, government spending, etc.).
* How the decisions get made.
* The goal of the decisions.

I'm designing a new form of democracy.  (Yes, this is an extension of Democracy 2.0.)  The big idea is to get rid of the corrupting influence of money, and to put the people back in charge of the government.

This is NOT about liberal or conservative policies.  This is only about the way in which the decisions get made.  I think that debating policy is a waste of time as long as wealthy individuals, companies, and special interest groups can buy whatever policies or loopholes they want.

In my mind representative democracy has several weaknesses, which I hope to address:
* Money corrupts the system, and all of the representatives.
* The representatives are left in charge of their own rules of conduct and ethics.
* There is no check or balance against the government assuming additional powers.
* The system is very rigid and hard to change.
* The system does not respond well to the peoples' changing priorities.
* The results of the decisions are not measured against any goals or reviewed in any organized way.
* There are too many laws, and the laws are too complicated to be understood by average people.

Here are a few goals and ideas that I have for the project:
* Obviously the good parts of our government will be kept: equal protection under the law, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc.
* People vote their goals and priorities, which drives the decision-making process.
* Very strong separation of powers and checks and balances.
* Every decision has measurable goals.
* Every decision is regularly reviewed and changed if the goals are not being met.
* The decision-making process itself is monitored and modified as new ideas and technologies become available.
* Strong protections in place to ensure that every law is understandable to average people and that everyone has ample time to review and comment before the law is passed.

Additionally, I'm not going to design the new system all by myself.  I'm going to launch a web-based project where anyone can give their ideas and add their input.  I'll seed the discussion with some of my own ideas.  And I'll moderate the process, to keep everyone on task.  But, ultimately, the crowd will make the final decisions on the design.

Naming Parameters
This is a project to design a new form of democracy.  So we are naming the project and the new form of government at the same time.  If the new form of democracy is called Bobble then the project will be called the Bobble Democracy Design Project.  Or something like that.

I have to be able to get a domain name for the project (and ideally for the new form of democracy.)  So, if we go with Bobble, then I will want to grab these domains: (or .net)

(Yes, there are many 4-character domain names available in the .net and .org extensions. and are both available, for instance.  I would only put up a site and email on the short domain name, and I would put simple redirect pages up on all of the others.)

This means that I can't use a name that is already in use, even if it isn't exactly a "form" of democracy.  For instance, is taken.  Lots of good names are taken.  Many of them are just held by squatters who want you to pay $10,000 for the neat domain name.  I can't do that.

Some of the good names are taken by similar projects.  These projects have established branding and history, so I would have to fight them for the name or carry their baggage if I wanted to use that name. is an example.  They are doing some good things to highlight civil rights abuses and stuff like that.  I'd like to see them participate in my project.  But I can't fight them for their name.

My Ideas
I've vetted all of these to make sure that there isn't already someone else using the name.  These are listed in no particular order.

Fair Democracy

Results-Driven Democracy

Adaptive Democracy

Incorruptible Democracy

Adaptable Democracy

Quest Democracy

Principled Democracy

Pragmatic Democracy

Humanitarian Democracy

Systematic Democracy

Planned Democracy

Honest Democracy

Evolving Democracy

Honorable Democracy

Equitable Democracy

Experimental Democracy

Modular Democracy

Scientific Democracy

Either comment below or send me an email.  If you have another idea I would love to hear it.

1 comment:

  1. As a joke based on your description of what you want to change I would call it ISO Compliant Democracy. LOL

    But my two are...
    Transcendant Democracy
    Democracy Evolved

    Jake Cook