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Messages - Will

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Announcements / What is this?
« on: July 26, 2020, 10:52:48 PM »
I've been lurking and mildly participating in the rationalist sphere for several years. This site was inspired by two things: this post on SSC and a nostalgia for old style forums. Quoting from the post:

Clamzoria is an acausal democracy.

The problem with democracy is that elections happen before the winning candidate takes office. If somebody’s never been President, how are you supposed to judge how good a President they’d be? Clamzoria realized this was dumb, and moved elections to the last day of an official’s term.

When the outgoing President left office, the country would hold an election. It was run by approval voting: you could either approve or disapprove of the candidate who had just held power. The results were tabulated, announced, and then nobody ever thought about them again.

Clamzoria chose its officials through a prediction market. The Central Bank released bonds for each candidate, which paid out X dollars at term’s end, where X was the percent of voters who voted Approve. Traders could provisionally buy and sell these bonds. On the first day of the term, whichever candidate’s bonds were trading at the highest value was inaugurated as the new President; everyone else’s bonds were retroactively cancelled and their traders refunded. The President would spend a term in office, the election would be held, and the bondholders would be reimbursed the appropriate amount.

The Clamzorians argued this protected against demagoguery. It’s easy for a candidate to promise the sun and moon before an election, but by the end of their term, voters know if the country is doing well or not. Instead of running on a platform of popular (but doomed) ideas, candidates are encouraged to run on a platform of unpopular ideas, as long as those unpopular ideas will genuinely make the country richer, safer, stronger, and all the other things that lead people to approve of a President’s term after the fact. Of course, you’re still limited by bond traders’ ability to predict which policies will work, but bond traders are usually more sober than the general electorate.

This system worked wonderfully for several decades, until Lord Bloodholme’s administration. He ran for President on an unconventional platform: if elected, he would declare himself Dictator-For-Life, replace democracy with sham elections, and kill all who opposed him. Based on his personality, all the bond traders found this completely believable. But that meant that in the end-of-term election, he would get 100% approval. His bond shot up to be worth nearly $100, the highest any bond had ever gone, and he won in a landslide. Alas, Lord Bloodholme was as good as his word, and – after a single sham election to ensure the bondholders got what they were due – that was the end of Clamzoria’s acausal democracy.

To get the ball rolling, I'll take the first term as president, which I will hold for 3 months. One of the first orders of business will be to appoint a Market Minister, as doing so is beyond my technical ken. I did find, however, open source prediction market software here :  .

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