A liquid democracy API

We are developing an open source delegative voting API, to make it easy for decision-making platforms to benefit from liquid democracy.

What does that even mean?

Perhaps explaining what it does might help:

Let's say you have a platform that allows participants to make proposals and vote on them.

Plugging with our API will extend it so participants can delegate their vote freely to other participants.

This will give the option to people who don't usually participate, who are often a majority in decision making groups (for a variety of reasons), of having a voice through people they trust.

Plus, this will amplify the voice of people who are active participants - often activists, specialists, or simply engaged people, who then become delegates with measurable support behind them.

But it will not necessarily give them a long-term mandate: delegations can be removed at any time.

Hence the (admittedly buzzy) "liquid" in "liquid democracy": it comes from the resulting fluidity of chains of trust and representation. An alternative to both direct democracy and representative democracy - a middle way.

What made you build it?

The experience of platforms like LiquidFeedback, which is a huge reference for us.  

How the Pirate Party in Germany used it to collectively and openly draft legislation, with no closed door meetings, empowering all party members to participate. Their excellent The Principles of LiquidFeedback book documents this in detail.

The realization that such platforms aren't yet as user friendly as the apps and social networks most people use in their daily lives, which is a great barrier to adoption.

So we had the idea of putting some of the core concepts into an engine that could be used by any platform, letting their developers focus on iterating the user experience side of things, instead of reinventing the wheel of delegative voting.

Where are you at with it?

It's fully functional, in alpha. That means we don't have any users yet :)

We're currently working on an integration with Decidim and soon should have a demo for it.

We also are actively looking for opportunities to run a pilot.

Technical specs

In a nutshell, it's a GraphQL API built with Elixir/Phoenix.

It's deployable on prem through a docker image, or pluggable directly using our hosted version.

How can I use the hosted version?

Hit us up over email at info@liquidvoting.io, and we'll give you an access key!