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Article 21. (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Voting in the XXI century

Urna eletrônica

The more I think about the prevailing requirements to vote on Wikimedia projects, the more I associate them with the past. A time when only men could vote, or whites, or people who could read and write, or had a certain number of school years. I believe that now the most common requirement is to be an adult. I wonder what requiring being and adult with an university degree would do to the number of eligible voters on Wikimedia projects. Would it also have an effect on the quality of the decisions made? I wonder.

No. I'm not proposing or even suggesting any of that. I thing it is very valuable for children of any age, and adults of any background (being able to read and write should be a given here, although sometimes I wonder...) to participate in one of the most democratic practices: voting.

People who started some of the policies on Wikimedia projects must have been dazzling brilliant, or baffling BSers. Or they might have just lacked the right age, knowledge, experience, and/or, sadly, not enough drive, curiosity or whatever to even look around them, watch some TV, movies... Maybe they came from outer space...

You see, when you look at voting in civilized societies the first thing you run into is voter registration. On countries where that is not possible, what you have is some system (paint on a finger) to ensure that nobody votes twice. Another thing is that the way you vote is nobody's business but yours. Voting is by secret ballot. Voicing your opinion is one thing, but when it comes to voting, if you are a candidate, who do you vote for: you or one of your opponents (if there is one or more)? Who knows?

Nobody here votes by raising his or her arm, colored card in hand or not, a popular system in certain environments and assemblies. The medium doesn't facilitate that. However, it allowed for another very specific voting method to take hold: signing or signing and justifying. This raised another problem: making sure that the same person is not voting more than once using different signatures, since no voter registration exists and for other reasons.

Another important and area of concern is electronic voting, this being about virtual communities who work collaboratively. By necessity, votes need to be cast by computer.

The challenge then is to implement a voting system that's only accessible to eligible voters, whose votes are secret, and ensures that they only vote once in any particular issue.

Since the issue is who might be eligible to vote, I'll venture into that. We have unified login don't we? So, once you have an account with Wikimedia, what is the problem with a registration to vote on any Wikimedia project? What do you need to register? What is always and everywhere required? You need to identify yourself to some body responsible for running the elections. Then you get some sort of access number or whatever that lets you vote once and only once on each election.

Can it be done? I'm sure it can. Gentlemen, we can rebuild this voting system. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first community fool proof electronic voting system. Wikimedia projects will be those communities; better than they were before. Better, fairer, faster. Your mission, should you decide to accept it will be to design such voting system. As always, should you or any of your IM force be hired or contracted by some private business, the Wikimedia will disavow any knowledge of your actions, and claim the work was done by unidentified Wikimedia contributors. This comment will eventually be archived and forgotten.

Human rights

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [...]. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."[1]

Preamble

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

[...] the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

[...]

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

[...]

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance [...]

Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.


Article 21. (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.


Article 28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29. (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible. (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society. (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any [...] group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.