Slackware, OpenBSD, and a bit of a Debiantard. FOSS and Privacy Advocate.

Polls and the democratic process

A community business, if and when it is.

Recently, Twitter CEO and owner Elon_Musk started takin' out the trash, firing miscreants on the spot for betraying the public trust, abuses of privilege, and accepting resignations from those who conceded that they just weren't up to snuff for the responsibilities and duties of their position in the company.

He also jettisoned several thousand tons of human dunnage (with generous severance packages). But those were merely the first broad strokes of the artists brush across the canvas in the transformative process that is not only reshaping and redefining the once disgraced and roundly rebuked platform that since his takeover has one again acceled to sometimes daily all-time highs in usage and popularity amongst its users.

And then, suddenly, shit got real – in Los Angeles, when an unhinged stalker assaulted one of Elon's children, even jumping onto the hood of the vehicle carrying the innocent passengers.

Not unlike many parents faced with startling threats, there were knee-jerk reactions, and some of them quite unpopular given that the measures taken weren't born out of the thoughtful mind of a calculative and analytical CEO of a billion dollar company, but rather, a shocked and unsettled parent who has just faced potential trauma in his life.

“Mama Said Knock You Out” – LL Cool J

Before I go on, I need to ask a question:

Have you ever found yourself playing with a couple of cute little grizzly bear cubs, upwind of their mama?

Of course you haven't. You wouldn't be reading this right now if you had.

But if you had, with the most playful and benevolent intent, do you think that mama bear would take that into account in her reasoning? Well, that right there seems to be where all if the controversy stems from over the past few days – Mama Elon lashing out, instinctively, as you would too if you happen to have a parental bone in your body.

I'm not defending a flurry of erratically delivered, spontaneous edicts coming down from on high, I'm merely offering that it's rational to expect such wreckless abandon from a mama 🐻 bear who feels her cubs have been threatened.

Now that things have calmed down a bit, with the (perhaps temporary) expulsion of some particularly sycophantic socalled journalists, there's been a series of polls published on the platform, followed up with posts by Elon saying things like, “The people have spoken.”, Etc.

Seemingly, for some, all had been forgiven. Sweeny the plane doxer and some of the journalists have had their accounts restored, haters are still hating, and lovers are still loving. People are speaking, but there's this notion that perhaps on many hotly contested policy issues, there may be a vehicle for voices to be heard – polls.

One of the basic tenants of a free society, after guaranteeing the citizenry respect for their inalienable rights to defend themselves, and the protection of unpopular speech, press, assembly, and the self sovereignty of their personal space, dominion, and posesdions, is the right to self-determination, historically honored through the process of polling.

But democracy is messy... Like BBQ sauce.

It sounds great. Ask a question, collect the responses, count them up and enact policy based upon the results.

But the problem is, how to you come up with the actual questions?


Going off on a quick tangent.

I have my own thoughts on these four”W's” & “H”, as I'm sure that most people do, once they consider that we've all seen polls asking questions that we were unable to address ourselves due to myriad reasons, not the least of which being due to poorly constructed options.

Have you ever seen a question resembling, “When I feel like crashing my car into a tree....”?

What the fuck?

News flash! Most people have never felt like that. So the question goes unanswered, or marked as irrelevant, and yet, the party responsible for evaluating such a survey will derive a conclusion anyway (sneaky psych majors). Yah, an ex-girlfriend (clinical psychologist) actually revealed to me how they create tests on purpose by loading the questions in such ways so one possible conclusion is that the person taking the test was “evasive”, in their responses.

Let's get back on the subject though...

Back on track again. Moving along now...

Here's some of my own basic thoughts on the process.

There will always be s gatekeeper. Always. The decision is made somehow. If it's one person it's arbitrary, if it's a committee then it's generally via consensus, and if it's up to the governed themselves it's usually a tiered and vetted process – which, in the latter case might look something like the following:

  1. ) A proposal to hold a poll for a specified reason, with specific, unambiguous questions should be posted “somewhere” – perhaps a curated forum of sorts where only such proposals are published.
  2. ) Discussion is to ensue, related to the questions themselves – wording, phrasing, general verbiage, etc.
  3. ) A standard time limit is imposed to allow for such discussion, at the end of which the proposal is adopted as a poll to be published and announced (we haven't determined how that announcement should be broadcasted to the millions of eligible voters), or dismissed and archived as not having been moved forward to an actual election poll.
  4. ) A thumbs up 👍 / thumbs down 👎 type counter, will tabulate whether the membership reasons that such a poll is reasonable and worthy of such consideration and undertaking. At the end of the afore-mentioned deterministic time frame to consider the proposal, those recommendations will be weighed and considered. Each user can express their opinion once and only once, but can change their choice at anytime time up until expiry of the alloted time allowed for consideration of the proposed measure.


Snap decisions are, done in a snap, at the discretion of administrative privilege. i.e., It may be prudent for mama grizzly bear to first observe whether the human tickling her kiddos is benign or malevolent in nature, but get real, only a moron would expect that from her – she's definitely going to rend you limb 🤳 from 🦵 limb.

Obviously, executive decisions will overrule any such measures, as is the prerogative of the corporations executive officer, who is of course free to intercede however they choose at anytime, but the process above is but one method for decision-makers to ascertain and consider which way the wind blows, with respect to the membership of the “town square”.

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts and suggestions. Let me know okay?

I can be reached at:

I hope that helps! Enjoy!

#tallship #polling #elections #policy #governance