Combined Choice: A modern method of democratic decision making

This paper is part of Demos’ work to build a different kind of democracy: an everyday democracy in which people are involved in the democratic process regularly and deeply, not once every few years with an x in a box. A democracy that is grounded in communities, organisations, and decisions that are fully connected to our daily lives.

For hundreds of years, democratic decisions have been made by voting for or against individual proposals. In this paper, we argue that this conventional form of decision making can be improved and introduce a method, Combined Choice, that represents decisions, not as a series of proposals, but as a whole.

Where these decisions result in legislation, these documents are combined in one digital file that contains all legislation. Instead of voting on each proposal, decision-makers can put forward an alternative version of this file by adding or removing legislation. Each decision-maker chooses one version and the file with the most support is enforced. We argue that this method produces better results by giving decision-makers the power to work with citizens, experts, or industry, unconstrained by an archaic decision-making process. Combined Choice also allows greater competition, accommodates innovative new approaches to the development of ideas and ensures greater transparency.

We provide a detailed technical architecture, and outline how this method may be implemented in practice.

Read the paper here.