The research field
The research field is electoral and voting methods.
The main task is to study how sequential choice and fund voting make it possible to present alternatives in a case and to work for a position according to everybody's opinion, compared with what has been usual, and then how proceedings and social engagement will change by applying the methods.
Fund voting is most exciting, it is a method in democracy corresponding to a general means in the economy.
Status in 2020
The procedure to deal with large issues in fund voting, described originally in 2003 in Demokrati med radvalg og fondsvalg (in English as Democracy with sequential choice and fund voting in 2013) became a breakthrough for the insight into the application of fund voting. Contributions since then show to an ever increasing extent how the application of sequential choice and fund voting may reflect a procedure and a feeling which characterize a society which is to be desired.
Sequential choice and fund voting. Status in 2018. Articles and comments since 2003 was taken to consideration on a teachers’ college at Department of Political Science, Oslo University, on the 12th of November 2019.
The author pointed out four main-themes in the book (numbers refer to articles in the book):
1. The expression of opinions in voting and election (26) with a study (7) and a short explanation (27).
2. The control of nature and the management of resources (1, 2, 3, 5, 6. 20).
3. Election, both through sequential choice and fund voting (8, 10, 12, 17, 25).
4. By-laws, constitutions (9, 21).
Concerning fund voting attention was drawn to the possibility that issues be brought to an end either by sequential choice or by the traditional way.
The author assesses the issue as a whole stronger than before, namely: The methods comprised present a political-economic model which integrates marketing economy and democracy better than other models do.
How a community takes shape and persists
In light of sequential choice and fund voting
First, to make things simple, we assume that society is made of three parts:
The first part is ruled by the market
In the second part tasks are fixed by a public organ, and
In the third part some intimate relationship – e.g. kinship or a neighbourhood – is the deciding factor.
In this study we are concerned with those who are dependent on public assistance. Let us take a case from a community of academics working freelance, i.e. the Reykjavik Academy. Each academy member has an office and pays a rent per square meter. The Academy enjoys public support which is used for the administration and for certain daily needs in the office, such as coffee. Ten years ago, a disabled woman was responsible for the morning coffee. She was engaged for the job by a public agency. The coffee time was a daily gathering for the academy members who might not be concerned with each other. Her absence was observed much quicker than any other ́s. She kept order on the coffee table with authority. Then a change happened. She became 60, and the terms regarding her employment were valid no more. Almost at the same time a coffee machine was bought where everybody served himself according to his individual needs. Thereby the everyday atmosphere was impaired. Attempts to repair it haven ́t been successful. After this the coffee girl came once in a while together with a friend to her old workplace to see the academy ́s employed handyman who helped her copy music from the internet—in fact, she is musically gifted (not the only one in her family), but then, alas, the handyman left his job and moved to another part of the world.
When this matter was taken up in a seminar in the academy as an introduction to the theme how a society persists, someone mentioned that they had met our former friend, and they were under the impression that she was not at all happy about her situation. All we could manage was to feel sorry for her. Not a word was uttered as to what could be done or should be done.
How can society help people who are marginalized for various reasons? For that matter, what is the society in such cases? In our example there was a rule for a certain arrangement, with an age limit that probably was set with reference to how disabled people age in general. This rule does not meet the needs of each individual precisely, while, on the other hand, a deviation from the rule may be viewed as being subjective and not be met with approval.
Assume that the public, in this case the local community, which in the same way as the state follows the arrangement for the disabled, made individual decisions through fund voting rules, where in our case the task for our former coffee girl would be to visit some social institutions and present knowledge about music and links on Youtube. Whether this approach would, in fact, be realistic, is a matter of opinion, but here we disregard such considerations. Those who are involved may be elected representatives, cf. Democracy with sequential choice and fund voting (2012), Chapters III and IV, and Sequential choice and fund voting (2019), Article 10.—For the meaning of sequential choice and fund voting in this connection, cf. in the latter of these two books the foreword and Article 20 (the second last section, “Expressing opinions in sequential choice and fund voting”).
In public order it is essential that identical procedures are applied throughout so that each and every conclusion is arrived at in the same way. In this case the public is invited to deal with individual cases where anybody can take the initiative, irrespective of any rules whatsoever. By being proposed and voted on, a case undergoes an objectivity test where everybody (the common man as well as an elected representative) disposes of fund votes. Support for an alternative requires its price in votes. Through the participants ́ cost of votes the processing of a case acquires its legitimacy.
It should be noted here that one of the alternatives must always be to reject the case.
By this, it is always possible to establish a forum to introduce and process cases where groups—may be without any formal leadership, can seek assistance, firstly, only because this possibility to introduce cases exists, and secondly, through the treatment of the cases and through the implementing of them.