Open Source Governance

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From the Wikipedia [1]:

"Open source governance advocates the application of the philosophies of the free software movement to democratic principles, to enable any interested citizen to add to the creation of new policy as with a wiki document. Legislation is democratically opened to the general citizenry in this way, allowing policy development to benefit from the collected wisdom of the people as a whole.

The core principle is the concept of a "central codebase" in the form of a set of policies that are maintained in a public registry and that are infinitely reproducible. "Distributions" of this policy-base are periodically released for use in localities, which can apply "patches" to customize them for their own use. Localities are also able to cease subscribing to the central policy-base and "fork" it or adopt someone else's policy-base.

In effect, the government stems from emergent cooperation and self-correction among members of a community. As the policies are put into practice in a number of localities, problems and issues are identified and solved, and where appropriate communicated back to the core. Because so much information must be gathered for the overall decision-making process to succeed, however, technology may provide important forces leading to the type of empowerment needed for participation in this kind of government, especially those technological tools that enable community narratives and correspond to the accretion of knowledge." (

More Information

See the list of 'mixdemocracy' projects at

  • VOTE System News - The Verifiable Open Technology Elections (VOTE) approach is a collaborative initiative between voting system vendors, open public standards organizations and public open source development organizations.
  • "The Minimal Compact: An Open-source Constitution for Post-national States" — outlines a proposal for Open Source Government, dated February, 2003.
  • Demosphere Project — The wiki & global project to develop a community based e-democracy framework using open source and interactive software.

More Information

  1. Directory at