Taru had just returned from stacking potatoes in the earth cellar when she came out with the answer. "Forget the death penalty for now. It's too emotive. Let's start by defining democracy. That'll put the cat among the pigeons".
The process began anew. Statistics, Trawling, Presentation, Feedback...and then Exsyde itself came up with a little bit of wisdom. It sent forms to everyone with a set of correlated questions about Democracy. If your answers revealed that you had failed to understand the debate and failed to listen sympathetically to all sides, Exsyde would exclude you from voting!
The reaction was predictable. Accusations that some Fascist fuzzy coder had slipped that in, turning Exsyde into the Great Dictator. Some autocratic clique had kidnapped the interface. But when Exsyde was asked to reveal its reasoning, it came back and told them they wouldn't understand. And as someone pointed out, no-one had ever seen all the code, let alone understood it, so how could anyone but Exsyde be responsible.
It's like Luke Rheinhart's book 'The Diceman'. You know, the one we all read in the Seventies. You invent 6 possible courses of action - three possible, three radical. You throw the dice and then do whatever the dice tells you. It's absolution! We are forgiven! We blame Exsyde. We are guiltless. We must accept democratic decisions if, and it's a big if, we can be sure that each voter has all that they need to make the decision. And Exsyde is biased toward reasonable people, so we get reasonable decisions.
'Cogs whirr, Exsyde sums up' to paraphrase Descartes.
"But what is reasonable?" asks Taru, as we walk inside to the warm glow of the log fire.
"Let's ask Exsyde!.... want a drink?"