The prototypical delegative democracy has been summarized by Bryan Ford in his paper, Delegative Democracy, containing the following principles:
Choice of role: Each member can choose to take either a passive role as an individual or an active role as a delegate, differentiating this from representative forms in which only specified representatives are allowed. Delegates have further choices as to how active they are and in what areas.
Low barrier to participation: The difficulty and cost of becoming a delegate is small, and in particular does not require political campaigning or winning a competitive election.
Delegated authority: Delegates exercise power in organizational processes on behalf of themselves and individuals who select them as their delegate. Different delegates, therefore, can exercise varying levels of decision power.
Privacy of the individual: To avoid social pressures or coercion, all votes made by individuals are private, both from other individuals and from delegates.
Accountability of the delegates: To ensure the accountability of delegates to their voters and to the community at large, all formal deliberative decisions made by delegates are completely public (or in some forms viewable only to their constituents).
Specialization by re-delegation: Delegates can not only act directly on behalf of individuals as generalists, but through re-delegation can they also act on behalf of each other as specialists.