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Forum Post: Direct Democracy, a way out?

Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 16, 2011, 7:05 p.m. EST by Billyblastoff (33)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Voters’ turnout in North America is constantly going down and people are disillusioned with the electoral process and feel it has now become a bit meaningless to vote. It is not enough for most people just to vote once every four years to elect someone that will later be corrupted or do whatever.

In order to create a better democracy, we need to be able to bypass at least some of the representative process. Modern communications is now allowing us to say what we want as individuals and we no longer need to be represented by people in parliament to take decisions for us. The role of the government should be to propose directions society could take but letting the people decide through referendums (direct democracy). This process, while alleviating corruption by removing some power to elected people, would allow some decisions that no political party would ever attempt to take because they would often be against the interests of influent lobby groups and powerful corporations (banks).

So far, the main argument against e voting taking on is revolving around confidentiality (anonymity) and hacking concerns. Those issues could be addressed by having an open e voting system by which the database, although anonymous, would be open allowing voters to verify that their vote is accounted for and accurate. The users would get a random number (a Key) identifying them in the database, enter their PIN and vote on an issue. Having an open database would allow voters to verify that their vote is accounted for and get the same results from the vote than the “official public results”. For the first time it would be possible for individuals to be certain that their voice was heard. Many referendums could be run simultaneously and in case of doubt you void the results and start again, it’s cheap. The difficulty in having a representative and legitimate vote is to be able to use the electoral database for the constituencies to generate the individual keys (one individual, one unique key); maybe someone would have to be elected the old fashion way clearly stating this goal as a platform... Looking at what is happening in the Arab world, this might be a way to quickly implement a form of democracy in places where there is nothing yet to support it. Your movement is very fertile ground for these ideas to take roots, there are highly educated motivated people in your group that could make this a reality and elaborate a system that would account for minority rights, server setups, phone interface etc. It could also (one can dream) create a whole new world where every voice can finally be heard and be as important towards decision making as anyone else. No matter the size of the voter’s bank account or number of influential friends: we have to take the power back.

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