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The Future Evolution Of Democracy: A Guide (moved from ATSNN)

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posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 08:34 PM
List something you dont like about the way your government is currently run. Not many of you would be left speechless. If you are without comment you probably just dont care enough about how your country is run to bother thinking about it. Its this apathy that has killed true democracy in our modern nations. This apathy is born from a very real disconnect between what you think and what your government does. How can we change this? The Internet, thats how.


What is a true democracy?
The simplest, and hence most truthful, definition of a democracy is:

A form of government where decisions are made by the majority, and with consultation of, the people.

Over time our populations grew to number in the tens, and even hundreds, of millions. With those numbers we lost the ability to consult with all the people, it was simply not possible. The answer to this was to delegate our personal counsel to a representative who would represent many of us in the decision making process. This solution, over time, has eroded the basis of our democracy. Our representatives cant represent everyone they are meant to, they have to choose a side and thus negate countless voices. We havent just delegated our voice, we've delegated the entire decision making process.

Some may argue that we can express our voice at election time. Well thats true, but voter apathy and short memories all conspire to ensure that even this process is corrupted. We can also express our voice through a referendum. Both processes are infrequent and only a referendum allows us direct influence in the decision making process.

But what if a referendum could be efficiently and inexpensively conducted for all important decisions? We have the technology to implement it - we just need the will.

Our political process hasnt changed significantly since the creation of the printing press. With its inception public sentiment could be gauged and swayed on a large scale. Given that the printing press was invented in the 1450s, it seems quite anomalous that such a crucial aspect of our civilization would remain so antiquated. Is this because it works so well? Or is it because our "representatives" do not wish to give us back our rightful place in the decision making process of our countries?

Quite simply, the "printing press" revolution of our time is the Internet. This single invention could revolutionize the way our countries are run. Used as a public tool to gauge and sway the population on a gigantic scale it will be the next evolution of democracy. It wont be a replacement of democracy, it will be an extention of it and as such our governments should embrace it.

Giving us all back our voice in government will rekindle our interest in the decision making process that we've come to ignore. This evolution of democracy will abolish apathy


Do you want your voice back? Do you want the internet incorporated into the political process? Well you can keep dreaming because our governments will NOT implement it of their own volition. We, the people, will have to force its implementation and to do this we have to prove it works.

To do this we have to create workable systems that demonstrate clearly how the internet can give all of us back our voice in government.

To do this we need to spend money on it. Simple. Thats the long and short of it. The creation of political parties needs money, this evolution of democracy will come from either funding or a revolt. The best option is to dig deep and invest in this evolution. If we can prove it works we can get it adopted.


All this altruistic and pie-in-the-sky babble of what should and shouldnt be happening is all well and good, but its nothing without alternatives. I've contemplated what I believe the internet can offer the democratic process, its potential is simply staggering.

The origins of democracy lay in ancient Athens some 2,500 years ago. The process involved those citizens who could vote gathering together to express their views, argue and then vote directly on the issues at hand.

With the communication advances the internet has provided us we can get back to this democratic tradition on a national scale. A country would need to create a single website to host all of these systems.

Forums for discussion only

The forum was the ancient place where such decision making occured. It is only fitting that we give the people of our countries back their access to this ancient tradition. The large population sizes again pose a problem here. To get around this you create fora for every single town and borough in the country. These fora are not for voting, they are for discussing issues.

Each town's fora could have 3 elected representatives (one from each major party) who would take part in a larger fora. This larger fora would be the parliamentary constituency's fora which has an elected member of parliament like currently occurs. The elected representatives of the towns could voice the concerns and wishes of their fora directly to their MP. The MP's then participate in parliament as normal. Again this does not extend to the decision making process, merely discussion of issues.

The parliamentary constituency fora would only be available for posting by the elected representatives to avoid the obvious choas that would occur from hundreds of thousands of differing opinions. However the parliamentary constituency fora would be completely public and readable to any one.


As the discussion of ideas is allowed to occur it allows everyone to express their ideas and to sway others. The conclusion of that process is a vote. In this evolution of democracy everyone gets to vote on all parliamentary level decisions.

To emulate a referendum in such matters the internet is an ideal tool. For those who do not have access to the internet you could substitute a phone (either voice or SMS).

To ensure a level of honesty in voting, each voter would be issued with an unique voting pin, as well as user name.

Obviously our current governments make many decisions and expecting every voter to vote on every decision is a big ask. But to give the opportunity to vote in every decision is the goal here, not to have everyone vote. If you feel strongly for or against a certain decision then you vote for it.

The votes would then be tallied electronically and the resulting decision would be according to the majority vote. A list of votes showing user names and their corresponding vote would be made available to ensure a fair vote.

Another possible addition


How would you feel about having the chance to dictate how your tax is allocated? Would you like the chance to assign percentages of your tax to what ever you choose? You could choose from a list of programmes such as:

Public Works

You could then assign what percentage of your tax you feel appropriate.

Creating awareness

All of the above systems, including the tax system, could be created and up and running before its real implementation. A virtual country could be set up to prove its viability as a democractic tool. As an experiment I feel it would be of real interest to a very wide range of people. It would also allow for any problems to arise before implementation and for any suggestions to be incorporated.

The inclusion of a petition could also be included in the online site. The petition could call for the implementation of the internet in our democracy as defined in this Op/Ed. If 51% of voters signed the petition real change could be enacted.

Failing that, it could be a major issue at the next general election, with candidates advocating the inclusion of the internet as part of their platform.


This idea is too big for any individual to implement alone. However, it is a matter of "when" and not "if" that the inclusion of the internet will occur in our democracies. Those of us who would rather see its benefits sooner rather than latter should seriously consider getting in on the ground floor and kick starting this evolution.

Apathy has killed our democracies. Let the internet abolish it!

Comments, suggestions and offers of help to start this welcome!

posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 09:52 PM

Go take a look at what they say, guy who runs them is a good friend of mine. (I'm in on the next MP election going to run in fact.)

Will the internet reconnect Britain?
Some interesting information presented at this event, organised by the Hansard Society and e-society. It was held on Tues 8th March at Portcullis House, Westminster. One of the most surprising claims was that the internet has not made people any more interested or active in politics. It has opened up new channels for people to become active and organise events, but, according to Professor John Curtice, these are the people that would have become active anyway.

Switzerland has a fantastic system of Direct Democracy.
America has it in places a a number of States, however the population don't know about it and thus don't use it. (C.A. is an example of this)

As for the internet?

I think it will help boost it. But more so computers.

Imagine voting on laws. Using their New ID Card.

You simply go in, scan it and click on your vote/view point. It'll need to be indepently regulated however, things such as "Homosexual marriages", etc, could be put to a vote so the public could decide.

In fact a majority if not every moral issue should be decided by the public and not a small number of people. However you need a clearly defined system. (Have a look at this post.


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