Internet, ubiquitous computing, democracy, oligarchy, two party system, electoral college
After the Bush years (Bush v2, the more stupid of the two) and the blatant tampering/stealing of two elections by Diebold, the outrage I have at the USA's electoral system helped inspire me to imagine a better setup for 'popular democracy'. I say this part with implied reservations about the stupidity of the masses -- but given the choice, I still would choose the stupidity of the masses over the perverse duplicity of the oligarchy.
My take on Digital Democracy is as follows:
- At birth or acquiring citizenship, you receive a Social Security Card. This number enables you to vote in all elections and update your information on a govt website.
- You can go back and look at your voting record,
- compare your votes to recommendations by parties and various officials,
- lookup (linked) tabulated voting results,
- followup on measures passed or failed,
- and so on.
- What protects you from 'malicious vote manipulation' is -- the security system on this database, and your own vigilance.
- What protects your 'secret ballot' status is that your SocSec number gets scrambled (but stays linked) when the votes are tabulated, plus consider the large numbers of voters.
- Lastly, what prevents any any organization from overly manipulating this system is that the government AND two independent companies manage this system, and a third company is brought in -- at random -- to do auditing before (and during) any major election to check discrepancies. Should one of the companies have significantly manipulated data, that company will be fined and they will lose their contract.
And then we do a few other things, namely:
- we make voting a mandatory requirement for all citizens,
- establish fines or civil service duties for not voting,
- and ultimately we retire all elected representatives and use digital democracy for all voting.
That'd be real democracy.
And from there, it would be up to the society to educate people on the issues. Because ultimately, any system's worth is limited by the components that make it.