Monday, 24 December 2007
It may even be possible to put the servers, which take up little space, in already secure buildings (e.g. police stations?) so that costs don't escalate.
Sunday, 9 December 2007
Friday, 7 December 2007
Here's a list:
- The Party Whip undermining the ability of MPs to represent their constituents or, even, their own conscience
- Spin and lies
- Unfulfilled manifestos
- General elections rest on voters making complex choices that mingle personality and policy
- Top down not bottom up
- Inaccurate information
- Statistical naivety
- Low voter power
- First past the posts skews electoral power
- Point scoring debates and sound bite politics
- Pursuit of the centre ground leading to stagnation politics
- Little voter choice
- Little connection with voters
- MPs can't represent the views of their constituents because they don't know what the majority of them think
- Local and European politics aren't well presented in the media
Monday, 3 December 2007
Sunday, 25 November 2007
Today we already have a qualification to vote - you have to be aged 18 or over. What if there were another qualification, perhaps one based on intellect, logic, values or compassion? Perhaps everyone would sit an exam on it?... at any age. Maybe it would be like a test of Britishness? Maybe those adults that fail the test must nominate someone else to vote on their behalf?
This isn't something I would like to see in Interactive Democracy because it may create a disenfranchised underclass. The type of test also biases the system and if votes are transferred to others, the door is opened to corruption.
Friday, 23 November 2007
Sunday, 18 November 2007
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
Newspaper readership figures can be found here.
Friday, 9 November 2007
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
Saturday, 3 November 2007
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
Monday, 22 October 2007
The electorate are only as good as their information, so safeguarding truth is essential to democracy:
- Free and competitive press
- Strong laws against fraud, lying and misrepresentation
- Transparency in government
- Government sponsored research free from political bias
- Critical thinking and freedom of speech
- Competition among search engines to avoid political bias
- Complexity/simplicity of the subject? Most votes can be boiled down to simple issues!
- The time and media coverage available to address the issue? Each vote is an interactive media story.
- The public's capacity to give due consideration to the pros and cons? Opinion leaders with media access are important to the debate.
- Cost of administering the referendum? Interactive Democracy benefits from low cost IT services.
- National security considerations?... Decisions may be based on secrets!... Or they may be based on morals?
- Frequent votes may lead to overload and voter apathy! But people can vote on many issues at one sitting and may not vote at all on issues they have no feelings about.
It seems to me that when politicians decide if there should be a referendum, there's a little voice in the back of their heads saying "Only do it if you are sure we will win!"
Saturday, 20 October 2007
Friday, 19 October 2007
Thursday, 18 October 2007
By EQ I mean the Experience Quotient (nothing to do with emotional intelligence, though similar arguments may be made about EI). Lets imagine that the sum of your life experiences is the sum of every different experience that you have ever had or learnt about. This encompasses a good proportion of your learned IQ. Compare this EQ to IQ, which is useful in understanding and analysing data on relatively simple decisions that may not take into account complex values, feelings and motivations.
Imagine a group of politicians - how diverse are their experiences? Now imagine a much bigger group - the whole population involved in a referendum. This group probably includes every politician and has a cumulative amount of experience which can be expressed through the vote.
Many voters may not easily be able to articulate their views but it may be argued that their sub-conscious has already factored in all their experience to lead them to an opinion, which may be altered by the light of good arguments, stories and debate.
Interactive Democracy capitalises on the maximum amount of every form of intelligence, from every source.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
- "I value mountaineering - you think it's stupidly dangerous"
- "I eat too much - you think I'm a drain on the national health service"
- "I value freedom - you value security"
Edward de Bono defined six styles of thinking:
- White Hat Thinking is about facts and gathering information
- Red Hat Thinking is about emotion and intuition
- Black Hat Thinking is critical thinking and is sometimes seen as negative
- Yellow Hat Thinking looks for the positive
- Green Hat Thinking is creative
- Blue Hat Thinking is about controlling the process
"6 Sigma" is the title of a quality management system and refers to being almost defect free (3.4 defects per million). Its procedure for the management of improvement is DMAIC:
"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."
- The manifesto of the winning party is always implemented... No it isn't - so how do we choose which party to vote for?
- MPs reflect the opinions of the majority in their constituency... How do they know?
- MPs always act on their convictions... So what are the party whips for?
- MPs always tell the truth... And there's no such thing as spin?
- Your vote can sway the result... Your vote is one in many hundreds of thousands and carries little influence.
- Anyone can become a Member of Parliament... There are only 640 odd seats in the commons, so the odds are pretty slim.
- All aspects of an argument are presented in debate... Points of view are as diverse as peoples experiences and can never be fully communicated in debate.
- All pertinent information is presented and analysed by Parliament... Information is virtually infinite and decisions can never be fully informed.
- Parliament makes logical and rational decisions... There is no set of standards for decision making as would be the case in, say, testing an aircraft wing structure to ensure safety.
- Politicians are experts in decision making... And are well qualified in statistical analysis?
- Politicians are mostly altruistic... Freud may disagree - he identified many sub-conscious motivators.
- Consequences of decisions can be predicted and fully considered by dedicated professional politicians... Consequences can never be fully predicted because of chaos and complexity theory.
- Politicians represent the will of the people... How do they know what the majority want?
- A small group of intelligent politicians make better decisions than a large group of average people... Large groups of dissimilar people have more experience to draw on than a small group with similar experiences.
- Multi-faceted decisions, such as those in a General Election can be calculated rationally... Multi-faceted decisions are much harder to decide than single issues.
(Politicians have special skills that are needed in Interactive Democracy and, despite the above comments, I feel it is everyone's duty to vote.)