Monday, 24 December 2007

Changeable Identity Aids Security

Some types of information security may be changed after a breach. For example it would be relatively easy to change the encryption standards, voter identification codes and passwords after a security breach, in order to prevent fraud. On the other hand, names and postcodes can't be altered making them more valuable for identity thieves. To side step this issue, after registration and validation, unique ID user names may be stored on the system, instead of real names. These may be changed after a security breach (or by the user at any other time) and will be worthless to identity fraudsters.
If each region operated its own ID database it would be easier and cheaper to "re-set" the security data after a crisis.

Decentralised Data

In the event of a breach of security, centralised databases can lose colossal amounts of personal information. Apart from the security measures already mentioned (encryption, fraud monitoring, firewalls, PINs etc.) it may be worth avoiding centralising data. Instead each county could run its own system at very little extra cost.

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

Multiple Choice

The technology of Interactive Democracy facilitates "ranked voting" where multiple choices can be ranked by voters as a preference list: each option may be ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc. Alternatively, voters may be asked to give a score to each option, rather like many questionnaires, perhaps with a range from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree". This could easily be accommodated by the computerised system and may give a clearer indication of majority sentiment in decisions where there are multiple options presented together.

This link discusses the problems of satisfying the majority in elections with more than one party.

Friday, 7 December 2007

The Problems With Democracy

Here's a list:

  1. Funding
  2. The Party Whip undermining the ability of MPs to represent their constituents or, even, their own conscience
  3. Spin and lies
  4. Unfulfilled manifestos
  5. General elections rest on voters making complex choices that mingle personality and policy
  6. Top down not bottom up
  7. Inaccurate information
  8. Statistical naivety
  9. Low voter power
  10. First past the posts skews electoral power
  11. Point scoring debates and sound bite politics
  12. Pursuit of the centre ground leading to stagnation politics
  13. Little voter choice
  14. Little connection with voters
  15. MPs can't represent the views of their constituents because they don't know what the majority of them think
  16. Local and European politics aren't well presented in the media

Monday, 3 December 2007

Parliamentary Decisions

One of the advantages of Interactive Democracy is that the complex choices of our current General Election (personalities, parties and manifestos) are split into simpler choices about individual policies. Some may say "that already occurs in parliament", but MPs don't always vote on the merits of each case or the wishes of their voters. Instead they must consider their position in the party and the wishes of the whip. This can be clearly seen in the abstentions of Labour MPs who "opposed" the war in Iraq!