Thursday, 16 December 2010
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Friday, 10 December 2010
Friday, 3 December 2010
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
- Group think
- Entrenched attitudes and philosophies; dogma
- Established power bases within the party and its funding mechanisms
- Pecking order
- The difficulties of gaining credibility
- The limits of trying to persuade one party when you may be able to persuade parts of other groups - the constraints of loyalty
Monday, 29 November 2010
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Monday, 22 November 2010
Friday, 19 November 2010
Friday, 12 November 2010
Violence against property and the police certainly grabbed the media's attention. At least one policeman was hurt. It's yet to be seen if it will have any effect on government policy.
I advocate Interactive Democracy (or any direct democracy) as a way of avoiding such protests. It would give protesters a more effective voice, encourage debate, avoid destructive behaviours and reduce the cost of policing.
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Thursday, 4 November 2010
- Freedom (of speech etc.)
- Agency (freedom of action)
- Complexity (the varied mix of human opinion, values and decisions; avoiding cliched thinking)
- Ends-not-means (individuals, not cogs within a larger machine)
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Interactive Democracy provides the opportunity to develop complex debates in the media and on its own web site. The presentation of all this complexity may be ignored by some, perhaps those that are entrenched in their point of view, but it may be used by others to come to a more balanced point of view. Each "fear" used by one side of the debate may be diminished by the other; "fury" can be vented; and solutions for "frustrations" may be found.
(Kathleen Taylor is a research scientist in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at the University of Oxford.)
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Interactive Democracy could replace the House of Lords as a control and check on Commons business, without losing the input of respected Peers.
Friday, 15 October 2010
- One way is that the issues to be voted on can be selected or written in such a way as to encourage one outcome.
- Another is to limit the number of choices.
- If several choices are available, a voting system may be offered that is proportional but biased.
- Deadlines for votes may be chosen to coincide with sporting events that drag peoples attention away.
- Wealthy individuals or groups, or the media, may pursue a campaign of persuasion.
- Individuals may bully others into a vote.
Monday, 11 October 2010
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
In this lecture Jane MacGonigal, Director of Game R&D at the Institute for the Future, looks at how we may be able to tap into the concentrated efforts of on-line gamers to come up with ideas to solve the world's problems. Perhaps Interactive Democracy could be seen as just such a game?
Here are some of the aspects of on-line gaming that draw people in
- Common purpose
- Playing by the same rules
- Rapid feedback
- Achievable goals
- Easy access to play the game
I have previously outlined the notion of the IDeA (Interactive Democracy Award) for successful contributors, but it may also be possible to create other ways of scoring your input. Perhaps the system could track how many votes of approval have been cast on your contributions, keeping a running total on your voting account? Something to be proud of?
In this TED talk, Esther Duflo (founder of MIT's Jameel Poverty Action Lab) explains how controlled experiments can be used to discover the best ways of fighting poverty. The same principles can be used to test many social policies and I would encourage politicians to become experts in this aspect of social science.
Interactive Democracy can also benefit from controlled and randomised social experiments. Perhaps each topic of debate should include a web site tab to propose and discuss how it can be tested. Apart from setting up experiments contributors may highlight comparisons with foreign government policy in order to shed more light on the subject.
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
- Time: slowing down the decision making process allows us to gather more information.
- Truth: collecting hard evidence can undermine our assumptions and give our decisions stronger foundations.
- Perspective: our initial decisions are formed from our own perspective, but other inputs, over time, can encourage us to consider other points of view.
- Values: understanding what we value most, and realising that others may value something else more, can build a rationale for making a decision.
- Cost: carefully predicting the costs involved should have a strong influence on a decision.
- Probability: unfortunately, most decisions involve estimates of costs and outcomes; having a clear understanding of the chances involved should impact a decision.
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Public administration is often performed by public servants who have never been elected. They may be foreign diplomats or city managers and they work in the name of the public at every level from local to national. This public administration degree site gives a more complete explanation of the roles and professions these bureaucrats perform in government. Recently, the BBC's Panorama programme looked at the pay of top public servants, many of whom earn more than the Prime Minister. I wonder if Interactive Democracy would enable votes 'for' or 'against' top notch pay packages and if the ensuing debate would clarify the benefits that senior employees bring?
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Monday, 13 September 2010
Friday, 10 September 2010
Monday, 6 September 2010
As part of his lecture he also presents a diagram of the left and right in politics, maintaining a balanced approach.
Data images are available from David's website - here.
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Within the proposed Interactive Democracy system, choices are effected by debate, leadership and data. The politicians may act as expert advisers and those that don't want to choose may devolve their vote to other people within the liquid leadership system.
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Monday, 2 August 2010
Three items from the Coalition Government paper:
"We will give residents the power to instigate local referendums on any local issue.
"We will bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by l0% of his or her constituents.
"We will ensure that any petition that secures l00,000 signatures will be eligible for formal debate in Parliament. The petition with the most signatures will enable members of the public to table a bill eligible to be voted on in Parliament."
Could it be that Direct or Interactive Democracy would naturally adjust policy to achieve the greatest total of happiness in society, given that the greatest number of citizens have lower wages and would benefit most from policies that improved their wealth while richer people may not gain happiness from greater wealth?
(This idea doesn't necessarily point towards wealth redistribution; it may just as easily point to wealth creation via capitalism. I note that Switzerland has the highest per capita income of any country in Europe.)
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Bavaria once had some of the toughest smoking restrictions in Germany.It eased them last year, allowing smoking in one-room bars of up to 800square feet and in beer tents. The referendum approved Sunday overrides that. Those who want to light up in restaurants, bars, cafes or even beer tents will have to go outside instead. A referendum requiring that was approved Sunday by voters in Bavaria. (Associated Press, July 4, 2010)
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Our tendency to accept what we wish to believe (what we are motivated to believe) with much less scrutiny than what we don't want to believe is a bias known as "motivated reasoning", a kind of flip side to confirmation bias. Whereas confirmation bias is an automatic tendency to notice data that fit with our beliefs, motivated reasoning is the complementary tendency to scrutinize ideas more carefully if we don't like them than if we do.
Are the political elite better equiped to avoid such traps or can democracy do it better?
Friday, 11 June 2010
Thursday, 10 June 2010
Thanks to TED for this lecture.
Friday, 4 June 2010
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Friday, 21 May 2010
Thursday, 20 May 2010
In Interactive Democracy I would expect Parliament to argue over the options and layout of referendum, ensuring a debate on what goes before the public.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Monday, 17 May 2010
Thursday, 13 May 2010
- legal punishments for printing falsehoods;
- presenting all sides of the arguments on the interactive web site used for voting.
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Monday, 10 May 2010
Sunday, 9 May 2010
Friday, 7 May 2010
- Sum votes for each seat
- Calculate average votes across all seats
- If Seat1 has less than average votes, calculate the deficit. If it has more than the average, repeat for the next Seat.
- If it has less than the average seat, look to the first adjoining seat. Does it have a surplus? If not repeat for second adjoining seat.
- Take surplus to eliminate the deficit by adding the nearest postcode.
- Repeat for each seat in turn until all seats equal the average.
Thursday, 6 May 2010
- It removes the need for single issue parties and independent MPs.
- It allows the government to blame the people for policies that don't work.
- It encourages people to get involved with politics and join the political parties - they can then be updated with emails about issues that are pending.
- It gives party members and activists greater power and involvement than they have today.
- The party gets real feedback on the reactions of voters to any proposal.
- The party leadership can concentrate on their core competencies of leadership, management, governance and diplomacy, without being condemned for one manifesto commitment or another.