Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Anonymous Identity

Interactive Democracy can offer anonymous identity. That is to say, your name and address may be kept secret but the system can allocate you a vote because it knows who you are.
What are the implications of this?
By remaining anonymous you may be willing to express yourself more fully, yet there can still be sanctions against you for lying or bullying. It may free you to state your case or change your mind without feeling stupid. It may free you to make a case against your peers; it reduces social pressures. It may allow you to make a provocative point, to stimulate the debate, without wedding you to that opinion. It may allow you to ask simple questions without feeling daft.
Yet the system may allow your anonymous identity to be accurately attributed with academic qualifications. So, for example, the rest of us may know if you are a qualified doctor, engineer, scientist or policeman, putting your debating points in a personal context.
Should MPs also be given the privilege or anonymity?
I think they should not. Quite the opposite, I think their contributions should be highlighted so that we can give their opinions more weight and better judge them in the next general election.

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