Sunday, June 26, 2016

Party Games 34 &35/55 Online Direct Democracy & VoteFlux

I'm combining my write up of Online Direct Democracy - (Empowering the People!) and VOTEFLUX.ORG | Upgrade Democracy because both are making a very similar pitch. Instead of having an elected senator make decisions on how they will vote, their senators will vote according to the public will as determined through online voting. Given the recent brexit vote, I'm not sure how sold I am on direct democracy for everything.

Both parties are promising to have their system up and running in time for their candidates to take office if elected, but neither are fully operational at the moment. Neither provide much reassurance as to how they will get people to become involved, and how they will ensure that those involved do constitute an accurate representation of Australia as a whole. I suspect they'll tend to attract the young, tech savvy demographic but ignore the older non-tech savvy generations (I can't see my grandmother who still has dial up getting involved with either).

Both will allow you to delegate your votes to someone else, so I'm also curious what would happen if another party did a big push to get their members to register and then just delegate their votes for everything to a party representative. VoteFlux has another feature that I'm not quite sold on yet. They plan to allow you to trade away votes on things you don't care about so that you can have more votes on an issue you care about.

Finally, I'm concerned about the security & privacy implications of their systems. To be as auditable and reliable as they say they will be with systems that are not yet implemented and tested, I'm worried it will be possible to see people's voting history, and that the systems won't be as secure as they claim.

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