Novel Offers Ways Of Giving Voters More Say While Reducing Influence Of Special

Posted on Friday, April 22 at 12:13 by Anonymous
On my own website, I have included a webpage that articulates this proposal in more detail. To read more you may go to On this webpage, I also mention that I think it is important that the daytimers of elected representatives and their staffs are posted online, so that all meetings and other communications with lobbyists, special interest groups, and people with 'special access', will be noted for anyone to see or read about. Thank you. Will Cupchik

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  1. by avatar Milton
    Sat Apr 23, 2005 2:07 pm
    This is a very interesting idea and one that we have discussed (partly) here before. I think we do need a system like this because the present way of doing things places too much authority and responsibility on too few people. It is too much for them to handle by themselves.

  2. Sat Apr 23, 2005 4:21 pm
    <p> <blockquote><i>In the novel some present and promising new politicians agree to be bound by the majority of their constituants' votes (except in cases of national emergencies or ethical differences of opinion with the majority of those who have voted. The key new hardware is a 'Voter's Vector', a biometrically secure PDA device that allows registered voters to register their opinions on any selected topic at any time, and for their elected representatives to take into account when voting in parliament.</i></blockquote> <p> My gut reaction to this is "ABSOLUTELY NO"! <a href="">No!</a> <a href="">No!</a> For crying out loud, <a href="">No!</a> <p> And for all of us "computer savvy people" who would agree with the above, can we just remember from time to time that the very, very large majority of people, if not the "voters" as such, SIMPLY DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO COMPUTERS, for either socio-economic reasons or socio-educational reasons, or both? No, whatever the form, such proposals as long as they would deny "The People" access to their representatives, by not making allowance for low-tech input, portends the end of democracy. <p>

  3. Sat Apr 23, 2005 4:35 pm
    I too would be very sceptical in a techie solution to basically what is not a techie problem.

    "We are all in this together somehow, some more than others somehow"

  4. Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:45 pm
    With all the problems computer have with security and hacking, I don't see us falling for this one. Nice try.

    These days, if you are not confused, you are not thinking clearly. Mrs. Irene Peters

  5. Sat Apr 23, 2005 7:14 pm
    In a far future such a think could be possible, but it is 'science fiction'. For democracy to work it's my opinion that people need to have some level of socialization, otherwise it's every man for himself. People do WANT to be socialized, at least that certainly seems evident, which is why more public meetings would seem to be an answer. A public meeting held locally was highly structured by the municipality, with a city worker lording over the 'group discussions'. Such things are rarely necessary and deeply distracting, particularly when most of the negative comments were about city staff! It's hard to criticize when somebody is standing right there running the show.

    With a little more socialization to public meetings we'd easily see a better democracy. At coffee shops and pubs discussions go on all the time, the idea of sitting in a highly lit uncomfortable room with bad seating is enough to dissuade anybody from attending. Combined with the fact that you know your voice has no carrying power anyway and we can see why few bother showing up.

    Each neighbourhood could have a 'democracy store' in a local strip mall-there's always some store space closed down. This would be a central place for meetings and picking up information, while websites, pamphlets, and newsletters can be mailed out in bulk (this is already done at taxpayers expense anyway). There are very few decisions that need 'a vote', in fact very few are put to a vote from the various legislative bodies. Here in Waterloo the council only meets twice monthly in a city of over 100,000. Provincially, I'm not sure about Ontario, I haven't gotten around to it, but federally we've seen only 21 bills recieve royal assent. There is very little 'activity' necessary to come up with such votes.

    Personally, I think if we could simply find out what the government is doing and enact a change, that would be plenty. Initially there would be quite a bit of work simply because I think so many disagree with so many government policies, but there's no hurry.

  6. by avatar Spud
    Sat Apr 23, 2005 7:47 pm
    Ya did it again Marcarc!
    Good idea!Great Idea!
    Store front democracy?It is worth a try.Simple and to the point.Applying technology to voting leaves too much room for hacking/altering votes.
    Store Front Democracy=SFD Party?Just a thought.

  7. by avatar Milton
    Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:22 pm
    Everyone does not have access to computers? Then lets make it mandatory that they do. If they can not afford one then one will be provided for them. Of course they will need suitable accomodations to store the computer in as well as access to nutritious food and proper clothing and all the other essentials necessary for a person to function as a healthy part of the whole. We will have to provide that as well. When I say we I mean "we, the people".
    As far as the threat of hacking goes, the problem would require on going vigilance and creative verification routines. The idea is to get the people to have hands on control of the system. I understand that some folks don't want every Tom, Dick and Mary to have an equal say in what and how things are done.
    I don't agree with all the authors ideas, for instance the idea that elected representatives should vote their consciences as opposed to what the majority of their constituents want. If the rep doesn't like it then s/he should resign. Simple as that.
    Would there be problems, yes! Would there be fiascos, yes! Would it be an ongoing effort to continuously revise and improve the system, yes!

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