Electronic Democracy design should not be left to corporates

The Speaker of the House of Commons is reported as wanting the web giants to plan a digital revolution of the UK electoral system – er, that we can vote electronically. The Daily Mail says  it is the brainchild of the Speaker. No it isn’t, don’t be silly. Electronic voting has been around yonks, it is far from being a new idea. Only in the House of Commons could this sort of idea be new to anyone. Three of us in BT won a prize in 1993 for talking about the impacts on democracy of electronic voting and use of the web and so on. So the Speaker is only 20 years behind the times, and MPs and Ministers have been told to do something along these lines numerous times since by many people.

But this blog isn’t about how our MPS are ludicrously badly educated about the basic platforms of modern existence. It isn’t even about the huge errors they make every day. The gigabytes of storage WordPress very nicely lets me have access to still isn’t enough to document all the stupidity in parliament.

It’s about how big companies with a terrible track record of abusing their positions or with any sign of intent on world domination should never be allowed anywhere near its design or implementation. I don’t need to mention any names, but I will exclude Twitter from criticism, they’re still young and not very naughty yet.

Actually, that’s all I need to say. I suspect every reader of my blog understands that statement extremely well with no further clarification required except any MPs who might have stumbled across it. It should be as blindingly obvious as not letting Dracula run a blood bank or Goldman Sachs run a privatisation.

One response to “Electronic Democracy design should not be left to corporates

  1. Hi Ian,
    Your comment rings true. Look what corporate subcontractors have done to botch up the health insurance registry for Obamacare in the U.S. It was bad enough that the law is flawed in so many ways and that a single payer system, the logical approach, would have made it so much easier for the American people. But it takes lawmakers and those corporate lobbyists who influence them but do not educate them to truly screw something up.



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