The change on democracy through the power of software and Social Media is real, and I personally think we are just starting to see how we as citizens will demand to be connected and participate on legislation directly and on real-time instead of just giving a vote every 4 years.
Let us imagine for a moment how could this work:
- A Wiki government, where people can add text to propose legislation that representatives can take to vote in parliament or senate and vote along the people. A Wiki site is a powerful way to collaborate and contribute to the overall result of propose laws and can give voice to each citizen about subjects that matter, enhancing the reach of the work of our elected officials to read and listen the voice of the people.
- Continue voting – online voting, having a balanced representation of collective vote and percentage of representation per parliament seat is a balance that can be adopted, and controlled through technology. A member of parliament could have more relevance to her/his constituents by allowing them to share their voice, the more participation there is on a bill, the more relevant the people become, for lesser participated votes the parliament seat becomes more relevant. This could allow significant matters to be taken more personally by each citizen and having more meaningful power in the democratic process, in other words, if a great percentage of the people vote directly on a bill the people become the decision power… technology can allow this.
Obviously enforcing transparency is key.
… is it a dream? is already happening in Brasil and Iceland.
Social Media will play a significant role, to start debate, to share ideas, to connect with similar individuals for common goals. Public opinion will be driven by the public and not by lobby and media giants. Politicians can use Social Media to resource opinion and propose views. We can as well influence politicians we select to represent us according to democratic ways.
New generations are going to demand the connectivity we are creating these days with the Cloud and Social Media along with powerful software to be also applied to politics, that will affect us and govern our societies.
It is an exciting moment to create the necessary changes that will allow us as citizens to be more involved. This new era of participation seems to be born on the Spanish 15M or Occupy Wall Street. Social Media was key for these movements and what transpired is an example of things to come.
The revolution that each generation demands is going to take shape in the technology we use, like in the past the despotism conflicted with the “light” that the printed word provided or the social class conflicts from the industrial revolution.
The concepts of: “direct democracy”, “wiki government”, “online vote” are extending and will be a topic of discussion everywhere more preeminently now.
I think these are interesting times…