Ideas for good: Revolutionising politics

Toby Leheup MBCS sent in some interesting thoughts on BCS’s ‘computing ideas for good’ project. Here, he has written a guest blogpost on his thoughts.

IT can truly revolutionise politics. The current system is so deeply flawed it's amazing that it works at all. Most democratic countries ask their citizens to vote for a political party that best represents their views. The politically intrigued will read manifestos and vote accordingly but many will not. Many will simply vote for the party that ‘feels right’ or the one which has the most charismatic leader. Perhaps even the one that their parents vote for.

The problem gets no better when you change perspectives from the political parties themselves. They look to guidance, not from citizens, but from members’ unions and think-tanks who have their own agenda. There is a gap between those who have a right to strong national leadership and those who deliver that leadership.   

Becoming ambidextrous

There is a better way. No longer should we think about parties and whether you are a ‘leftist’ or a ‘rightist’. No longer should we think about whether people ‘make a better prime minister’ based on how they eat chips or bacon sandwiches. Instead, let's bring that decision-making back to the people. The wisdom of the masses is perhaps the best and most democratic wisdom we have and yet it is not leveraged beyond the odd referendum taken once every decade. How can getting political guidance from those you represent once every decade be an acceptable method of national governance?   

Imagine a world where you can vote from your mobile on issues that matter to you. Imagine that those votes are analysed in real time with graphics displayed in the House of Commons. Imagine being an MP and having an understanding of the views of your constituents at a glance of your phone. Imagine a world where we can predict and publish fiscal consequences of policy changes based on real-time opinion polls. Imagine a world which is no longer split into 52 per cent and 48 per cent but into compromise and mutual satisfaction, based on granular decision making. Imagine a world where the governing representatives are required to listen to their constituents by rule of hard published and verified facts. Imagine a world where politics is no longer an old boys club where the verbal battles play in the House of Commons but instead is a place where data analysis, ethics, morality and decision-making are combined in harmony. Imagine a world where fake news and propaganda are met with a single and trusted authoritative source. Just imagine.    

IT offers a beautiful solution. This solution will harness digitally authenticated voting, big data analytics and artificial intelligence to deliver the very best direct democracy in the world. This could be the very Greatest Democracy of Britain.

Feel inspired?

Any of those ideas push your buttons? Or inspire further thoughts? Share your ideas.

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The Echoes blog showcases the best of the conversations on the BCS Voices debate platform.

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