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Patanjali Sokaris

Pondering the universe

16.Support from technology

As technology improves the ability to directly vote securely in real time, many situations that have required voting by representatives could be decided by direct voting.

The great majority of issues being addressed by laws need lots of time for consideration and preparation of suitable legislation, plus the review by the executive. Only the actual voting could be done by instant voting, which may have to be done twice, days or weeks apart, to give time to reflect, just like the split chambers do.

Laws could be developed by wiki, but, like any development involving lots of people, consensus can be a protracted process, and result in failure. Focussed effort, by fewer people, and assisted by a bureaucracy trained in the process, is more likely to reach a workable consensus more quickly, and with a higher quality result. When you look at standards, they are mainly created by a few qualified people, though typically supplied by organisations with vested interests.

However, some measures detailed here may still be needed to prevent situations swamping the short-term consciousness of the masses of voters. This is the mitigation provided by splitting elections by years. Instant voting bypasses that chance for considered reflection by people not necessarily caught up in the issue of the moment.

As always, technology can support the political process, but it must not supplant application of the basic principles, which are based upon people and their psychology, rather than just a few rules.

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