Internet Based System For Direct Democracy

mm at mm at
Sun Jul 3 22:21:40 BST 2011

To enable debate this post and early comments (see also below) may be 
read at  
where further comments may easily be added.

Geyer's Internet Based System For Direct Democracy

Proposal/Draft resolution plus leaders' comments July 3rd 2011

I&Rgb wrote:
> Information from
> I&R ~ GB Citizens' Initiative and Referendum
> Campaign for direct democracy in Britain
> concerning a:
> by David von Geyer
> Establishing An Internet Based System For Direct Democracy
> Annual General Meeting of The Electoral Reform Society
> Draft Resolution Presented by David von Geyer, Vote For Yourself campaign
> The parlous state of the coalition government;
> With the LibDem elements often supporting unpopular Tory policies that 
> have no mandate;
> With no legitimacy to effect much-needed social and economic reforms;
> That the electoral roll is expensive and difficult to maintain;
> That too many citizens have lost trust in the established political 
> parties;
> That the Internet is an effective and inexpensive communication system 
> that would enable everybody to participate directly in forming, and 
> then voting for, effective policies to rebalance society and the economy;
> That there is no logic in persisting with old-fashioned and outdated 
> electoral systems when Internet technology exists to enable direct 
> democracy,
> 1.    To urge the existing government to set up an Internet based 
> system for direct democracy.
> 2.    To support the apolitical Indivote campaign that aims to provide 
> the British public with 650 independent candidates at the next 
> election committed to setting up an Internet based system.
> 3.    To support the apolitical Vote For Yourself campaign that is 
> making the case for setting up an Internet based debating and voting 
> system.
> 4.    To support the apolitical Citizens' Initiative and Referendum 
> Campaign for direct democracy in Britain that is making the case for 
> direct democracy.
> ------------------------------
> I&R ~ GB intends to endorse D von Geyer's proposal to ERS, to be 
> presented in September 2011.
> Any comments please to info at
Terry replied:

When will the penny drop that democracy is not an absolute right that 
extends to the whimsical notion that a perfect society comes a step 
nearer wnen the agregation of individual votes regulates our daily lives?

Democracy is a principle worth struggling for but not an absolute 
condition that will free us from the need to distribute responsibility 
in a free society.

It is part of mature behaviour to accept the disappointment that flows 
from direct or delegated responsibility.

The notion that electronic voting will free us from the chains of 
partisan or adverserial  politics is about as sensible as the Mad 
Hatters tea party.

Here is an adverserial comment which is directed directly at your notion 
of Direct Democracy. Like it or not the UK is slipping down the league 
table of global influence. This is not because our voting system is 
unhinged. It is because, like you, many of leading politicians believe 
that the true purpose of socety is to engineer equality. Would that the 
levers of well being be so simply addressed.

There have been times when the genuine protection of democratic values 
has been so under threat that extreme measures have been necessary.

Perhaps it is getting near the time that we did something about your 
'candy floss' mentality which is distractive from the fact that we have 
lost the competitive edge that helped give us the chimera of success.

Thank goodness that we have an existing democratic system which can 
throw people together to exercise delegated responsibility in full 
recognition of differences in values.

The arguments that you find so distressing are a genuine sign that all 
is not lost for a mature and progressive country.

Terry ... B Sc (Econ) ....

Mark replied:

Response to proposal by David von Geyer
1. Internet based System for Direct Democracy
Access to the internet is a problem for many people, an undocumented 
number of people simply have no internet connection because of various 
financial and technology and infrastructure issues (BT being still in 
the dark ages) Immediately, a large section of the public would be 
automatically disenfranchised and excluded from the process.

There is no reliable or credible system of two way communication in 
existence other than through agencies authorised by Government like, 
Inland Revenue, Customs & Excise, National Health Service, Work & 
Pensions, etc

The databases upon which these well established agencies depend are up 
to date and the way communication currently adheres by law to a strict 
calendar, delivering automated postal targets, makes for an ideal area 
for exploration by Direct Democracy advocates

For example:
Each year every citizen is required by law to fill in a Self Assessment 
Form which is a public service to ensure everyone makes the right 
contribution towards the upkeep of the State. With such a system already 
in place it would not require Einstein to merge the system of tax 
collection with a sytem of voting that would not interfere with the flow 
of tax income.
Add to the SA a checklist on how you want your tax distributed across 
the various departments Health, Education, Social Care, Military, 
Transport etc the Government could gauge a consensus view on priorities 
and perhaps instruct Parliament to arrange a public debate on the 
consensus followed by a compulsory vote at the end of it.
Such an addition would mean adding an extra module to the database 
serving the internal secure networks, asssuming it has been designed to 
be easily adapted, that could be integrated with a site like 
giving real time information in graphic or numeral form ready for 
broadcasting by the BBC as an appendage to the daily news broadcast

In this way both Government and the Public at large would be locked into 
a consciousness of a dialogue that can only be ignored at the 
Government's peril.

Such a system would need to be ratified by law and entered into Statute 
with Royal Consent - anyhting short of this would be a complete waste of 
time and money.


Jim replied:

This overlooks the fact that very many people do not have access to
the internet, and many of them would not know how to use such a
system. Some simply do not want it while many others cannot afford it
(and that number wil increase significantly as the government's cuts
to welfare bite harder). All such people would be disenfranchised by
any internet-only system.

Jim Fisher

Mark E. replied:

can you clarify for me what you mean by direct democracy?


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