Posts Tagged ‘voting’

Global Democracy 2017

Friday, February 10th, 2017

If you’ve been here before, you would have read my thoughts on a Global Voting System and how it could be used to enabled a true form of democracy, everywhere on earth.  This system, open source and crowd-developed, would give the world’s people dramatic power, like ending large scale conflicts and eradicating extreme poverty.

The Global Voting System (which needs a catchier shorter name but its GVS for now) would, on the front end, work on smart phones and other devices, and somehow gather consensus from individuals.  I used to think it would be like a poll questionnaire type, but theres probably a more refined way to build it.

The point is that people would somehow give their opinions, wants and thoughts on issues that are open for debate… whether its something involved just within your neighbourhood, your city-wide issues, country-wide, and people will even be “polled” on issues impacting the world scale.

The front end of the GVS will also somehow let people hold their elected officials’ feet to the flames. While a lot of the GVS will be automated, there will still need people to be put into positions of power.  However these people will be open to scrutiny and privacy invasion, and mechanisms will be in place to ensure that as little corruption and abuse of power persists.

On the backend – the system will need to be extremely secure, but still open sourced so that no back doors or other shenanigans can go on. Also there needs to be a way to always refine and improve the system and we can’t do that if the system is secret.

Some of my newer thoughts on the GVS were that it might take some form of AI to handle the complexity of the task.  The thought that AI and computers could hold so much power over us might be frightening, but that future is inevitable.  We may as well take control over it instead of being enslaved by it.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the process of making a GVS type project come to life.  First, it would take some fundraising – I bet a crowd sourcing platform would be an ideal place for this, as well as to get more people interested in the project.

It will take a team of talent people just to begin building a sort of a proto-GVS, which will be used to gain the worlds ideas and consensus on how best to build the GVS. This team would need to face a similar kind of transparency and scrutiny that we will expect from our elected officials, and if people are shown to be trying to rig the system they can be replaced.

We could use some sort of reddit type voting to get the best ideas up to the top as well as enabling a discourse on the subjects, as long as the moderation of the forums and discourse was open to scrutiny and replacement of key people if necessary.

Let’s say we were able to create this awesome system and it works awesome like we all hope it can.  So what? We still have our current, corrupt and ineffective governments in the way.  And none of them will just willingly hand over the reigns to some arbitrary “system of the people”.  So then how can make the transition from our current, obsolete form of proto-democracy, to a real democracy where people everywhere get their voices heard.

It used to be the only way I could see it happening was to have the system ready for when revolutions happen.  When a country finally has enough, and huge percentages of the population come and oust their shitty governments, a GVS system could be there, ready to be put into place, giving those people’s revolution a lasting democracy (instead of simply putting into power their next tyrant).

Now here’s some of my latest thinking… why wait for the revolution?  Why wait when we can create an independent political party, use the GVS to elect party leaders, and then run these elected leaders on existing platforms against existing politicians.

Instead of just liberals/conservatives or democrats/republicans, we could have a brand new party that truly channels the will of the people, because a GVS type system is built by the people for the people.

When you consider how so many of the governing bodies of the world – on all levels of government – allow for such corruption, lies, inefficiencys, and ineptitudes, it’s acutally believable that a viable alternative to this would be embraced by enough people to make it a reality.

World Peace – 2016 Update

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

I haven’t posted since my 2015 update, so here’s where my thoughts are as of today.

I still see the potential arrival of world peace by 2020, which is still the best of the 3 options we are heading towards (the other two being enslavement or extinction).

Now, it may seem unlikely to a lot of people for peace to arrive within the next couple of years. But for us to end politically and corporately organized armed conflict – which is what I define world peace to be – it will take a global revolution.

This revolution, which I call The Great Awakening, is where people of the world are able to unite and cooperate just enough to redistribute power from the old establishment. This will soon be possible (if not already) thanks mostly to new technology – technology that has never existed before like cell phones and social media. So in many ways the revolution has already begun.

Using current technology and the with tools humankind is on the frontier of making, we will be able to establish a new form of governance… a sort of tech-based democracy. This is what I used to call a Global Voting System, which was app that runs on cell phones, but now to me it will be more than that.

I now see this global democracy as being a combination of intelligent software and organization structures which run underneath the social media type app. The software will be open-source, with wiki style editing and crowdsourced moderation. The organizations will be similar to our current governments with leaders and civil servants, because someone still has to be there to do the work and make the decisions.

But there needs to be some major differences from today’s government, in that it has to be entirely transparent. We will see where budgets are coming in and how they are being spent, broken down from the federal all the way down to the local level, so we can cut out inefficiencies and stamp out corruption.

As well, our leaders (which will still probably be elected), will be under a tremendous amount of scrutiny. We are starting to see this now with Hilary Clinton’s leaked emails. Except it won’t be leaks we have in the future, but an actual requirement for new found democratic system to actively monitor all of our leaders.

Imagine taking the spying and surveillance power of the NSA and others like them, and using it to show all of the people everything their leaders do in all but the most private moments of their lives. They would be held accountable to the people, and those not serving interests of the people will quickly be replaced.

Within the framework of this newly emerging democracy (one we’ve already begun creating) we will also see the reality of what most of the wars that exist today for what they are: for-profit entities. Many powerful global corporations and governments have, for many generations, colluded to destabilize entire regions in order to have clients for their arms sales. It’s sad but true. Wars and weapons mean huge money, so much that they can afford to do whatever it takes to drum up more business.

But through our redistribution of power and new found democracy, just like with our elected leaders, we will be able to hold the war industry accountable for the massive damage they are doing to the world’s population (not unlikely holding big tobacco accountable).

Once we take out the financial incentives that drive us to war, we will see how much of it just dries right up. Sure, people will still fight and kill each other, but not on the industrialized scale we see today, and that to me is what world peace will be.

So that’s where my thoughts are today, which really isn’t anything but a small evolution from a few years ago.

To recap, what remains to be done:

  1. Build the Global voting system (or whatever it will be called). It will probably have to start on a smaller scale to show that it works.  Maybe in Iceland or another really progressive country.
  2. Spread a message of hope about the reality of world peace to billions of people, maybe with some kind of clever meme or awareness viral video.

But I’m busy doing other stuff so someone else will have to make world peace happen, at least for the time being.

Revolution Everywhere

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Mass upheavals have been toppling corrupt rulers all over the world, proving that we the people still have the ultimate power. Unfortunately, whenever the glorious revolution does occur, all too often one evil tyrant will fall only to make way for the next.

What we’ve been missing is a key piece to the puzzle: how do we roll out a functioning democracy over top of an old, broken establishment. Lucky for us, this key to unlocking lasting democracy around the world is in the process of being made right now.

This tool, still embryonic, will be an open-source, upgradable system of people, mechanisms, technology and software that will constantly glean consensus from entire populations to develop better policies and rules of governance. so that we can hold our elected officials to the utmost accountability.

How exactly will this work? That is yet to come, but it will work with the instantaneousness of twitter, the self-governance of forums like reddit, the connectivity of Facebook, while being imbued with selflessness like Wikipedia. Politicians will know what their electorates want, and the people will be involved, knowing their voices are being heard, and watching their leaders respond accordingly.

This democracy-in-a-box will be something that can be implemented anywhere, for any size population – so that when the people rise up against injustice, instead of repeating the old cycle of inevitable hypocrisy, they have this system which can be put into effect and live forever free of tyranny.

It will take a group effort to make this happen, as it will really be a monumental accomplishment to create something of this magnitude. But it’s entirely possible and in many ways has already begun.

Global Voting System Drawing Closer

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

A few years ago I put forth a proposal for a Global Voting System, which is a tool for democracy that runs on all internet enabled devices, giving anyone a way to put forth ballots (either local, national, or international) and then let everyone else vote on the issue.

Of the few responses I received, only a few were positive. Most people didn’t see the potential, or worse, they saw the idea as pointless, irrelevant or impossible.

Now, it seems, a Computing Science Professor, Jeremy Hansen of Vermont, has seen the light and has announced his run for VT State Senate on a platform of digital polling and direct democracy. Hansen:

Having read pretty heavily on the topic, weighed the pros and cons, I wondered why an elected representative couldn’t use online and in-person polling of constituents to decide the way he or she votes. Though we are living in the ‘information age’ and have rich communications media and opportunities for deep and accessible deliberation, we are getting by (poorly) with horse-and-buggy-era representation. In the spirit of science and because I think it’s legitimately a better way of doing things, I recently announced my candidacy for Vermont’s State Senate in Washington County.

Amazing! Could it be that I’m not crazy after all? Maybe I’m just ahead of the curve. At least that’s what I like to tell myself when it comes to my bold predictions of world peace by 2020.

Democracy in a Box

Monday, October 10th, 2011

What’s the point of overthrowing one evil King if another will just take his place? Get the freedom your uprising deserves!

No more tyrants, no more corruption. It’s like a viral outbreak of equality and empowerment.

Democracy-in-a-Box, the ultimate solution for your revolution.

Avaaz: Harnessing the Global Voice

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Several years ago, I put forth a proposal for a Global Voting System which would run on PDA’s and home computers to create a decentralized polling system, where anyone could put forth new issues and everyone can vote on them.

The idea was to create alternative democratic channels outside of the current, oft-corrupt political system. While my GVS idea didn’t pick up much traction (perhaps it’s just ahead of its time), others have trying to find ways to harness the voice of the world’s people.

One of these organizations – Avaaz – has been making tremendous headway towards leveraging global opinions into political action.

Earlier this month, a petition signed by over 1.5 million people from around the world mounted enough pressure to block a horrendous anti-gay bill from passing parliament in Uganda.

The law would have applied the death penalty for homosexuality. But thanks to Avaaz and millions of engaged people from around the world, the bill has been shelved.

Now, members of Avaaz have set their sights on the most senseless war of all time – the war on drugs – and they’re taking the fight all the way to the United Nations. When signatures surpass the one million mark, it will be personally delivered to world leaders by the global commission.

Awesome! Avaaz is showing what people power can really do. When the collective voice of humankind is finally heeded, a more just global civilization will emerge.

Google’s Project 10 to the 100 voting open

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Google’s Project 10 to the 100 has open their voting, after many months of deliberation. Over 150,000 entries from 170 countries had to be sorted, and the results are in. The result: a list of 16 “big ideas” each inspired by numerous individual submissions. Many progressive ideas have come out of this, like increasing government transparency, more efficient land-mine removal, and  encouraging positive media depictions of engineers and scientists. Voting is open until October 8th.

While it is nice for the results to finally be presented, they are somewhat disappointing.  Originally, they had planned to select 100 finalists, then allow the public to vote on their favorites.  It would have been amazing to see the finalists, to see the innovative and original ideas that others put forward.  Now, with just 16 broad catagories, the results don’t have same impact.

Oh well.  It’s still a great endeavor and good on Google for taking up the initiative.

Global Voting System

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

A new video for the Global Voting System has been released… check it out:

The Global Voting System is a proposal for a protocol to specify how to transfer voting data around the world… enabling a world of democracy.  As mentioned in a previous blog post, the GVS was submitted to Google’s Project 10 to the 100th contest looking for new, revolutionary ideas, and the GVS definitely is one.

Imagine if we could take the power away from politicians, governments, and lobbyists, and shift if into the hands of every single person.  This is what the GVS could do for us… empowering every one of us and letting the united voice of humanity be heard.