Meg Lee Chin

Our current system of voting is archaic and needs an overhaul. This change should be imposed from the top down but should instead evolve virally through technology.

We currently have a system where citizens vote for politicians who in turn vote on the issues. This is due to the impracticality of each citizen voting on every little issue. But technology and the internet could change that. Through the use of encryption, a public vote on each issue may now be feasible.

Further it is possible that the votes of those most qualified in a particular field would carry more weight than those who are less qualified. These would be technical experts in the fields relevant to the issue being voted. This higher weight can be earned based on track record, qualifications and merit rather than charisma, arse licking and the ability to bullshit convincingly. There could also be a higher weight for moral or ethical leaders. Such leaders would essentially replace modern day politicians.

People with little interest in issues would simply not bother to vote. On the other hand those with a strong passionate interest in an issue may actually stand a fighting chance of having a say.

Already experiments in collective decision making are taking place in cyberspace among gamers and futurists. As small groups experiment with new models of collective decision making, gradually these new forms of governance should spread. Call it "People Powered Governance". London's Hackspace is an interesting example of an alternative governance. It's not perfect but it has it's benefits. The academic study of human collective decision making deserves serious research and I'd love to see funds put into it.

Recently I attended a conference at the House of Commons in London and got a chance to propose to MP's Peter Hain and John Mann the idea of a public right to veto in cases where the general public are overwhelming against an issue ie: the Iraq war. John Mann made a fair point "If the public were involved in voting we would have the Daily Mail making political decisions and no doubt bring back hanging".

However, this wouldn't be a problem if the veto vote were based on a sensible algorithm able to strike a balance between the technical experts, community leaders and the general public. Call it "hybrid voting".

Powerful entities couldn't bribe a single politician. Instead they would have to bribe thousands of citizens. This would multiply the cost of bribery.Those most qualified would finally have a say in how things are run. In other words, get rid of the middle man in government - the politicians.