Some people might say that considering the potential challenges, it’s somewhat impossible to switch to a digital democracy. On top of the established powers that might oppose such changes, there’s also other important considerations one needs to take into account, such as economic stability and national security.Because of reasons like this , I would say one would need to start small. Implementing a digital democracy on a municipal level, rather than on a federal level, might be a lot easier to realise at first. Plus it seems like a good idea to try it on smaller scale in order to work out any potential bugs in the system.
PART 1 Upgrading your gov-system on a municipal level
To start, one would have to create an organization, recruit some members and raise some funds. Afterwards, since most municipal governmental systems are regulated on a provincial/state level, one would have to verify with those authorities to see if their existing rules prevent the switch to a digital democracy on a municipal level. If any such hurdle exist, provincial/state representatives would have to be solicited until the rules are changed. Once you’re in the clear with them, the real work starts. You find an ideal municipality, you get your organization recognized as a municipal political party and then you run for mayor. You run with the platform “Elect the last mayor that’ll take decisions for you” or something similar. Now, if enough councillors from your party got elected, as mayor you’ll be able to push the reform thru that switches the existing system over to a digital democracy pretty easily. Ideally you also have enough budget to create a municipal government portal that local citizens can access with their smartphones and personal computers in order to truly participate in the process. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be that citizens have to vote on every single law project and initiative. For the non-controversial stuff, like renewing the budget for garbage pick-up and such, well in cases like that you might have councillors/moderators that can take care of it. But when there’s a controversial issue that arises, like, let’s say, building a highway on a haunted indian graveyard, then the electorate can log on and decide the issue for themselves, with the councillors/moderators playing a role that’s more about moderating the debate than imposing their view.
One might say that this is unlikely to ever happen. But you never know. There’s small towns and villages out there, that are losing their population and are unable to find a mayor. A partnership between a political organization and an ISP, could come in, hook everyone in town to hi-speed internet, and at the same time give them access to an online voting system. And with what’s happening in a lot of small towns, I don’t think it would be too hard to find one that’s willing to have all that influx of funds, technology and resources come in into their borough. Once most of the bugs within the system have been worked out, one can then move ahead to try to apply what’s been learned to a higher level of government.
Part 2 Upgrading your gov-system on a provincial/state/federal level
This, I think, would be a lot trickier. The analogy that comes to mind for that one, is to view your government like it’s a sound system. There’s a dial for democracy on it, and it goes from zero to ten. Right now, I would say that most free countries have their “democracy-volume” set between 2.5 to 3.5, and obviously raising it at 10 all of a sudden could create quite a bit of a commotion. But if we raised it to 5 , which would be a government system peppered with a little more transparency and real-democracy, I don’t think there would necessarily be riots in the streets and economic collapse and such.
But yeah, since the stakes are higher on a provincial/state/federal level, one would be wise to proceed with baby steps. To start, you recruit members, register your organization as a political party.For argument’s sake let’s call it the Technodemocrat party. And then you run for a seat. In the off-chance your party wins more seats and gains control of your government, then you won’t have a hard time pushing for a full digital-democracy reform. But in the most likely scenario, the one in wich you’re the only member of your party elected, you can still promote the digital democracy agenda by leading by example. It’s simply a question of holding a poll, survey or referendum in your district every time you’re asked to vote as an independant.Then you vote as your district wants you to vote. And in that sense, you would actually be living up to the term “representative”.
And ultimately, maybe we don’t need a full on digital democracy, maybe if we’re lucky, maybe the threat of such a movement gaining a foothold, will be enough to scare the powers that be into increasing the democracy-volume of our governments by 0.5 . Just enough for us to have a just little more transparency and representation for our money…