TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Hacking democracy: a simple, legal way to put the power in the hands of the people

Literally all the problems in the way we're governed right now are due to the people with decision making power being disconnected from their constituents. No one except those running the military industrial complex want our tax dollars to fund endless war. No one except the bankers want our tax dollars to bail them out.

Occupy wall street, anonymous hacking government emails, peaceful protestors yelling at passerbys on weekends, hundreds of thousands of people signing online petitions, anarchists dropping out of college to go live in the woods, these techniques have not proven at all effective in fixing the broken system. No one seems to want to get to the root of the problem, the power structure itself.

I propose an online direct democracy system that any registered voter can use (not only members of a particular political party) that would allow every citizen in a community to propose, edit, upvote, comment, and vote on legislation that impacts their community. But this system is toothless without the hacking democracy part of my plan.

A person (not a politician) runs for office under the platform that he will exclusively use this decentralized decision making process to make decisions. Imagine that instead of his own brain deciding whether or not to pass legislation, he agrees to submit to the whims of the people. He will still be proposing legislation through this system, but now everyone can. If he has good ideas, the citizens will vote for his legislation. If he doesn't, he can just execute the legislation his constituents come up with.

I have a million bulletproof counter-arguments for any criticism of direct democracy & I have the time to explain them to you, but the most important idea you need to consider is this: we need to incrementally improve the system. No one is going to come up with a plan tomorrow that fixes all of society's problems and instantaneous paradigm shifts aren't practical.

Check out my site: http://hackingdemocracy.wordpress.com


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 25 2013: How would keep me from voting over and over under multiple online guises?
    • Feb 25 2013: Excellent question!

      The same mechanisms we already have in place to prevent voter fraud, plus several more which I’ll detail in a moment. Firstly, do you know how the US government attempts to prevent voter fraud? The answer is that you fill out a “Voter Registration Application.” There are some inherent problems with the system the US government uses that are elaborated here: http://hackingdemocracy.wordpress.com/faq/#voting

      Signing up for the DDD system is actually more secure than filling out a voter registration form because, while you can lie about your address, the DDD system records your IP data, providing anyone who wants to look you up with your location in the world.

      In order to verify accounts, the voter look-up system the US government uses is implemented to confirm each citizen’s identity. After inputting your full name, birthday, state, and county of registration, the DDD system automatically confirms that you are a registered voter in the state you claim to be in. Here's the site we would use to verify the identity of somebody who claims to live in New York: https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/votersearch.aspx

      The DDD system literally uses the exact voter fraud prevention system the US government already uses. To use the DDD system you must be a registered voter with the US government, but your party affiliation doesn't matter. Maybe the DDD system isn’t perfect, but it is by definition more secure than what is being used now. After being confirmed with the US government’s records, your DDD account is given a unique voter ID number and you may change your public name to whatever you wish, or even remain publicly anonymous. However, your location data will still be available for anyone who wants to look it up. If you truly fear letting your location data be public knowledge, you technically have the option to connect to the DDD system with public wifi as well.

      Keep the questions coming if you got more, and feel free to check out my site too
      • thumb
        Feb 25 2013: I like the idea of combining voter registration with identifying IP addresses. It seems like a good solution and something we should be using now anyway.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.