Promoting public deliberation in low trust environments; Australian use cases. Nichola CooperResearch Lead, Centre for the Future
‘Trust is in crisis.’ Of the five fears driving populism: corruption, eroding social values, globalization, immigration & concern regarding the pace of change—Australians identify eroding social values, immigration and globalization as key drivers for their lack of trust.(Edelman, 2016)
The business case • The system is failing; delegitimisation of governments • Satisfaction with Australian democracy now at it’s lowest since 1996 • Trust in government and politicians at lowest since 1993 – fewer than half of Australians confident government can deliver on issues • The majority of Australians believe politicians are corrupt and interests are aligned with big business • Government ministers the most distrusted of professions. Findings indicate support for participatory politics to reinforcing the function of representative democracy & develop an inclusive and responsive democratic system may garner greater engagement.Sources: Edelman, 2016; Australian Electoral Study, 2016; Evans, Halupka, Stoker, 2016
Trends in democracy ‘…cyber democracy will be comprised of: cyber administration, cyber voting, cyber participation, cyber agenda-setting and cyber infrastructure.’ (Bezold, 1978) • The internet, native applications, open-source, secure • Collaborative, crowdsourced, democratic process redesign, policy creation, participatory budgeting – digital democracy (D-Cent, LabHacker, Your Priorities etc) • Liquid democracy models (Pirate Parties, Partido de Internet) • Direct democracy (Online Direct Democracy, Podemos, Direktdemokraterna) • Issues Based and Destinational (Flux party and MiVote) – blockchain based
Blockchain enabled direct democracy; Australian use cases • Flux • For-profit enterprise funding political party (Exo One) • 6420 members, operated by volunteers • Issues-based democracy model (based on Deutschianfallibalism) • Aims to create the best policy possible by facilitating trading of votes to experts • (Private) Blockchain platform • Has run state candidates (unsuccessfully) • www.voteflux.org • MiVote • Not-for-profit community movement • 2856 members, operated by volunteers • Destinational democracy model • Aims to increase number of informed voters with researched information offered before voting. • Blockchain platform: vote.mivote.org.au • Will run candidates in next federal election • www.mivote.org.au
Looking to the future of Australian democracy • The future of trust • Money • Victorian Parliamentary Electoral Matters Committee (2017); not satisfied technology was foolproof, Census incident • Limitations of blockchain; speed, scale, digital divide, novelty • Increasing numbers of minor parties and independents?
“..We need to, quite literally, go to the people with a question that is almost never asked of them: What kind of a world do you want ten, twenty or thirty years from now?...We need to initiate, in short, a continuing plebiscite on the future...backed with technical staff to provide data on the social and economic costs of goals, the trade-offs so that participants may make reasonably informed choices among alternative futures...not merely expressed as vaguely expressed, disjointed hopes, but coherent statements of priorities for tomorrow’ (Toffler, 1970)
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