Discussion Forums » Transformative Ideas

Updating the practice of Democracy and Government

    • 50 posts
    March 25, 2021 3:03 PM GMT

    This is one of our 10 Top Transformative Strategies

    It is underpinned by the document Transforming our democracy and political system for the 21st century, along with a number of others listed at the end of this post.

    We would welcome your comments and views on the 3 most important proposals.


    Updating the practice of Democracy and Government for the 21st century

    It is easy to argue that our political system has failed us over the last 50 years, in particular in not planning for the long-term, something we can’t afford to do in the AI Society. In the 1960s, young people were led to believe that our standard of living would gradually improve, and that as technology played its part, our working hours would reduce. Instead, this generation faces a situation where some of the basics of life are worse i.e. longer and often more pressured working hours, house prices at unaffordable multiples of salary, reduced pension prospects, and a deteriorating health and social care system.

    When it comes to democracy our vote is a blunt instrument: we normally have no input on policies, often have to vote for the least-worst party manifesto, and our vote’s value depends on whether we live in a marginal or safe seat. The adversarial system of Parliament, confrontational politics and constant distortion, all bring politics and politicians into disrepute. The adversarial system focuses on discord rather than solutions. Democracy itself has been called into question by the Brexit fiasco in Parliament.

    We need a fundamental review to identify innovative improvements, taking advantage of technology to enable approaches that weren’t possible even 10 years ago and ushering in a Digital Democracy including:

    Enable Advisory Digital Voting to improve democracy at policy level, allowing input of our views on individual policies, once a year and other online consultations. Results would be advisory to politicians, not a mandate to implement. Security would be underpinned by Mobile Digital Identity cards.

    Introduce a Digital Ideas System to input ideas to Government rather than just give views, underpinned with an associated policy development process. In addition, Trial vUK, learning from vTaiwan, using AI to evolve ideas and reach consensus in a non-confrontational way.  

    Introduce Majority Plus Voting: Guaranteed Majorities and Better Representation
    combining the positive features of both ‘first past the post’ and proportional representation i.e. stability and strength through a guaranteed majority, but with more representative allocation of MPs to the smaller parties and obviating the need for tactical voting. Supported by other changes to improve how we are represented.

    Create a ‘Chamber of the Future’ focused on the long-term by replacing half the House of Lords to address the short-termism of politics. This chamber would create both the Vision for the future and the policies required to accelerate, achieve and manage that vision. Members should be drawn from our top scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs and business people.

    Define Governing for all measures of wellbeing which receive the same prominence as GDP. Three groups: ‘Good of all’ measures, Company contribution measures, Country success measures

    Introduce other strategies to improve quality, effectiveness and wellbeing including:
    Establish a National Fund & National Dividend Payment as outlined earlier, so everyone receives benefit from increases in productivity and economic growth.
    Set up a Retiree Foundation to harness retirees’ capabilities for the benefit of society, to stay healthier for longer and to increase fulfilment and enjoyment of retirement. This to serve as forerunner of the wider ‘Lifestyle Support Structure’ proposed for an AI Society.
    Address MP Diversity with respect to technology and business understanding given the chronic imbalance.  

    Underlying analysis documents which support these proposals are:
    Transforming our democracy and political system for the 21st century
    Majority Plus Voting
    Chamber of the Future
    Measuring Individual and National Wellbeing
    Retiree Foundation Proposition
    Coronavirus situation as an opportunity for inspiration

    This post was edited by # Probably42 at March 25, 2021 3:08 PM GMT
    • 24 posts
    March 25, 2021 3:47 PM GMT

    Digital Voting, the Digital Ideas System and Majority Plus get my vote. These type of improvements are long overdue.

    • 24 posts
    March 25, 2021 5:03 PM GMT

    My three top ones here are: Digital Voting, Majority Plus Voting, and Define Governing for all measures of wellbeing.

    • 8 posts
    March 26, 2021 7:46 AM GMT

    I'd back Digital Voting and/or Digital Ideas - these could speed up election counts and create a 'feedback loop' that might help HMG rather than just being the moaning route that some contact buttons seem to lead to. Majority Plus might be a good idea (and I'm not an Israeli voter!) as it might be a sensible route away from the 'traditional' two party system.