The Diebold electronic voting 'scandal' is yet another issue that I haven't taken quite seriously. One of the reasons is that I think voting is overrated and policy creation is underrated. My angle on the e-ization of democratic processes has everything to do with the deliberative process and not the tallies. Studious observers of the political scene have undoubtedly noted the horseracing aspects of political commentary which has left principled analysis in the lurch.
On the bright side, the rise of the fisk, in the toolset of amateur political bloviation is a very good, if sometimes nauseating thing. The interjection of hyperbole at least shows we have a passionate pulse for critically directed mental activity beyond handicapping. The problem is that while nobody seems to be spared from the distraction of the endless posturing of right and left, I can only really cite Begging To Differ as a joint blog dedicated to present views from both sides of the one dimensional spectrum. Everybody is a critic, few synthesize.
The tools of blogdom and the entire internet are not designed for, and therefore not well-suited for synthesis and collaborative consensus-building. This is the aim of XRepublic, as I have not often enough brought to the attention of myself and my readers. However I may be in a position to further the aims of the XRepublic project this year if my fortunes go as planned. Indeed, I have found an alternative way of getting development done.
So I am saying publicly that I will pursue this with a bit more vigor this year because I am convinced that the blogosphere possesses the right combination of talent and energy to make the content work. I am also convinced that Six Apart are the people who can make it happen, and it is my intent to develop the system in the context of the MT blog & what I understand of RSS. So let me email MT and get on it.
The point is not the voting system we have today. It is pitifully outdated, and we will have to let oldfolks die. I'm talking to people today who are gamers, who have no qualms about representing themselves online; people for whom online reputation and peer systems are second nature. They will make this happen, and to hell with the boomers who get off dissing the young whippersnappers.
As for security. I honestly believe that it is a tempest in a teacup.
I have not been convinced that the nation's ATM banking network has ever been compromised in any significant way. In fact, I would argue that part of the great vulnerability of electronic voting is that it wouldn't take place often enough. A single wealthy donor could assure that votes get Counterpane levels of security. And if that is not the level of security afforded international interbank transfers, then such schemes could be adopted as well. I'm never going to find out where stolen plutonuim, hijacked IPOs and diverted gold transfers at national central banks have gone. Neither are you. Nevertheless, we can establish at least that level of trust in electronic voting. It is not a question of technology. Again, an open alternative will be open-sourced together, it is just a matter of time.
In the meantime we should develop the means and wherewithal to open up policy making to distributed deliberative bodies. This is a crucial direction in establishing a functioning self-determination. I cannot emphasize how important this is, which is why I am so very conflicted about my desire to develop it in an open way. I can only assume that someone familiar and patient with making fortunes can explain the compromises necessary vis a vis licensing and Creative Commons. A system like XRepublic, designed to advance us beyond the meatspace machinations of Roberts Rules of Order, is both a necessity and a boon to the world of collaborative decision-making. Its potential ought to be available to masses...Eh. I should be able to figure out something at least as clever as a record company producer.
In the meantime, if you or anyone you know can assist in this project, I'm all ears. I'm not interested in reviewing any theoretical literature. I already know what Scott Reents has said and built. I think my solution just needs to be built, and then we'll move on from there. The vision is crystalline in my head, I only need my demiurge.