I’ve often bristled at the idea of digital democracy – too many security issues to begin with: unsecured wi-fi points (which I love, but can pose a problem for authenticity), unsecured transactions between clients and servers and the impossibility of verifying who is clicking on screen. While many of those issues are big, it seems some Germans (hackers no less) have an idea of proxy voting digitally – which is a program Liquid Feedback (English information here). Essentially you find a like minded member and give them your proxy vote. Now, this won’t work in the partisan party politics we play in North America, but I’ve often advocated a more representative approach to democracy here in Canada at least. This might be one way to get people more involved. Here’s a blog post about the talk that Tim Pritlove gave at Hacklab.to, which has a link to a PDF of the slides he presented with. It would’ve been interesting to have actually seen the talk but I didn’t hear about it until I stumbled on it this morning.
This might be useful if you teach in large groups and need a consensus builder, or want to have like minded groups based on ideas. Like democracy.