While on the anti-Digital-Economy-Bill protest, I bumped into Denny de la Haye. I've known Denny virtually for a while - and he's commented on this blog a number of times.
Denny is standing for parliament in Hackney South and Shoreditch. He is standing on a platform of Direct Digital Democracy. If he is elected, he will run an online poll for his constituents. Whichever way they vote, he votes.
Why This Is a Dumb Idea
- The wisdom of the crowds relies on an informed crowd. Asking people to guess the weight of a cow relies on them having some understanding of weight, density and - crucially - seeing the cow.
- Who would vote against The PATRIOT Act? Aren't you a patriot?
- The Sun lies to its readers - what if people are motivated by misinformation?
- Will only extremists vote for certain bills?
- Engagement. Not everyone has access to a PC - those that do often don't have access to their own PC. Who wants their partner looking at their votes?
Finally, Denny says that
There are three exceptions; three types of law which I will always vote in favour of. I hope that you will agree with me on these three points:
* 1. I will always vote for laws which improve equality.
* 2. I will always vote for laws which improve civil liberties.
* 3. I will always vote for laws which improve our democracy.
I'm reminded of that old joke. A man asks a woman if she'll sleep with him for a million pounds. She says yes. What about ten pounds? "What kind of woman do you take me for?" She says.
"I already know what sort of woman you are," he says, "All we're doing is haggling on the price!"
What other issues are so important that he's willing to sacrifice the ideals of DDD? Which issues couldn't be shoehorned into one of the above categories?
Besides, what if Denny's constituents want to disenfranchise black lesbians and place them in labour camps? If voters can't be trusted on those issues - how can they be trusted with tax, pensions, the Digital Economy Bill, etc?
Why I'm Supporting Him
While chatting with him, he mentioned that he was just £10 short of raising his deposit. So I gave him the tenner I had in my wallet. Why?
Because I might be wrong.
I think that DDD is a flawed idea. But I don't know. We need experiments within a democracy. We need to have our assumptions challenged.
I hope - I really hope - he gets in. I want to be proved wrong. I want to live in a world where single issue candidates can make a difference. Where experimental democracy thrives.
If you live in Hackney, Vote Denny