Could technology improve and reform the current system of democracy and government? If so, then how do we go about doing it?
Democracy, in it's most basic form, is basically a majority ruling system with a single person representing 100's or 1000's of people. While this may have worked in older civilizations with a few thousand people, I can't say the same of current civilizations with millions and billions of people. With larger populations of people, it has become more difficult to govern and inform people of exactly what is going on. This phenomenon has been exacerbated and accelerated by technology, and there haven't been any technological breakthroughs in this regard for quite some time. I would say this is because governments have been using technology to fortify existing systems, rather than using technology to replace existing systems. To make an analogy, the government is using technology as if it were fixing and upgrading a computer, but when presented with a complex problem, you can't use a laptop to do the job of a supercomputer. In the current political climate, I feel like there needs to be a systemic change to the way humans govern ourselves, starting with the basics of representation.
So it got me thinking...with blockchain and the internet, would it be possible to create a web app that is directly linked to the government, where each individual represents themselves, where every individual has the ability to introduce bills, and where every individual can voice their own opinion in a constructive manner? In my mind, this website would be like a mix of Github and Facebook all in one. For those who do not know what GitHub is, it's basically an open-source version control that allows multiple software developers to work on a single project.
Ideally, a person or a group of people will author an open-source bill on GitLaw, much like how many open-source programs currently work on GitHub. Anyone can write a bill about anything they so desire, and you can even make your own version of someone else's bill if you so desire. In order to submit a change to the bill, you must request that the authors allow your change to their bill. This change request would then be reviewed by the authors, and if approved, they would allow your revisions to go into the main bill. Once a bill has been finalized, it would be go on the ballot to be voted on by referendum. Once the bill becomes a law, it can then be maintained and updated by the authors of the law. Any changes would require the law go through referendum again.
There are some things that need much consideration, such as cybersecurity, fraud, integration into the legislative branch, the role of representatives, and interference from foreign nations. Blockchain security is not absolutely impenetrable, and I'm not sure what other information would be needed to make sure an individual cannot have multiple accounts. Current representatives may throw a fit over commoners taking their day jobs and not allow this to be integrated into the government. People could also potentially write and pass terrible bills. This could also create an even larger gap between the left and right or between the rich and poor. There's a whole slew of problems that could come with this. Even with all of the potential pitfalls and problems, I still think that this is at least worth trying in a city as an experiment.
A quick google search led to a few articles and websites that describe what I was initially thinking of:
GitLaw: GitHub for Laws and Legal Documents - a Tourniquet for American Liberty