Andrew Leonard interviews Santiago Siri, an Argentine entrepreneur who believes that democracy can be overhauled by putting elections on the blockchain. Leonard reflects on this interview while also noting that several secure-voting-systems experts argue such a system may be prone to manipulation.
The way Siri sees it, we have traded in the original liberating potential of the internet for sterile corporate serfdom. Our time spent online retweeting and upvoting and clicking on emojis serves mainly to help unaccountable corporations like Facebook, Google, and Twitter to better target us with advertising. Siri dreams of a new kind of social media platform on which we spend “vote tokens” that can do anything, from electing politicians and passing referendums to enacting the bylaws of a social club or establishing the business plan of a corporation. It’s democracy by click.
The vision is a radical departure from the one-person, one-vote, once-every-year-or-two trip to the ballot box we are familiar with—and by which, in Siri’s view, we are so ill-served. Users of Democracy.Earth’s one-size-fits-all governance platform—code-named Sovereign—would have infinite flexibility to vote on any kind of topic or person, whenever they log on. In the Democracy.Earth future, every day will be election day, and the ballot will include anything that enough of us think should be there.
In this perfect world, Siri argues, the supposedly unhackable and absolutely transparent blockchain will ensure that no centralized election authority is required to tabulate a vote, and no corrupt politician or gridlocked legislature can interfere with the popular mandate. But coming up with a superior form of voting technology is just the beginning; the larger, far more revolutionary goal is to devise a decentralized decisionmaking process that eliminates the necessity for any kind of central government at all.
Source: Meet Santiago Siri, the Man With a Radical Plan for Blockchain Voting | WIRED