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Internet-Based Political Party Opens Doors 291

Posted by timothy
from the until-pudge-starts-voting dept.
AlamedaStone writes "New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Thomas L. Friedman writes (edited for brevity): 'If [...] idiocy by elected officials [...] leaves you wishing that we had more options today [...] not only are you not alone, but help may be on the way. Thanks to a quiet political start-up that is now ready to show its hand, a viable, centrist, third presidential ticket, elected by an Internet convention, is going to emerge in 2012.' Currently it looks like more liberal-inclined individuals are registering, but it would make for a healthier system if more viewpoints were represented."
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Internet-Based Political Party Opens Doors

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  • by Scareduck (177470) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @08:50AM (#36862338) Homepage Journal

    It is really difficult to have enough contempt for this man; Glenn Greenwald's "The Tom Friedman Disease" [] is a good example of the kind of half-digested pap he routinely emits. Instead of looking at this gimmick and calling it a gimmick, he pats himself on the back with this unbearably asinine summary:

    What did to books, what the blogosphere did to newspapers, what the iPod did to music, what did to pharmacies, Americans Elect plans to do to the two-party duopoly that has dominated American political life — remove the barriers to real competition, flatten the incumbents and let the people in. Watch out.

    So, um, Tom, shall we ask a few slightly important questions, such as, how does this party hope to get candidates on the ballot when they aren't even registered as a party in the many states? Politics are nothing like distributing books or drugs. The fact that he glosses over this entirely is why I hold the man in such low esteem.

    He is a thirteenth-rate thinker who, for reasons that are entirely unclear, has been drastically wrong about a very great deal and yet continues to hold his position on the New York Times' opinion pages.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 24, 2011 @09:08AM (#36862420)

    Full disclosure: I work in the Agora Ciudadana [] Voting System.

    In Spain we have created a "tool" political party which doesn't have and will never have any any ideals called Partido de Internet []. The idea behind it is that its elected representatives will always vote in the representative chambers proportionally to what the people previously voted via Internet, with support for vote delegation so that you don't need to vote in all votings (6600 only in spanish congress per year or about one per hour). This is what is called liquid democracy [] = direct democracy + delegation. Using this together With legislative initiative, the people can execute 100% their legislative power through this liquid democracy setting.

    The vote will be secret and secure, we will use our electronic national identity cards for authentication (hey, they are good for some things =), and the votings will be universally verifiable, we're using elgamal encryption based anonymization mixnets via Verificatum []. The software is not finished yet, mind you. We're in contact with security researchers to make it as secure as possible, the secret of the vote is subject to a set of athorities in charge of the votings, who create a combined ElGamal encryption key for the votations. There's a good overview in a well known spanish security web site, Security by Default [], but unfortunately it's in spanish, maybe you can read it translated with Google Translate.

    I'll tell the people in PDI (Partido de Internet) contact with this other USA party, because AFAIK spanish Internet Party was the first such as a party in the world. It'll be nice if the idea spreads out through all the world. Will it work? I don't know, but we'll never know we don't try.

  • by SirAstral (1349985) on Sunday July 24, 2011 @10:05AM (#36862782)

    This will turn out to be just another problem party.

    Go and read George Washington's farewell address. He predicted the civil war and basically said that everyone should consider that they are Americans first and stop dividing themselves according to geography and party lines.

    How about instead, we create a law that legally prevents the formation of any political party of any kind. Lets make people actually have to learn about who they are voting for instead of just looking for the D or the R on the ballot. At the rate things are going, we will probably choose the better candidate on accident than we ever will intentionally!

  • Re:Yawn (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mdf356 (774923) <> on Sunday July 24, 2011 @11:50AM (#36863378) Homepage

    And vice-versa; Clinton won in 1992 partly due to the (R) vote being split between Bush and Perot. Or, more accurately, more people who would have voted for Bush (or not voted) than people who would have voted for Clinton (or not voted) voted for Perot. Maybe. You see how complicated this is? Without Perot in the 1992 election it's impossible to say what would have happened -- would the Perot voters have stayed home, or voted for Clinton, or Bush? Even a survey at the polling locations couldn't tell for sure.

    There have been other elections with "independents" where the vote was split in odd ways, like the 2006 gubernatorial election in Texas, where Rick Perry (the incumbent, on the (R) ticket) was up against Carole Keeton Strayhorn, a (R) who skipped the primaries since she couldn't win them, the (D) candidate Chris Bell, a libertarian candidate, the truly independent and famous (in Texas) Kinky Friedman, and a write-in campaign for someone forgettable. The vote broke down as:

    39% Perry (R)
    29.8% Bell (D)
    18% Strayhon
    12.6% Friedman
    0.6% Libertarian

    Now, whose votes did Kinky Friedman "steal"? And whose did Strayhorn? And what would have happened with an IRV system? And how many elections in the U.S. would be different (in ways good and bad) with an IRV election?

Between infinite and short there is a big difference. -- G.H. Gonnet