It has been another extraordinary week with lockdown measures intensifying across the world. As we all start to acclimatise to a reality that would have been unimaginable only weeks ago, the conversation has started to shift to the political and social impact of this pandemic.
“In this time of crisis, we face two particularly important choices. The first is between totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment. The second is between nationalist isolation and global solidarity.”
That was Yuval Noah Harrari’s take in a particularly prescient article for the Financial Times that you can read here.
One thing that has received scant attention, however, is the practical question of how a democracy can continue to function during a crisis that shuts people in their homes and could last up to 18 months with the possibility of more disruption beyond that.
It is now impossible to imagine many core components of our democracy – from demonstrations and voting to Parliamentary debates and select committees – continuing as they did before.
That is why Fair Vote UK is turning its attention towards addressing this fundamentally important question.
From Estonia’s long established system of e-voting to the EU Parliament’s recent decision to move to email voting, there are many examples from across the world of how to make remote democracy work in a practical and easy way.
This is the time to think outside the box!
Fair Vote UK are looking forward to engaging with our supporters on this issue. Stay tuned for the opening of our consultation period, when we would love to hear any ideas you have.