Thursday, 18 October 2007
The People Have Spoken
Voting has come a long way since the Ancient Greeks wrote their candidate's name on broken pieces of pottery, or even since the wonderfully high-tech machine pictured above. (this is where the term "blackballing" came from).
The dangers of technology were highlighted in 2000 with the unfortunate "chad" incident in the US Presidential election. One can argue whether or not the end result was good or bad, but more importantly it was all rather embarrassing.
Of course, nowadays there are little voting boxes appearing on websites and blogs everywhere. There' s one on a news site that I read. I don't often vote, but I like to try and guess the result before having a look. It all looks like fun, until I saw one I had voted on published in a national newspaper as the opinions of the Greek public. And me.
This is all very well, but with new technology comes new ways to, erm, unduly influence the result. People can vote both at home and at work, and sometimes the voting widget is just rubbish. There's one I saw recently where you can vote for as many things as you want (maybe it was designed by the Lib Dems), and which allows people with the right browser settings to vote as often as they want. Not that I'd do that, of course...
So, I'll be a bit worried when they introduce Internet voting for elections, though I'm sure they'll be more careful (won't they?). And for now this blog is remaining a vote free site. Actually that's not quite true. There's one vote, and that's mine!