1. What party do you stand for?
I am standing as an independent! I don’t stand for any party. Of course I have opinions about issues, and I used to be a member of the Labour Party. But my overriding belief is a belief in democracy. My aim is to inspire people with faith in politics, and represent their views.
2. No one votes every 5 years, why would they vote every week?
No-one votes now because they feel like nothing they do makes a difference, and they feel that all politicians are the same. By giving people more power over decisions that will affect their life, many will feel they have a reason to become more engaged with politics – the turnout in the Scottish Referendum is testament to this.
3. What difference will it make you are only one MP?
We are trying to change that very attitude, and inspire people to believe that they can make a change, and that what they say and think does matter. I am only one MP, but by setting an example and raising the issue, I hope that in time others will follow.
4. Have you made the app?
No, not yet, but we are in the process of building it. We aim to have it built by August, three months or so after the election. In the meantime, constituents will be able to vote on the website.
5. How will you ensure security on the app?
Encryption technologies such as RSA and SSL will ensure the website and app is very secure. Over the last decade, we have seen the rise of online banking, shopping, and even stock market trading with these security features. There’s no reason we can’t vote online as well.
6. How will people who are not confortable with technology vote on an app or a website?
Over 83% of the UK go online every day, and this is increasing every year. We hope that empowering people politically will ecnourage them to engage with technology. This isn’t about excluding people, its about giving everyone an opportunity of being included.
7. Bills/legislation are long and confusing how is anyone going to have enough time and education to vote on them?
We aim to do as much as we can to educate constituents. Alongside my main campaign for direct democracy comes a campaign for political education. This will, of course, take time, but free weekly lessons in politics will become available in community centres around the constituency. Also, the app and the website will contain key facts and arguments about the bill. I don’t expect everyone to vote on every bill.
8. What will your job be if all you do is go with the vote?
My primary role as an MP will be to inform and educate people, and get my constituents fully engaged with politics. Because I don’t have any party-ties, it will also give me more time to focus on local issues. My manifesto includes a pledge to facilitate discussions between local public services, ensuring that local issues don’t come into conflict.
9. Is direct democracy your idea?
No! Direct democracy was the first form of democracy to exist. It started thousands of years ago, in Ancient Greece. It quickly became too difficult to uphold in big communities, but now we have the technology that means it can become a reality again. In-fact, Direct Democracy has been the inspiration for political societies for centuries; however, the sheer mechanics of collecting votes from an entire populace has kept direct democracy out of reach. The internet has provided us an historic opportunity – for the first time, it is actually feasible to collect individual votes regularly.
10. Voting on bills is only part of government, how about proposing new legislation?
Certainly, this would be ideal and this is our long-term goal. We hope that by raising the issue now we can get the ball rolling.
11. What happens I don’t vote with the majority?
Unfortunately, this is just how democracy works! However, the aim is to never make anyone feel that they are not being listened to, even if their vote wasn’t with the majority on a particular issue; this can be done by facilitating discussions between local public services, which will help to ensure they work together and issues don’t come into conflict. Your voice will always be heard.
12. What if only a few people vote on the bill?
If turnout is lower than 10% on a bill, I will abstain from voting.