Dear Mr Swinney,
I write following our brief exchange at yesterday morning’s SNP Manifesto launch at the EICC. Congratulations again on the scale and success of the occasion.
Over the last year I’ve had input and assistance from across a Twitter span of academics, pollsters, statisticians, and many hundreds of fellow Scots. This Open Letter is written in that same combined spirit of community, collaboration and camaraderie, in complete gratitude to everyone who has contributed. Our collective desire, is to see Scotland become the Independent country it deserves to be, and furthermore, to see Scotland set a worldwide example as a shining light of modern era democracy.
Back in September 2014, I was simply appalled at the workings of the archaic referendum process, and most especially to conclude that a massive proportion of voters placed their votes without knowing about ‘The White Paper’, upon which the vote itself was based.
Let us then move forward a few months to summer 2015. Our First Minister telling our people that there would only be another referendum, ‘if that was the measured will of the people’. That triggered a lightbulb moment for this writer. I immediately concluded that our mass conflict in our divided country, could be easily and safely resolved by applying cutting-edge Electronic Digitalised Democracy, befitting both the modern era and the question being asked.
So, as at Sept 2015 I started Twitter: @YesDayScotland – to specifically promote the merits of E-Democracy for Scotland’s Independence, as well as all future Scottish elections. The next UK elections, as you will already know, are to be via E-Democracy.
Up until a few weeks ago, and as our archives have recorded, a google search of terms such as ‘snp E-Democracy / scotgov E-Democracy’ showed – to my great surprise, that there was Zero in existence. Our archives have also recorded, the same consideration is applicable to The Politics Department of Strathclyde University. One would think that @YesDayScotland was promoting something completely futuristic, on that basis I am happy however, to confirm that Estonia has been using E-Democracy since 2005!!!
8,500 Tweets later, here we are today. In the last month alone we have seen some 450,000 Tweet impressions. As I am sure you will appreciate, if something doesn’t stand the tests of integrity and reality, it will be immediately ripped apart by Twitter users. The @YesDayScotland journey has been the very opposite, Loved by YES, embraced by No, respected by all.
Fundamentally, nobody can do anything other than appreciate a better and more relevant way to guage and record public opinion.
The Twitter feed sits alongside 22 wordpress articles, which sit with absolutely flawless records.
I was aware at outset last year, that a by-product of E-Democracy being used, would probably enable Independence, and therefore end The Union. I was therefore also aware that I was entering into an equation whereby I would be on a path set against all of Scotland’s 37 Unionist-owned newspapers, and broadcasting as a generality. No Scottish newspaper would ever wish to print what I had to say.
One of the originating wordpress articles was an Open Letter to Scotland’s First Minister, which to this date has unfortunately not yet had the courtesy of a direct response.
With all newspapers firmly aligned against E-Democracy, a few months ago I was fortunate however to see The First Minister Open Letter published instead by The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) – Innovation Center (Lausanne, Switzerland).
Then something entirely unexpected happened. Early 2016, YES journalists within ScotNational newspaper, enabled an article to be published in hard copy, with the same First Minister Open Letter information via our Twitter feed. From a small mention in the back pages, the online version very quickly became ‘Scotland’s Most Popular News Story’, where it remained in place for days.
E-Democracy was then submitted into the new Member Policy Idea portal section on the SNP website, in numerous forms.
We are also aware that in The SNP conference earlier this year, there was nothing agenda’d for any Digital Plan, and that SNP Policy officers themselves were also unaware within 48hrs of the event commencing. It was encouraging therefore to hear that your unexpected ‘Digital Plan’ then became the main success story of the conference itself.
Over the last few weeks we have now seen numerous online digital polls on Independence.
THE SUNDAY POST 88% YES
SCOTLANDNOW (DAILY RECORD) 78% YES
Underlined, these are based on tens of thousands of online votes. Further underlined, these polls have been delivered by YES journalists within Unionist-owned newspapers!
In yesterday’s First Minister Manifesto speech, we heard that the 2016 summertime initiative will seek to confirm that there is ‘a sustained majority support’, for Independence.
And to my utter amazement, not one of yesterday’s journalists asked the question: ‘HOW ARE THE SNP GOING TO PHYSICALLY MEASURE AND VERIFY THAT SUSTAINED MAJORITY SUPPORT?’
Do The SNP propose to use a polling company owned by a Tax-avoiding Tory from another country, to canvass the opinion of a few hundred people in Charlotte Square, or do you all want to actually do this job properly, and with full due respect to the people of Scotland?
On that basis and in this 2016 Scotland Year of Innovation, Design and Architecture, I therefore urge you and your fellow colleagues in The SNP, to do what needs to be done.
You need to immediately allocate resources into enabling a fully functioning standalone electoral role-interfaced verifiable E-Democracy website, equippped with all tools to enable the job to be done.
Nobody should be under any illusion. Properly enabled, such an online tool will become the most powerful thing we have ever seen in our country.
All voters must be told at outset that ‘AN ONLINE MAJORITY WILL ENABLE INDEPENDENCE’.
Stating the obvious, if there is already a properly verified online majority, there is no need for yet another majority via an archaic referendum process!!!!!!!
The site needs to be Blockchain-secured, with DTL Distributed Transaction Ledgers.
And to create the required ‘emotional rollercoaster’, the site needs to create mass voter participation via vote visibility (restricted to name, birthdate, town, postcode), and all accumulating statistics, broken into regions so as to enhance competitiveness.
The site must enable YES and No votes to be recorded. (If you were to restrict the vote to YES only, you would require hundreds of thousands of additional votes, to enable a population majority, as opposed to a vote majority).
The site must enable all voters to ‘social media mass share’ personalised after-vote messages and photographs.
And we do not wish the people to be rushed. Enable the website and don’t provide a pre-determined end date. Let the people speak to each other one-to-one, family member to family member, colleague to colleague, friend to friend. By doing this you will create scope for the finest community event Scotland has ever seen. It will also be the most holistic community event ever seen, as the reach extends out to embrace those most marginalised by Tories, the un-registered voters.
And before the site goes live, our Politicians will need to update White Paper, as the vote process itself will require to be educationally-based, with all voters automatically required to acknowledge that they have downloaded and understood what they are voting for.
Anything less than this is a compromise which our people do not deserve to be subjected to.
Last year we calculated that an online digital majority could be achieved with previous YES voters encouraging many 800,000 previous non-voters to vote YES online, with a further resulting acceleration up to circa 56%. I personally now believe that due to a convergence of many other factors today, with ‘a perfect digital storm’ we could see a digital runaway YES success, if the website is properly enabled, and if voters do indeed want Independence.
A runaway would be great as a population start point for the new future.
Appreciated 4 days ago The SNP requested online digital YES pledges on The SNP website, which serves fine for accumulating database and is a relevant start point, but it is nowhere near what you need to do if ‘the summertime initiative’ is to deliver a defined and verified majority. So as not to alienate prospective YES voters from all parties, the exercise cannot run via an SNP website. We have suggested http://www.gov.scot would be more appropriate, but a complete new standalone would be better.
I can only write to you with this truth, and this love for Scotland and our people. A defined and verifiable result can peacefully resolve Scotland’s mass conflict.
Compared to an archaic referendum process, E-Democracy is safer for Scotland, completely trustworthy, easier all round, more environmentally-friendly, and can be established at the cost of a website, compared to the 2014 £15.8M referendum.
All things considered, and with clear sight of the benefits of E-Democracy, I suggest that you and your colleagues in The SNP are now morally compelled by the electorate, to deliver workings which can be easily enabled, fully trusted, and put to relevant use by Scotland’s people.
Please do what needs to be done.
With kindest regards,
On behalf of Twitter: @YesDayScotland