It would appear to be the case that the Scots reputation for canny invention is well-deserved once again. And when blended with the latest German technology, the end result is quite simply breathtaking.
The online community in and around Twitter: @YesDayScotland has delivered a quite remarkable proposal to Scotland’s First Minister.
Scotland’s Independence majority can potentially now be enabled for 1% of the cost of staging another referendum.
Using the previous archaic process, the 2014 referendum cost taxpayers a quite incredible £15.85 million pounds. By now aligning the process of asking the Independence question digitally, using the latest cutting edge modern era technology in the form of a website ‘to verify and measure the will of the people’, the project has been costed at a ballpark of 1% of the 2014 cost.
This has been enabled by Polyas, who started on a project base within the software company Micromata. No governmental or public entity is involved at all. Depending upon agreeing final specifications, Polyas have quoted one-off advantageous pricing at 200,000 Euros. This pricing has been negotiated and extended in a spirit of very much wishing to assist Scotland as a worldwide E-Democracy showcase, and is in the ballpark of 50% of the cost which Polyas would otherwise usually apply.
The required online voting system is regarded purely and simply as ‘an online tool to properly measure the will of the people’, as Ralf Müller, the CEO of Polyas describes it. He is hopeful that Scotland will lead the digital way, saying ‘There’s currently a convergence of numerous factors. The 2014 referendum created a completely divided population, there are huge concerns as to many apparent previous vote discrepancies and irregularities, and almost 20% of Scots have never previously expressed an opinion on Independence. These are Perfect Digital Storm conditions’.
The @YesDayScotland community was originally enabled to consider the creation of better more involving ways to guage the mass and scale of opinion, using modern era technology. Knowledge-based underpinning substances are defined primarily with the four digital cornerstones of truth, love, courage and hope.
There is zero bias in the online system itself, with absolute respect shown to both sides of any debate. The end result, is a systematic capability to peacefully and very economically resolve mass conflict in any computer-literate society.
There are many obvious pros for digitalised online voting, and the generality of previous ‘online security issues’ has now been removed due specifically to the latest technology delivering the ability to operate with mirrored servers, in different locations, with each auto-replicating indelible digitalised vote records which are permanently available for the scrutiny of United Nations inspectors.
As the mechanism is an online charter as opposed to a referendum, there’s no categoric European Rights necessity for electorate privacy either. Individuals are therefore not prevented from using their own social media to share their participatory news. Furthermore in Scotland’s case, the system can be used without the formality of another Edinburgh Agreement, and requires no mandate from any political party.
The emergence of the concept of digitalised online voting has worldwide prevalence stretching back over two decades, but to date has never been used in Scotland.
Most recently, in May 2016 The Philippines have very successfully delivered an 81.62% turnout electronic vote across 44 million voters, an electorate ten times larger than Scotland’s.
Those who are unfamiliar with the latest developments in online technology, and specifically the latest incredible security features, can internet-search ‘E-Democracy’, ‘Blockchain’, ‘Distributed Transaction Ledgers’, and ‘Ethereum’.
If the Polyas quote is approved, an updated White Paper is then enabled as a compulsory pre-vote download, the electoral role is interfaced, and Scots can then go online to define if they wish to support Independence, or not.
Whatever the outcome either way, at least this time around the people’s opinion would be properly measured and recorded, demonstrating an unprecedented level of integrity.
Scotland’s government will require to take further decisions in advance, in terms of defining if previous overseas voters with ‘a primary Scotland address’ are still able to vote if they no longer personally live in Scotland, the consideration being that ‘a primary Scotland residence’ should be required. Additionally, the government will require to define how long the website should remain capable of accepting online votes.
The records show that 1,617,989 Scots voted YES in 2014. It is envsaged that they will now be joined by many previous No voters who have since changed their minds. Scotland also had over 660,000 individuals who had registered to vote, but chose not to do so? Many of these will undoubtedly now place an online opinion, together with some 140,000 Scots who weren’t even previously registered to vote.
There is of course no guarantee whatsoever, that an online accumulating vote will deliver a majority in favour of supporting Independence. That is clearly a matter which is entirely up to the people. What is clear at outset however, is that both sides of the debate can fully respect the substance of permanent digitalised vote records.
Either way, Scotland clearly now has the capability to become a worldwide shining light for Electronic Democracy and Digitalised Freedom of Speech. It is suggested that others elsewhere in locations such as Quebec and Catalonia may now follow and use the same Polyas system as well.
It remains to be seen however, if The Scottish government will indeed be the first to seize the opportunity to use this new technology.
But fundamentally, why would anyone now wish to use archaic referendum procedures which are 100 times more expensive?
Modern technology to resolve mass conflict.
With methodology originating in Bonnie Scotland.
Polyas contact via: www.polyas.co.uk
Anna-Maria Palzkill – Head of Marketing & Communications at POLYAS
SECURE ONLINE VOTING
Who chooses Polyas, votes for security.
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- Legally valid election results with the click of a button
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Press and media enquiries via: http://milestonemedia.co.uk
Seuna Martin is former Managing Editor of the Press Association, the UK’s national news agency.