Should we be able to vote online?
JEFF JARVIS, author of Gutenberg the Geek (Amazon Publishing), Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live (Simon & Schuster, 2011) and What Would Google Do? (HarperCollins 2009), blogs about media and news at Buzzmachine.com. He is associate professor and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.
He is consulting editor and a partner at Daylife, a news startup. He consults for media companies and is a public speaker. Until 2005, he was president and creative director of Advance.net, the online arm of Advance Publications. Prior to that, Jarvis was creator and founding editor of Entertainment Weekly; Sunday editor and associate publisher of the New York Daily News; TV critic for TV Guide and People; a columnist on the San Francisco Examiner; assistant city editor and reporter for the Chicago Tribune; reporter for Chicago Today.
Question: Should we be able to vote online?
Jeff Jarvis: I believe in the representative system of government, and I think that if everything were uphold, there’s a tyranny to that.
Nonetheless, I had an idea when the Personal Democracy Forum asked me to write an essay, I was thinking about the idea of having my own disclosure page of politics and adding a little functionality to this where I could say, “Here’s what I believe. If you think I’m wrong, you can tell me. Or, here’s what I believe, and if you want me to help you on your campaign, I will.” And I can change that constantly. And if it’s searchable, you can start to get a constant sense of the pulse of the people.
So I don’t think it’s a question of voting once, I don’t think it’s a question of voting and changing the structure of government, which I don’t want to do, it works too damn well, all in all. But I think there is a way where we can constantly state our opinions and our fears and what we know and don’t know and our wishes. And the more that we can capture that from the wisdom of the crowd and the wisdom of the people, and I do believe the crowd is wise, the better off we’ll be as a country.
Recorded on: April 30, 2008
Jarvis says he doesn’t want to change the structure of government.