How to be a Traveller in an Ethical Multiverse
Cyberamicable Game Design

The Cybervirtues of Elections?

Ballot BoxWith a General Election here in the UK this Thursday, I have been wondering about the cybervirtue of the election process. This question could be framed: does as any good come out of the mechanisms we currently use to vote? This seems strange at first blush, but the point is that different technologies (including something as apparently simple as paper stuffed in a ballot box) has moral influence upon us both individually and collecively.

In terms of virtues, the typical election process supports our anonymity and thus as the cyborgs engaging in voting we display something akin to cybertact in so much as our political position is kept to ourselves. Yet the bluntness of the process sometimes seems to push away from any virtuous engagement with the electorate. It has the sharp terminal quality of a game of bingo, which terminates abruptly and delivers a victor in a manner approaching random.

Could there be a technology (paper or digital) that encouraged more virtuous engagement with politics during the election process? What would that look like? Which countries have developed electoral processes that seem least likely to be enmired with the debilities of the ‘winner takes all’ systems? Or is there some hidden merit to First Past the Post, a system that invites every election to be reduced to hot button issues, and buries any sense of political nuance?

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