Could Technology Make Politicians Obsolete?
That election we just went through, the one that caused like 2 years of stress? What if we didn’t have to do it anymore? What if we could still vote for stuff but we cut out the middle men? Sounds great right? Well the idea isn’t so far fetched because technology could potentially make politicians obsolete.
Unfortunately, our political system doesn’t adapt well to change. In fact it’s designed specifically to make any change very hard. That’s why we’re stuck with so many outdated practices from as far as back as the Lincoln-era. Think about it: the idea of sending someone to represent you is a pretty outdated idea in some respects. We don’t live in small towns or lack the ability to correspond anymore. Theoretically, there’s no reason any able-bodied citizen couldn’t represent him or herself in government. The technology exists. We just aren’t using it.
Think about how much money we would save eliminating elections as we know them? The 2016 election cost a whopping $6.8 billion dollars. Someone spent $6.8 billion dollars just so we could stare at Trump’s and Clinton’s ugly faces for 2 years! And now we all hate each other! Introducing technology would remove the cult of personality for electing politicians. Imagine if you saw all the issues right in front of you on your screen? No doubt we would be looking at Stein, Johnson or some no-namer in the White House right now.
Replacing politicians with robots would sure save money by eliminating salaried positions. Especially for people like Marco Rubio who never even f*cking go to work. Term limits? Doesn’t matter because the voters get the final say. The person reading the results just becomes a formality. Introducing new technology wouldn’t have to eliminate politicians completely, but it could definitely help streamline the process and make our democracy more, well, democratic.
Streamlining the process into “issues only” would also start to transform political parties as we know them. Our system could potentially morph into a zero-party system. Think of how much more could get accomplished if politicians didn’t hold party loyalties and only voted along the will of the citizens?
Obviously what I’ve described is super idealist. Replacing most politicians with robots is easier said than done. And chances are these people aren’t going to let robots take their jobs without a fight. Also, allowing the general public to make all decisions vote-for-vote is kind of a scary thought. Remember when the UK let people vote on the name of a boat and they named it Boaty McBoatface? Then they dipped out of Europe?
Letting so many people have complete control seems like a scary thought because a lot of people aren’t very educated on issues properly, and they tend to vote against their own interests. But a part of me wonders if this is because citizens have been so pushed-out of the political process that they don’t see a reason to educate themselves anymore. Would giving the public more efficacy push them to educate themselves?
Once again, I’m being idealist. But taking small steps towards this doesn’t have to be impossible. Australia already has a program called Flux that allows citizens to directly vote on bills. The system isn’t technically a direct democracy but it does give the average citizen more control. How it works is Flux has developed their own political party, from there they elect candidates who have sworn to vote in parliament according to what the voters choose. Voters can also swap votes. Argentina is also working on bringing more citizen input into the political process.
Think about how much we could get accomplished politically if we just got all the lobbying out and gave more control to the citizens?