DOES SORTITION IMPROVE OUR EUROPEAN DEMOCRACY?
In times when many Europeans feel disenfranchised by the current political and voting system, alternative forms of active citizen engagement in democracy must be experimented with. We believe in the power of unconventional ideas to revive our passion for politics and societal transformation. That’s why we propose to experiment with a system in which decisions are not just taken for the people, but really by the people, chosen randomly by lot. We would like to invite you, members and non-members of European Alternatives, to be part of this experiment of a prototype for the future of democratic participation that goes beyond the nation state.
Our approach combines two promising ideas - random sample voting (RSV) and digital identities. Participating in democracy through sortition is a very old idea and we believe it has many benefits, especially when it comes to selecting members of a board or conducting surveys. However, in order to ensure legitimacy, we need to address sortition's biggest challenge and guarantee proper representation, for which we must know the population on which our random sample is based. In order to do so, we combine RSV with secure digital identities.
Our future vision includes a European-wide voter register in which all Europeans are digitally registered with names, addresses and unique identifiers. So, if anyone in Europe, from the European parliament to a local government or NGO, wants to find out how people in a certain region feel about an issue, they can use this register and survey a small representative sample. That way, timely feedback would be accessible much more often and at a very reduced costs. Also, our approach might change the way we envision democracy all together.
This idea is far from being widespread or practical just yet, whis is another reason for us to work and experiment with it. This experiment or field test, as we call it, is the final part of the first phase of the “DECiDe”-research project. The aim of this first phase is to develop and test a technical prototype that combines RSV and digital identity. Therefore, the German ‘Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society’ teamed up with European Alternatives.
HOW TO TAKE PART
Download the eID+ app on your mobile phone, register with just your name and email address. We will then verify your account by sending a verification email and you are good to go.
- Install the app HIIG eID+ for Android or iOS (for iOS you'll need to install Apple TestFlight before)
- Open the registration link, which will be provided by European Alternatives on your phone or scan it with the QR scanner provided in the app from your computer.
- Insert your name and email address and verify your account.
We will draw a random sample from all people who registered. The app will then inform you via its push function, wether you have been selected or not. By answering a Yes or No-question, you will be able to make your choice within the app.
- If you've been selected to participate in a vote, you will get a push notification.
- Open the HIIG eID+ app and select "Voting"
- Choose between the given options and confirm
- You should get a verification, that your vote has been counted
3 Results & Survey
We will publish the results of the survey on this website and will again inform all registered users via push messages. Of course, we are very happy about your feedback! The app invites you to answer a short survey right after voting. However even if you weren’t selected, we would love to know your thoughts as we'll surely learn from them.
- After the vote has finished, you will get a notifications about the results.
- If you like you can audit the vote using the auditing mechanism. The link for this will be provided as well.
- To audit your personal vote, you will need your used voting code, which you can find under "technical details" in the app.
We selected a series of three questions aiming at understanding your relationship with European Alternatives and how you feel about some of its future plans.
- Would you like to be more engaged in the activities and work of European Alternatives?
- Do you see opportunities offered to get engaged?
- Are you willing to offer financial support to allow for more activities and opportunities to get involved and exchange?
There is a perk!
We will give away 5 Citizens of Nowhere books by Lorenzo Marsili and Niccolo Milanese among those who download the app and verified their identity with their email! So it's all the more worth taking part.