A new political party has been launched in Australia which will use blockchain technology to let members vote for what policies it should adopt.
The Neutral Voting Block will start with no policies other than that of using the Bitcoin blockchain to register and record the wishes of its members – and then to represent those wishes in parliament.
By focusing on the environment, and not particular policies, the NVB provides a way to upgrade democracy without being bogged down by partisan politics.
You can think of the NVB as a trial system of democracy, that out-competes our current parliament by giving more back to parties and Australians.
Blockchain technology lends itself well to use in voting systems. By providing a secure way for each person to register their vote on a public record whilst still maintaining the option for users to remain anonymous, and with little possibility for anybody to tamper with those votes, the blockchain is able to offer significant improvements over current systems in terms of security and transparency. Several tech start-ups are aiming to provide off-the-shelf solutions for blockchain voting, such as FollowMyVote and Bitcoins
Early last year a Danish political party became the first to experiment with this technology, announcing that they would use the blockchain to conduct a vote amongst its members. The NVB will go further than this, however, potentially taking Australia a step towards direct democracy, allowing people to decide how to govern the country themselves, rather than simply appointing representatives and giving them absolute authority for the whole term of parliament.
The NVB will contest the 2016 Federal elections in Australia, where it hopes to exploit the ‘Senate Preference Hack‘ to gain an 85% probability of winning a seat in any given constituency with just 1% of the vote.