TRUST GAP AND THE POWER OF POLLS
A blockchain approach
Ángel Carrión Orlandi
On my search for what was behind Bitcoin, I discovered a powerful peer-to-peer, consensus-registered, distributed and immutable data ledger called Blockchain. An explosion of ideas immediately burst in my mind, besides a cryptocurrency use. Just because I’ve been close to politics for almost two decades, protruded the universal law: “politics is just perception”. And there is an inconvenient truth in todays virtual world, perception is dominated, manipulated and controlled by “fake news” and “alternative facts”.
Puerto Rico State Electoral Commission’s data demonstrates a decreasing trend on participation in the 2016 and preceding elections. Similarly, news reports point out that the public’s discouragement for voting could be epitomized by the power inflicted by politicians, political parties and other interests. People blame politicians for misrepresentations of the public opinion. Meanwhile, diverse private institutions publish polls of sometimes dubious truthfulness.
Blockchain has the potential to reverse the public perception of the weakened power of the citizen’s vote, which could profit the fundamentals of democracy. A correct use of the blockchain tool in collecting public opinion has the potential to become a model of reliability for conveying an indubitable majority opinion. Because individuals would be able to see their personal vote accumulated in real time, this approach would leave no space for complaints of mismanagement. Real time casting, counting and individual verification could become the new trend in polls and voting. The milestone of getting rid of any doubt of manipulation of voting results will encourage trust on the power of the vote. We could attack and override the trust gap , that human imperfection.
Trustworthiness is the aggregated value of a blockchain vote and opinion-casting system versus the traditional way. Trust, a pillar characteristic of a blockchain system not only will attract registered voters to exercise the vote on election day, but could be used daily, weekly or at any time a social issue arises by using the polling mechanism. After obtaining the public recognition of trustworthiness, the results of the polls would exponentially rise its magnitude. Reputation.
Here’s when the powerful tool comes in function. By creating a blockchain in which polls are continuously presented to be voted, and the vote or opinion are cast permanently, honestly counted and audited by the voter or the general public, citizens’ expression will achieve a thundering power. Government, politicians and political parties will feel the heat of a socially recognized and reputed public opinion expression media. The trust gap between public opinion and interpretation of public opinion could be solved.
The government and politicians (nouns that stands for the same definition) are to be subject to the public’s choices and opinions without the interpretation of the polls’ management or political influencers. People’s opinion will be delivered directly from the horse’s mouth. This characteristic of the system also complies with another blockchain paramount, the exclusion of middlemen or intermediaries.
As a summary, a polling blockchain could become an excellent tool for empowering people’s vote in the day to day decision-making on how their taxes are to be invested by their government. After all it’s just a question of a trust gap.