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True Democracy is Coming - Media Release

“True Democracy is enacting the informed will of the people. How can you enact the people's will if you never ask them what they want?”

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“True Democracy is enacting the informed will of the people. How can you enact the people's will if you never ask them what they want?

 

So says serial entrepreneur Adam Jacoby, Founder and Chief Steward of MiVote - an app-based democratic platform launching this Saturday, February 11 2017 at vote.mivote.org.au.

His response was to build an entirely new model, inspired by the desire to create a better world for his children. As Jacoby puts it - “I realised I could either continue arguing with strangers on the internet, or I could do something to create positive change, so I chose that”.*

A project of the Centre for the Future, MiVote is the result of five years of detailed planning, development and collaboration.

MiVote presents the people with fact-based information, free from special interest influence, media bias and party spin, lets them vote via the MiVote app, then intends to represent their majority view in parliament via elected MiVote senators.

“The idea that has developed into MiVote has been growing over the past five years” explains Jacoby. “I’ve been fortunate to have been able to discuss, argue, and interrogate the model with all sorts of people from across Australia and the world and we believe MiVote is the most democratic model on Earth.”

“MiVote took its current form in October 2015, but it really took off after we were selected as a finalist at Singularity University’s Grand Global Challenge in San Francisco last August.” We started by building a model for Australia, and now 23 countries around the world who are interested in starting MiVote chapters.”

The first version of the voting app that underpins MiVote will be released on Saturday, initially as a web app, and then in the app store and google play. The app uses blockchain technology to prevent vote tampering, which is the same technology that underpins Bitcoin.

MiVote Technical lead Jamie Skella explains “We started developing the app about 4 months ago and we are now ready to launch version one, which will give people the opportunity to see what we’re building, use it, and help shape it moving forward. Over 2017 we’ll be iterating frequently, incorporating user feedback, as well as introducing MiVote’s robust research framework and governance oversight into the platform.” Skella said.

The first vote to be held in the platform addresses the very heart of what MiVote sees as the challenge facing true democracy today by asking - How do the people want to be heard on the issues that are important to them? Voting will be open at vote.mivote.org.au from 11-24 February

“We've used an issue that is familiar to all Australians as the first example on the voting platform. This gives you a chance to get a feel for the app and how it works, while voting on an issue that affects us all. At the same time, we are quickly expanding the research team who are collaborating on the information packs that go in the app for future votes.” Skella said.

Unlike our current system, MiVote is destinational. As Jacoby explains “How can you write laws that define a direction for the country without first having asked what direction the country wants to go?”

A team of researchers representing all sides of politics, and overseen by ethics and governance committees, provide information for four destinations the country could take in response to an issue. MiVote members can vote for as many or as few destinations as they support via the app. And the destination with the majority vote above 60% forms MiVote’s position on that issue, which MiVote Senators take to parliament.

MiVote is young and moving quickly, with a clear and determined strategy. “We are a not-for-profit democratic movement, and mostly volunteer powered for the time being” said Jacoby. “We will register as a political party before the next federal election and run MiVote candidates for the Senate - and I assure you I won’t be one of them! MiVote Senators will be bound by our constitution to represent the majority position as voted by members through the app. That’s how we get the will of the people back into the decisions parliament makes about our country - Democracy without the politics.”

As a testament to the rapid pace at which MiVote is building it’s model, Jacoby explains the next big announcement from MiVote is already in the works. “Launching version one of the app is a huge milestone for the team, and gives the public something to use to get a feel for what we’re building and how it will work. There is much work still to do but in the coming months MiVote will name 80 prominent Australians representing diverse groups in the community to fill our permanent Advisory Committees. Watch this space, we truly are redesigning democracy to enact the informed will of the people.”

MiVote launches online this Saturday, February 11 2017, you can participate at vote.mivote.org.au.

For more information, or to arrange an interview contact: Joel Stanton on 1300 785 534 or via email.

Find MiVote on @MiVoteAus and MiVoteAus #MiVoteAu

*Adam Jacoby still occasionally indulges in getting into arguments with strangers on the internet.