Smart contract voting, is it possible?
The idea may seem even bizarre but to support it on his blog is Michele Kettmaier, former founder and general manager until October 2014 of the ahref Foundation.
Kettmaier explains to Cryptonomist: “Retrieving meaning and participation in democratic processes is complicated.
It is even more so today, with the communities occupied in managing the life and processes of globalization often without any help or political direction”.
Kettmaier’s reasoning starts from afar: “In ancient Athens there was the problem of the poor participation of citizens in democratic institutional processes, such as elections, referendums, deliberations.
Out of 40 thousand Athenians, yes and no six thousand took part, pushed into the street by the metropolitan police, to the Ecclesia, the popular assembly where it was decided and proposed the management of the common good.
Urban police always pulled red ropes at the end of the streets that led to the assembly to recognize those who colored red trying to run away from voting.
The colored did not receive the two drachmas per day provided for those who participated in the institutional process “.
Well, according to Kettmaier, something like this is happening today, two thousand years later.
What to do? “first of all is to recover confidence in those who represent us, given that the intermediate bodies, the parties to be clear, are no longer able to understand and manage the processes.
On the other hand, there is still Article 67 of the Italian Constitution that reminds us that the functions of elected representatives in parliament are to represent the nation without a mandate, so they must not give an account to anyone of their work, not even to the citizen.
An article that I believe should be reformulated, like many of the Constitution, by the cultural, informative, geographical and technological change we have witnessed over the last decades “.
And at this point the new technologies come into play: “A smart contract defines a relationship between two parties that is the transfer of a property, an idea, models and rules and much more, and binds the participants to follow what is written in the contract.
Technology defines if everything has been respected and if it is not so, it can be defined as civil or criminal fines “.
At that point, the vote would be based on the signing of a smart contract (anonymous) between the voter and the candidate.
Within the smart contract could be stored forever, in a safe and inviolable, the commitments that the candidate promises to respect if elected.
The same smart contract could also provide for penalties automatically applicable to the candidate if, once he had voted and ended the mandate, he had not completed his commitments.
“At this point,” continues Kettmaier, “the steps would lead to managing the governance of a community beyond representative democracy towards a form of distributed and participated democracy, even if not perfect, as indeed no evolving system can be.”
The idea is indeed curious. It is difficult then to say how realistic it can be achieved.
Kettmaier concludes: “It is about moving the limits of the possible a little further. The blockchain, together with new non-speculative models of cryptocurrency or token, can give an important help. It is a path that I started some time ago, but that I would like to share with those who are there, and has wills and good ideas: if you want to write to me. “