Wednesday, 4 May 2005

UK elections: tactical voting using the Net

It's the UK general election tomorrow. Needless to say, I'll be voting - I think everyone should who can.

The party I'd most like to win hasn't a prayer overall, really. Although it is probably second rather than third in my constituency.

But it looks like tactical voting via vote swapping over the internet, which started in the U.S., may be taking off here, according to the 30 April 2005 issue of New Scientist (a good read, as always). The site they cite, (which also has a blog), looks well organised and sensible. If the party I favour was third rather than second in my area, I'd definitely consider it.

Vote swapping via such "vote broking" sites is an exciting, innovative use of the Net, and I completely agree that it can only be a good thing for democracy (subject to a slight reservation about how you can trust the person you swap with to actually vote they way they've promised to: there seems to be no guarantee mechanism in place).

I'd be very interested to find out, after the event, to what extent vote swapping really makes a difference in this UK election.

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