ITGS Syllabus

Friday, June 01, 2007

Topic 218

Political process: voting and elections, lobbying, open government and free movement of information by Marek

As computers become more and more abundant in this world, government has found a new source which they can utilize to “reach” the people. Computers have now been used by the federal services of many countries from everything to propaganda to substitutes of ballot sheets. It appears that almost everything is done electronically these days.

Governments have found the inherent use of the internet for elections, such as posting banners. Some of the more extreme governmental institutions make use of subliminal messaging or even restrict viewers to sites that are only pro-government. Imagine how many more supporters and how much more power a government was to get if it could post a single banner on every site in the internet. Then it would be viewed by everyone.

One of the methods a government could convince the general population it was a better choice then its opponent would be very similar to posting banners on the internet. It could write “this website is supported by the Country ABC’s government”. This would give the particular government an edge, by subconsciously communicating to the average user that if they do not choose that form of government, it could shut down the website they are visiting.

Another use of computers and electronics to the governments are as a new form of ballots for elections. For one, computers can not be tampered with as easily as paper ballots, and they are universally recognized as the easiest and most efficient way of communicating which party you desire to see in power (a.k.a. elect).

Many people made mistakes on paper when they were told to put a hole though the spot next the candidate they would have liked to see elected’s name (George Bush’s election: Florida) and this resulted in mass confusion and well as mass media coverage. This is not the first time this idea has been introduced, and as time progresses, it appears more and more likely that electronics will be favored over the older methods of paper ballots.

In the end, it seems like computers are a good source to use for both the public and the government. Together, hopefully the people and their government can unite to create a better society, or to strive for the “greater good” as is mentioned in so many political texts.


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