The internet’s power to disintermediate entire industries – and challenging decades old companies to adapt or die – is one of the most exciting parts of working in technology.
- Labels are bleeding, musicians like Radiohead are releasing directly to fans, and artist-direct platforms like via MySpace and Sellaband are gaining traction
- Newspaper revenue is plummeting as news sources proliferate and bloggers deliver directly to readers via RSS
- Peer-to-peer lending companies like Prosper, LendingClub, Zopa are starting to drive significant loan volumes through their platforms
Now a company called Govit has launched a site that points at a future of direct democracy, where individuals directly vote on senate and house bills:
The knock on the type of representative democracy that is employed in the US is that the people aren’t actually voting on the legislation that gets passed — representatives for the people are doing it for them. Enter Govit, a site that lets citizens weigh in on bills currently being voted on in the US House and Senate.
Govit is not overambitious, representing themselves as an education and advocacy site – they’ll send the status of direct votes to the elected representatives, for example. It’s particularly relevant in the midst of a debate about super delegates, who are being spurred to follow the popular vote in their cities and states. Clearly, this mandate to follow the popular vote was not intended, or there would be no need to distinguish super delegates from pledged delegates. But the expressed wish for the super delegates to follow the pledged delegates highlights a desire for direct democracy that Govit attempts to deliver.
Bottom Line: The idea of 100m registered voters logging in from home and voting on individual measures is far fetched when we can’t even get an electronic voting machine in a polling precinct to work, but it’s a fun idea around fundamental disintermediation.