CBC has recently put on an interesting experiment in BC, which is worth a gander for voters worldwide. The goal of the experiment was to test whether or not voters could or could not be swayed based on an engaging debate between members. This comes in light of the leadership debate that took place last week, which seems to have been played a somewhat decisive role in the recent polls, as my Dad pointed out here.
Of course, there are always certain things that must be taken into account. One is that most people getting involved in these experiments are inevitably politically active voters, rather than stay-at-home-and-ignore-the-country citizens. The other is that this particular debate is not between federal candidates, but participants in different levels of government, which could have an impact on how well each member comes across.
Also, the theory behind these is that in “instant democracy”, opinions may or may not be malleable. Because the results are based upon instant feedback, it’s quite possible that emotions are playing a larger factor here than in a normal election span. Peer pressure may all but nullify the effects of a good debate, if someone is constantly surrounded by opinions that are against the ides of the debate’s winner.
Either way, the conclusion is intriguing, and the debates worth watching. I’m going to post all of the videos, in chronological order, and oen can watch and comment at their own pace, since it totals almost an hour of watching.
As I was finding these videos, I also noticed that there was an Ontario session on the economy. They, too, have interesting results, particularly in the deviation in party success from these “environment” ones. This seems to back up my statement that “instant democracy” is largely contigent upon emotions based on the debater’s performance, and may not hold sway over a long period of time.