While Russia is testing an e-proxy voting system based on a distributed ledger, Australia is launching a Blockchain voting app in hopes of starting a global political movement.
The Flux Party is a new Australian political party that aims to return power over important decisions made in Parliament to individual electors.
Launched six months ago, the Flux Party seeks to win enough seats at federal, state, and local levels enabling voters to directly influence the outcome of legislation that affects them, through the Flux app that has been built entirely on the blockchain.
Blockchain - when politics can benefit from technology
On July 2, the co-founders of the Flux Party are putting up 13 candidates in Australia’s Federal election; however, while they are just running for a few senatorial positions, they believe that this tool could have the potential to change the way of politics in the future.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, co-founder of the Flux Startup, Max Kaye, says that people should be able to have a say on how issues are decided more than once every three years, which is how often people have the opportunity to vote at the national level in Australia.
Kaye says to Cointelegraph:
“Under our model, Flux representatives elected to the Australian Senate will vote on every piece of legislation before them as they are directed to on a proportional basis by registered voters using the Flux app, which is based on blockchain technology. This way, every person gets to have a direct say in the fate of legislation that is important to them.”
According to Kaye, the levels of disengagement and disaffection with the political system has never been higher in Australia and comparable democracies.
As a result, the Flux Party is tapping into that concern by offering a way for people to reclaim some control over the decisions made in their name by combining the principles of participatory democracy with the benefits of technology.
What is the Flux Party?
Kaye explains that the idea behind the Flux Party originated after the 2013 elections when he had been on polling booths all day and was disappointed watching the results come in.
“Not just because my party hadn’t won a seat, but because there was just so much waste. Thousands of people around the country had got out on polling day, tried to get someone elected, and our democracy threw all that effort back in their faces.”
He then started thinking of ways to avoid the waste and how to work with minor parties. Over the next three years he met fellow co-founder, Nathan Spataro, the Flux Party leader, where they refined the design, and started a political party.
Despite the fact that they have only attracted over 3,700 members, they have done so in a relatively short period of time. Compare that number to the Australian Greens, who have around 12,000 members and have been around for more than 20 years, and it demonstrates that the Flux Party are beginning to build a significant presence with them on track to becoming the third major party in Australia.
Flux vs. mainstream politicians
Of course, Flux could be a serious proposition in an age when trust in mainstream politicians and political parties is at an all-time low in Australia and around the world. Consider the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union, the U.S. presidential elections, and far-right parties in Europe.
“I think Western liberal democracies around the world are under challenge right now and the rules and norms under which they have traditionally operated are falling away. There is a general sense that the will of the people is not being reflected in the actions of established party structures, and many voters want something different. That’s being felt across the spectrum, from left to right.”
He also points out that Flux directly addresses this need by providing a way for people to have their voice heard on important issues. He thinks the forces that make Flux an attractive option are global in nature and given the challenges facing democracy, it’s very timely to introduce it in Australia.
However, the founders of the Flux Party are not just focusing on the Australian market with the Flux app; they have intentions of reaching a global market by inviting political parties around the world to take up the app too.
“A major feature of the app is the ability to start Flux chapters anywhere, in any country. We’re in this for the long haul, and know that if we’re going to go the distance we need to go global. It’s absolutely our intention to make Flux a global democratic movement, and there’s never been a better time.”