Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Does too much information/communication endanger democracy?

Is too much information and communication endangering democracy?

Elections are designed to lead to stable and effective government if voters express their true opinions and vote sincerely. However, when they get a clear idea of how other voters might vote, voters may be tempted to maximise the chances of the desired outcome by voting strategically.

Elections are designed to lead to stable and effective government if voters express their true opinions and vote sincerely. However, when they get a clear idea of how other voters might vote, voters may be tempted to maximise the chances of the desired outcome by voting strategically.

In the information-rich society of today, through media polls and by exchanging opinions on social media sites such as twitter, voters can get a clearer idea than ever before of which way the vote might go and what coalition of strategic voters should be formed to achieve a result which is more desirable for them.

There is not much that a single person can do. However if a voter is well-connected in the online world and has many followers - up to 50 million for example - he or she may be tempted to persuade followers to vote in a certain way.

Such a creation of powerful manipulating coalitions may have a serious destabilising effect on democracy in the future.

Strategic voting and the potential power of social media in regard to elections is the topic of University of Auckland mathematics professor Arkadii Slinko’s Inaugural Lecture on May 29.

“Social networks are a concern because voter influence offline is meticulously regulated,” Professor Slinko says. “For example, there are rules around advertising and publication of polls close to polling day but nothing is regulated online".

“That means that as a voter, I have the same power that you do. But in an online world, some people have become super-powerful in social networks so that they have the potential to be more powerful than you or me and this is not regulated.”

Professor Slinko will discuss examples where political polls may have influenced the outcome of an election, including the case of an American body builder elected Governor of Minnesota in 1999.

Professor Slinko also discusses mathematical problems in trying to understand how strategic voting undermines the rules of an electoral system.

“The most difficult thing to know is how voters react to information. We don’t know how many strategic voters there are for example. But we are trying to understand how coalitions of voters form and the increased influence some individual voters may have.”

Lecture details: 6 - 7pm, PLT1 Lecture Theatre, Building 303, 38 Princes St

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

2015: Elton John Plans Wellington Show

After nine years, Elton John and his band will return to Westpac Stadium, Wellington for one spectacular concert! The November 21, 2015 concert will feature iconic hits and classic album tracks from throughout his incredible five-decade career... More>>

Book Awards: Jill Trevelyan's Story Of Peter McLeavey Is Book Of The Year

The story of Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey and his gallery has won the prestigious New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2014 in a glittering ceremony in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: King Richard

Simon Nathan reviews 'Richard Seddon, King of God’s Own': My father grew up in Wellington during Seddon’s premiership... I can recall him standing under the Seddon statue in the grounds of parliament and telling me that Seddon had more backbone than Sid Holland and all his cabinet colleagues put together.. More>>

8 October: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Coming To Auckland!

Dainty Group announced today that global superstar Miley Cyrus will bring her BANGERZ TOUR to New Zealand in October this year. This will be Miley’s first ever visit to New Zealand and there will only be one Auckland show before she takes her tour to Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Music: Lorde NZ Tour Confirmed In Four Major Cities!

In what will be her first ever New Zealand headline tour, Frontier Touring and Brent Eccles Entertainment are stoked to bring you four epic shows across the country! The all ages concerts take place late October/ early November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Poor Economics

A review of and excerpt from Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple’s Child Poverty in New Zealand. Review by Marlene Ware. More>>

Head Count: Highest Population Growth Since 2003

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014. More>>

Fun-Enhancement: Research To Ensure Even Game For Less Skilled Players

A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news