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Automated Transcript for bonus content for Talk With Ben Ballingall From Flux Party

Automated Transcript for bonus content for Talk With Ben Ballingall From Flux Party

Warning there may be errors

Brian k 0:00
Hi, and welcome to bonus content from designing open boxey. We previously held a recording on the 11th of March 2020. For a warm up with Ben linkle on the talk about his party and how it implements issue based direct democracy system believe that this is a warm up, it is a bit more free flowing. However, it explores a bit more into how flux party itself works. So you may be finding this to be quite an interesting talk that goes into more details and some aspects of flexibility that the original talk did not go into. And welcome to designing open democracy and who we have here is Ben political from flux party. Hey, Brian,

ben ballingal 0:45
thanks for letting me on.

Brian k 0:47
Yes. So tell me a bit more about flux party and what is it?

ben ballingal 0:54
So yeah, I'm with the flux party where a political party registered in Australia Also throughout various states throughout Australia, we're a political party that believes in or proposes issue based direct democracy. So that's a way for all the citizens, all the citizenry to vote on the issues that come up in Parliament, and have those results aggregated and shown to a representative and representatives will do what their community votes in Parliament.

Brian k 1:28
So if I understand correctly, what you're saying is that it's gonna be a system where people will get to do a bit more direct democracy in their government. Is that correct?

ben ballingal 1:39
Yeah, truly, it's, um,

it's a very straight up and down democracy, the people voting on every single issue.

Brian k 1:45
I see.

So tell me a bit more about the history of flux. Like you mentioned, Max Cain was a big part of flux.

ben ballingal 1:54
Yeah, so was it 2000

middle of 2015 I believe it was. Max K and Nathan Spataro, who are the co founders came together because they had both an idea for this new form democracy. But most importantly, perhaps secondly, most importantly, they had the ability and the code behind being able to develop that.

So they developed a prototype of

the app and then used I guess that to generate enough buzz to get the party registered before the 2016 federal election.


yeah, at late late

2015 would have been the the true state of flux for just the two of them

Brian k 2:33
led to 16th Yep. Okay. Why did we choose to stop say, electronic voting, rather than say, like, What can I say? Why is there a need to switch?

ben ballingal 2:50
I think we

depends on your views of representative government is all my I'll stop that but for at least a lot of us in flux. Yeah, we we see the flaws in representative democracy and the government system governmental systems we have right now. And that, frankly, a lot of the flaws that we face politically, as you know, the people if we can call that come from a lack of representation, a lack of transparency, and the lack of accountability of our representatives. So generating some sort of system, especially one that's democratic and gives empowers everybody, you know, it's it's I personally, I think it's something people have been doing for the entirety of history. I was just happens to be based on blockchain tech and the internet. But, you know, technological innovation is sort of always progressed, some sort of political change. Yeah, I see. It's just something that everybody sort of felt, and this is how it manifested more than anything.

I guess I can come in come at where like, when designing I'm from democracy, or

what at least what I understand

Unknown Speaker 3:54
of what you're doing because

ben ballingal 3:57
I'm not fully across signing up. But it's Suddenly like, Yeah, for sure. So I say this is like flux is one element, if I can of

designing and open democracy in that flux

posit a true democratic form. It allows everybody to vote on issues right now. It's contingent on parliament, what is put up in Parliament primarily.

Brian k 4:19
So like three year, electorial cycle,

ben ballingal 4:23
exactly three year electoral cycle, we need to get this person in to do this thing. But what it doesn't sort of, or what what you know, will grow, hopefully symbiotically is how are people going to be informed about these decisions they're going to make? You know, how do we decide once once we've released all these old political parties of leading us? How do we decide what facets of their ideology were good? And what were bad?

You know, and how do we actually have these discussions? That's,

that's something that needs to grow. That's a societal you know, People need to develop this thing in in tandem with the ability to vote on issues and control their MP. So

Brian k 5:06
what you're saying is that is flux, only one component of what is needed in the society. There's a cultural element, is that correct? Yeah, there's like I think maybe what something might have a concern is that you could try to fix the brain people. Right. But is that going to really fundamentally change this this conflict we have? Because there's also an issue of like, say, media representation, or cultural representation,

ben ballingal 5:30
and etc. I think that's Yeah, that's the

million billions trillion dollar question is, and you know, we don't know,

like when we think of voting, especially nowadays, you know, we think of this voting for a team fighting for a team that has some is, yeah, this this, this tribal team that always been this way. They've always held this ideology that comes with, you know, these 50 points. So really changing how culture and society Looks at politics looks at it via every issue and how those issues actually relate individually. Yeah, you know, that's a huge cultural change. So it's a huge cultural shift

Brian k 6:12
and mentality,

ben ballingal 6:13
for sure. Yeah. The the actual, the actual mentality, you know, it's totally acceptable to only like one initiative that the greens put forward. And then the next week to like a one nation initiative. People could not even comprehend how that could ever work. But when you look at individual issues, you know, that greens issue could be a great environmental issue. And the one nation issue is something to do with rural infrastructure. Like they can both be right. And in today's politics, you can't that that's completely absurd. So so that's a huge change that isn't solved by be people being able to vote.

Brian k 6:53
So I have this device to talk about, like how would the ordinary verta in Public participate in your system?

ben ballingal 7:04
Yeah, for sure. I mean,

Brian k 7:06
real bill, and I think a great way to ask this question would be like, could you give me a rundown as to how this system oobleck? In typical use case of the public? Yeah, for sure.

ben ballingal 7:18
So it takes a little bit of

the things we have to

suspend our disbelief. First a flux MP has been voted in, in your electorate. So that's important. But you know, you're sitting on your couch in uniques. And an issue comes up, you're scrolling through your Facebook feed and an issue comes up that's being debated. You would go to the app store, or you can go to the website, either Oh, but specifically the App Store and you download an app. The app allows you to log in, create a user created a credit password, create an account and you log in using your federal electoral road details. So these are all verified by the government that you are one person then it would tell you, you know, Obviously, you're elected state level, federal level, and then the upcoming bills in Parliament. So this is going to be voted on in four days, this is going to be voted in three days. And it would allow you to vote yes, no, or choose not to vote on those ones. And then obviously, say you really like an issue, click on it. It'll give you the synopsis of the bill, maybe give you some links to the parties, like the proposing parties information, maybe some counter information proposed by other political parties. This is definitely a level where we don't want to be proposing any information. So you won't find information from flux. But you might be able to find the information that the other parties have put up. And then yeah, you would, you would vote yes or no, if you wanted to, you'd be given the results of your entire electorate, and then little button down the bottom to post to Twitter, post to Facebook, email my representative. That'd be a really basic, you know, being hit by a bill that you really cared about and acting on that bill.

Brian k 8:57
So I'm kind of curious as to One key aspects. Gill system relies on the use of technology and smartphones and their real pretty concerns on public about the security and viability of technology based electorial system.

ben ballingal 9:16
Yeah, for sure. It's a big tech one tech security is is something that I guess is initially very scary and especially if you know in that industry you know, I even I am quote unquote in the industry but I can't read the cook tired to

Brian k 9:29
say like the Iowa election scandal is a scandal or kerfuffle

ben ballingal 9:35
in America have a good turn. Yeah, that's, that's pretty perfect, cuz that exact fault was an actual fault in the code, like it been coded poorly, but it'll still in people's psyche just be an app broke and it screwed up the vote. You know that it tech gets reduced down so quickly. On a tech forefront. It is blockchain based voting. So you know, The ledger is immutable. We do have the strongest security and anonymization. In industry, you know, there is no other way. It's the same stuff that protects you bank gets your banking and all your online communication. There is a level where it's open source, you can read it. If it's got a flaw, people will find it. And right now we are telling you there are no flaws.

Brian k 10:27
And you got to understand that like most people are probably not technologically literate in the idea of the blockchain. And so I imagine part of the aspects to getting your story out there and getting traction and the public about your flux system is you probably need to have a bit more acceptance and the idea of relying and blockchain

ben ballingal 10:51
Yeah, it's um, it's funny, even in just three years I've been with with flux. It's even how much we have to explain blockchain. Now compared to back three years ago, is markedly less, we definitely still have to, you know, there is a certain it is still freaky new technology, but I think there's at least enough acceptance, you know, people understand crypto blockchain, it's something to do with saving and storing money. And being anonymous, like people at least have this sort of rough idea of how it works now. Yeah. And with that acceptance, you know, it's a lot easier to be like, so you can see how that could be used for voting. Yes. As opposed to having to you know, really explain how the vote worked and how the security works and how that works. It's getting there.

It's, it's one of those ones, you really just have to put up and be like,

it works. And you can't prove us wrong. And the people that can prove us wrong, agree with us. So what do you want?

Brian k 11:47
Hi, and thanks for listening to this bonus content of designing open democracy. Talk with Ben Berlingo. If you're interested in this talk and you haven't had the original talk, I recommend you to Check out the last episode and give it a listen. Oh and if you have not been Australia Don't forget to check out our physical beta each month recover different topic on relating to democracy. Our next meetup will be likely to be about cooperatives. So I hope to see you then. Else see the next podcast episode. Cheers.