Commons Speaker John Bercow has set up the Digital Democracy Commission, which says that by the 2020 general election, people should be able to vote online and take part in Commons’ debates via internet forums.
Bercow said of online voting: “I don’t mean by that that it will necessarily at any stage be compulsory to vote in that way, but I think that the notion that, if it can be established as secure and reliable people should have the option to vote online, will gain ground more and more and more.”
Bercow also said the idea of online forums was exciting: “For members of Parliament whilst conducting their debate, to be aware of and capable of responding to what people outside are saying, would at least start to fuse the two parts of the body politic.”
Other recommendations in the commission’s report include:
- Allowing MPs who are unwell or have childcare responsibilities to be permitted to vote in the Commons electronically, without having to go into the chamber
- Ending restrictions on members of the public using mobile phones in the public galleries in the Commons
- Experimenting with providing live social media coverage of Commons debates