• news ECPRD (European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation)

Parliaments and PA’s: for citizens electronic voting stands for transparency

ECPRD (European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation): e-voting is the ideal tool for the transparency and control of Parliaments

E-voting is the ideal tool for the transparency and control of Parliaments using electronic voting systems as citizens consider them to be more up-to-date and transparent.

This is what emerges from a report of the European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation (ECPRD) where in the European Parliament as well as the Assemblies of the single country members,voting procedures and the use of technologies are analysed.

The document highlights the fact that among the various voting procedures available for Members, the nominal kind is considered by people to be the type that better guarantees citizen control as far as parliamentary decisions and the behaviour of each single Member are concerned..

Above all when nominal votes are cast via an electronic voting system, this type of technology, in fact, not only ensures rapidity and efficiency but the transparency of the law-making process as well.

The report further highlights how the behaviour of members is affected by the voting system they are using.

According to certain surveys, for example, people tend to vote more accurately when the system being used is equipped with a display that facilitates interaction with the voting device.

How can citizens be assured that they have control over the behaviour of their members?

In the document circulated by the ECPRD, certain basic parameters are considered to guarantee that citizens are obtaining the transparency and major control regarding the decisions of their Members, such as:

  • The use of electronic voting systems and other information systems for the PA
  • Control of the regularity of voting procedures and results
  • The use of ICT tools (streaming sessions, updated websites, video minutes recording) for broadcasting debates, voting and law-making procedures
  • Availability for voters to control the behaviour and votes of their representatives

Debating about participative democracy does not therefore only concern accessing PA documents by citizens but also the path to be followed at a National or European level to get citizens involved in all the phases of parliamentary activities.

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