I asked a closely related question here: How would our democracy change if we had quick, reliable, accurate means to instantaneously vote on issues online However, I feel I left it too open ended and should focus on more specifics.
The premise is simple, imagine we were able to use the internet to allow everyday citizens to cast effective instantaneous votes from home which were secured and trustworthy (i.e., it stopped voter fraud and voting as someone else). Also assume that the poor have roughly the same ability to file a vote as the rich or at the least lack of internet access/computer does not restrict their ability to vote.
My question previously was how would this affect democracy. The consensus was that a purely direct democracy was not possible and honestly that was my belief with the question as well. However, if we had the above and confidence in it, I feel like the increased ease and speed of voting (and weren't prevented from doing so out of simply inertia causing us to stick with whatever currently is in place) I feel like we would find some way to better utilize the ability compared to our current approach.
Thus, my question is how could you make a representative democracy which utilized safe instantaneous votes to better allow voters to express their desires without forcing voters to vote on every little (or even most) decision.
The other major issue with the above question that people had was that an average voter can not be expected to fully read and understand a bill due to the complexity of the legalese, elected representatives usually have numerous legal aids to translate these things for them which common folk won't possess. Thus any solution should also minimize the risk of encouraging/forcing people to make decisions they are incapable of understanding (at least not to a larger degree then current democracies already do).
This question is about creating any democracy, be it a modification of our current democracies in the near future, or a new democracy from scratch which was built with the presumption that instant-votes are possible.
How would we correctly adopt instantaneous voting to increase voter voice without overwhelming voters or degrading our system? Would we stick purely to our current systems, except that votes are easier during elections? Would we stick purely to representatives but vote them in/out more often? Or can we create a system that allows more direct feedback on occasions?
Perhaps representatives may choose to open certain votes up to public; for example the countries laws require direct vote for a declaration of war. Maybe individuals have the option to directly vote on any congressional decision, but representatives effectively control the 'block' of votes that are not explicitly made by direct votes for a particular decision. Maybe some other more interesting ideas I haven't come up with yet etc?
I'm interested in knowing why an approach does or does not work. Why would option x be chosen over pure representative or pure direct democracy, or better yet what tradeoffs are made with option Y (ie, in some ways Y hurts the democracy, in some ways Y helps, I think Y will be chosen as ultimately better option then X despite the potential harm).
'Votes' do not need to be limited to a specific Yay or Nay on a bill either. Anything that could be used to express a legal voice online may count, including petitions, Impeaching unpopular representatives, call for votes on certain issues or vetoes of existing votes, or even the ability to write a bill or propose an amendment for an existing bill, if it's deemed the option could be made to work in an effective manner; though all of the above do not need to be possible if some are deemed too disruptive. In any case the key difference from today is that the 'voter' is uniquely identified in such a way that he can not misrepresent who he is, what district he is from, or get more then one 'vote' on any given issue when serving a legal capacity as a voter.
edit: let me just say all of my comments below, now and in the future, are mostly about elaborating on ideas. I keep being afraid people will see them as dismissive of good ideas rather then constructive attempts to elaborate to handle potential complications. So I'll put a blanket comment for all here, my asking about potential draw backs is not a disagreement with the ideas I'm commenting on at all. I really love the feedback so far and look forward to more :)