In a world similar to ours, politicians are required by law to record every moment of their day except when not in contact (in any way shape or form) with any special interest including:

  • anyone with relations to big business, directly or indirectly.
  • anyone part of or with relation to anyone part of government.

The regulations and over-watch are strict, monitoring and forbidding any form of non-recorded contact with anyone except their friends and family, and the friends and family cannot communicate with any of those special interests as proxies.

If a politician is in their underwear and takes an important phone call in the middle of the night, even then, the audio must be recorded. All of this data is publicly accessible, making the political actions of all politicians 100% transparent, making it extremely difficult for politicians to get away with immoral or even corrupt dealing with special interests and government in a way that voters would disapprove of.

Note: When interacting with classified information, performing classified events, the recording is of course stopped, but there is oversight to confirm that these lapses in recording are the result of valid classified situations. Video lapses are something the public takes seriously, and all efforts are made to verify that classification is not over-used to host unnecessarily private conversations and actions.

What would be the political implications of such requirements? More specifically, what would be the key differences in the politics of this world and our own?


closed as too broad by Hohmannfan, T3 H40, bilbo_pingouin, a CVn, Brythan May 10 '16 at 11:58

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi! Welcome to Worldbuilding. That's an interesting attempt to fight against corruption, and the like :-) Unfortunately a question like "what are the implications of..." is usually too broad. We call those "What ifs". There's a new proposal on area51 for such questions, but here, we prefer questions that have more constraints. $\endgroup$ – bilbo_pingouin May 10 '16 at 5:20
  • $\begingroup$ Everything other than bathroom breaks would be a matter of "National Security", and bathroom breaks are private of course. $\endgroup$ – Cyrus May 10 '16 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ @bilbo_pingouin how about "what would be the key differences"? $\endgroup$ – CuriousWebDeveloper May 10 '16 at 12:24
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    $\begingroup$ 'key' differences is still very broad... and are essentially a matter of opinion. You need to focus on some part of the society. Like, how does it influence the local food distribution. Or the like. Because it may have many influences on many side of the society. Which is too much for the format. $\endgroup$ – bilbo_pingouin May 10 '16 at 12:28

The theory of six degrees of separation says that everybody has indirect relationships to big business and government. And who counts as a politician? Heads of state? Sure. Legislators? Yes. Town councillors? In a way, too.


  • Politics needs compromise unless it is dysfunctional. Compromise needs negotiations. Negotiations need negotiators with a confidential mandate. Consider the current TTIP talks. The US wants to sell GM food to Europe, Europe wants to sell auto parts to the US. How far is each side willing to go?
  • Regarding TTIP, the negotiators have to talk to industry representatives. If that went on the public record, the confidential negotiation position would be unveiled. If it was allowed to be classified, powerful political leaders could always dodge the surveillance.
  • Would anybody run as a small town mayor or a local school board if the job came with such intrusion? One could give those jobs to unelected officials, I guess, but that wouldn't be good for democracy. Local politics are important.

Summarized, it won't work.

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    $\begingroup$ There's a lot that could be said on TTIP. I'll sump up with: How can a treaty that impacts economy, health and safety, environment and law be so secretive? We lack transparency on big decisions and people take offence to that. 100% transparency may be an extreme change, but the current system is dysfunctional. Maybe we'll see less actions in favor of private interests and more in favor of the greater good, and that's a good thing. It is the supposed point of democracy after all. $\endgroup$ – AmiralPatate May 10 '16 at 7:48
  • $\begingroup$ @AmiralPatate, this isn't about the advantages and disadvantages of a specific treaty like TTIP (or START I, or the Treaty of Nice). It is about the problem of negotiating when you can't coordinate your position in private. $\endgroup$ – o.m. May 10 '16 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ @o.m. I think he was pointing out that, while a huge change, people want transparency in those big negotiations. Its a change in culture, and the politicians are used to operating under the cover of secrecy, but it isnt working, and there isnt really any reason the world's government can't have these discussions out in the open. If they're not comfortable with having them out in the open, then I doubt our best interest are being had, and so does everyone else. We the people arent children; we're the parents and the government is nothing more than our lawyers to advise the best route. $\endgroup$ – CuriousWebDeveloper May 11 '16 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ @CuriousWebDeveloper, imagine somebody is selling a house. Alice and Bob both want it, and Alice has been told that Bob could get a bank credit up to 200,000 dollar/euro/whatever. So Alice, who is a little bit richer, offers 200,001. Is that fair to Bob and the seller? Bob might have gotten the house if his bid had remained confidential, or the seller could have gotten more. $\endgroup$ – o.m. May 11 '16 at 4:36
  • $\begingroup$ @o.m. The analogy doesnt fit the real situation: A giant group of extremely powerful people operating behind closed doors, meeting with special interest, collecting billions of dollars from those special interests, and then being expected to make decisions with the people at heart, often who have the opposite interest of those guys who just donated millions of dollars. $\endgroup$ – CuriousWebDeveloper May 11 '16 at 8:07

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