Vancouver's Party X wants to use the internet to foster participatory democracy, starting with the HST

by Knowlton Thomas

June in B.C. has been all about the HST—impassioned pundits from across the province touting their reasons for why the HST should, or should not, stay.

On the heels of the last federal election and the utilization of social media more than ever, Vancouver's Party X has launched the HST Debate App, their first of many products that aim to leverage the internet as a tool of democracy.

The Facebook app lists issues and arguments both for and against the tax, with information coming from opposing groups, the HST Smart Tax Alliance (pro-HST) and the Fight HST (anti-HST). The app asks questions that gauge the user's opinion on issues related to the controversial tax and then offers a "Help me decide" button that uses the answers to determine whether they should vote for or against the tax. It also lets users see what their Facebook friends are saying about the tax.

At the end, it displays a box pinpointing the net results of every single voter using the app based on their opinion and how important they consider the issue to be.

Party X intends to have a much more in-depth and robust app for future political events as it vies to foster participatory democracy.

So far, 41 percent of app users are against the HST. 40 percent are for it, and 19 percent have yet to form an opinion.

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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