I am from group 6 so it is not really my week but I still had a question to ask about the Burkina Faso’ elections case. The article online says the government avoid uprising in the country because, thanks to OpenData, they could show in real time the evolution of the votes. It gave more trust to the process. But I think that in terms of democracy and political sciences, this is not neutral at all because a “majority effect” applies. People, seeing a candidate has more chance to be elected, can modify their vote in real time to choose the candidate in better place. What about the risks associated with this effect? Do you think it could be a good thing to implement data collection in “old” democracies like the US? Do you think it could have avoided Trump victory for example?
I think this is a question about timing and the outreach of the open data checking operations (proactively in the media or low-profile and focused on access)
Oh ok I didn’t get that point in the article, I thought people could see in real time the quantity of votes for each candidate.
Because I think if their decisions are biased by majority effects, then the results can be entirely modified. If, for example, we could know instantly the number of votes for a candidate, then it could completely change the voting decisions and the whole way of thinking the elections the way they are today. I don’t know if it would damage “democracy”. But it would definitely change the way we see our vote.
For example for the last French elections there was a lot of uncertainty for people from the “left”. People from the “PS” were torn between voting “usefully” to block the “right” ie vote Macron because they thought he was the only one able to win. But imagine if they could see votes in real time. People voting for the far left candidate (Melenchon) could have voted before people going to vote Macron we can imagine, and then Melenchon at the beginning of the day is a little bit higher in votes than Macron for example. The whole strategy of uncertain people from the left could have changed.
It is the same for Trump. If people could have seen in real time that the difference between the two candidates was so tiny, maybe more people would have voted.
I think the way of asking my question is maybe wrong, it would maybe not damaged democracy, but definitely change the way politics and vote is functioning.
This is a valid question, but as I interpret Carolan’s article, one published the results one day after Burkina Faso’s presidential election, i.e. when the votes have already been cast. Then I wonder how majority effects applies to the issue of democracy in your question. Even though peoples’ voting decisions may be biased by majority effects, they are still cast freely and fairly.