By-elections strike me as ideal occasions with which to experiment to raise turnout or just make elections better.
Here’s my ideal list of what happens next in Witney.
Every resident in Witney would be notified that there is a by-election coming up. They would be referred to the parties for nomination opportunities, or given details as to how to run as an independent. This would be a simple process.
Every party would have an open primary to select their candidates.
Once candidates are selected and nominated — including independents — their details would be published in an open data format.
Candidates would openly crowdfund for their campaign budgets, which would be capped. Open data on their fundraising and spending would exist in realtime.
Open hustings events would occur across the constituency, with care taken to invite groups less engaged in politics. BBC Oxfordshire would host a by-election website with video statements, open Q&As and other biographical detail on candidates.
Every household would receive a printed booklet and an email with statements from the candidates.
On election day, every resident would get an SMS reminder to vote, and a link to where to find their polling station.
The booklets mentioned above would be available in the polling station to help people decide. It would be possible to register at the polling station on the day.
The results would be announced and immediately published in an open format, so they can be compared across time and across constituencies.
A better election.
What have I missed?