MPs from all parties were in turmoil today after a surprise announcement from the UK Electoral Commission that traditional electoral ballots will be replaced by the controversial ‘people-rating’ phone app Peeple.
Instead of the whole tedious business of visiting hastily-converted schools and village halls to place their vote, British citizens will now simply assign a rating from one to five stars for each local candidate, in a similar way to placing reviews on Trip Advisor or Amazon. Votes can be accompanied by personal comments about the candidates, which will not influence the result, but should be great fun.
“You can’t stop progress,” insisted Electoral Commission Chief Executive Peter Wardle. “This will free up valuable time which the public can spend rioting or building street barricades. Although it could be a bit of a bugger for Iain Duncan Smith.”
Reaction from the UK political parties was mixed. “We see this as a great enabler of democracy, a potential game-changer in human engagement,” explained Jeremy Corbyn. “Although in spite of myself I can’t help feeling a bit sorry for Iain Duncan Smith.”
Prime Minister David Cameron was more hesitant in his approval, warning of the risk that the simplicity of phone-based voting might mean that people are unduly influenced by certain minor incidents from politicians’ pasts, which should really be forgotten and have no bearing on today, and anyway he never did it.
“Mind you,” he concluded, “At least I’m not Iain Duncan Smith.”