A tech entrepreneur and the brain behind the new democracy project, Rate Your Leader App, Mr Joel Popoola, has lamented the fact that most voters who queue to elect leaders in various elections do not know the identity of the candidates who they are voting for.
Mr Popoola made the observation while fielding questions during an interview with RT Television, one of United Kingdom’s biggest television news channel, where he described how his invention, the Rate Your Leader App, is re-connecting electors and the elected and using abuse-proof technology to combat online harassment. RT is the news channel for an estimated 540, 000 people weekly.
He noted that quite a number of local voters cannot name their electoral representatives nor ever communicated with them from inception of office till when they leave.
“Too many voters are voting for people they don’t know. We have quite a number of local voters who cannot name their councillors,” he said, adding that they don’t have the slightest idea who they are.
He continued: “Likewise they cannot name their MPs, their mayors or their Police and Crime Commissioners. They are voting for people they don’t know”.
Stressing how the technology works, he said that Rate Your Leader is a free app, available from the Apple and Google Marketplaces, and it checks ‘users are registered to vote before identifying the MPs, councillors, mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners who serve them. The app afterwards allows users to communicate directly with these representatives in a way which makes abuse or harassment impossible’.
“It’s not healthy for democracy that so few electors know who their local representatives are – our research indicates less than half can name their MP, and roughly one in seven have no idea who their councillor is.
“The Rate Your Leader app lets voters check that they are registered to vote direct from their phone before connecting them directly to the politicians who serve them – allowing them to have meaningful two-way conversations about what matters most to them.
“Most importantly, unlike other social media platforms, our technology makes abuse or harassment impossible. If your message isn’t courteous and respectful, it doesn’t get sent.
“It’s a huge sign of how Rate Your Leader’s profile is growing internationally and that major international media organisations are taking notice and perceiving us to be authoritative experts on digital democracy”.
The Rate Your Leader app has a five-star rating on the Google market, with one reviewer writing, “This is the new level of politics…better communication of leaders with the electorates and accountability”.
An ever-increasing number of MPs, councillors, MEPs and Police & Crime Commissioners have already taken advantage of the free democracy app to stay in touch with the people who elected them and to get their message out to confirmed voters in their constituencies, helping them truly understand what matters most to the people who elected them.