#069: Direct democracy made digital - Dion McCurdy

By Jordan Michaelides
June 05, 2018

Dion Mc Curdy

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Dion McCurdy ( @DionMcCurdy ) is a lawyer and co-founder of NewVote, an independent nonpartisan nonprofit. NewVote is a foundation whose aim is to enhance democracy through their digital participation app; allowing you to gain access to a dedicated public record of every political issue, goal and solution facing Australia, a source of balanced information, a tool to co-create policy and be part of the decision making process, and a channel to communicate with representatives.

Politics is a fascinating area we’ve covered across many interviews with MPs, media commentators and pundits in the past - so I thought it would be prudent to get a individual that can help all of us better understand the structure of democracies.

Democracy and free speech is being tested in the West by polarising groups from both the left and right. This interview should kick us off in the right direction around structuring and managing democracy - one of the most important creations for managing societies.

Key topics we covered:

  • Law & Politics

  • KPIs of society

  • Law & Order

  • Types of democracy, citizen juries

  • Direct democracies, plebiscites and the Swiss system

  • Australia‚Äôs democratic crossroads

  • Representatives and politicians

  • NewVote - What is is, when & how he decided to start it

  • Barriers to politics today

  • What a future ideal democracy may look like

  • Finding middle-ground

Enjoy the episode!


00:57 - Introduction

03:58 - First interest in law & politics

07:30 - Democracy & indicators society is progressing

10:39 - A closer look at Australia

12:44 - Lessons learnt from his parents

14:56 - Dr. John de Groot, Wills & Estates

18:23 - Law & Order

19:33 - Types of democracy, citizen juries

25:31 - Direct democracies, the Swiss system

30:46 - Public support on issues in Australia  

32:30 - Plebiscites & direct democracy in Aus

37:22 - Australia’s democratic crossroads

49:56 - Representatives and politicians

41:16 - How NewVote began

44:42 - What NewVote is, MiVote, Flux

47:38 - Why an app, the future of NewVote

50:24 - Barriers to politics today

53:27 - What a future ideal democracy may look like

56:30 - Trust in politics, downside of direct democracy

59:44 - Leaders that he respects

01:00:55 - Daily routine

01:01:57 - Best purchase under $200

01:02:40 - What is difficult to find middle-ground on?