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#069: Direct democracy made digital – Dion McCurdy

By Jordan Michaelides

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’s 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

Listen to the episode

Watch 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?