“Democracy needs to modernise,” asserts Andrew Gray, a candidate in the Selby and Ainsty by-election, who is embracing AI like never before: he initiated a project to crowdsource the views of his constituents using Polis, a machine-learning AI, to build his manifesto in real time. He stands for giving a voice back to the people and insists, “My only policy is to take my policies from the people!”
On 26 June this year, Andrew began a campaign unlike any other with an aim to rejuvenate the ailing democratic system with fresh digital strategies. Polis is being used to run 50 conversations across the constituency, drawing over 7,500 votes and creating an evolving policy statement reflective of the real voices of Selby and Ainsty.
Democracy in Action: Using AI for Consensus
The AI-powered manifesto is a distinct departure from traditional party-centric politics, focusing instead on building policies directly from the consensus of the constituents. Among Gray’s radical proposals are bold measures like the renationalisation of the Bank of England, harmonising capital gains tax with income tax, and championing large-scale investment in onshore wind energy.
Through the Polis platform, the voice of the constituents echoes loud and clear. The community’s concerns about rising cost of living, the worrying state of the NHS, and the desire for closer alignment with the EU have profoundly influenced Gray’s policy positions. “The rising cost of food worries me,” a compelling 78% of constituents agree. Even as Gray’s solutions challenge conventional norms, they resonate powerfully with the real needs and concerns of the people he aims to serve.
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Shaping the Future of Politics
Gray’s AI-led campaign is more than a political novelty. It signifies a progressive shift in political representation, where citizens have a continual voice and influence over the decision-making process. His pledge to maintain an open communication line with constituents via the Polis platform marks a dramatic departure from the traditional once-in-five-years voting process.
Gray’s iniative could set a remarkable precedent for future political campaigns, placing constituents at the heart of policy-making. His commitment to “vote in Parliament in accordance with the consensus of the constituency” embodies the ideal of a representative democracy and lays the foundation for a more dynamic, responsive political system. Gray’s approach challenges the perception of politics as a closed-door arena, instead presenting it as a continuously evolving dialogue between the representative and the represented.
If successful, the campaign promises to shift the dynamics of political representation, ensuring the voice of the people is not just heard, but is central to the decision-making process.
As Gray steps into the House of Commons to cast his votes, each one validated by AI-processed consensus, he symbolises a new era in British politics. His democratic revolution may begin in humble North Yorkshire, but the effects could soon resonate nationwide. The message is clear—the voice of the people will not be silenced, and with technology as its amplifier, it might just become an impactful force in the political space.