With evidence that Parliamentary voting can be done digitally for MPs, the calls for virtual voting will only grow stronger. 2020 saw the rise of the virtual Commons, so it proves that this can happen and work successfully

One of the causes that John Bercow was unable to press forward with during his tenure as Speaker, and 'ambassador for parliament' as he referred to himself in his 2020 autobiography, was the launching of voting online. Events throughout 2020 in both the UK and USA have shown how beneficial it could be to be able to cast votes online. With President Trump's bizarre assault on the postal service and the controversies around MPs having to vote in person, could we get to a point where traditional politics is done through modern means?

Should MPs Vote Online?

In 2018, Jo Swinson was on maternity leave, and therefore was unable to physically attend Parliament to vote on a Brexit-related amendment. She was thus paired with someone who was going to vote the other way, who would abstain. This would counteract the vote she would have made herself, essentially counting for her vote too. However, at the last moment, the MP she was paired with cast his vote, which broke the short-term pairing pact. Breaking this honour system meant that Swinson's vote wasn't counted. This ushered in further calls for MPs to be able to vote online.

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One of the main criticisms of MPs is that there are often times when the chamber is almost empty and the MPs are AWOL. While most will realise, they are working in backrooms, chairing select committees, or doing constituency work, the appearance that they don't show up has led many constituents to complain about their MP. Voting online could mean that every single issue can be dealt with at a faster pace and that MPs have more time to deal with their jobs than with adhering to tradition, pomp, and ceremony.

Can the Traditional Thrive Online?

Taking traditional concepts ? such as MPs casting their votes ? and adapting them to modern times has worked well in the past. For example, the traditional industry of casino has flourished as it moved online. Indeed, as the BonusFinder UK site shows, online casinos that have moved online are able to use the benefits of being online to appeal to a wider audience ? such as money-off deals for signing up and a wider range of game themes.

Moreover, theatre shows that are streamed online help create a wider audience for visiting in person, while being able to watch sports from other countries that we might not have been able to before helps to increase their prominence in the UK.

2020 saw the rise of the virtual Commons, so it proves that this can happen and work successfully. However, had circumstances not forced their hand, many would prefer to always vote in the traditional manner. With evidence that voting can be done digitally for MPs, the calls for virtual voting will only grow stronger. We may be some generations away from the general public voting virtually, but full-time virtual voting in Parliament could help smooth the way for a digital twist on one of the oldest traditions in Britain.

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