“Politicians work only before the elections and then abandon us” is a common narrative. It shows the lack of accountability and commitment amongst them, for us citizens. But there is an app that has the potential to change this attitude of the ruling class.
What is it?
The ‘Neta’ app is basically a platform where participants (usually voters), rate, review and give their opinions on the potential elected representatives and current political developments.
It asks your favorite party and then for favorite contestant. It also has an option of nominating a candidate as well as going for NOTA (None Of The Above), in case you don’t find your favorite candidate.
And the questions are currently related to Pulwama attack, Priyanka Gandhi, Rafael deal, and of course, our PM.
Idea behind the app?
The app has been developed by Pratham Mittal, alma mater of Doon School in Dehradun and University of Pennsylvania, whose first love is politics.
He wanted us Indians to rate our politicians like we rate our restaurants. For this purpose he developed politicians’ equivalent to Zomato.
Mr. Mittal has developed the app to utilize this review culture in politics to make the politicians accountable and transparent.
“I saw the impact of review platforms across the world. If politicians can be reviewed and rated, perhaps it can change behavior as well, ” he said.
Where to use it?
All the candidates of your constituency will be arranged according to their ranks, along with their vote share. Each party’s vote share is also provided. So the app can find a use in pre-poll predictions and to check the voter sentiment much before the political analysts.
Like in the Karnataka legislative assembly elections, the app polled 2.5 million votes and predicted a hung assembly much before the professionals.
Unlike in a traditional poll, which often falls prey to statistical sample bias – administrators take up a chosen few participants which skews the results, Neta app will be more accurate as it works on a decentralized model.
Apart from pre-poll predictions, the app can also be used to bridge the gap between citizens and the government functioning and can thus change the nature of governance in the country.
It can also make the citizens more participative as the Neta app asks for their opinion which makes them feel included. For the same reason, it reflects real time sentiment of the participants as it asks questions like:
‘Are you happy with your MLA/MP?’,
‘Which is the gravest problem in the country right now?’ or
‘Are you happy with the PM’s work?’
The app is also of great use to the serving politicians as well. If their work is not up to the mark, app rating will portray their inefficiency.
If they still don’t notch up their work, the participants can take back their vote and give it to another contestant, in the app.
Similar sentiment will also be reflected in the real elections and it will cause the contestants less heartbreak because they saw it coming on the app.
The Neta app is still in its nascent stage, and has its own drawbacks like privacy issues, fake votes, etc. But the best part is that outside funds are not accepted so as to keep it apolitical.
This is refreshing because every platform, from TV news channels to YouTube seems to be influenced, creating a trust deficit.
The app was launched only last year, we will have to wait and watch if it produces any tangible results in the future.
Image Credits: Google Images
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