Questions to Audrey Tang from Carl Miller (Demos)

  • As a ‘channel for collective intelligence’, do you represent a completely new kind of politician? Can you see a world where the holders of executive office are the convenors, moderators, referees or chairpeople of scaled listening processes rather than decision-makers?

  • Do you think it’s possible that Taiwan will constitutionally reform in the years ahead to formally recognise the normative power of processes like vTaiwan?

  • At the most fundamental level, do you personally have a preference between all the different liquid, direct or deliberative, alternatives to representative democracy that are becoming available?

  • Globally, do you think we are on the cusp of a general period of reform on how democracy is achieved?

  • Last (and apologies if this is covered elsewhere, I couldn’t find it): is it true that you record, transcribe and wikify all the meetings that you hold as Minister?

1-1. Re chairpeople — the National Affairs Conference on Judicial Reform, convened by President Tsai, is just such a process at national scale.

1-2. I learned this approach mostly from my predecessor Jaclyn Tsai, through her “call for help” during the g0v hackathon to build a crowd-sourced agenda setting system with the civil society.

1-3. My work as “channel” here is to help establishing an accountability trail, built from the initial input of individual experiences and feelings, all the way to decision-making and implementation.

2-1. To me, the process of such a reform needs to be normative as well. Here is a draft proposal from last year by 10 legislators, though it’s not put to vote during the session and thus has expired.

2-2. Law-level implementation, such as the Digital Communications Act proposed by the NCC, is currently ratifying the vTaiwan multistakeholder process in a normative form, for issues concerning governance over new digital technologies.

3-1. Not at all — my meta-preference is for continued innovation, recursive public, and process as commons.

4-1. I think we’re still accelerating — whether it’s on an exponential or sigmoid trajectory remains to be seen (and acted on).

5-1. Yes. It’s published on the PDIS site.

5-2. For official visits, we have a protocol too.