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Electoral reform for information technology

Like a lot of people in the disenfranchised Great British electorate I was unable to vote last week due to administrative errors within the mechanics of my local council. But now with the feint prospect of electoral reform just a hop, skip and jump away; the acronym PR could have more to do with Proportional Representation than EMEA CEO press release appointments by the end of this coming week.
Written by Adrian Bridgwater, Contributor on

Like a lot of people in the disenfranchised Great British electorate I was unable to vote last week due to administrative errors within the mechanics of my local council. But now with the feint prospect of electoral reform just a hop, skip and jump away; the acronym PR could have more to do with Proportional Representation than EMEA CEO press release appointments by the end of this coming week.

With this in mind, I could not help let my mind wander from Whitehall to Silicon Valley and blog thusly – so is this truly a time of great change, does open source represent electoral reform for information technology and has Microsoft lost its mandate to govern the operating system?

Well yes, without being too radical, we already know this to be true and Redmond has arguably been at the end of its de facto OS era for some time now. If the Moral Majority were behind Microsoft Bob then they left Comic Sans Serif in their wake and they still have a lot to answer for I reckon.

As of this morning, the current clash between democracy and capitalism appears to be under pressure to form a consensus based upon pressure from the financial markets. Drawing exact parallels with information technology would be asinine at best. But look at what happened with Sun and Oracle, look any enterprise distro of Linux from RHEL to SUSE Linux Enterprise – there comes a point where money talks and most other things walk.

Does laissez-faire non-interventionism have much to teach us when it comes to understanding the economics of enterprise open source? It might do it if means that the right products eventually fall into the right consumers hands at the right price. But laissez-faire capitalism is always waiting in the wings to come in a scoop up the big bucks when the contract looks right. If you have god on your right and in Larry you trust, then so be it.

If the influence of electoral reform and proportional representation were to be felt within the wider realms of our information technology industry, would there be any interesting developments?

Well then, IT skills education reform, building a global low-carbon information technology footprint, reforming our user requirements gathering systems and decentralising power and industry influence away from the consolidated IT behemoths – those are all good things aren't they?

Protecting civil liberties and scrapping ID cards may be too much of a hot political potato for any comment here I fear.

Prudence is needed from all parties if we are to avoid the Great Depression then surely?

Anyway, as Ben Elton would say, "A little bit of politics for you there, now back to column-based analytics servers for the rest of the week." Wouldn't he?

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