Do parliaments and similar legislative institutions have a future, or have they outlived their purpose? So far, parliamentarians and senators have been the link between the people and their governments. These representatives meet the people to get to know their problems and needs and in turn present these needs to the government for solution. If what their constituents need is security, then the police or paramilitary police are moved into the area. If they need food, like in times of famine, the government looks for ways of mobilizing this kind of relief. If the need had to do with transport, roads are built.

Politics and today’s digital world

But in today’s digital world, things seem set to change. As the number of those posting their likes and dislikes on digital space expands, this has given computer algorithms power to tell the needs of given populations and do it fast and more accurately than any human representative can do.

Politicians in some parts of the world are already using information provided by computer algorithms to frame their messages in a way that will appeal to voters. But what politicians need to know is that over time, the power of computer algorithms could be used against them, to replace them.

The idea of replacing politics with computers

Especially in Africa where the cost of maintaining politicians is greatly affecting budgets, the idea of replacing them with computers and retaining the President to oversee things would be very highly tempting. Of course campaigns, the only form of free entertainment that some people get every five years, will be gone. Also gone will be the human interaction between people and their leader as he or she listens to their problems. Even when they are sure their leader lacks the political will or the wherewithal to help them, people feel relieved sharing their problems with him or her.