Author : John Tudball

A chorus of personalised beeps and buzzing erupts from our laps and in record time we’re tapping on our Panels to see if this is the one, if this is the vote we’ve been waiting for. A chorus of groans, Pete swears at his screen. It’s not.

“What did you all go for?” Pete asks the room.

We all voted against. Before the PopularVote app was released, I’d stay up all night watching elections, cheering the political parties on. At work the next day running on just a couple hours sleep I’d always be shocked at all the fresh faces checking their news feeds and learning there and then who ran the country now. At night it felt like everyone cared, like everyone was with me. I hated finding out I’d been the minority. I couldn’t understand the apathy. Well this time I know I’m not alone. There’s nearly a hundred million users logged in.

Pete and Paula are trying to distract themselves with playing TotalArcade. Megan has a videolink up on her screen, watching the big demonstration in Hyde Park alongside clips from the BBC Comedy channel. I’ve got Gallup on my screen, all sorts of fancy graphs and charts trying to predict which way this will go. In this room, across the whole country, we’re all just waiting and everybody knows this.

Every party, every pressure group, every individual campaigner. Anyone with a license is flooding PopularVote with new legislation, trying to take advantage of the numbers to push their agendas before the main event comes through and we all leave.

You need two thirds support from at least forty million responses for a PopularVote to become law. Generally it takes a couple of weeks, sometimes months even. In the last three minutes sixty four million people shouted down the Defense Of Family’s proposed ban on gay marriage. Ten minutes ago a massive seventy three million citizens landed an even fifty-fifty split on increasing soldiers’ pay and before that a Mr Franklyn Neill lost his PV license when 99.9% of respondants did not back him being named president. What on earth would we need a president for when we’ve got PopularVote?

“Okay,” I say, “it’s going to come through in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… NOW!”

The chorus sings again. Everyone laughs but that stops quickly when check our screens. This is it. I vote For. I regret it immediately. When we argued it out last night it almost came to blows, but we all agreed we’d vote together and take the consequences together. I can barely breathe. In roughly thirty seconds we find out if we just declared war.

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