FAQ

What is 3rd Chamber?

3rd Chamber is a virtual platform that allows individuals to propose, support, and oppose motions through voting and offering arguments both in written form and through linking videos and other evidence. This in turn serves to provide a summary of the views of the individual and the nation as a whole. The latter is then delivered regularly to politicians enhancing their connection to the electorate.

What is the aim of 3rd Chamber?

The aim of 3rd Chamber is to engage people with how their country is run, to strengthen our democracy and to facilitate better representation and a more effective and inclusive governance.

Why is it called 3rd Chamber?

It’s called 3rd Chamber because in this country we already have two chambers, the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and this dual chamber set up is fairly common in one form or another in most modern democracies. 3rd Chamber aims to add another dimension to our democracy by opening up a space where individuals can express their views directly rather than through an elected representative.

Why will anyone listen to what is on the site?

You only need to look at the role that Facebook and Twitter have played in the Middle East uprisings to see that social networking has an important role in the politics of the future through unifying, displaying, and coordinating public opinion. Whilst Facebook and Twitter are both great sites in their own right, neither is specifically designed for this purpose. 3rd Chamber is, and aims to present public opinion as it evolves in real time; and this is something that will be hard for politicians who support the democratic process to ignore.

Lots of ordinary people have no idea about x, are you sure offering them this voice is a good idea?

There is a strong body of both anecdotal and experimental evidence to suggest that decisions made on a group basis are better than those made individually even by the brightest members of the group. Furthermore, making decisions in politics is not simply about intelligence it is about perspective, life experience, and common sense. By drawing on the resources of the whole electorate rather than a relatively tiny band of politicians we are able to make far more informed decisions. See Aristotle’s political theory, James Surowiecki’s seminal book, ‘The Wisdom of Crowds’, and Collective Intelligence Theory in general for more on this theme.

“Men in the mass supplement each other in a singular fashion, so that by one understanding one part of a question and another another part, they all together get around the whole subject.”

Aristotle
Don’t politicians get elected to do this for us?

Yes they do, and they are able to devote a great deal more time and resource to researching and debating issues and in so doing provide a valuable service. However, this doesn’t mean that they are always correct in their conclusions or that our system can’t be enhanced by drawing on the knowledge and experience of a far greater number of people. By doing this 3rd Chamber aims to provide balance to the current system in order to strengthen our democracy.

Aren’t politicians far better equipped to do this than we are though?

Not necessarily. A great many politicians these days go straight from university into their respective parties and have limited experience of the wider society. Whilst many of them are undoubtedly excellent orators and very capable academically speaking, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will understand the problems faced by the small businessman in York, the farmer in the Midlands, or the nurse in London etc. 3rd Chamber is able to draw from a vast range of skills and life experiences, providing a type of insight that politicians as individuals are not able to offer regardless of their individual intelligence and capabilities. It is also the case that when power is concentrated in the hands of a relatively small number of people there will always be those who seek to direct that power for their own ends. 3rd Chamber aims to counterbalance this by diffusing that power base.

“State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor. The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules.”

— Thomas Jefferson
What is the point of having an ‘Unsure’ button? Why not just ‘Support’ or ‘Oppose’?

The ‘Unsure’ bottom allows users to signal that they’ve seen the motion but aren’t sure which way to vote or have chosen to unsure for another reason. We think this is subtly but distinctly different from just having the two options.

What are 'Favourites'?

The 'Favourite' button on a motion page allows you to add motions to your list of favourites. These will then appear under the 'My Favourites' tab when you browse motions.

Is there anything I can do to help?

Yes certainly, please see the ‘Support Us’ page for more details. We’d love to hear from you.