New Technologies in Lawmaking: Insights from U.S. Congressman James McGovern, Former Brazilian Federal Senator Antonio Anastasia, and Xcential President Mark Stodder

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Introduction to Technological Innovations in the Legislative Process


During an engaging conversation on the influence of technological advancements and innovations on the legislative process, U.S. Congressman James McGovern and former Brazilian Federal Senator Antonio Anastasia offered their insights and experiences. The discussion was facilitated by Mark Stodder, President of Xcential Legislative Technologies, who explored the various ways in which technology has been shaping the legislative process, especially during the pandemic, and the potential future implications.


The Impact of Technology on the U.S. House of Representatives


Mark Stodder initiated the conversation by inquiring about the near future of technological innovations that could enhance the lawmaking process in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Addressing Remote Hearings and Voting Challenges


James McGovern acknowledged the ongoing expansion of programs that compare legislative drafts but also highlighted the imperfections in current technology. He discussed the challenges of remote hearings and the importance of balancing transparency and security in remote voting.


Preserving the Value of In-Person Meetings


Both James McGovern and Antonio Anastasia emphasised the significance of in-person meetings for the functioning of democratic institutions. They stressed that remote participation should be an alternative in specific situations rather than a permanent replacement for physical presence.


Adapting to Emergency Situations with Technology


Antonio Anastasia shared the Brazilian experience with remote voting during the pandemic. He believes that remote voting mechanisms can be used in the future for non-controversial issues but should not replace physical presence for more contentious matters.


Cautioning Against Unintended Consequences and Focusing on Transparency


Mark Stodder expressed caution about the potential unintended consequences of adopting new technologies too quickly. He suggests that innovations should focus on making government more transparent and accessible to the public, which would help build confidence in democratic institutions.




In conclusion, the insightful conversation between U.S. Congressman James McGovern, former Brazilian Federal Senator Antonio Anastasia, and Mark Stodder, President of Xcential Legislative Technologies, highlighted the importance of carefully integrating technology into the legislative process. While recognizing the benefits of technological innovations in enhancing efficiency and transparency, the participants stressed the need to preserve the value of in-person meetings in democratic institutions. As governments continue to adopt new technologies, striking a balance between leveraging these advancements and maintaining the integrity of the democratic process will be crucial for the future of lawmaking.

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