Monthly Archives: March 2012

What we can learn from the Suffragettes

When I set out to write this article, just for argument’s sake, I tried to remember what the reason against giving women the vote was. And for the life of me I couldn’t remember what those patriarchal dinosaurs were putting forth to justify their position.

Was it because they felt men needed to dominate in the political arena to compensate for their genetic inferiority? ( Men are vulnerable to a lot of extra diseases because they’re missing an extra leg on their “Y” chromosome that would normally carry the extra data required to prevent those said diseases. ) Was it that they felt jealous of women because they get stronger orgasms? ( Women have an average of 12-15 muscle contractions during an orgasm, as opposed to 9-10 for Men. ) Were they depressed because statistically women get to live longer then men, and felt they needed to compensate?

No, after looking into it, I found out that the people who were against giving women the right to vote, were mostly doing it because they were defending what they saw as “still-valid” traditions. And any movement promoting the modernization of our political system will probably encounter similar opposition. They’ll be told that our current political systems are “still-valid”, even though most of the time they were conceived in a technological era that predates the telegraph.

I think there are similarities between the fight for women to have the right to vote, and the fight for the modern electorate to be able to have a say in what they’re paying for.

I was reading about the Canadian Suffragette movement, and what they did which was pretty clever, which is that they decided to hold  “mock-parliament” sessions. They would re-enact parliamentarian procedures, but this time with women in charge. They had various parties debating whether simple creatures like men, should be allowed the responsibility  of being able to vote. Basically using humor to get their point across. I’m a big fan of that.

I’m also a big fan of their “mock-parliament” idea. Doing a modern-day, online “mock-parliament” could also be a lot of fun. It could be an easy way to illustrate how a digital democracy might work. All we really need is to purchase a web-domain name, run a forum/online chat type of operating platform, you then you just add a logo. As far as the technical aspects of setting up something like that I’m sure it wouldn’t be too much of a challenge.What would get harder though, would be to get a bunch of collaborators to agree on what the structure should be for the next-gen of gov systems. Should it be structured like an online forum with the head-of-state replaced by the equivalent of a forum moderator? Or perhaps tweaking the current system, with voters being able to vote on all government law projects and programs? Or, how about we turn it around, make it that only the electorate can propose law projects, and it’s the politicians who have to decide if it goes thru or not?

Which would be the best structure?

It’s hard to say.Obviously there’s a lot of potential avenues which could serve as an appropriate soil to erect a digital democracy, the question is, which one better suited for that type of project? I don’t have the answer yet, but I think that sometimes it’s a good idea to look at the past for inspiration…

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