Tag Archives: real-democracy

In defence of the politicians

Everybody hates them. Some people even take pleasure in despising them.  We trash their reputations and attack their character like it’s a national sport. We turn them into caricatures, pinatas and even Halloween masks.

But, ultimately, I would argue, we’re ending up with the politicians we deserve. Because, in the spirit of being realistic,we have to admit that  they’re doing a job that we’re too lazy to do ourselves.  We’re too lazy to vote, we’re too lazy to get involved on the political scene, and we’re too lazy to even care. For the first time in human history we have access to technology that would allow us a real option for self-governance, but we’re too lazy to rise to that challenge.

I believe we’ve reached a crossroad. Either we’re willing to make the effort to figure things out for ourselves and  get involved in a real democracy, but that would be a lot of work. Or, we accept that we’re letting politicians decide on our collective behalf, because the  fact is,  we’re too self-centered and work-shy to get involved. But in that case,  we probably need to go a little easier on the politicians, because the reality is, they’re doing a job we couldn’t be bothered with.

I would say that the average voter is like a 40-years old teenager that’s still living in their parent’s basement, one that has the audacity to complain that their mom doesn’t fold their laundry properly. Maybe, it’s time someone started doing their own laundry. Or even better, maybe it’s time for someone to move to an apartment of their own.

In the end, if we’re too lazy to go and figured things for ourselves, then we shouldn’t complain when politicians are mothering us to death.

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A step-by-step guide to implementing a Digital Democracy

Some people might say that considering the potential challenges, it’s somewhat impossible to switch to a digital democracy.  On top of the established powers that might oppose such changes, there’s  also other  important considerations one needs to take into account, such as economic stability and national security.Because of reasons like this , I would say one would need to start small. Implementing a digital democracy on a municipal level, rather than on a federal level, might be a lot easier to realise at first.  Plus it seems like a good  idea to try it on smaller scale  in order to work out any potential bugs in the system.

PART 1  Upgrading your gov-system on a municipal level

To start, one would have to create an organization, recruit some members and raise some funds. Afterwards, since most municipal governmental systems are regulated on a provincial/state level, one would have to verify with those authorities to see if their existing rules prevent the switch to a digital democracy on a municipal level. If any such hurdle exist, provincial/state representatives would have to be solicited until the rules are changed. Once you’re in the clear with them, the real work starts. You find an ideal municipality, you get your organization recognized as a municipal political party and then you run for mayor.  You run with the platform “Elect the last mayor that’ll take decisions for you” or something similar. Now, if enough councillors from your party got elected, as mayor you’ll be able  to push the reform thru that switches the existing system over to a digital democracy pretty easily. Ideally you also have enough budget to create a municipal government portal that local citizens can access with their smartphones and personal computers in order to truly participate in the process. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be that citizens have to vote on every single law project  and initiative. For the non-controversial stuff, like renewing the budget for garbage pick-up and such, well in cases like that you might have councillors/moderators that can take care of it. But when there’s a controversial issue that arises, like, let’s say, building a highway on a haunted indian graveyard, then the electorate can log on and decide the issue for themselves, with the councillors/moderators playing a role that’s more about moderating the debate than imposing their view.

One might say that this is unlikely to ever happen. But you never know. There’s small towns and villages out there, that are losing their population and are unable to find a mayor. A partnership  between a political organization and an ISP, could come in, hook everyone in town to hi-speed internet, and at the same time give them access to an online voting system.  And with what’s happening in a lot of small towns, I don’t think  it would be too hard to find one that’s willing to have all that influx of funds, technology and resources come  in into their borough. Once most of the bugs within the system have been worked out, one can then move ahead to try to apply what’s been learned to a higher level of government.

Part 2 Upgrading your gov-system on a provincial/state/federal level

This, I think, would be a lot trickier. The analogy that comes to mind for that one, is to view your government like it’s a sound system. There’s a dial for democracy on it, and it goes from zero to ten. Right now, I would say that most free countries have their “democracy-volume” set between 2.5 to 3.5, and obviously raising it at 10 all of a sudden could create quite a bit of a commotion. But if we raised it to 5 , which would be a government system peppered with a little more transparency and real-democracy, I don’t think there would necessarily be riots in the streets and economic collapse and such.

But yeah, since the stakes are higher on a provincial/state/federal level, one would be wise to proceed with baby steps. To start, you recruit members, register your organization as a political  party.For argument’s sake let’s call it the Technodemocrat party. And then you run for a seat. In the off-chance your party wins more seats and gains control of your government, then you won’t have a hard time pushing for a full digital-democracy reform. But in the most likely scenario, the one in wich you’re the only member of your party elected, you can still promote the digital democracy agenda by leading by example. It’s simply a question of holding a poll, survey or referendum in your district every time you’re asked to vote as an independant.Then you vote as your district wants you to vote. And in that sense, you would actually be living up to the term “representative”.

And ultimately, maybe we don’t need a full on  digital democracy, maybe if we’re lucky, maybe the threat of such a movement gaining a foothold, will be enough to scare the powers that be into increasing  the democracy-volume of our governments by 0.5 . Just enough for us to have a just little more transparency and representation for our money…

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technology4democracy statement of principles

Nov 5th, 2011

-We believe in the right to self-determination of the electorate. If we’re paying for it, we should be able to have a say in it.

-We refuse to recognize representative democracies as being real democracies. In a representative democracy you get to decide who’s gonna be deciding for you. In a real democracy, you get to decide for yourself.

-We’re going to make a point about calling out the media and politicians who don’t seem to understand the difference between a democracy, and a representative democracy, and give them an education about it.

-We believe in promoting digital democracies and direct democracies over the outdated representative democracy model.

-We reject all forms of physical violence as being anti-democratic. We believe that current tools of communication, used properly, can have more of an impact than a bomb in a building.

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