An attempt to cooperate with the other parties

We began by trying to get the other parties sympathetic to Demoex. Naive as we were, we asked for a short meeting with their elected representatives at the City Council. Our goal was to present the project for them to make them interested in cooperating.

We came into their coffee break. A computer was rigged with a projector so we could show NetConference. We told the elected from other parties that we thought of implementing a democratic experiment in which we need politicians’ involvement. “We’ll make you stars,” we said. “You are the most knowledgeable about conditions in the municipality, so we want to give you the opportunity to express your opinions and discuss issues online. Then citizens can take part and vote. We believe it will increase interest in local politics and that you will gain respect and trust among citizens.”

They seemed sympathetic until we told that we were planning to fund the experiment by candidate in the local election. Then there was a noticeable change. Some laughter heard and an annoying hum. Then the counterarguments began to hail on us: Don´t you understand that this might be dangerous? How will you be able to take responsibility for your policy? What do you do if a bunch of racists join your experiment? Have you thought about security? How can you believe that it will work?

We went from being well received to blamed on just a few minutes. I remember how the Social Democrats’ party leader said that “it is exciting and interesting what you young people do, but why do you stand for election? This means that we must fight against you.”

After the meeting, we were shocked and upset. We did not expect us that warmhearted defenders of democracy and citizen power would take a strong position against our ideas and refuse to cooperate with us. A purified politician that I spoke with after the meeting said about his colleagues that “they are afraid of losing their little position in society, its status and its small fee.” Now, retrospectively, we understand that the knee-jerk criticism that we unleashed was inevitable.

2 Responses to “An attempt to cooperate with the other parties”

  1. Denny Says:

    Hello! This all sounds very familiar! 😀

    I am running in the UK election, standing for ‘direct digital democracy’. I would love to talk with you about this – please email me?

    Regards,
    Denny

    • pernor Says:

      Hello Denny!

      I am very glad to hear from you! I think the political system suffers from an inherited weakness that makes it hard to cooperate. I hoped for a discussion about this problem, which might be the reason why the Climate Conference in Copenhagen dec -09 failed.

      Regards,
      Per

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