The Demoex Failure

The right to vote is the very heart of Democracy and the public debate is the brain of it.

Hanna Arendt writes in her book The Human Condition (1958) about a public policy debate that creates a common world – a symbolic place where our actions and language are important. In the public sphere there is room for political virtue and excellence. The citizen can show  wisdom and gain reputation – win an honor that is its own reward.

hannaarendt

To give people right to vote in separate issues on Demoex site was not a problem. But to host the public policy debate Hannah Arendt writes about was harder.

We believed that the politicians would see the opportunity to win glory and respect in the debates. In retrospect, we must admit that it was naïve of us to believe that other parties would like to participate in the experiment. But it is necessary. If citizens get more influence they should also have access to information and good arguments on substantive issues.

We failed because we did not understand how politics works. Now we know. Parties in the Local Parliament (except Demoex) strives to push through as much of their partisan agenda as possible. This leads to a minimal winning coalition, a smallest possible coalition of parties to push through their agendas. The leading parties are simply not interested in representing the public majority. They are interested in exercising and maintaining the power.

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