Archive for the ‘directdemocracy’ Category

How the Democracy Experiment ended

September 16, 2014

ros

The world’s first direct democratic internetparty Demoex (2002-2013), does no longer exist. After ten years as a local party we decided to join other Swedish direct democrats to create a national party. To make it possible we changed name and invited other direct democrats to cooperate. The party Active Democracy initiated a joint conference in Gnesta in August 2013 where we decided to run for the elections in 2014 together as “Direktdemokraterna”.

The new party was formally established on March 23, 2014. We began to work together with the objective to keep the mandate in Vallentuna and take seats in another couple of municipalities. We launched a website and a Facebook page and some active members met in early July to market the new party in Almedalen, Gotland. We made t-shirts and flyers.

Last weeks before the Election Day the interest increased, but our local marketing campaign was suffering because we spent almost all the time and resources to gain the growing national movement. I thought people in Vallentuna would support us anyway because we spread their “local model” nationwide, but nope.  We lost the mandate in Vallentuna and won no new mandate. Demoex failed, but Direktdemokraterna will raise as a Phoenix. I hope.

Lottery selects direct democracy candidates

March 23, 2014

vinnarbollen

The Direct Democrats in Vallentuna (Sweden) picked candidates for their ballot in the next election by randomness. The candidates wrote their names on table-tennis balls and placed them in a tombola, but first they let the goddesses of Fate decide if a man or a woman should be at the top of the list and they choose a woman (of course)!

http://www.magisto.com/album/video/fngqBVlcQ0p5KjoHDmEwCXx5

The lottery was an attempt to revive an ancient democratic tradition. In the Golden Age of Athens they never choose a leader, instead they used the Kleroterion to select them. Democracy is based on the idea that we all have equal value. To choose a leader is to give someone a higher value and it goes against the basic democratic principle.

The political missions lasted for a year, which meant a constant circulation of people in decision-making positions. To reach a similar effect the Direct Democrats in Vallentuna decided to let the top four candidates lead the party one year each during the following mandatory period. They are:

1. Karin Forsell
2. Lennart Hedman
3. Aida Ericsson
4. Per Norbäck

(The picture shows Karin Forsell dropping the “winning ball” in the tombola.)

Organisations have no feelings

October 9, 2013

What is an organisation? What is the least common multiple of all companies and institutions? They all have a mission and a structure, they depend very much on the staff. But do they care about the future?

Organisations are advanced, artificial structures without biological content. An organisation may be built up like a biological cell, but it doesn’t have any feelings. By good advertising we sometimes associate a company with emotions, but the company doesn’t feel anything for us. We are only means, our money is the input.

Political parties once was founded to strengthen the people’s right. A democratic party was a way to articulate the common public will. The party was like a megaphone, speaking the grassroots will to those in power. Now this has changed, at least in Sweden. The megaphone turns in the other direction, telling the people to vote for the parties in next election, as if they have an own will. But they don’t. A political party is like any other organisation. 

Almost all humans and animals seems to have emotions, but I doubt organisations have. They can have human missions, but they have no hearts, no feelings at all. If humankind eventually will cease to exist no political party neither global company will cry. So why do we let the organisations rule the world instead of the people?

Flee, fight or stand still?

August 7, 2013

 

Fight, flee or stand still – how do you respond to an attack? Different systems have different kind of self-defence, some fleeing while others defend themselves aggressively. This applies to both biological and artificial systems, such as animals and power structures.

If – say – an impopular leadership is challenged by the people they can drive it away, but the victory is only temporary. The hierarchy will try to return. If the old leader disappears, others will fight to become the new leader and keep their privileges.

At a peaceful transition to democracy, one can expect new wannabee-leaders queuing up to take over. The democratic challenge is to not let them do it, but to stand peacefully as one person and change the whole system, although it may hurt and take some time.

It is not about to choose another leader, but to replace an old system of hierarchy with a new “flat” system where all have the same voting rights – not only at the General Election Days but also in between. The principle is from Aki Orr’s Direct Democracy Manifesto: EVERY CITIZEN – ONE VOTE – ON EVERY POLITICAL DECISION

The New Italian Spring

April 4, 2013

popeandowl

Despite the vast youth unemployment I suggest the future will remember “the New Italian Spring” as a Victory of Love and Compassion in 2014. The new Pope Francis’ humility gives hope for a moral revival in the Vatican State. In the same period the direct democratic party M5S enters the Italian Parliament.

Aristotle uses the word “phronesis” to mean morale in theory and practice. According to Aristotle phronesis is prudence. Both Beppo Grillo in M5S and Francis in the Catholic Church seems to be prudent. Like his namesake Francis of Assisi the new Pope live a simple life, and Beppo Grillo doesn’t want more power than anybody else in the M5S party. They are both free from practical contradictions in the same way as a map is a true picture of reality: by correspondence.

Phronesis requires the ability to rationally consider actions which can deliver desired effects, but there is still a big problem: the effects happens after the causes and then it´s to late to act different. Thus we need to act carefully. I believe that voluntary, reciprocal love between two adult persons hardly can be morally wrong, but if they are not careful the result can be very negative.

Phronesis combines humility with a scientific attitude. The project of Science is to make “the Tree of Knowledge” a better map of “the Tree of Life”. It presupposes cooperation between people and fair competition between ideas. We must not always defend our old ideas. To change opinion in the light of new information is a virtue, even for a Pope.

Democratic vitality in Italy

March 5, 2013

Direct Democracy on the Internet got its big break in the Italian election 25.02.13 by Movimento 5 stelle, M5S. The comedian Beppe Grillo and the financier Gianroberto Casaleggio describes M5S as a new form of politics that uses the Internet to consult voters directly. That the breakthrough occurred in Italy was no coincidence. The italian mix of modernity and corruption – the tradition, frustration and desire for change – was needed.

That M5S got 25 % of the votes means that the political system in Italy is changed. If the movement stick to their direct democratic principles, the political sardine tin can be opened and the contents will be analyzed sequence by sequence online. This openness prevents political corruption and means a great victory for democracy, provided that the other parties will cooperate with M5S. But Silvio Berlusconi and Pier Luigi Bersani has surely other plans. They have already begun to push Beppe Grillo to exercise power over M5S. "He needs to decide what to do, or we must all begin to pack up, including Grillo," Pier Luigi Bersani have said. In order to maintain control Mr Bersani will be presenting a political discourse that he wants M5S to approve.

The international media reactions are interesting. Beppe Grillo is portrayed as another Berlusconi populist. Media that normally celebrates democracy now heckles Italy for voting for another clown. But M5S is a democracy movement that should not be controlled by one person. Democratic decisions cannot be predicted if you don’t have total control, and then the decisions are no longer democratic! The free market is also impossible to predict but we still praise it for the ability to create growth. Market economy and politics influence each other; usually the more stable party must adapt to the other. With less predictable politics the market might be forced to calm down and take a long-term responsibility.