Workshop "Politics without Politicians"
Presented by Alex Zenon and Paul Nollen (Democratie.nu Belgium)
Duration: 4.45 to 6.30 pm on Saturday 13 august 2011
Powerpoint Presentations available here
- Apart of the questions who are directly "Direct Democracy" related (see our FAQ) there was a great interest about the "Liquid Democracy" system in our proposal. The drawing of the "Aktiv Democrati" in Sweden (see aktivdemokrati.se/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/enghumans.jpg ) in our presentation was very instructive and invoked a lot of detailed questions. We pointed out that a variation of the "Liquid Democracy" system has a long record of good performance in corporations where a comparable system is used in shareholders meetings. With the important difference that in Liquid Democracy every citizen has one share and the shareholders meeting may be only once a year, while in Liquid Democracy it is continuous.
Example of questions:
- What happens in case of emergency, if a decision has to be taken very quickly ? (case of the Swiss emergency procedure which was used by politicians to bypass citizens referenda).
- How can we manage the thousands of proposals (initiatives) that are likely to be submitted on the website? (role of the signature gathering or equivalent on internet).
- What happens if we get a majority and are to form a government? What's our strategy with respect to the executive?
- How can we constrain the elected representatives from the party to indeed follow the decision of the voters?
- Do we need a constitution ? (oligarchy of judges, paid by whom, appointed by whom )
- What about "Human Rights"? (which ones, approved by whom )
- If delegates in fluid democracy start to professionalize, how would this be different from representative democracy?
- What will be the incentive for delegates to participate in the system in fluid democracy?
- Give more role to consensus democracy (or deliberative democracy)
- Rotation system in representative democracy (proved not to work in the Green party): no cumulative mandate (horizontally or vertically)
- Democracy is not only a technical question but it must be imbebbed in human relations
- The case of Solidarnosc, during which cameras were used to check that representatives were actually doing there work
- Danger of the influence of the media
Alex Zenon & Paul Nollen