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Electronic Direct Democracy

Electronic Direct Democracy

12-09-2011

More then fifty people attended a workshop by Alex Zenon and Paul Nollen from Democratie.nu Belgium on the Euroean Network Academy in August. Below you find a report of the event.

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

 Questions:

- 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?

Propositions:

- 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)

Reflections:

- 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

Report ENA2001

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