"the wisest invention ever devised by the wit of man for the perfect exercise of self-government, and for its preservation."
"... every man is a sharer... and feels that he is a participator in the government of affairs, not merely at an election one day in the year, but every day."
As quoted here.
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Monday, 28 December 2009
"strengthen civic education, guarantee equal access to information, tie individual and institutions into networks that will make real participatory discussion and debate possible across great distances"
Sunday, 27 December 2009
"Even when people engage in political debate on the web they often talk to people they already agree with. Liberal blogs tend to link to other liberal blogs; environmentalists connect with other environmentalists. The web can fracture democratic debate into partisan spaces where people of like mind gather together; democracy depends on creating public spaces where people of different minds debate and resolve their differences."
Saturday, 26 December 2009
The following lecture by Charles Leadbeater explains how business organisations are challenged by, and can benefit from, Pro-Ams and customers, who help to create new product.
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Interactive Democracy would allow campaigners against a politician to utilise the system to drum up support and force the issue. But I would expect the MP to defend themselves in the public space and not behind the closed doors of a party meeting. This may be a scary prospect for politicians but it's a very democratic one.
This concept of creativity through diversity could be a key advantage of Interactive Democracy, which seeks to integrate the thoughts, opinions and values of millions of people.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Monday, 21 December 2009
- "the more developed the institutions of direct democracy, the happier the individuals are;
- people derive procedural utility from the possibility of participating in the direct democratic process over and above a more favourable political outcome"
Sunday, 20 December 2009
- Max Bazerman, Harvard Business School
Friday, 18 December 2009
- How does the old boy network effect who is chosen to become a candidate?
- Does the electorate vote for politicians or parties; do they judge the candidate effectively?
- Does the best funded or the most capable candidate/party, win?
- Can students of Machiavelli play the system and gain power?
- Are Honours given fairly or is there bias in appointments to the Lords?
- If meritocracy was perfect, wouldn't we be able to find the single best candidate to make decisions for us (someone the ancient Greeks called the aristoi, root of the word aristocrat)?
Thursday, 17 December 2009
If there were an Interactive Democracy system in place would Unite utilise it to quickly re-run their ballot? Would the shareholders use it to demand management reforms? Would customers use it to call for government intervention? Would someone propose that customers always be compensated by the company in the event of a strike (regardless of the inevitable job losses that may result)?
What is clear is that Unite's claim to democracy doesn't involve the other stake holders that the law may be trying to protect.
On the other hand, the judge seems to have ruled on a technicality - that "Unite had improperly included BA employees already set to leave the company". Many will doubt that the judgment will effect the clear 92.5% majority in favour of the strike, but it may buy customers and negotiators more time.
It has been suggested that an intelligent electorate with a good level of education is a prerequisite for Interactive Democracy. I'm all for an education system that concentrates on teaching diverse ways of how to think, rather than what to think, and I'd like to see wide use of the techniques promoted by De Bono and Tony Buzan. However, the difference between the most intelligent people in the country and the average intelligence is likely to remain pretty much the same, even with better education, in which case why not continue to pursue a political meritocracy such as representative democracy? If you accept that representative democracy has its faults and that it could be improved by more electorate power (as I argue on this blog), then waiting for a better educated, more intelligent population means we may be waiting forever.
Instead I'd prefer to see a slow and experimental progression towards ID. The first step could be an ePetition system that forces Parliamentary debate on popular issues, like a more powerful version of the one already employed in the Scottish Parliament.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
- How do you define best; best at what? Are they good at everything?
- A few people cannot know everything; they cannot experience it all.
- The majority are seldom motivated to carry out the wishes of the few; the ethic of citizenship is involvement.
Monday, 14 December 2009
Sunday, 13 December 2009
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Friday, 11 December 2009
Thursday, 10 December 2009
- If you have a broad interest in politics it makes sense that you join several parties to find out their various perspectives.
- How parties develop and capitalise on their membership lists will be a key competency for them in the future.
- Will this allow new parties to emerge? I suspect the strong brands, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat, are best positioned as strong political influencers.
- Does this undermine the egalitarian nature of Interactive Democracy? Ultimately you have the power to cast your vote any way you see fit, so, no, I don't think that this mix of capital, membership and persuasion is particularly odious, and a good deal less so than today's poisonous brew.
Friday, 4 December 2009
- funding of what scientific evidence is to be gathered, adds a political bias
- scientists are human and therefore corruptible
- science its self is a process for gathering hard evidence which has no morality
- the media can sensationalise scientific reports
- lay people aren't often equipped to understand science
- there's more to politics than science (e.g. morality)
- scientists may consider their evidence as more important than debate
- debaters may reinforce their arguments with narrow scientific studies to try to quash debate
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Monday, 30 November 2009
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Monday, 23 November 2009
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Saturday, 21 November 2009
Friday, 20 November 2009
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
- 59% of voters thought that "most MPs make a lot of money by using public office improperly"
- 78% agreed that "to win elections, most parliamentary candidates make promises they have no intention of keeping"
- 85% believed that "most MPs will tell lies if they feel the truth would hurt them politically"
And all this before the MPs expenses scandal!
Friday, 13 November 2009
Thursday, 12 November 2009
"The reason that people vest little importance in the electoral process is that the electoral process no longer determines the destiny of the nation. Human rights judges lay down school uniform policy; police chiefs decide whether the possession of cannabis should be treated as a criminal offence; customs officers decree how much tobacco we may buy; Eurocrats forbid us to buy and sell in pounds."
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Friday, 6 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
- The Human Rights Act
- Leadership by Parliament
- The presentation of all sides of an argument on the Interactive Democracy website
- The Golden Rule: the morality of most people in most societies
- The Liberal Media and the ability of stories to engender empathy towards individuals (the ultimate minority)
- The vociferousness of motivated and organised minority groups versus the apathy of the majority (An argument by Mancur Olsen in "The Logic of Collective Action".)
It is sometimes argued that Representative Democracy protects minority interests, especially in the American system where vote trading is the norm, but it is hard to see how such a system works in the UK. My feeling is that fair morality and the liberal tradition are the main lines of defence against the persecution of minorities in Britain.