Thursday, 5 May 2011

Changing Cultures

Direct Democracy has worked well in Switzerland over the last 150 years but some claim it to be a failure in California. Is this because of their differing cultures: consensus seeking in Switzerland; money is power in America?
Is it possible to design the details of a direct democracy system in order to fit our culture? Can the introduction of direct democracy be done in such a way as to change our culture and change our attitudes?
One way of doing this may be to create a working model without legislative clout, to see how it performs. This would give people the opportunity to learn about the system and to get involved in improving it. It would also encourage politicians to evolve their policies to accommodate the will expressed there, encouraging a more consensual approach.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note on a worry of mine and that is societal political apathy. this needs to be overcome if direct democracy is to flourish, unless you think perhaps that direct democracy is a means by which apathy may be expelled?

Anyway there seems to be ( and some googling seems to confirm) that there are three main reasons for political apathy and they seem to be i) an inwardly focused populous stimulated more by personal than by societies enrichment. ii) Social inertia we know how long it can take for attitudes to change and norms to shift. iii) and finally social political inefficiency, I mean a dictatorship can at least get things done and pretty sharpish to.

You may have thought of more reasons for the nations lack of interest in politics today; how can these causes of apathy be surmounted without positing an existential threat that would bring back the fabled Dunkirk spirit