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[liberationtech] How to improve representative democracy?

Doug Schuler douglas at publicsphereproject.org
Thu Jan 5 12:20:28 PST 2017


I can't claim that I have the answer (because I don't!) but I'm in favor of civil society launching a bottom-up "grand challenge" to develop what we'd like to see. ("Invent the future") Ultimately it should reach across various boundaries, including national ones. I presented a case for it in my article for ACM Interactions, Creating the World Citizen Parliament <http://interactions.acm.org/archive/view/may-june-2013/creating-the-world-citizen-parliament>, and discussed ideas as to how to get it off the ground. 

Please note that I'm not calling for a "parliament" that is exactly modeled on existing parliaments! I would expect that various bottom up efforts would result in a type of kluge —  much belittled by computer scientists but exemplified by real-world examples of, say, managing the commons. 

I may be a minority voice here but I can't see any reasonable democracy functioning without aware and active citizens (which is what I call civic intelligence). We are seeing in the U.S. and other places the results of having too many disengaged and uninformed people. And this of course does not constitute an "easy fix."

The links you mention on vice.com are indeed problematic — to say the least: "What if everybody voted on everything?", for example.

Thanks!

— Doug

> On Jan 5, 2017, at 10:09 AM, mkqyp-libtech at usa.net wrote:
> 
> 
> According to public choice theory, there are some inherent flaws with
> representative democracy, such as the corrupting influence of special
> interests.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_choice#Special_interests
> 
> There are a lot of problematic proposals for how to improve democracy, like
> this:
> http://motherboard.vice.com/en_au/read/democracy-by-app
> 
> If it were politically easy to alter our system of government, what would be
> your recommended alternative?  Please enter ideas in this proposal tracker:
> https://www.proposalprocon.com/request/9jcU27kS5ctSBag0KYYrRqOKp4xgSzA4hBQPY3Nboy45WoCr7c
> 
> --Chad Brower
> 
> 
> -- 
> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations of list guidelines will get you moderated: https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech. Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password by emailing moderator at companys at stanford.edu.

Douglas Schuler
douglas at publicsphereproject.org <mailto:douglas at publicsphereproject.org>
Twitter: @doug_schuler





Public Sphere Project <http://www.publicsphereproject.org/>
     
Collective Intelligence for the Common Good Mailing list <http://scn9.scn.org/mailman/listinfo/ci4cg-announce>

Creating the World Citizen Parliament <http://interactions.acm.org/archive/view/may-june-2013/creating-the-world-citizen-parliament>
     
Liberating Voices!  A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution (Project <http://www.publicsphereproject.org/patterns/lv> / Book <http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=11601>) 

Three patterns:
   Political Settings <http://www.publicsphereproject.org/content/political-settings>	
   Social Responsibility <http://www.publicsphereproject.org/content/social-responsibility>
   Matrifocal Orientation <http://www.publicsphereproject.org/content/matrifocal-orientation>
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