Archive for May, 2011

Towards a new Democracy

There is abundant documentation about the functioning of democratic systems implanted in the developed world, but away from the technical terms and the concrete data, we all have an intuitive idea about what democracy means. Apparently, and in contrast with authoritarian, oppressive or imperialistic regimes of the past or even in mind today, is the best solution, but it is nothing more than an illusion, because the power is not in the hands of the people, not even in hands of the leaders elected by the current electoral system. In fact, and in spite of what media could make us believe, we are such slaves of the capitalist system as they were in ancient Rome. The new emperors are so owners of money and the “markets” like everything else, but unlike other times, today have no cutting head.

Democracy, power lies in people. Well, this must be so, but how can people express their will? In extreme oppression situations, the only thing that people can and must aspire is freedom, so that tools like the guillotine, the sickle or hammer may be the most appropriate. In times where education was not affordable for everyone and where the means of transmitting information was limited to personal presence or postal mail, they were acceptable democratic systems still in place today. For example, choosing an unknown deputy every four years for just to give their vote to the representative of his group of deputies, made sense when the media were not what they are today, but at the time of the information society seems like a form of democracy obsolete and inefficient.

Obsolete model of Democracy (Wikimedia Commons file)

It has to think about a new model of democracy that truly grants power to people. Given the potential of mobilization that social networks are demonstrating, cannot still be used a democratic system designed in earlier centuries. So we could speak of free representatives away from the turbid concept which now we have about a politician. Apart from the parties, sign up for one of the most popular sides or manipulation of information, nowadays is possible to devise a new model of democracy. I say democracy, not political, because the figure of a person dedicated to persuade and mobilize the masses would be out of place. It has to think of a transparent model where each individual is aware of what he choose and why. Of course, the complexity of each particular subject makes it impossible for everyone to know about everything, but this does nothing but highlight the need to bring creativity to their development.

For example, suppose that everyone has Internet access and use it regularly. It has to vote a new law regulating the age at which you acquire a certain legal autonomy. Most people do not have sufficient knowledge on legal, moral, social or ethical to make a coherent decision, so call a massive voting would be a mistake. However this does not is an obstacle to electing representatives with sufficient knowledge for them to vote properly. Through an telematic electoral environment the new deputies would be dynamic. Anyone may submit their resume to fill one of several voting representative positions, one for each vote. Could be established even several turns systems that offer greater dynamism, etc. In any case in the era of information society can not spare no effort in developing an electoral system, however complicated it may come to mind.

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Towards a new Democracy by Mark Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at


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