Monday, December 16, 2013

[IntDPD Debate] "A political party of the area of "direct and participatory" democracy is a left/progressive or a right/conservative party?" (Answer 10/10) Direct Democracy" (United Kingdom)

10/10 Direct Democracy" (United Kingdom)
"In a DD, being that individuals and not parties will decide upon all law, isn't it obvious that DD isn't within the left/right spectrum and that only parties are?
DD is anti-partisan and so does not occupy the same political dimension - partisan politics divides us [and starts ALL civil wars] where DD unites.
Isn't this the point on what we're all supposed to be working on? Replacing the partisan political system with a people-based political system?
The fact that this comes-up as an issue/question indicates that some [in their naivety] believe that 'representative' politicians will bring in DD. I can tell you from my own direct experience of working with them that this is the last thing they will ever do and, isn't it obvious why?
Pasted from our site:
MP Anne Widdecombe has stated that she would "never let majority public opinion voiced on my website influence my parliamentary votes." and she also states; "I would never let voters make decisions upon policy implementation." Before realising who he was talking with, MP George Galloway told the PA founder directly that "Direct democracy is the best way for the country to go!" adding "You could get rid of all us lot too." confirming that we can have what hypocritical politicians themselves admit is best for us but, only when it doesn't compromise what's best for them.
David Cameron recently remove any mention of even using technology simply to improve comms between reps and voters:
Just as the ones who said "It's okay I have nothing to hide." have now let in the state surveillance, the ones among us who think DD can happen under Rrep Dem are making us weak and vulnerable.
Do you guys really think that Switzerland, Iceland, EU Initiative [for example] are DD? If you do, you've already bought into the propaganda of the reps who want to control any aspect of public participation and so you do us and DD a great disservice.
Do not confuse public participation with DD because they are not the same by any measure and all the reps want to do is to make people think that DD is part of Rep Dem [so they can control land tame it] but this can never be true [for obvious reasons].
Also, in both the UK and US, the pattern now clearly shows that public proposals that get voted upon in the UK Parliament and the US Senate, are proposals which politicians have already scheduled to vote on - what does this tell you?
'Public participation' under Rep Dem is a wholesale scam."

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

[IntDPD Debate] "A political party of the area of "direct and participatory" democracy is a left/progressive or a right/conservative party?" (Answer 9/10) Jim Rough ( Wise Democracy (USA)

9/10 Jim Rough ( Wise Democracy (USA)
"I like Cosmin’s comment about how people might garden the growth of new methodologies. And he asks: how do we disseminate to the masses the idea that they are powerful and can use their power (my words)?…  My answer is that you facilitate them to experience their collective power.”
Twenty three years ago I developed a new methodology called the “Wisdom Council” for sparking people to come together as a powerful “We the People.” See And it’s now starting to gain traction. I hope you will become familiar with it as a possible way of addressing society’s big problems.
Yesterday I returned from a conference in Austria called “Surfing Democracy,” where the Wisdom Council was a main focus. This is the second conference in the past two years arising from the successful application of the Wisdom Council in Vorarlberg, Austria, the Westernmost state of Austria. Six years ago a government Office of Future Related Issues discovered the Wisdom Council and started convening them. They have experienced such amazing success in solving difficult public issues, involving citizens, and shifting the public conversation to be more collaborative that they convened this FREE conference to people from anywhere in the world to come learn how they are using this and other new approaches. They have even convinced politicians … unanimous from all four parties … to change the state Constitution to include the Wisdom Council. And now nearby states are planning the same thing.
I think true democracy is something like this …  where all the people come together in respect, face their collective problems, creatively determine answers that work for everyone, and then provide leadership to government in implementing the people’s will. I think the Wisdom Council can approximate this. 
The actual change to the constitution is to include a focus on "participative democracy" as well as "direct democracy" and "representative democracy." There are three resolutions explaining "participative democracy" that mention the Wisdom Council directly: 1) There will be two statewide Wisdom Councils each year on topics chosen by government. The governor chooses one and political parties take turns choosing the other. 2) The citizens can spark a state-sponsored Wisdom Council simply by submitting a topic with only 1000 signatures supporting that topic. 3) Government will officially respond to any points Wisdom Councils raise that are directed to government."

Sunday, December 8, 2013

[IntDPD Debate] "A political party of the area of "direct and participatory" democracy is a left/progressive or a right/conservative party?" (Answer 8/10) David Ding ( Thrive NZ (New Zealand)

8/10 David Ding ( Thrive NZ (New Zealand)
"Any balanced structure of representative governance that allows for top down and bottom up governance (ultimately with everything open to public scrutiny) renders the political spectrum obsolete. In fact the only thing the political spectrum serves to do is polarise the nation by perpetuating the belief that it is not possible to create solutions that serve must be either/or. This is a logical absurdity in context of Direct Democracy being the official structure of governance as the needs and wants of the nation don't need to be labelled, just heard and acted upon in the most balanced and empowering ways possible."

Saturday, December 7, 2013

[IntDPD Debate] "A political party of the area of "direct and participatory" democracy is a left/progressive or a right/conservative party?" (Answer 7/10) Iain Walker ( The newDemocracy Foundation (Australia)

"Or perhaps its all of the above [DD is Left or Right?]. We have found that elected representatives and governments will commission deliberative processes because of ideology: those on the Right see a group of individuals capable of making decisions rather than a paternalistic government, while those on the Left see everyday people taking power back from established and moneyed donor/lobbyist interests.  
Moreover most elected people on all sides hold a view that “if people could only see all the facts they would agree with our side of politics” – a good deliberative process delivers on the promise of seeing citizens consume a much greater depth of information than they do in today’s representative/vox pop democracy. It’s fair to note that we advocate deliberative processes rather than direct democracy though."

Friday, December 6, 2013

[IntDPD Debate] "A political party of the area of "direct and participatory" democracy is a left/progressive or a right/conservative party?" (Answer 6/10) Evan Ravitz ( (USA)

"Those who work for direct democracy show humility by working for the humble instead of the elite, and by not imposing our own views. It shows faith in the process as a collective learning experience including learning from making mistakes. Politicians usually cover up mistakes because their "brand" could be damaged. In the Zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico, each village chooses by direct democracy, including how much private ownership and how much collective ownership. This is about what works not ideology."

Thursday, December 5, 2013

[IntDPD Debate] "A political party of the area of "direct and participatory" democracy is a left/progressive or a right/conservative party?" (Answer 5/10) Cosmin Hodrea (Direct Democracy Party of Romania) (Romania)

"I share the opinion that direct democracy is not a "classical" political doctrine, so it can not be label neither as left or right. Instead, is more of a way of organizing the society and returning the power to the people. This is just in the same way that the French revolution for example changed the monarchy into a republic as a way to rule a state.
So, in my opinion, any political party that supports direct / participatory democracy is an activist in the field of the way a state is organized and not in the field of making the social and economic policies. Thus, it will have a limited role in time, with a precise goal of changing the state`s Constitution (the primary law) in order to create the tools for the people to rule themselves. Once this goal is achieved, the party should dissolve itself."
"As society develops and new ways of human interaction and communication arise, new models of ruling and organizing the society should arise as well. And so it seems. Like a new bud coming out of a seed, so the DD makes its first steps into the political arena.
My only question is how can we act like responsible gardeners and guide its growth correctly. If I may ask you, what is the best way to approach the dissemination of the concept to the masses? How do you teach a child (the people) to recognize his power, and most important, to use it in a constructive way?"

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

[IntDPD Debate] "A political party of the area of "direct and participatory" democracy is a left/progressive or a right/conservative party?" (Answer 4/10) Alex Napoli (Direct Democracy Brazil) (Brazil)

"Direct Democracy is a more efficient and just tool than representative democracy to be used for progression or conservation of a society.
Those who support direct democracy tend to be more democratic than those that support representative democracy.
But the true test of a progressive is what they do when they have power and money, there are many circumstantial progressives that are in fact conservatives.
There is a saying that people are democratic and socialist with other people's power and money, but autocratic and capitalist when the power and money is theirs.
Direct Democracy is a constitutional right, not a privilege to be conceded by representatives who are subordinated to the citizens.
The best system is direct democracy with zero taxation/legislation with a coordination state of last resort to only step in with counter-cyclical  entrepreneurial action if market fails. Self-financed organizations (selling products and services) and a direct judicial system (proving damage and danger) can solve any social-economic problem or challenge.
All taxation and public property must be incorporated and deposited in citizens Individual Social Security Accounts guaranteeing basic income for all. The age of city states has passed, the age of national states is passing, the age of global states is beginning."

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

[IntDPD Debate] "A political party of the area of "direct and participatory" democracy is a left/progressive or a right/conservative party?" (Answer 1/10) Joám Evans Pim (Partido da Terra) (Galiza)

"(...) Advocacy for direct democracy is neither left/progressive or a right/conservative. Those empowered through direct democracy to make decisions will adopt positions that they consider appropriate regarding the problem that is being discussed.
Or abolishing the State as an anti-democratic institution (i.e., libertarian municipalism)"
(...)"I think it is important to discourage any paternalistic approach of teaching the masses. I'm not sure what is the case of Romania, but most rural societies (at least in Europe) keep traces of their past assembly (direct democracy) form of community government. In our case in Galiza (which is also applicable to most of Northern Iberia and Portugal), our work is directed mainly at helping people connect the old form of community assembly government with politics, i.e.: we are all "politicians" (not just those elected), there should be no such thing as "professional politicians", and no issue is beyond the capabilities of discussion, deliberation and decision by a sovereign community assembly.

This is very much in line, as Evan pointed out, with the community councils and Good Governance Regional Juntas of the Zapatistas or the ideas of Libertarian Municipalism, even though we are not emulating any model here in Galiza but creating our own from our past experience and current communal ways of organization. If you can read Portuguese or use an online translator, here is an example of an attempt to introduce assembly direct democracy at the municipal level using the breaches of current State law: Even though we do try to run in all elections to make use of the free media space to send the message out (and discredit professional politics and representative parliamentarism by all means), we feel there are only options (in our case) of making political change at this moment at the municipal level."

Monday, December 2, 2013

[IntDPD Debate] "A political party of the area of "direct and participatory" democracy is a left/progressive or a right/conservative party?" (Answer 1/10)

2/10 Digital 2 (Democracia Directa Digital [D3]) (Spain)
"Of course it's note right-wing. But it's not clear if it is left-wing. Some might say that direct democracy is a value of the libertarian left, but others might as well argue that if not included a political program against private property and the rest, it's not libertarian communism...
So I personally prefer not to consider it in those parameters."

Sunday, December 1, 2013

[IntDPD Debate] "A political party of the area of "direct and participatory" democracy is a left/progressive or a right/conservative party?" (Answer 1/9)

1/9 Ted Becker (Auburn (Australia) University political science professor and Independent researcher on DD issues):

"None of the above. If a political group runs in an election solely to democratize the system through a variety of constitutional reforms, it is devolving power from a political elite to the people in general, thus it has no "party interests".  Thus it is unique in history and needs a new label, like a "transformational or evolutional entity." If a political party promises to do so as part of their platform, don't believe them."
"As I have written at length: "representative democracy" is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.  In actuality, those who developed the system that they camouflage with this phrase, actually constructed a new kind of autocracy, one I call an "Elected Oligarchy."  I think that is the most accurate phrase to describe all variations of them including USA, EU nations, Russia, Brazil, Iran and on. The CCP hates the word "democracy" and uses the word "republic" to hide its own autocratic ways.
So, it doesn't matter whether it is a one party state, two party, or multi-party: these are just factions of the ruling elites and counter elites.  They are all anti-democratic by their very nature."
"The question was clear and all the answers so far have been pretty clear that it is "None of the Above." This reminds me of the old schism in the Grunen in Germany, the rift between the fundis and the realis. The fundis did not want to become or back a party. They had their ideological pillars and did not want to engage in the party system which primarily served elites' power. That is what the consensus is right now it seems. If the DD people ran for office and won, they would divest themselves of power back to the people in many ways and on many issues. Then disband and help facilitate and implement the process with as little corruption as possible."