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Julian Blanco

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Why don't we use technology to have a real Direct Democracy?

In democracy’s origin, all citizens gathered together to make decisions on relevant matters.
As populations grow this became impossible and the best choice to keep the model was electing representatives.
We currently have the technological capability to have a large part of the population or may be all the population (if we talk about cell phones)of many countries making choices real-time on topics each individual is interested in.
So we have a chance to get back to the ideal democracy and avoid many of the problems that arise from the representation model.
I think it’s time to get at least a hybrid model where people can easily and massively participate in the decision process.
I’m very interested in the TED community’s perspective on this.
the perspective is science based, publicly open and available to all.

A fine example here (thanks Lucas):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demoex
http://demoex.org/

http://CitizenME.org (thanks DK)

Other links provided in the posts:
http://www.ted.com/conversations/102/provide_the_tools_and_knowledg.html?c=194830
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/clay_shirky_how_cognitive_surplus_will_change_the_world.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/david_bismark_e_voting_without_fraud.html
www.lindsaynewlandbowker.posterous.com
http://www.peopleandparticipation.net/display/Methods/Consensus+Conference
http://www.whitehouse.gov/openforquestions
http://www.usnowfilm.com
http://www.whitehouse.gov/open
http://www.metagovernment.org/wiki/Active_projects
http://www.worldwork.org/
http://www.metagovernment.org/
http://www.dgsociety.org/


Regards!

JB

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  • May 4 2011: There is one thing that is in my opinion the number one reason against a direct democracy and the reason why I am against it: fear.

    For example the fear of the Swiss of Muslims which led to forbid building of minarets in some parts of the Swiss. This is for me against human rights, and it was only possible, because a right-leaning populist party raised the fears against Muslims in the population.

    Also a big problem is, that MANY people just didn't care about it, and they don't vote. So it was (for me) Muslims against people that fear Muslims. And in respect of the association "Terror = Muslims" these days, the result of the elections is clear. I am quite sure, that many of the people electing there, did not even know, what a Minaret is, but voted against it, because people fear what they don't know.

    So as a conclusion, my main points against direct democracy:
    1. fear of the people is much easier to produce than comprehension
    2. people who are not interested don't vote, so you don't get "the real" opinion of the citizens
    3. not everybody can get into every problem (i mean its a full-time job for politicians [should be])

    I you wanna change the political crises in the US (we also have one here in germany, nearly same kind, but not as big), stop the parties depending on money from companies. For example: Clear is, when an oil company pays your election, you will not speak about global warming. And the people living in all these catastrophe areas in the US, they pay the bill.

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