What defines / is mandatory for democratic processes?

Gordian Overschmidt
9 replies
You think there is some crucial point missing: Hit the keyboard and let me know.
Options
Transparency
Participation
Process

Replies

Veteran failure, engineer, founder
Hello Gordian, This is an interesting question. I am personally interested in software enabled direct democracy as model for future democratic systems. I feel Participation is the most important item in your list because wherever people do not participate, they do not demand for either Transparency or Options or better Processes. When people participate, they demand all the others things you listed. Democracy works best only when people actually work together in voting, even on smallest of issues. I do not mean voting as in electing representatives. That is an old system which I feel could be replaced with software enabled models that scale to include every individual - at least every individual should have access to voting.
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Techie + Serial Entrepreneur
@sumitdatta Man. Wish you had seen a project an old acquaintance of mine was working on. You would have loved it! Sadly, at the time, nobody was interested. So it got shelved.
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Impact driven social entrepreneur.
@ethar_alali would like to know more about it. Maybe you can connect me with your acquaintance. My idea was in the drawer since 2003 because I had the feeling that we are not ready for it yet, although the topic has been viral for quite some time. I used the time to take a closer look to understand it better.
Impact driven social entrepreneur.
@sumitdatta @ethar_alali Hope you do not mind me answering to both of you at this point. I think we are on the same page; you are right. And yes Ethar, there are many factors necessary for democracy. To be honest, I am very happy that until today 64% voted for participation, i.e., we at ODE are on the right track: Think about elections where nobody shows up. But if you look at the tremendous number of non-voters, we felt that the basis of any democracy is people who are willing and able to vote. Participation is based on the experience of decision-processes and lot of factors. With our research among GenZ and Millennials, we were able to collect the following information, which we would like to investigate and deepen further: 62% feel uncomfortable, are dissatisfied, or regret decisions made.
 38% have an infinite number of decisions pending.
 50% ask for help in making decisions.
 Only 7.4% reported that they never skipped or massively postponed an important decision. Our goal with ODE is to strengthen the willingness to participate in democratic processes through decision-making skills and to equip individuals in society with a greater sense of responsibility. A person who has discovered the effectiveness of his or her own decisions is also strengthened for further goals such as gender equality, sustainable consumption and production, climate protection and adaptation (SDGs), and many more. The earlier people experience democracy and participation, the more consolidated they are in the above-mentioned competencies. Therefore, we want students and employees to learn to make their own decisions in a self-determined way, to move from the security and experience of the effectiveness of their own decision in larger and larger circles towards society. Because: "It is not material conditions in the pre-professional context, not the type of school attended or club memberships that are decisive for the development of formative forms of action, but rather the possibilities of participation in the sense of social involvement that is subjectively perceived as equal. The socio-biographical conditions of a 'participatory socialization' can be identified as (a) the open confrontation with social problems and conflicts, (b) the chance to participate in relatively symmetrical communication processes, (c) the assumption of real responsibility, and (d) the possibility of participating in cooperative decisions." (Hoff/Lempert 1990) Do not beat about the bush: The goal is ambitious. We need network support and resources.
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Techie + Serial Entrepreneur
Oh dear! I hope you're are ready for this answer! :-D Everything you have cited is important. Yet, the list is necessary, but not sufficient. Sure, participation, as a form of feedback is a baseline, but a number of things make a democracy, true. One of which, is even more important than any of the other items on your list. 1. Human rights - no human rights, no democracy. Any country that attempt to impede the freedom to participate in the politics of their country, is committing a breach of human rights under the Universal Declaration. Without that, no democracy is a democracy. That actually leaves very few true democracies worldwide. 2. Judicial oversight, respect for the rule of law, nobody above it - A people who do not have recourse to an independent judiciary, are prevented from settling electoral fraud or illegality. If you have no ability to adjudicate on human rights, or a democratic result, that isn't subject to political interference, then you don't have a democracy (this creates a tension between constitutional law, parliamentarians and the judiciary - but none of them overrule the laws of physical :) 3. Right to expression, not persecution - Europe has this right on the whole. If you consider human rights and democracy as a hierarchy, you should never have a situation where the expression incites persecution of another, to the degree that it violates their human rights. Indeed, the salvatory clauses of Article 30 of the UDHR and Article 17 of the ECHR it makes it explicitly clear that nobody can use human rights, as a defence to denigrate human rights. So, if someone speaks as to incite the persecution of a subset of the population, then claims "Free speech", their expression has violated the other person's right to live without fear, FIRST! As a result, the secondary bar of free speech need not be adjudicated, since the expression violates an inalienable right (you can express any way you like, speech is just one method but you persecuted another's human rights, first. So lost the right to) 4. Disinformation and electoral fraud as serious criminal offence - In many countries, this is indeed the case. If you provably disinform, elections are annulled and rerun and sometimes, the perpetrators are brought to justice and even jailed. Similar in nature to electoral fraud. Remember that the impact of this can result in a direct violation of human rights in its own right, where the disinformation is used to then create a context of persecution and genocide. As has happened in many countries, including during WW2. It's fascinating to see that former colonies of the British Empire, can deal with this better than Britain can. There is an interesting comic called the "Paradox of Tolerance" that's worth looking up. https://skepchick.org/2017/08/po...
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Impact driven social entrepreneur.
@ethar_alali as already explained. I am on your side. Democracy should be developed as well as regular products. The dangers are apparent. If our democratic systems would be designed as agile as products, we run the risk of abuse. Therefore, if we can encourage and enable people to activate as early as possible in the overall process, that leads to the decision in the end, we can counteract the abuse.
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Impact driven social entrepreneur.
@ethar_alali I understand, I even took the same positions in my discussions until my spouse stopped me from complaining about politics and justice and told me to take action. I am now an active lay judge and have founded ODE. I simply believe that we can only change things if we actively choose to do so. Nothing is set in stone; we always have the opportunity to say something. It's just easier for us if we understand better why and how we can turn to people like you in uncertainty. We should not abandon the nations but show them a way forward. We are all constantly learning as individuals, organizations but also as nations. I would be really happy to invite you to discuss this further to find the best way to make this happen.
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Techie + Serial Entrepreneur
@gordianoverschmidt you're welcome to Gordian. I myself am both an activist and problem solver for the same reason. You have to act to change things. Hence why I created Automedi (www.automedi.co.uk). The supply-chain failures seen in global care products were predictable and also high impact. So we created a platform to plug them.
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