Elections have no link with Democracy

Day 1 at 15:45

Elections have no link with Democracy
Human Rights
If we want transparency from government we have to translate the “officialese” used by government and politicians (and some academics)  into an honest and understandable language.
- Political systems are only the tools to accomplish something (monarchy, theocracy, democracy, oligarchy, .. and within those systems we can use majority voting, super majority, consensus, liquid democracy, …) but they have to be used with as much knowledge as possible of their advantages and disadvantages.
- “Electoral Representation” was never meant to be “democratic” when it was developed.  Even when we accept the broad definition of “democracy” there is little or nothing left of a democratic element in Electoral Representation of today.
- Defending “democracy” is not compatible with an extensive program that goes beyond the necessary elements for a democracy where the political powers are more in balance.  An extensive program also needs enforcement of  party discipline on the voting behavior of the elected representatives. Party discipline, in most cases not allowed by law,  is part of Particracy, a system that clearly lost his reliability in the past decade, and is on the brink of collapse.
- Possible solutions must avoid that while Particracy is loosing his grip, dictatorial systems get the opportunity to step in its place. We already observe the installation of, even not elected, technocrats on important political positions, not only in some countries but also in the EU administration (Catherine Ashton, ..) although it is at those places that electoral representation can play a justified role.

Full paper available for download :
http://goo.gl/eCPB6s
File TypeSizeFile NameCreated On
application/octet-stream 526 KB Elections have no link with democracy - ppt -part II v12012014.odp 12.01.14 16:44
Presenter
Paul Nollen
I am a retired (2004)   electrician - during my professional life I was a union representative on the work floor for about 25 years. In 1998 I became politically involved in a new political party, Vivant, who had 3 main program points. Direct democracy, basic income and a shift of taxes from work to consumption.

In the 1999 national elections we got 2.1 % of the votes for the Chamber of  Representatives, but no seats and as a result, no public funding. Nevertheless this was a reasonable result for a first time participation in elections. The immediate reaction of the politicians was a change in the election law that introduced a 5% threshold for the first seat. The rest is history, Vivant did not survived politically on national level (they still have two seats at local level in the eastern cantons).

I became an active member of BIEN and USBIG in support of basic income and of Democracy.nu (now) , Democracy International and E2D in support of direct democracy. The movement for a tax reform towards a consumption tax in replacement of tax on labor is still active in the US and has, for the moment, 73 co sponsors in the US house of representatives ( the fairtax movement proposes also a very small basic income but for publicity reasons it is named a “tax prebate” )

I became a member of the Belgian Pirates when they agreed to perform “liquid democracy” experiments if we had chosen representatives in the local communal elections.
Second Presenter
Alexander Zenon
I met Paul on the Internet when I was working in the US. Before coming back to Belgium I attended the “Global Forum on Direct Democracy” in august 2010 in California. I am working as a researcher in neuroscience at the UCL. I am also a member of the Belgian Pirates. I developed a platform for liquid democracy, which was used locally by the Brussels pirates. I am now working on web solutions for open, efficient and comprehensive political debate.

The goal of this paper is to present some elements about democracy in order to start up discussion about our definition of “Democracy”. We will try to give a little historical background, some information about democracy today in the world and about the current projects we know that are attempting to move democracy forward.

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