Recovering Democracy?

We are currently undergoing a promissing period of change, or at least, so it seems.

There had been in the recent months, demonstrations in several parts of the world, in which, people gathered spontaneously in iconic public spaces, to send Governments a new message: “Not this way anymore”.

However I believe we need to stop and consider some essential issues before moving forward:

  • Actual present situation: 

There’s a belief that the struggle is to regain a “true democracy”. This could or couldn’t be accurate, depending on what we call “Democracy”. If by Democracy we define a method by which people once a while express their preference by voting, and the outcome is the resulting government and opposition, then yes, we live in democratic states. But if we are more on the side that Democracy means Institutions running, and balance of power, inexistence of corruption, we must  then admit, we are far from this idealistic situation.

The exercise of power, we must accept, has slightly varied along the last ….. two thousand years. Well, yes, nowadays the system is much more sophisticated, but not more people based. Can you name countries and states, that you could say live under a “true democracy”, in the terms defined in the previous paragraph?

We should then be aware of this new status, that the real task to undertake is CREATION a democratic way of social governance, and not just doing adjustments.
  • Representativeness: 

This has been a topic since long ago. Politicians of any party being persuaded, stressed, tempted or even forced to legislate and govern more in representation of economic powers than in people’s, is a common picture. However, on one hand, the system eludes to accept the fact that 30% of citizen don’t vote as a symptom of rejection to politicians, and spreads the belief that it is more due to apathy and/or lack of interest. On the other hand, the rest of people, keep on voting under the self-explanatory relief  that it’s the way to account for their own duty with Society.

  • Accountability:
There’s a missing link in the whole story, which is, how can citizens revoke any members of any government, by other means than just the long term punishment of not voting them in the next election. This is required as a matter of URGENCY,  to prevent many vices that are so well known to all of us: corruption, application of policies that were not in the programme, 180º turns in the middle of a government period, and so on….
  • Structure:

Many aspects of our lives are changing thanks to the development of technology: commerce, work, travel, art, finance, medicine, R&D are being deeply influenced by the speed and scale that technology is imprinting to almost every human activity.

Although “power to the people”, has been an all-time claim, government in hands of people (i.e.: Direct Democracy) should have been virtually impossible to conceive and to carry out, throughout the history of Mankind.

Physical facts prevented this from happening: citizens live in territories, to make decisions they would need to meet in one single place, or at least, a system should be developed to create debate and allow every person to issue an opinion in order to determine the course of action. Like in a business company, the solution found was to entitle a few people to represent the interests of society.

But at this point, we need to clarify a significant difference in this parallelism: if a country, state or city are to be compared to a private company, citizens should stand for the “shareholders” and not for the “employees” in the orgchart. We simply just CANNOT GET CONFUSED ABOUT THESE CONCEPTS.

Through connectivity, social media, speed and scale, awareness of people potential strength and the possibility of designing social strategies without participation of political parties, technology is opening a vast field right before our eyes. It has already done so, in other aspects of our lives.

Maybe it’s time to integrate technology into politics and society governance.

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