Friday, January 10, 2014

[IntDPD Debate] What economic system is the most compatible with Direct / Participative Democracy ?

1 Joám Evans Pim (Partido da Terra)  (Galiza)
"Direct and participatory democracy are not the same thing. The concept of direct democracy in the US (simply having referendums, initiatives and recall in the context of parliamentarism) is also different from a more literal meaning. Therefore, it is difficult to reply.
But, the best economic system for a direct democracy would be the system that the assembly of citizens decides :-)
In my personal view, Gandhian Economics of self-sufficiency would be the most connected with the logic of self-government of small sovereign assemblies, but that is certainly not the only option.
Here is an explanation of why (Google translate
from Portuguese):"

2 David Ding ( Thrive NZ (New Zealand)
"In context of the people being empowered to co-create society together, it ultimately means they are able to remove the obstacles and barriers preventing them from Thriving, the economic system is probably the greatest obstacle modern society faces at this time.
For a society whose singularity of purpose is to Thrive, the success of government can be viewed as how efficiently and effectively people can access the things they need and want in order to Thrive. In this context fiat currency can no longer exist as it creates gross imbalance between the value of goods and services available in a nation vs. what is available in the money supply that can be spent and is not servicing debt. So for money to perform its role in facilitating the exchange of goods and services effectively we must remove incentives for anyone to hoard it and ensure it is not viewed as a commodity independent of the goods and services it was designed to facilitate the trade of. As we all know people don’t need a piece of paper with numbers printed on it in order to Thrive and idle money sitting in a bank earning interest cannot being spent in the economy producing the things that people need and want.
In order to remove the debt based model it is also critical for a nation reclaim sovereignty over their own currency. For example any government that relies on the IMF or similar to increase their money supply is creating huge dependency with massive levels of debt and interest to repay by tax payers/profits from state owned enterprises etc. The IMF know that any nation that chooses to claim sovereignty over their currency can’t print billions of dollars to repay the immense levels of debt due to the inflationary impact of flooding the market with their currency which gives them immense power. So for a nation to release themselves from this dependency they must consider debt relief as an option. In return they will be free of the onerous expectations of the IMF who are heavily involved in the direction of many nations in the world. A private company having the power to print money when a government cannot makes no sense I’m sure you will agree.
Once a nation has relieved themselves from debt they can then print money and spend it into the economy in multiple different ways that will keep inflation in check as long as they maintain a balance between the amount of spendable money available in the money supply vs the value of goods and services available. The immense benefit here is that when the government invests money in developing industries that produce goods and services, the economy grows, it creates more jobs, there is more money in the money supply being spent stimulating economic activity and of course more goods and services are produced. This model mirrors the evolutionary process of a thriving species found in nature. (Everything Thrive New Zealand is presenting is aligned with Natural Law by the way.)
This is obviously a massive topic and there are other necessary adjustments that must be made, including complementary currencies and the development of a balanced constitution/bill of rights. Our party – Thrive New Zealand is developing proposed policy and implementation of this model as we speak and will gladly share it with any international political parties that are similarly aligned. We are also working on a new written constitution that we are floating to the people of NZ and inviting them to contribute towards to ensure it is of the people and for the people. It is our goal for this to be run alongside Common Law."

3. Rui Martins ( +D = Mais Democracia (Portugal)
"In my view, in a truly and real participatory democracy (or "Democracy 2.0") the economy must have also participatory aspects.
Without that, the democracy will never be complete and full, and the overwhelming power of the ruling 1% will supersede the democratic power, as we can observe today in most of the western countries of the world.
There are many ways to close this circle:
1. Develop self-management tools and procedures, like those already running enterprise like Mondragon (Basque Country) or several cooperative enterprises (USA).
2. Research, develop and implement the concepts of Participatory economics (Parecon).
Those 2 ways, together with a focus on Local Economies and Local Currencies, in the models of the economist E. F. Schumacher and currently promoted by the E. F. Schumacher Society, can be a strong and essential support for a complete Participatory Democracy.

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?"