More Directly Democratic systems like this website are part of the revolution, but only if they are implemented in a way which allows them to gain widespread acceptance and legitimacy, therefore a hybrid Direct/Representative Democratic system is needed.

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Websites that can enable individuals or collaborating groups to directly propose legislation or to enable easier transaction between Citizens and Elected Parliamentarians, are an example of technology with revolutionary potential. This type of system can be used to increase the level of democratic participation by the population and is compatible with Direct Democracy Systems, but also with models which involve Representative Democracy. Our current representatives could be directly informed and instructed by our decisions here, for example. I believe that the system which will more likely resonate with people in the UK right now would be geared more towards instructing our MP's on what our expectations are than on replacing them altogether. Such a Representative/Internet hybrid system may be the first step toward a more Direct Democracy and should be considered if the concept of directly proposing motions doesn't seem to be widely popular. I have been gradually coming to the conclusion that to get to the point where a system such as this is accepted by a majority, that first we need to demonstrate how the internet COULD allow us to have direct input into the law making proccess, by enabling people to demonstrate to their MP's how the majority of their constituents want them to vote and then keeping tabs on whether they ACTUALLY represent their constituents views or not. An online public reputation for each MP could therefore be crowdsourced. This kind of half-way step to direct democracy seems needed by me, especially when I have talked to friends and colleauges about Demarchy, Sortition and Athenian Democracy. Vote to Support if you think I am right about the need for a hybrid system.

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It would provide much needed balance to our current system.
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Rome wasn't built in a day: sometimes you have to make short-term concessions to get long-term gains.
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Carl Peters

I think you're bang on here. Clearly in the immediate term we have no power to abolish representative democracy regardless of whether or not that would be a good idea. A hybrid system where an online direct democratic platform such as this compliments the existing system is what we should be working towards. What we really need a 3rd virtual Chamber, oh hang on a minute.....

3 year(s) ago
sudo

We definitley need a "3rd virtual Chamber", but the form it takes will decide whether it ever gains some kind of offical poltical clout or status in excess of the general influence that internet comments have on political debate. This website's basic structure and premise is not that different from Facebook or Twitter in that popular posts that are shared widely might influence those that actually hold office and allow us to debate, but these act essentially like other polls of public opinion or other forums. So we already have polls and communication structures. Many, many websites allow us to put forward a premise in a political context and recieve upvotes etc. This website of course improves on the basic structure by adding the ability to vote against, to indicate abstention and to present arguments back and forth and freely comment. It also has some basic way to organise motions with tags. What am suggesting is that, in its present form, this structure is insufficient to actually constitute a public forum that will ever recieve enough public recognition as a legitmate political structure for the public to demand that it is officially recognised as regulatory body. The makers of the website may not actually be aiming for that of course, and may be just trying to bring us a great way to conduct popular politics outside the system. For that purpose this website is GREAT, well done! Maybe they think that, if enough people come on here that it's influence on politicians is as far as they would like it's influence to extend. I would like to go further and speak about how we use something like this sytem as a recognised part of our political system. I think the way to do it, might be to firstly connect our outcomes to MP's reputations and actually MEASURE our influence. The motions that we vote on could be the actual bills through Parliament. Our votes could be sorted by constituency so that over time, we build a picture of how the votes of MP's compare with the wishes of a majority of their constituents, i.e. we see how representative they actually are of majority public opnion. This would create two basic outcomes I think. Firstly, we could maybe influence MP's to vote more how we want them to and secondly, we would see the extent to which we are actually being represented and therefore the failures of Representative Democracy. A system that could do that would be a demonstration of the public, comming together on a digital platform, debating, maybe even with tools to facilitate discussion, such as "loomio" which is another website, voting and then seeing if we are ignored. That would be a powerful testament to the legitamacy of a virtual 3rd chamber. So that is the kind of thing am talking about when I say a "hybrid" system is needed. Not a forum outside the official process, but something which is clearly acting on the officially recognised process. Websites such as "Mysociety" already provide a way for us to track our MP's level of so-called" rebelliousness toward their politcal party, i.e. how often they tow the party line, so it's not a huge stretch of the imagination to think that we could measure how often they rebel against US, on a individual basis. The ability for us to directly propose motions via the internet that will be offically debated, I think, will develop from there. If this website fills to the brim with motions, some good, some crazy, then it could just become a mass echo chamber, which can be ignored as easily as Facebook or Twitter et al.

3 year(s) ago
sudo

Damn! I didn't realise there is a limit to comment length! That last comment is only a third of what I wanted to say. Will come back later and finish it off. There should be a warning!

3 year(s) ago
Jim King

That keeps tripping me up as well Sudo, you start to make your case and lay out wht you think and them half of it is lost when you post.

Mention it to the admins, we need someway of knowing what the limit is, a word count or a physical stop to the comment box.

3 year(s) ago
Harry Gwynne 

Apologies to you both, I know how annoying that can be. Please bear with us, it's very early days for us and we're working on getting it fixed at the moment.

3 year(s) ago
Jim King

Well as you ask so nicely we will hold off a week or so before we get the whips out and start cracking them :)

Seriously though I know what its like and its much better to get it right steadily than try to bodge things and make a bigger mess.

3 year(s) ago
Hoz

I am sure Harry and Team will be on top of it in no time at all.

3 year(s) ago
Jim King

Aha, longer posts seem to be appearing, looks like they were not cut off just hidden.

Thank you kindly Harry.

3 year(s) ago
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