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.....
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I am sure Harry and Team will be on top of it in no time at all.
Aha, longer posts seem to be appearing, looks like they were not cut off just hidden.
Thank you kindly Harry.