How to build democracy 2.0

By | 04/10/2014

Also available in : French

We have on one hand an old world, based on the values ​​of the past, and which refuses to move-on. And on another hand a dynamic new world, enterprising, but badly abused by the former.

In politics, the old world is called representative democracy. Everyone knows its major flaw: what people need to say to get elected has nothing to do with what it takes to really govern a country. Only the arrogant, autistic, idiots do not know it, or pretend to ignore it, and stupidly rigorously make their “program.” They like to be in politics, but not so much to govern a country. That’s why many of them prefer to be in the opposition: they can protest, do “politics”, handle ideas; while being in command may prove the ineffectiveness of their ideas.

In politics, the new world is called participatory democracy. This is a fundamental shift that is seen in many other areas: citizens, consumers, students no longer want to receive or consume passively; they want to participate, be active, co-create. The Internet is full of such initiatives.

Let us dream a little, and let’s imagine for a moment what it is to be a real mayor 2.0. The first reaction would be, as does the city of Paris, to make a “participatory” budget. Yes, but no: it’s still the policies that decide which projects. Clearly, they retain control, and the citizens can only vote as they vote when watching TV to find out what is the best singer. This is absolutely not 2.0

Here is what could be the first decisions of a true 2.0 politician:

  • Division by 2 of the taxes
  • Reserve 10 to 15% of the amount for the projects which would be his/her footprint
  • Set-up a crowdfunding platform onto which any citizen, association, could propose a project, and ask for financing
  • Other citizens would give money for their favourite projects.
  • Contribute the same amount: if a citizen gives some money, the politics would attribute the same amount, taken from the budget, up to a certain level.
  • Only projects who collect all their money would be realised, as it is in some crowdfunding platforms.
  • Why not lower taxes the year after, if it works, until an equilibrium is found.

The advantages of this approach would be the following:

  • Less demagogy: politician would no longer feel obliged to tell programs just to be elected, because program are proposed by the citizens.
  • Dynamic citizens would emerge as “leader 2.0”: it is well known that it is not the platfrom that create the success of a funding, it is the energy of the project leader; the platform is only here to amplify this energy.
  • A better harmonious life for citizens: because it is “their projects”.
  • Better quality owing to competition: bad projects would not get their funding. It is important to remember that giving money is higher in information value than just voting.

Whatever politicians decide, citizens will do it; and even quicker than one could think. The risk being, of course, that citizen suddenly wonder why do they pay twice : their tax, and the project they invest ine; which could leed to just stop paying taxes…

Now, let us detect who are the politicians who are setting up such platforms. Only them are true politician 2.0



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