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The Great Direct Democracy Experiment
Posted by: RoyDaine (IP Logged)
Date: January 20, 2008 04:48AM

Hi All,

Recently I announced the relaunch of myverdict.net and that we had been asked to use the site as a trial for Fred Gohlke's 'Active Democracy' system of selecting candidates for office.

I also mentioned that I would be asking for your help.

First a little background, to show that the 'Active Democracy' trial, need not be as far away as some might think.

An example

The ward in which I reside, had an election in May 2007. It was contested by 6 candidates.

Out of an electorate of 9,064, voter turnout was 2,444.

The winning candidate took 1,169 votes and the candidate with the lowest number of votes took 50 votes.

No candidate stood as an independant.

I suggest that minimal publicity, may create enough awareness to trial the 'Active Democracy' process.

I believe similar figures might pertain in numerous areas across the world.
Remember, it is not necessary to win an election to prove the process works and the fact that it has been tried, will in itself be a newsworthy story that will further spread the word.

Ask yourselves - could your network of contacts generate 50 people?

As a first step, myverdict.net is asking people to register an interest in 'The Great Experiment'.
I'm asking you all here to participate by registering your interest and encourage all your contacts to do likewise.

Publicity is essential to let people know of the 'experiment'.
One of the things I have done, is to ask my local councillors to respond to a mini-questionnaire. As my representatives, they should be duty bound to respond to questions from their constituents. I have so far had 2 replies out of 65.(No replies is as newsworthy as the replies themselves).

I intend to use the replies in the near future, to try and gain some free publicity in the local press or on local talk radio.

I reproduce the text of the questionnaire below and ask you to copy and email it to your own representatives.

I would then ask that you post those replies or mention the lack of them in the relevant article sections at myverdict.net

The replies to my questionnaire can be found via

myverdict.net - United Kingdom - England - Merseyside - Sefton - articles

Text of mini-questionnaire

As a resident of Sefton, I am writing to all Sefton councillors, in the hope that you will all respond to a few questions regarding your thoughts on direct democracy.

I will publish responses or otherwise, completely unedited, in the Sefton section of myverdict.net and allow users to post comments.

For the purposes of this 'interview', I will give a general description of what I consider to be direct democracy. I realise of course, that direct democracy can mean different things to different people and I am not suggesting that this definition is the only or ideal model. It will however give a basis for discussion.
In addition, this interview does not imply that there is anything wrong with the present system of local government. It is merely an exploration of ideas.

Direct democracy implies that the constituents of a given community have the opportunity to fully participate in the formulation of policy and in the formulation and enactment of the laws that bind them. It implies an acceptance of the responsibity for the consequences of said policy and laws.

Question 1.

Would you agree that the present system of local government, consists of electing councillors, who then have the power to make decisions on behalf of their constituents.

Question 2.

Would you agree that, notwithstanding previous experience, election to office, does not of itself, confer any extra ability in leadership, decision-making etc on the person elected.

Question 3.

Practical details aside, have you any objection to the idea that all constituents should be able to partake in the formulation of policy and lawmaking.

Question 4.

Can you give us your thoughts on direct democracy in general, be it this or any other model.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope you can also find the time to respond.

Obviously, you'll have to replace 'Sefton' with whatever constituency is relevant.

You will see that the questions are not at all controversial. The idea is to get a response, which can then be used for publicity. eg 'See what your local councillors think' or 'Local councillors ignore constituents'.

Any community, anywhere, that registers a suitable number of interested participants can then be focussed upon and myverdict.net will provide whatever type of platform they require, in order that they might trial the process.

I'm hoping you're all prepared to help with the Great Direct Democracy Experiment.

Best Regards

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Subject Views Written By Posted
  The Great Direct Democracy Experiment 845 RoyDaine 01/20/2008 04:48AM
  Re: The Great Direct Democracy Experiment 457 BrEggum 03/10/2008 12:02AM

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