Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Problems of Indian Democracy and its ultimate solution, A Vision....

“Democracy: a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives”
Today we are facing challenges that are bigger than us: the climate crisis, the financial crisis, terrorism etc-etc. Our governments are mainly unable to cope with these new challenges. For the majority of them, they are stuck with short term decisions. They spend tax payers’ money to save failed institution.
We need to rethink our democracies
Our Occidental democracies are based on paper. Political parties are sending their program on paper. Citizens vote on paper. But paper is expensive. Paper takes time to be printed and more importantly paper are essentially a one-way communication channels.
As a result, citizens can only vote every 5 years or so. In the time in between, they have little interaction with their representatives. As our memories used to be short, they can basically do whatever except during the last 6 months before an election.
In current democracies, there are almost no interaction with citizens and with expert. Collaboration is limited.

Voting paper can’t be personalized
On top of that, paper cannot be personalized. Every single citizen, whether he is a worker or a non-worker, a youngster or an old person, get the same paper. They all have to answer the same questions. They all have to vote for the same people. And as every human, these people are good for some subjects but can’t be good for solving all the different issues we are facing as a society.
I would love that our governments ask us much more our thinking. But they can’t do it on paper. It is too expensive and they would need to spend too much time to educate the whole population to make sure they can take a good decision (look at all the debates about the European Constitution in France!).
What I want is a clever democracy. I don’t wanna be asked about what to do regarding agriculture policies (I’m not a farmer), I don’t wanna be asked about what to do to foster entrepreneurship, But, I do wanna be asked about what to do regarding education at this time, about what to do make our educational institutions more efficient(As I m a student). For the rest, I trust my fellow citizens who are more directly impacted or have time to dig into the subject.
You can’t ask to everybody their thinking about everything. But this remains unthinkable in our current democracies.
It’s not about left and right wing anymore, it’s about communities
People used to gather behind this simple paradigm: you are whether a socialist (left wing) or a liberal (right wing). But this leads to useless competition and decisions based on the politic party you support instead of your real skills to fit the job as a leader.
This means that our leaders don’t have to collaborate with the best people out there to make our society work better. They have to compete, they have to be winners and make the other lose next elections.

In a Democracy 2.0, Citizens could participate in chosen topics
From parliament members to community managers
What we need is leaders that will collaborate with people expert in their field. We need leaders who won’t pretend to be able to give answers to all subjects of our society. Tomorrow’s new leaders need be closer of their communities. They need to foster the debates, be more transparent, in one word; they need to be “Community managers”.

In a Democracy 2.0, parliament members should ask as Community Managers

Democracy 1.0 relies on paper, Democracy 2.0 will use the Internet as the new paper
Today we have a new technology at hand: The Internet. For the first time in human history, we can put together a majority of citizens through a two-way communication channel. Why not using this to build a new paradigm of democracy?
It is cheap and it allows personalisation. Citizens would be able to choose in which subjects they are mostly interested. They will not be bothered with unfamiliar topics. But they will have a lot of things to say to things which would impact them directly.
Hope, I am clear wid ma vision but still waiting a valuable comments of u all friends....

(Awantika Sen)