Thursday, 30 June 2011

How may direct democracy operate in practice?

How may direct democracy operate in practice?

In practice this means designing a new system of governance, here is an example:

The most important systemic structure in real DD is an online system rather like a forum, to which every citizen in a country has access. It is vital that no citizen is excluded from participating although in practice only a small number of people will participate and therefore they are in reality speaking for everybody.

This forum represents the will of the people in a real sense, and offers complete transparency and openness because every debate and decision is automatically logged and visible to all.

The next part of the structure is the executive, which comprises the groups of people who are organized amongst themselves presumably into social enterprises who arise when necessary and submit offers to carry out the resolutions made by the forum. These enterprises or groups are ad hoc and arise when necessary and can be disbanded when they are no longer required.

These executive groups need to be structured in a leaderless way as well as the forum, in order to overcome the power structures which inevitably arise whenever a leader or a party is put in charge. An example of a comprehensive description of how such groups can operate is outlined in the Global Enterprise Model or GEM described in John Michell’s book “The Leadership Delusion. Travels in search of a new Organizational Model for the 21st century.” (Available to read free on Scribd:

The third part of the structure is the financial system. This will necessarily be a system without interest and without debt, with a completely transparent structure. This means that every transaction however small is recorded on an online system accessible to every citizen.

One outstanding question is whether there is a need for an honest organization or team which maintains the systems and ensures their integrity. There is a danger here of this group been seen as leaders and therefore open to the abuse of power. Another danger is the illusion that people may fall under that this group is responsible and that therefore the people do not have to accept responsibility for themselves.

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