Thursday, 30 June 2011

Participatory versus Representative Democracy

Here is a video from the Spanish May 15th Movement outlining how they see direct or participatory democracy developing

(Below, selective text from the video)

Spanish Revolution: An explanation of what is happening and what we want.

A problem is that we as an opposition are divided and the system wants us to be divided. This is very important. We must be here; altogether, we must stick together. This is very important. Why must we do this? The real problem here is that we have right now what we call representative democracy (RD). This means that this letter D means that we already have the power because we are the people. This is something that our fathers and grandfathers achieved years ago here in Spain three decades ago. What this really means is that we already have the power. But every 4 years we decide our Representatives.

But actually what is happening now is that these guys here the representatives, are the problem. These guys, the representatives, the politicians, are the problem in our system because what they do is divide the population A and B, party A, party B or whatever you want to call it. They divide the people to rule the country.

Why is this the problem?

As you know we have our system and in this system we have representative democracy. What happens here right now is that we are having attacks from outside, economic attacks, big corporations and interest outside the frontiers of our country. The thing is that these guys here, our representatives are the reason that this public infrastructure that is our shell, our protection, our public infrastructure that we already have. And they are now jeopardizing this, and this is the problem. This is the reason why these attacks from outside work. This is very important.

So the real thing here is that we perhaps we should start a new change. We have to get rid of the politicians and start design, invent – we don’t need to invent because it has already been invented. We have to use a democracy where people participate. So we have to change from a DR to a DP (Participatory Democracy) , democracy where people participate. That’s for sure this is very difficult. But we have the power. We should decide whether we use these guys the, representatives, or not.

The thing is that 30 years ago it was very, very difficult to introduce this here, P, this was very difficult, but not right now. We have enough technology to do this. Now, we can participate. We actually can. So the movement should be together and the debate is that we have a democracy, the power is already ours. We are clear with that, so we should decide whether we use this kind of democracy R or this kind of democracy P. This is the real debate. This is the real thing. And we should not be divided because it will be very, very bad for us.

We have to change the system, because now is the moment. This is the debate. This is the real thing – R or P. What we have to do, the 15th of May movement is to introduce this debate into society. This is our work. This is what we really have to do. So we must decide if we want representative democracy which we already know and which is the cause of many problems by the representatives.

Not everyone is bad but they really cause every single problem here in our country. So this is the debate and this is our job. We have to transmit to the population that there is another option. We can change our democracy. We can think about participating in our reality in our system and we have enough technology to do that right now. We must do this. It does not matter if you belong to the right or left wing, or whatever. We all face the same problems. The thing is if we change our democracy into a participatory democracy utilizing technology or whatever the people will be more informed or we should work on that and the thing is that if we are being attacked, we will increase our protection here because these guys outside use the representatives to attack our country, the corporations and whatever. But if they want to attack our system, this is our protection. This is our key. They would have to use us and that is of course very, very difficult for them.

The thing is that some people want to attack the banks, ok. But they are private and we have power only in the public system, because it is ours. We already have a democracy and that’s what we have to work on and we have to realize we already have the power. We already have experience with representative democracy but it would be something very new this participatory democracy. So perhaps people at the beginning will find it difficult, but I think we can do it. And I would like to share this with the Internet and perhaps this information could be useful outside Spain.

That is the reason why we are doing this in English.

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