Hi .. I’ve recently been inspired by Satich Kumar (Resurgence Magazine) saying, “Public opinion is the largest superpower on the planet but as of yet it is largely uncoordinated” and many other leading speaker who say that the solution to many of our problems lie in direct democracy, starting at the most local level.
In the UK, if we look at who is responsible for democracy within communities, we find 9764 parish/community councils, most of which have little or no dialogue with residents and to quote their own words, “most of our decisions are based on guesswork!”
What an incredible paradox that is considering we have so many methods of communication available to us and more on the way including digital TV arriving imminently.
And then we’re seeing literally millions of people voting each week for the purpose of entertainment on X Factor and similar shows. So we know people want to vote and enjoy voting as long as they feel engaged and empowered by the process.
So it seems the hard work is already done… that of getting a voting device into almost everybody on the planet’s pocket in the form of a mobile phone. All we need now is some authentic empowerment or democratically focused software to run on our existing communications infrastructure (that we have almost destroyed the earth to create) that we all buy into as a human species. Then we can get down to the real business of engaging conveniently in sustainable collective coordinated action and setting “trigger levels” (or tipping points) for all the actions we want to see.
This is what we at “LocalEyes” http://www.localeyes.org (a comprehensive local social network) have been working on for 6 years now and it’s called The Voice. The Voice is a nationwide infrastructure for any social or geographic group to engage their members/residents/students/staff/customers etc. in decision making processes.
The process goes a bit like this:
1. creating themes for the consultation, 2. calling for ideas under the themes, 3. debating the ideas in text, image and video format, 4. rating the ideas 5. taking the best ideas through to voting and determining the necessary commitment, 6. publishing results, 7, logging action points materialising.
Public events can be held where people engage using laptops, a projector, video, and mobile. Its “Ask the Audience” grounded into the local village hall.
We’re piloting The Voice with funding from the Ministry of Justice under a project called “Building Democracy” so please, if you think you might be able to run a pilot in your social group, council, business, community, school, environmental network, WI, church etc … please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07971 219 848.
All the best to all you democratic advocates