Ideas 1 Conversational democracy
- seventy- seven per cent people felt “disconnected” from councillors and MPs by seventy-nine per cent.
complained that their MPs came from a different world – an alien planet - and people said this a lot
people complain they are not connected to politicians people don't really trust or respect politicians but tend to think much better of them if they've actually met them
And the qualities people want in politicians seem to be things like empathy, listening, respect communicating and being “like us”
and what they want from politicians is a genuine two-way, ongoing conversation
“Citizens of a mature democracy want to be part of an ongoing conversation”
Straightforward implication for the use of social media in that things like twitter and facebook allow policians to express themselves as people - this doesn't have to be always about politics eg cllr tim
but any presence in these spaces might help people to respect politicians
Ideas 2 Deliberative democracy
If my opinion is 1 in 10 million - plus all the other imbalances such as don't being able to afford to employ a professional lobbyist for £5000 / day - then it doesn't make any sense at all to bother to think very much about any issue because it doesn't matter what I think.
So, people then tend to have “off the top of the head” opinions about everything, including who to vote for, and these opinions are manipulated by the persuasion industry.
But when small groups of people who are representative of the population as a whole are brought together along with enough information to make up their own minds about an issue rather than rely in the persuasion industry, they tend to come up with very different decisions to the ones that the population at large would claim to support
this result is “counter factual” - if you survey the population they would say one thing, and that is their real opinion, but in fact their real opinion is something else
the problem with this is how to scale it up - author proposes “democracy day” before every election, in which people are paid to attend deliberative meetings
Will that happen?
How about using the internet?
Internet debates are notoriously angry and ignorant.
But the scale problem might be different if power is at a local level - how big is a ward?
And if councillors try and educate debate and conversation wherever they find it - either in the pub or facebook
conversational democracy paper the bloke says that the widest type of political participation is talking about politics
- should councillors try and widen that debate - represent all views- so Labour councillors duty is to represent a conservative point of view when necessary
help to supply deeper information,
help to make sure everyone gets heard
Paul Romer - rules are a kind of technology
So eg the most important tecchnology for runing a social media surgery is not facebook, or even wifi, its the idea of running a social media surgery and the “recipe” that explains how to do it,
and that technology is open source - anyone can read the blog post and copy it.
And it doesn't become worn out no matter how many people read it
Localopolis - Dave Mckenna
How can we redesign the technology of local democracy, that is to say the rules by which it is done?
so for example - local elections aren't a proper mandate - no one turns out - so instead of having elections, just ask for volunteers, and everyone who volunteers takes part
so 50 or 60 people from each ward volunteer and they become the management committee for the ward
put structures in place to make sure they educate themselves in deliberative style
arrange exchanges with other parts of Kirklees so that everyone is aware of problems of all parts of the area - good model from ancient athens
these people decide everything
How is that worse than what happens now?
might be, might not be
point is that it's experimenting - being creative with the rules - like developing new technology - rapid prototyping of political systems
[other thing about Localopilis is that it asks whether local areas have any meaningful power at all, and shouldn't we just scrap local government and have everything decided centrally]