Comment 29840

By LL (registered) - website | Posted March 30, 2009 at 12:13:10

As usual, two separate things are being conflated. With any talk of "democratic reform", we must recognize that efficiency (defined as rapid procedural rule) and democratic participation exist in tension. The most "efficient" system would be a dictatorship. Real democracy, as opposed to the pseudo-democratic spectacle of elections, takes time. That's why it's realization is bound up in a simultaneous movement for a shortened workweek, living wage (or guaranteed income), and a people-oriented technology. Holistically, I think this is more efficient.

Chris: I don't like political parties. And I'm not sure why they work for municipal progressives, but it tentatively seems to be the case. Are you familiar with the Montreal Citizens' Movement? In the seventies, the MCM ousted a corrupt business-politician alliance (sound familiar?) and brought a broadly left-libertarian political alliance into power. However, while they made some worthwhile reforms, they failed at truly bringing political power to the citizens.

Ultimately, it's not the specific procedures of representation, but representation itself, that's holding democracy back. Real democracy is direct and participatory. As long term goals, let's run on the creation of binding popular assemblies in which all citizens can participate. Instead of career representatives, let's have recallable delegates that merely deliver the votes of the assemblies. Instead of amalgamation, let's demand confederation. Instead of "transparency", let's break down the wall between people and local government altogether.

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