The second public session of Open Source Governance held at Showroom MAMA on 19 February 2017, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Intro music: Unanswered Questions by Kevin MacLeod. licensed under Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)
The following text unfolds the session by a timely order.
It should be a universal platform that should be presented with a basic list of must-read and must-watch to engage more people. Starting with small core groups to develop the software, then moving on to commitment-free annual events and lastly “peer-making” through the journey.
Iceland bankruptcy case
– Controversy of ICESAVE
Icesave got bankrupt to the point that there was no money left even for small ATM transactions. Amidst economic crisis, government usually supports the bank, but in this case, after a referendum, the government did not. The economy fell and GDP dropped to zero. To worsen the situation, the Prime Minister’s name was in the Panama Papers for having offshore bank accounts.
– Emergence of the Pirate Party:
During these hopeless times Pirate party came into the spotlight. They became the voice of the people, acting as alternative for increased access to democracy. The good part being that if they did not do well, they were easily replaceable.
– Transition Town:
Iceland is dependent on Nature and Neighbours. The very little population relies on fishing, crops and farming. They had a liberal party and socialist groups, both of which demanded decentralisation of administrative authority. The only difference was that the socialist groups sought government support while the liberals did not.
Direct Democracy Lacks Respect for Minority Opinion:
When a majority of the people sign a Referendum, the government has to abide by the decision of the majority. But what about the minority? Who will protect and respect the rights of minority?
AAM ADMI Party in India:
The Aaam Aadmi (common man) Party bearing the electoral symbol of broom was established with the idea of sweeping away corruption from India. The characteristic that distinguished them from status quo was transparent funding. The founder of the party first captured the sentiments of Calcutta city while later becoming the Chief Minister of New Delhi.
Updating Blueprint of Representative System:
The blueprint of representative democracy shall be updated with all the contemporary features and notions of the date while making a better use of the internet.
FOSDEM – Free & Open Source Software Developers European Meeting:
Inclusive of about 8000 people, with free entrance, this meeting was based on:
1. Technical Talks
3. Control over Networking
4. Diverse Issues in Technology
In India, when it comes to political representation, people trust a person from their own community or tribe more as compared to a foreign person. The foreign person is least likely to understand what they’re going through. It is all about “Capturing the Sentiment”. This helps us conclude that engagement and political influence works differently in Asian countries.
Referendums only Have Advisory Value:
Referendums usually fail. They have no legal binding, but are only of advisory value unless more than 80% of the people vote. Australians wanted to remove the Queen, for instance, but the question of the referendum was so manipulative that people could not vote for a “YES”. Also, they are a burdensome public expense.
Solution to a Complex Referendum:
The information in the referendum shall be coherent. There should be proper guidelines regarding when it is right to issue a referendum and who is liable to vote, as not everyone is politically aware.
Conducting Online Referendum:
Conducting the referendum and broadcasting related information online is also a good option. This would encourage youth to actively participate while cutting down the costs associated with traditional referendums.
David Van Reybrouk – Lottery:
The idea of elections came after the French Revolution via Lottery. It was done by the elites, for the elites, to make sure the elites remain in power, because there was fear of the non-elite (poor) getting control. Thus, Van Reybrouk advocates against elections as it is not just about votes, but the people’s voice.
What is a Good system?
1. Legislation in the form of Jury Duty or compulsory involvement.
2. Parties act as delegates and not for individual interests
3. City Hall Meetings. They bring forward the issues for everyone first-handed and in a more tangible and realistic manner. Also people restrict themselves from saying offensive things in person, compared to online debates.
Remain Unbiased on the Internet – Save the Internet movement:
There was free internet in India, but only six sites were accessible including Facebook. This caused a lot of political disturbance as people had access to the medium where they could talk about the politicians openly, giving rise to “Save the Internet Movement”. The government decided to remove Facebook from its list of free sites. To make sure that does not happen, Facebook used click baits with the title “Save India”. It was a masked vote for Facebook, on which majority clicked. This was a clear case of misrepresentation by a giant corporation. People should know their options clearly so that corporations do not manipulate them.
Final Round of discussion: