The way back for Representative Government is to revitalize the citizen’s power and the role of citizenship.
Make citizenship count for something other than consumerism. Give the citizen a bit of responsibility for his own governance. Practices like gerrymandering, election-law complications, the revolving-door and others are interfering with the citizen’s role. These may have seemed to benefit short-term goals. But at a long-term cost.
The Chagora solution, as is often the case, came about by stumbling across the right question, not the right answer. The answer was easy.
In this case, finding a FIXABLE “why.”·
The FIXABLE “why” is: Why won’t the politicians listen?·
The FIXABLE “because” is: Because lines of true power are lost, blocked and/or impeded.
Examining both the conditions under which the Public Square originally arose and how those may be translated so as to now create a vital Online Public Square one comes to the conclusion that there are two requirements:
A. Viable “Money/Speech”
When the Supreme Court struck down certain legislative limitations on Campaign Finance Reform based on the concept that there is some equivalence between money and speech they are correct as regrettable as that may seem. Speech is very broad. It’s everything from a question, to a contribution… to a kick in the pants. And you know that where groups are smaller we find easier lines of communication between followers and leaders.
Political MicroDonation (under $1) refers to a potential for viable and frequent Money/Speech. It’s the capability to securely and near effortlessly contribute to legal candidates, causes (taxable to giver) and charities (tax free to giver) in ANY legal amount. In a sense so you can throw a quarter at a candidate as easily and painlessly as you could run into him or her on the street and give ‘em a piece of your mind when we lived in smaller communities.
This is a partial compensation for the loss of proximity which was essential in the development and sustainabiltiy of effective representative government.
The MicroDonation capability is an essential Proximity Substitute.
It’s especially necessary for interest group lobbying and for opening up opportunities for new candidates and ideas from the grassroots.
It’s the Power of Small Money, Large Numbers & Immediate Feedback. And it’s a fundamental requirement for political speech in scaling representiation.
B. Electoral/Geographic Networking Facilitators
We’re all getting fairly familiar with the whole new world of social networking! It’s a great thing… whether you’re a skateboarder, a musician, a religious follower or a nudist… you can find your group.Facilitating attractive and secure ways for you to connect with neighbors within each of the multiplicity of electoral districts to which you belong is essential for a viable Online Public Square.
It is also essential to provide tools to assist citizens, candidates and groups within local communities who can then sustain themselves with local support?
The self-government ethic, like charity, really DOES begin at home. And the breakdown on this level permeates up through the system. Effective local systems of opinion, power and motivation are REQUIREMENTS for good system operation on broader levels.
This is a compensation for the changes in scale which have limited effective citizen participation on the local level.
The Electoral/Geographic Social Networking Capability is an essential Localization Facilitator.