Representative versus Participatory Democracy in Canada: Role of Citizen Activism

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Protrucio Protrucio's picture

First Mussolini then Hitler then Stalin....all in the name of social democracy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnH1cUbjq8E Or am I wrong. Not that the covert systems of capitalist economic states are much better but what  are the viable alternatives?

Epaulo 13 has suggested some alternatives. Are small democratically organized groups powerful enough to provide  viable alternatives to state run systems? In my opinion who ever controls the armies....the military powers.... has control over everthing......although the fall of the Berlin wall is possibly a counterthesis to this. Anyway have a look at this documentary about Stalin. Why is socialism associated with Moaist China, Stalinist Russia and..........anyawy for what it's worth http://intercontinentalcry.org/san-juan-copala-under-paramilitary-contro...

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Raj Patel's book, The Value of Nothing, makes an argument for participatory democracy based on peasant movements.

Any movement that seeks to harness the for workers the the methods of industrial capitalism is doomed to failure as industrialism is, ultimately, anti-human and anti-life.

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Thank you "Frustrated Mess; The Common Wealth Club has an hour long presentaion with Raj Patel on Fora.tv. He has worked for the World Bank and been tear gased for protesting against the world's banking establishment.He's got a Masters degree from the London School of Economics I think and a PHD from an American University.  http://fora.tv/2010/01/06/Raj_Patel_The_Value_of_Nothing

Michael Allan Michael Allan's picture

Protrucio wrote:

... Apparently dictators have often created the illusion of a participatory democracy by means of the plebecite. My question is ...

Sorry, but you are not permitted to ask questions! This is a plebiscite. In a plebiscite, the questions are pre-chosen for you!

Seriously, we can't tar participatory democracy with that brush. It's unfair. There are other methods of voting/questioning aside from plebiscites/referenda, and they do allow full, meaningful participation.

You asked if Facebook is grassroots and I couldn't answer, at the time. But now I can explain why I think Babble is grassroots. Babble has no structure or formal rules, aside from a kind of communicative structure (person to person). Like most online forums, it's all about discussion that's free and open. It lets you respond to what someone else is saying in a pointed manner, so it's immediately challenging. The grassroots is like that too, I believe. (And so is a participatory democracy. But not a plebescite! It's the opposite.)

Edited to add: Besides, the reliance on plebiscites is what characterises not participatory democracy, but representative democracy in its mass incarnations, what Weber called "plebiscitarian democracy":

Max Weber wrote:

... It is decisive that this whole apparatus of people [the party] - characteristically called a 'machine' in Anglo-Saxon countries - or rather those who direct the machine, keep the members of the parliament in check. They are in a position to impose their will to a rather far-reaching extent, and that is of special significance for the selection of the party leader. The man whom the machine follows now becomes the leader, even over the head of the parliamentary party. In other words, the creation of such machines signifies the advent of plebiscitarian democracy.

http://www.ne.jp/asahi/moriyuki/abukuma/weber/lecture/politics_vocation....

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..to understand the socialism i am looking for it is easier for me to frame it in participatory democracy. if participatory democracy is decentralized power to the grassroots then my socialism should compliment that. if it does not then, in a similar fasion to what is being stated by UNETE in post #32, change would need to continue.  

quote 32:
"UNETE praises the Venezuelan state for making many well-conceived efforts to guarantee food security, bring strategic industries under national control, and put a halt to speculation in financial markets, but says these efforts have been damaged by “bureaucratism, indolence, and corruption of functionaries who act like a fifth column... in the entire structure of a bourgeois state that refuses to die."

*edited quote for clarity

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Perhaps surprisingly Israel's Department of Foreign Affairs is offering some grassroots management training. http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Mashav – International Development/Publications/2000/Grassroots. I am trying to figure out if grassroots organizations work best without any management.....if management means the few controlling the many. I'll look into the Venezuelan exmple.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

My apologies for not reading this whole thread carefully enough ... maybe a link has already been provided and I missed it ... anyway, a recent issue of Monthly Review goes over this concept of (primitive) representative democracy versus participatory democracy.

See the thread over here (where I perhaps rough up Fidel too much but the links are good anyway) 21st Century Socialism and Latin America

or. ... a direct link to the issue is over here ... Monthly Review SEE Some Features of 21st Century Socialism

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

..to understand the socialism i am looking for it is easier for me to frame it in participatory democracy. if participatory democracy is decentralized power to the grassroots then my socialism should compliment that. if it does not then, in a similar fasion to what is being stated by UNETE in post #32, change would need to continue.  

quote 32:
"UNETE praises the Venezuelan state for making many well-conceived efforts to guarantee food security, bring strategic industries under national control, and put a halt to speculation in financial markets, but says these efforts have been damaged by “bureaucratism, indolence, and corruption of functionaries who act like a fifth column... in the entire structure of a bourgeois state that refuses to die."

*edited quote for clarity

What presents the greatest threat to Venzuela is the state itself. The state is necessarily top down and carries with it the institutions and apparatus to quickly revert to the pre-Chavez era. Aristide, in Haiti, dismissed the military but retained all other state institutions leaving himself and his government unprotected when they came for him. If "democracy" is an abstract manifested in the state, then it is both phony and weak. Democracy must be an expression and an act of the people.

 

 

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Noam Chomsky:

             http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk8pxyAWTBk

Michael Parenti:

                http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6573660441809242121&

                q=Michael+Parenti#

John Pilger:

           http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=746557429802139093&q=John+Pilger...

Hugo Chavez:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI0_VzFxTzs

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Frustrated Mess wrote:
What presents the greatest threat to Venzuela is the state itself. The state is necessarily top down and carries with it the institutions and apparatus to quickly revert to the pre-Chavez era. Aristide, in Haiti, dismissed the military but retained all other state institutions leaving himself and his government unprotected when they came for him. If "democracy" is an abstract manifested in the state, then it is both phony and weak. Democracy must be an expression and an act of the people.

Anyone who is sympathetic to deeper democracy than capitalism can deliver in Latin America knows all about how a democratically elected Marxist government in Chile was overthrown by the military, with Yanqui planning and help, and replaced by a violent, fascist dictatorship. Chavez in Venezuela talks about "a peaceful armed transition" to socialism and you can bet your ass that the necessity of the "armed" part was learned about and paid for in Chilean blood.

When the state protects the revolutionary changes, is it your friend or your enemy?

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Michael Lebowitz  THE SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE :  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7587022246583203178#

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

N.Beltov wrote:

Frustrated Mess wrote:
What presents the greatest threat to Venzuela is the state itself. The state is necessarily top down and carries with it the institutions and apparatus to quickly revert to the pre-Chavez era. Aristide, in Haiti, dismissed the military but retained all other state institutions leaving himself and his government unprotected when they came for him. If "democracy" is an abstract manifested in the state, then it is both phony and weak. Democracy must be an expression and an act of the people.

Anyone who is sympathetic to deeper democracy than capitalism can deliver in Latin America knows all about how a democratically elected Marxist government in Chile was overthrown by the military, with Yanqui planning and help, and replaced by a violent, fascist dictatorship. Chavez in Venezuela talks about "a peaceful armed transition" to socialism and you can bet your ass that the necessity of the "armed" part was learned about and paid for in Chilean blood.

When the state protects the revolutionary changes, is it your friend or your enemy?

In my view the state is necessarily the enemy of an authentic democracy. When a coup was conducted against Chavez, all of the institutions of the state, formal and informal, official and non-official, sipped champagne and celebrated. It was the people of Venezuela, aided by junior military officers, of indigenous origin, who restored Chavez to government.

States lay claim to the right to enact laws without consultation, to usurp civil rights, and to a monopoly on violence to which resort is seldom the last.  How can such a thing be reconciled to democratic ideals?

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

There is an intense in depth discussion beginning to emerge at Bable.ca entitled Anarchy 101.The quality of discussion seems to demonstrate the democratization of electronic media!

Intelligent anarchy and a rethinking of so called traditional Marxism seem to go together -at least conceptually.  It's the praxis I am both concerned and skeptical about!!!!!!!!

Michael Allan Michael Allan's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

..to understand the socialism i am looking for it is easier for me to frame it in participatory democracy. if participatory democracy is decentralized power to the grassroots then my socialism should compliment that...

Maybe the broader grassroots (not organized/compartmentalized) is always for social justice. A truly participatory democracy would therefore have to be socialist, at least in that sense (I agree).

The Venezuelan proposal that N.Beltov mentions would be participatory, I guess, to the extent that the central officials were dependent on the delegates, and the delegates dependent on the broader grassroots. But I didn't see any guarantee of the former.

If Mills' criteria are also applied, then I think the proposal might fail on the first three points (below). It's hard to imagine how an ordinary Joe at the grassroots could arrange to participate effectively in a complex legislative issue (say he had a bright idea for something in section 7, paragraph 3), and even harder if his delegate were opposed to it.

C. W. Mills in the Power Elite wrote:

In a public, as we may understand the term, (1) virtually as many people express opinions as receive them. (2) Public commununications are so organized that there is a chance immediately and effectively to answer back any opinion expressed in public. Opinion formed by such discussion (3) readily finds an outlet in effective action, even against - if necessary - the prevailing system of authority. And (4) authoritative institutions do not penetrate the public, which is thus more or less autonomous in its operation.

In a mass, (1) far fewer people express opinions than receive them; for the community of publics becomes an abstract collection of individuals who receive impressions from the mass media. (2) The communications that prevail are so organized that it is difficult or impossible for the individual to answer back immediately or with any effect. (3) The realization of opinion in action is controlled by authorities who organize and control the channels of such action. (4) The mass has no autonomy from institutions; on the contrary, agents of authorized institutions penetrate this mass, reducing any autonomy it may have in the formation of opinion by discussion.

 

Suppose we didn't rely on government (or who knows? business entrepreneurs) to eventually deliver a participatory democracy to us.  Could we instead obtain it for ourselves, by action? (Is this what the thread is asking?)

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..since i last posted points have been raised and i need to read and reflect. in a world of rabbits and turtles i am mostly turtle. what i will say is that i believe the state to be temporary. in venezuela much time and effort is being given to creating alternative structures that make participatory democracy possible in a much more extensive way. a step at a time but always leading to greater participation. i find this much more interesting than attempting to define or unduly complicate matters. i am wary of this (not that i'm accusing anyone of anything) and it can be a trap as well as divisive. growing food and keeping the hood pollution free need not be complicated issues uless your carving out privilege.

quote:
Following nation-wide assemblies involving more than 10,000 electricity workers to collectively discuss solutions to the sector's problems....

http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/5294

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..further to my ramblings in #65 and with due respect i don't feel that more analysis is needed for what is going on in latin america but more of a reporting. a reporting to help inspire and guide us in the north. the analysis we do need is of here in canada. where is our participatory democracy? where is the movement towards more participatory democracy? and how or where can we be building alternatives today at the same time we are doing the defensive thing..demos, occupations, strikes etc. i feel a need to move beyond trying to convince people that we need socialism to actually building it in a participatory manner.

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Citizen or participatory democracy probably requires the registration or communication of direct consent or dissent. Electronic voting seems to be implied. However, there can be problems associated with "black box" voting - fraud for example. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3875476549496397083#

Many traditional political philosphers, at least in the west, have tended to argue that in so far as the STATE protects its citizens, to that extent alone, do citizen's owe their allegience. At least since World War 1 and even prior to the early nineteen hundreds with Bismark fro example, HEADS of STATE have been plausibly pretending to protect citizens from imminent dangers by conjuring enemies. In otherwords, even if electronic voting could be designed to transcend fraud, there would remain the problem of CYOPS.

"Military CyOps in Apple Network Utility (144.3.8.0) or innocent default?


Last week I had a network problem. I disconnected my router, unplugged my airport card and restarted. Looking at the Network Utility program within the Mac OS 10.3.6, under the INFO tab, under Ethernet Interface, it gave a 169 IP and then defaulted to 144.3.8.0. Strange IP me thinks?

Checked with forums and friends, people were talking about this feature, but the main interest was IP addressing over FireWire, no one I chatted to or any searches I did showed any explaination as to why this IP address was the default.

By Nature I'm extremely curious so I did a IP search on the address and eventually came up with an answer as to who it belonged to. I got this via the WHOIS search facility within Network Utility and searched the ARIN database. This showed me the IP was part of a range run by -
US ARMY CORPS of ENGINEERS? Why them?" quoted from (please see...):http://forums.macosxhints.com/showthread.php?t=31027

trippie

I had a friend that was on the BBC before the internet. When the internet fist came out he was on that. One day he wanted to find out the binging of the internet hi-way. We tracked it down to some arms company in the USA.

 

We then investigated that company and actually got to a page that held the minutes of their meets but could not get on it.

 

But the thing that alarmed us was the weapons they were trying to develope.

 

To get to this company we had to go through some other front company that they had. It was something involved with children. Toys or something like or a hospital, I can't remember exactly.

It was creepy as this company was making money from internet usage. So basicly everytime we pay for internet useage they get a percentage.

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

On 15 June 2010, Defence Secretary Robert Gates quietly created the Foreign Intelligence and Counterintelligence Operation Records (FICOR) within the Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC).

The new unit will take over fromthe Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), disbanded by Robert Gates himself in August 2008 after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) exposed it for gathering intelligence on the political opinions of individuals. http://noliesradio.org/archives/18076

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

INTERNET VOTING....this is an aspect of participatory democracy in Canada...........yes/no???????....................................

http://www.youtube.com/user/OverseasVote#p/c/71DC2AFC2F476CBB/0/Ne0qiIsvqf8

Michael Allan Michael Allan's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

... in venezuela much time and effort is being given to creating alternative structures that make participatory democracy possible in a much more extensive way. a step at a time but always leading to greater participation. i find this much more interesting than attempting to define or unduly complicate matters. i am wary of this (not that i'm accusing anyone of anything) and it can be a trap as well as divisive. ...

... the analysis we do need is of here in canada. where is our participatory democracy? where is the movement towards more participatory democracy? and how or where can we be building alternatives today at the same time we are doing the defensive thing..demos, occupations, strikes etc. i feel a need to move beyond trying to convince people that we need socialism to actually building it in a participatory manner.

I have some expertise on the technical side of participatory democracy. I can confirm that if you were to follow the debates on the topic, you'd probably get no further ahead. It hasn't helped me much, anyway. And I think you identified the problem. Most of the would-be stakeholders are so intent on protecting their own turf, carving out privileges (as you say) that they never make any progress toward the obvious solutions that are in everybody's best interest. Those solutions would require working together with some degree of trust and goodwill, and there's never enough of that among competitors. So I couldn't sympathise more - my closest colleagues agree, too - we get tired of selling others on the idea of moving forward together, and we'd rather just be doing it.

I also agree that it has to be small steps, and something we (grassroots) build together. As part of my work, I'm always hearing that someone (or some company, etc) has a new solution for participatory democracy. It's invariably a pre-built, one-stop solution, so all I have to do (!) is visit their Web site, press a few buttons, and there's the future of democracy. I hope it never happens that way. I doubt it's even possible. If only for political/social reasons, I think we have to build it ourselves.

So this partly goes to answering your question - "Where can we be building alternatives today?" - I think one of the most promising places is open, online forums, like Babble. We're all assembled here already, and it's participatory to the max. The rest is just a matter of bringing in the necessary technical components (they're rudimentary, but they already exist), working out the practices, and improving the whole mix, step by step.

Protrucio wrote:

Citizen or participatory democracy probably requires the registration or communication of direct consent or dissent. Electronic voting seems to be implied. However, there can be problems associated with "black box" voting - fraud for example. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3875476549496397083#

I agree. I don't think we can trust black-box voting. At least when we're building new facilities (e.g. online) they should be white-box, wherever feasible. With white-box voting, we can see the votes, verify them, and count them for ourselves. It's also easier to implement. We have off-shelf components that can already do most of the job (though they're not beta quality, yet).

Re propaganda-conjured enemies and CyOps: I'm not sure, but if we (as grassroots participants) don't systematically hide information from each other, but instead keep everything open and transparent, then there's probably a lot of safety in that, at least.

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Thank you for this Michael. I agree.

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

A Model of Participatory Democracy:
Understanding the Case of Porto Alegre∗.
Enriqueta Aragonès† Santiago Sánchez-Pagés‡
September 2004
Abstract
Participatory Democracy is a process of collective decision making
that combines elements from both Direct and Representative Democracy:
Citizens have the ultimate power to decide on policy and politicians
assume the role of policy implementation. The aim of this paper
is to understand how Participatory Democracy operates, and to study
its implications over the behavior of citizens and politicians and over
the final policy outcomes. To this end, we explore a formal model
inspired in the experience of Participatory Budgeting implemented
in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre and that builds on the model of
meetings with costly participation by Osborne, Rosenthal, and Turner
(2000).
    http://www.econ.ed.ac.uk/papers/participatorydemocracy.pdf

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Heading North, Looking South:
Reflections on a Year in Venezuela
by Chesa Boudin

I can’t help but reflect on what I am leaving behind as I walk down the ramp onto the airplane that will carry me back to the US after nearly a year living in Venezuela. There exists the tendency -- perhaps, common among people like me, raised and educated in the best private schools and universities in the US -- to compare any other system of government with ours, to see our representative democratic system as the essence of true democracy, and assume that other countries are condemned to have semi-democracies that have a long way to go if they ever hope to achieve our level of political development.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived in Venezuela and came across the first participatory democracy I have ever seen. Participatory and "protagonistic" democracy is a model that attempts to stimulate and guarantee the people's active participation in the process of governing the country. Today in Venezuela, this new model is being developed and promoted as an alternative to the more traditional representative democracy. At first the political changes manifested themselves as graffiti all over Caracas and other urban areas reading "NO," "Chávez NO se va" (Chávez will not go), and "NO volverán" (they will not come back). At first, I did not understand.

In all of the countries I had previously visited, including my own country, the governments primarily represent the interests of the economic elites, including the owners of the media. It is not a coincidence then that the media generally defends the existing system of government, the status quo. In order to express their opposition to the systemic violence, oppression, and exclusion, the masses are left with few possibilities besides spray paint on the concrete jungle that traps them in their urban barrios.

In Venezuela, as it turns out, the situation is similar but with a few key differences. The elites do control the media, but, unlike in other countries I know, the government does not exclusively serve the interests of the capitalist class; thus, the owners of the media actively seek to destabilize the government. The people, on the other hand, continue to have their voices excluded from the private media, and thus spray paint on concrete remains a key public platform. But, unlike in other countries I have known, the people in Venezuela use their platform to clearly declare their support for the government. Now, for the first time, the graffiti in the barrios invites the government to come on in. I quickly learned that the ubiquitous graffiti was but a hint of what lay beneath the surface in Venezuela’s newly founded participatory democracy.

Participatory democracy demands that citizens play a role in developing government policy, prioritizing projects and budgets so as to benefit the entire community. It is a form of democracy that facilitates monitoring the government's progress, its level of corruption and inefficiency. The Bolivarian Constitution firmly establishes the people's right to participate in the democratic process. According to Article 62 of the Constitution, "All citizens have the right to participate freely in public affairs, either directly or through their elected representatives."   http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2005/boudin070805.html

trippie

Before you can have an equitable democracy you have to get rid of the class system.

 

Which raises a bunch of other questions.

 

Taking small steps has not worked in the past and will not work in the future.

 

Step one is actually being able to articulate the problem.

 

What is preventing and equatable democracy from forming in Canada, and the rest of the world for that matter?

Michael Allan Michael Allan's picture

trippie wrote:

Taking small steps has not worked in the past and will not work in the future.

Step one is actually being able to articulate the problem.

What is preventing and equatable democracy from forming in Canada, and the rest of the world for that matter?

It's true, small steps won't work if the goal is a participatory democracy in the future. I may have chosen the wrong phrase here, because I was replying to epaulo13 and, looking back, I don't think he meant small steps toward a participatory democracy, but rather a small scale instance of it that was already achieved and subsequently built up. (So it would be like a seedling - already a complete tree in form and function, it just has to grow.)

I don't think anyone has attempted that recently. Many efforts have claimed to be headed toward a participatory democracy, but none of them was a seedling in the sense of already being:

  • Participatory according to Mills' definitions of (1) open and (2) critical (see post #64)
  • A democracy that's (3) powerful and (4) autonomous
  • A small instance of this, but with the promise of growing to full size

Nothing would prevent us from doing that today, except maybe item (3). The enforceability of outcomes (electoral, legislative, etc) will depend on the level of participation. It may take a while - weeks, months or more, depending on the issue - to attract a sufficient number of voting participants. Or maybe that's just a measure of the tree size? So maybe we could do this today, and be the first to attempt it.

Here's a seed that died before it could become a seedling. (Clumsy gardeners, maybe.) Afterward, I wrote up some notes about this approach. I called it "discussion refit". (Maybe "discussion seeding" would be a better name? Or something like that?)

Note: That particular seed included an attempt to get rid of the class system (or some of the injustices associated with it). So maybe it's not a matter of which comes first (social justice or substansive democracy), but the two are bound up together?

Edited to add: Maybe we're already having a little effect. Our pollwiki is being vandalized, apparently because of this thread.

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

I have read notes about this approach and I would Ilike to help.

 

So...at this time I would like to assist in the open democracy project in the following three ways:

* Test user   *  Feedback, technical and conceptual     *  Donations to endow prizes, and so forth
   
 

     

Michael Allan Michael Allan's picture

Do you want to try discussion refitting Protrucio? Just to get a feel for it? (It's kind of fun.)

For anyone who wants to try it, we could maybe do a practice run in one of the previous threads (dead seeds). They're unlikely to come to life (I think we botched them from the start) but they're pretty realistic otherwise:

Which would you prefer? (Speaking for myself, I was surprised by the BC thread: it felt very different to be working on real political issues, rather than just talking about them. I guess it's one of those things you just have to experience.)

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..this is what the participatory democracy i am a part of looks like. where like minded people have come together with no formal structures or declared purpose other than eating local. what trippie speaks of i have more or less done for almost 40 years and now for the past 2 years i am doing something different. the difference i like very much. the results i can see. there is space where everyone no matter what their world view can create change right here right now. i/we have done this with the issue of food which is in itself huge considering that it is a function that we all perform at a minimum (hopefully) once per day. i am in search of the same when it comes to housing, environment and pretty well every other aspect of my life even though i have no knowledge at this point on how that will transpire. what latin america and the food issue has shown me is that the processes have begun no matter what anyone thinks about it. will check out refitting.

http://100milediet.org/

http://www.ffcf.bc.ca/

http://www.backyardbountycollective.com/

http://www.urbangrains.ca/

http://www.bcfreshvegetables.com/bcfresh/home

http://www.cityfarmer.org/

http://www.slowfoodvancouver.com/

http://www.getlocalbc.org/en/

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Great Links Epaula. Thank you!   You bet Michael Allen i would like to try out discussion refitting for sure. I like what you are doing.

I think it is valuable and worthwhile.

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Michael Allen: for future reference I would like to try refitting with the Wind Concerns group at the Wordpress site...If you start a Wordpress blog  then we both can access the Wind Concerns blog which is hyper active...otherwise you can access through my blog http://judithannedavies.wordpress.com......... I am willing to give you my codes ...we can cross reference utilizing rabble.ca/Babble and the word press site....it will be challenging but fun!!!!!!!First as you suggested shall we work with the BC group by introducing another angle to the discussion in an effort to re-energize the `dialogue`.... Shall we try an environmental angle perhaps? Perhaps we could incorporate some of the perspectives TYEE offers on BC politics???????? http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/07/31/EnbridgeDirtyDozen/

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Re: Media activism and direct democracy....please see: http://www.uk.sagepub.com/devereux/website%20material/Proofed%20web%20ma...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..fyi: the informal joining of the local and slow food movements has created global links that have enormous potential.

http://www.slowfood.com/slowftp/eng/pagine/international.lasso

Michael Allan Michael Allan's picture

Protrucio wrote:

... i would like to try out discussion refitting for sure. I like what you are doing... I think it is valuable and worthwhile.

Thank you! All we did, though, is develop some tools. They aren't worth much in themselves. (Like gardening, it'll be the gardeners who do the work and take the kudos for it.)

Should we do a practice run? I guess you prefer the BC thread. Here's the setup for that:

  1. Login to the pollwiki.
  2. Go to your position page. (It won't actually exist, yet.)
  3. Press the 'create' tab.
  4. Press the 'Save page' button. (You get a new, empty position page).
  5. Vote for me. (Don't worry, you can change your vote later!)

Then we can go into the BC thread, and hammer out some environmental policy. (Once you're familiar with how it all works, we can look at refitting Wind Concerns discussions, or any others that look promising.)

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Epaulo I think that you are right. Food security and food sources are a huge issue. Would you like to start another disscussion just on food issues? I will check out all of your links. I am at work now. I am doing an overnight shift in a Group Home.

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

OK Michael Allen. I will be going to polwiki on Friday sometime after work. I will follow the instructions you have left me in the above comment.

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Logged into pollwiki...then went to position page pending content....

User:Employmentincentives-GmailCom/BC/p/ginger

....gnu gnu

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

EPAULO, I didn't realize that there was tension between Venezuela and Columbia.

"We're not a country that picks fights with our neighbours,” Veran said over the occasional roar of fighter jets taking off three blocks away. He was referring to the latest round of war drumming between Venezuela and Colombia, stirred up by the accusation that Hugo Chavez is hosting FARC rebels across the border.quoted from The TYEE http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/08/06/USMilitaryInColumbia/?utm_source=daily...

If you do start a new discussion group around food issues please let me know because I would like to join it. Otherwise we can talk about food issues in this discussion group because food supplies, markets and pricing go hand in hand with democratic processes...that's what I think anyway.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..Protrucio, the tension i believe is between the venezuela and the US who are using colombia to do their dirty work. i start a thread on it here.

http://www.rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/venezuela-co...

..thank you for the feedback on the food stuff. if you do go through the links i posted be sure to check their links as they are most interesting. i also think it's a good idea to start a new thread for food though my time to spend on it would be limited. i'm attempting to spend less time on the computer and so far that hasn't been happening. it eventually will though..i hope.
..what type of group home are you working at? i spent about 11 years working with the developmentally disabled in group homes and day programs.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:
Bolivia's leftist government said Thursday it has begun military training for civilians at army barracks in what the opposition called a first step toward creating pro-government militias.

Weapons instruction and physical training began on Monday for hundreds at military bases in Bolivia's east, a stronghold of the pro-business opposition, and army officials said it would extend to all bases.

The program is reminiscent of one that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez launched in his country after a failed 2002 coup attempt that he blamed on the United States. Venezuela claims it has 120,000 participants.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-lt-bolivia-citizen-m...

Protrucio Protrucio's picture

Tom Ramstack - AHN News Correspondent

La Paz, Bolivia (AHN) - Bolivian President Evo Morales launched a new round of denunciations against the United States this week while also announcing he would offer military training to civilians in his country.

"Morales accused the U.S. government of linking illegal drug trafficking with terrorism in its public statements as a prelude to military intervention in Latin America.

He was referring to a State Department investigation of possible links between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and al Qaeda.

Morales said during a press conference that the "central objective" of the United States was to seize control of oil reserves and other natural resources in Latin American countries.

U.S. military bases that the government of Colombia is allowing in its borders demonstrate the United States' hostile intentions in the region, Morales said.

The bases also have been the subject of harsh comments between the Colombian and Venezuelan governments in recent months."

Read more: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7019518187?Bolivia:%20U.S.%20Plotting%20Latin%20American%20Military%20Intervention#ixzz0vs0aorEs

Michael Allan Michael Allan's picture

Protrucio wrote:

Logged into pollwiki...then went to position page pending content...

OK, looks good!

It'll be easier if you vote for me. Alternatively, I can vote for you if you prefer. (Discussions are mostly between voters, candidates and co-voters. The tools are setup for that. It's a little easier for the voters.) Next:

      1. View the diff between our position drafts.
      2. Make sure you're logged in.
      3. Click the checkbox (frag 1), then press the 'patch' button. If the patch works (usually it does) your position will now be the same as mine. (Don't worry if you disagree with any of the content, we take care of that in the next step.)

          Then we're ready to start.

          Protrucio wrote:

          ...gnu gnu

          Licence? Here it is, the software is free and open. And the position drafts (and other pollwiki content) are in the public domain.

          epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

          ..Michael Allan sorry for taking so long to get back to you. i agree with you re the debates on participatory democracy. for me also it is more about doing than convincing. i truly believe that there is more to be gained in winning over people when the can be involved in something tangible and in the here and now. it's not difficult to understand that the left has many contradictions. but somewhere in that broad left is our salvation..if we are to have one. that broad left has the tools, skills and knowledge to organize in the community and the work place. so again i agree with you that open, online forms such as babble is an excellent place to work from. we need other places though. i have found that in mixed company the leftist beast is tamed a bit. more polite, willing to listen and compromise then when speaking to each other. there was a relationship book i once read that encouraged arguing with your partner when friends were around because you were more likely to have a fair fight. i've come to the conclusion though that this must be done in a participatory way. no top down. right from the beginning. participatory democracy is the bridge to "living well together". so in closing i offer myself up to do what i can on your project.

          Protrucio Protrucio's picture

          Michael Allen, , I VOTED FOR YOU USING SOURCEFORGE ALIAS...it worked.

          Michael Allan Michael Allan's picture

          That makes three of us. Now I'm more confident than ever that the grassroots approach will work (not that I ever doubted!). I'll draft some rough notes in the wiki for moving forward, then I'll reply properly.

          Michael Allan Michael Allan's picture

          epaulo13 wrote:

          ... i agree with you that open, online forms such as babble is an excellent place to work from. we need other places though ....

          I'm confident we can do just about any discussion medium, not just Web forums and mailing lists. It'll take time, but I bet we could eventually do face-to-face meetings (using mobile gadgets) and take the politics onto the street. But we'll need to grow to a core of something like 6-12 active users, I imagine, before we could attract the developers for that. (Our tools will be primitive to start with.)

          epaulo13 wrote:

          ... there was a relationship book i once read that encouraged arguing with your partner when friends were around because you were more likely to have a fair fight...

          That reminds me of this hilarious story Augusto Boal tells. I hope the link works (page 132, last paragraph).

          epaulo13 wrote:

          ... i've come to the conclusion though that this must be done in a participatory way. no top down. right from the beginning. participatory democracy is the bridge to "living well together" ...

          (Me too. It wouldn't feel right at all, if came from the top down.) So I wrote some of this approach up in the wiki. We already talked a bit about it here. It's just rough notes, and hopefully we can improve them together. The most important part right now is the setup instructions. (You'll see we're calling it "guerilla gardening", at least till we think of a better name.)

          So Protucio: you're now on step 5 of the instructions (voting). The vote you cast under the alias is OK for test purposes, but it won't work for the real thing. You'll need to vote as yourself. That means you have to log into the pollserver using your OpenID or email (not an alias), and when it asks for an email address, give it the same address as you're using in the pollwiki. So the employmentincentives address is OK, or whatever you want to use in the wiki. (Protucio is saying, "Damn! I should have let epaulo13 go first!")

          This stuff is still clumsy to use. Nobody who tries it ever gets it right on the first go. As soon as we have a few active users, I'll start working to make it more user friendly.

          Protrucio Protrucio's picture

          MA -- code for: Masterful Alliance or Michael Allen

          I tried to use my real ID and the pollserver rejected it so I used the alias and then it was OK. How'bout I try again see what happens.

           

          Later: Ok it`s done. you will see that employment....has logged in at the polling site and yes voted for u.

          Michael Allan Michael Allan's picture

          OK, looks good! Now you're on step 6 of the setup instructions. The setup is kind of boring, and it may not make sense, at first. But when you're done all 9 steps, we can start planting one of these "seedlings" of participatory democracy (just a practise run) which is more interesting.

          If anyone has trouble with the software (login or anything else) please say so. Usually the best place is here (or contact me directly). We actually like to hear about problems (believe it or not!) and you can help us to fix them. This is kind of important, too, because I think the problems will get more interesting, later. We'll actually be doing participatory democracy then (in small ways) and every problem we solve together will help it to grow. (I don't know if others agree, but for me, as a technical guy, this is something that really attracts me to a grassroots approach. I get a strong feeling that it's not just democracy that has to be participatory at this level, but also the development of the tools. How can we have one without the other?)

          Protrucio Protrucio's picture

          Mike I didn't want to post this on the pollwiki. I used Skype recently to complete a course in e-journalism from Loyalist College.  Soon after that I uninstalled it because I was using too much band width with Skype and itunes downloads etc on a free city of Regina wireless network called Sask Connected and the administrators kept bumping me off- this is what I think anyway,

          I have a 1,400 square ft studio in downtown Regina where I work from when I am not working as a Rehab Worker. I have all of my computers in the studio. They all have built in wifi so I can take them on the road with me......I am going to get an internet stick soon though and switch to Linux-which flavour I don't know-I belong to an open souce club in Regina so I can get some advice. Long story short I will get  back on Skype once I have the internet stick and phone you from a park. Please let me know what are the best times to call if there are any, We could always book or appointment Skype calls etc.

          Protrucio Protrucio's picture

          CETA Canadian European Trade Agreement threatens to erode Canadian democracy. see: http://www.canadians.org/trade/documents/CETA/CETA_ten.pdf

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