New Scientist: Could digital democracy win your vote?

Niall Firth writes in the New Scientist (24 April 2015) about digital democracy and the potential of online tools to revitalise old democratic practices.

“New online tools are revitalising old democratic practices, bypassing the political middlemen and even offering the prospect of a world without politicians at all”, the article says.

Firth interviews D-CENT partner Joonas Pekkanen of Open Ministry, promoting participatory democracy in Finland. “We should see democracy as an evolution over time. If we were to start from scratch we would never come up with the system we currently have,” Pekkanen says in the article.

Firth also examines Liquid Democracy and participatory budgeting. The basic idea of Liquid Democracy is that every voter has a mandate which is transferrable. Participatory budgeting, one the other hand, is a practice in which people get a direct say in how a percentage of their council budget is spent.

In the D-CENT project, participatory budgeting is run and promoted by Citizens Foundation and International Modern Media Institute in Iceland.

“A new generation of politically active young people has sprung up in response to the austerity measures in Europe that followed the financial crisis,” the article quotes Francesca Bria, D-CENT coordinator from the innovation charity Nesta in London.

Link to the article:

Read more about D-CENT experiments:
Pilots in Iceland: Boosting bottom-up municipal democracy
D-CENT piloting in Spain: Improving participatory democracy
– D-CENT piloting in Finland: Introducing online democracy into decision making

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