The world we live in today has been transformed beyond all recognition from the world our ancestors and previous generations lived in by our use of technology. Who would have predicted even 30 years ago that every living person on the planet would have the potential to be connected to every other living person on the planet through an instantaneous electronic system?
The development of computer and internet technologies has had a profound effect on how we communicate and live our lives. Messaging and networking is now immediate. The internet has revolutionised communication and networking to the point where few people in the world cannot be reached in a few seconds at the click of a button.
Gone are the days of sending letters and waiting days for a reply, being the only person in a specific area with a specific interest or the inability to speak to people face-to-face without being in proximity of them. They’ve been replaced by the instant contact method of email, special interest forums, Facebook and other social media sites and communities for everything imaginable and videoconferencing, through the likes of Skype.
With the ability to search for anything and everything at the click of a button, individuals around the world can now learn about any subject in a quick and efficient manner. The internet doesn’t just offer information in comprehensive fashion, it offers it instantaneously. People can now keep up-to-date on matters that affect or interest them without having to wait for the release of the next day’s newspaper or next month’s magazine.
Given that nothing ever really seems to get deleted either, the internet is also an ongoing record of human history – regardless of how much it continues to grow, individuals will always be able to access stored information, ensuring that almost anything we create today will never be lost to future generations.
The internet has had a profound effect on areas of commerce – from banking, house hunting and dating to retail commerce, such as shopping for groceries, buying on sites like eBay and Amazon and the ability to find and consume media such as music and films.
While these changes, which have been brought about by the development of internet technology, have been of immense benefit to us, there is one area of our lives, an extremely important area, that has not undertaken such a radical shift.
Our democracy and, more specifically, our ability to participate in a true direct democracy has not changed in line with so many other areas of our lives. In the UK, we are still stuck with the representative democracy of party politics and parliament whereby representatives that we elect every five years speak for us and make decisions on our behalf. However, if we only get the opportunity to elect these representatives every five years, based on their manifesto for the next five years, does that give us real say and control over how our country functions?
Do you recall being asked your opinion on important issues such as the Iraq and Afghan wars? Or the decision to bail out the banking industry after the recent financial crisis?
As we have seen over the last 50 years, we have experienced an amalgamation of political thought and attitude to the point where the choices we are given at election time do not represent a real choice. The three party system in place at the moment, in reality, represents an illusion of choice, where the same corporate funded elite gain power again and again. This is the three cheeks of the same arse argument as explained in my previous blog post.
Surely with all the advanced technology, that is now part of our everyday lives, we must be able to formulate a system that bypasses the limitations of party politics and hands the power to govern the country back to the people? That technology is here, it is real and it is implementable today.
Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens participate equally – either directly or through elected representatives – in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination.
The parliamentary system that we use in the UK at the moment imposes severe restrictions on our ability to change policy and shape the future of our country how we, the people , want. The parliamentary system that we have at the moment restricts our freedom. We’ve tried representative democracy and it’s failed us and the planet. It now only represents corporate interests and fulfils their will to the detriment of the citizens of the country and our environment.
However, there is another way, Direct Democracy!
Quote of the day:
“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
– P.J. O’Rourke
- Direct Democracy…. using technology to empower ourselves (takeourpowerback.wordpress.com)
- Direct democracy: innovations in democracy (gestaltz.wordpress.com)