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internet replacing political parties

your representative in parliament uses internet insteady of a political party as an intermediary
  [vote for,

To be honest, I am already baking this idea myself since the last Dutch parliamentary elections. Some months before Pim Fortuyn was shot down by the vegan.

In a way Pim Fortuyn was already showing the way. He had no political party but many wanted to vote for him because the existing political parties are uncapable of representing the populace.

Political parties, an anachronistic 20th century invention, are not for suitable for the 21st century as an intermediary between the enormously fragmented citizens and the political arena. Mind that I am not saying we should do away with ideologies, leadership or vision, it's just the political parties that are corrupt.

Now I have to admit that this idea is completely adapted to the Dutch situation, it's up to you how it can translate to the political system you have in your country.

In our country there are usually 8 million (out of 16) voting. With 150 seats in the Second Chamber you can get a seat with only 60000 people voting for you. There are no districts in our little country, thus no two- party system. Usually there are a few dozen parties with only 4 or 5 that matter.

My idea is that every person who would like to represent people writes a political program, puts it on a webpage and asks people to subscribe to his/her mailinglist. By doing so, you can bypass the mass media and concentrate on the issues instead of party politics.

The majority of the parliament chooses a government. This is the case now, but then also. This government governs and is controlled (and fired) by the Second Chamber. The Second Chamber is also legislative and can initiate or amend laws. The First Chamber is there for a final check just before any new law is signed by the queen (she always signs) and published.

When everyone can become a representative you get a lot more new ideas (mine to start with) and politicians ignore less the problems in society. That's what political parties are good at, building a wall between society and the political arena (instead of a bridge). If a politician does not represent his 60,000 voters well, he risks losing his seat at the next elections (every 4 year).

No referenda, no direct democracy, no layered voting (districts) and all that kind of evil. Just plain old representative democracy with all it's defects, but without the political parties. By the way, our democracy was designed in the 19th century *without* political parties. When you read the lawbooks there is no mention of political parties.

Political parties at the time were a clever agreement of people to mobilise masses of voters. At the time masses still existed, now everyone is a little bit of everything, a Lego-identity. Let them choose one individual that best comes close to that.

By the way, the Pim Fortuyn political party got more seats than just for Pim. The seats were all filled with amateurs rounded up at the very last moment. They all failed miserably in their job (no plan, no thinking, just slogans) and this party will disappear soon.

I wrote my political program as a candidate representative. The whole approach got published in one of the major newspapers. So it's a bit baked, but only half. I intend to finish baking it the next decade or two.

rrr, Jan 07 2004

ReindeR Rustema's political program (in Dutch) http://rustema.nl
the upcoming years until the next elections I work on improving this political program [rrr, Oct 04 2004]

Derde Kamer / Third Chamber http://derdekamer.net
Description of this anti-political party idea, free for everyone to adopt. Third Chamber refers to the internet as the place were citizens can found. The Second is legislative and the First for checks and balances. No English translation yet. [rrr, Oct 04 2004]

Derde Kamer concept published http://www.nrc.nl/o.../1039500376868.html
The huge article I wrote in a Dutch newspaper about this (in Dutch) [rrr, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

New online policical party http://www.guardian...605,1118864,00.html
[sufc, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

The Internet party (NZ) https://internet.org.nz/
landing page [sofacrat, May 20 2015]

Policy Incubator on Loomio https://internet-party.loomio.org/
Functionally, like the Halfbakery! [sofacrat, May 20 2015]


       In the US, Dean has gotten substantial support over the Internet. His supporters, in turn, have been subtly threatening the establishment of the Democratic party that he will run as an independent if the party doesn't nominate him. The party is quite split.   

       So I think we're going in this direction, and electronic voting, if it ever happens, will speed it up -- since a significant current value of the party is that it gets out the vote, which will be less of an issue if I can vote at home.   

       I think the potential for direct voting is more interesting
theircompetitor, Jan 07 2004

       The web can do a lot for money collection, though, which can then be used to buy organization, at least for a given election.
theircompetitor, Jan 07 2004

       I agree with much of what Jutta said. But you also have a point [rrr] - the face of politics has already been changed irrevocably by the internet, albeit it in ways that we can't yet get to grips with.   

       Every election involves voting a particular person into a particular post. The fact that they are a member of a specific political party just serves as a kind of shorthand as to how they might think about specific issues. It shows their leanings rather than their actual feelings. Here in the UK, you might vote Labour or Conservative - very few people know the name of the actual candidate they are voting for. But each and every cross on a ballot paper marks another step up for that particular person.   

       You're always voting for individual people. Hopefully the Internet will make that reality a little clearer (all political candidates have their own websites these days, and so comunication between voter and votee should be somewhat smoother). Politics has already splintered off into various "interest groups" and miscellaneous campaigners. I can't claim to be au fait with the Dutch political scene, but it seems to me that, these days, it's not parties who win power but personalities.   

       (To UKians - I see Ken Livingstone passed his "loyalty test" the other day. No chance of him retiring to the country to "spend more time with his newts" anytime soon. Tony B backs another winner...)
lostdog, Jan 07 2004

       //My idea is that every person...writes a political program...on a webpage and asks people to subscribe to his/her mailinglist...you can bypass the mass media and concentrate on the issues instead of party politics.//

That's OK as far as it goes but they could also do that by getting their fat arses out of the capital and going to visit their electorate a bit more often so that people can actually meet them, quiz them and get some idea of whether they're worth getting out of bed to vote for (or against).
DrBob, Jan 08 2004

       [theircompetitor] direct voting, without representation is an obstacle for (professional, informed) reflection and careful deliberation. Direct voting, especially through the internet, is therefore very harmful. You will soon get things like the death penalty back in the civlised world, because that is what citizens would vote for.
rrr, Jan 08 2004

       [jutta] What I propose is not making the medium into a political program. The medium is neutral in that sense, you can publish *any* political program on it. This idea is about getting rid of the political party, party politics and the role mass media play in the system nowadays.   

       What you say about local politics is true, but that is better done by individual representatives than by political parties.   

       As you in the US don't really have political parties like we have here (in the US they are more like pr and fundraising organisations), the problem is different.
rrr, Jan 08 2004

       [lostdog] Political parties do indeed function as a shorthand for the public to see how a person stands on certain issues. And we do vote for individuals. The trouble is that when the individual candidates feel they want to deviate from the 'partyline' now they are punished by the political party *as organisation*. Their loyalty is questioned and their career inside the party comes into troubles. Only at the top they can speak more freely (and the ones ranking lower have to conform again). This is what is corrupting.   

       What I propose is to maintain ideological shorthands like 'Liberal' or 'Conversative' but _without_ the political party who holds the final say on wether or not someone is allowed to speak under such a flag. Every candidate should be free to say 'I am mostly Labour on social issues, but Conservative on ecological issues and Liberal on civil liberties'. Things like that.   

       Imagine a website with a few ideological sliders you can put in a position that suits you best and below that a list of links to corresponding candidates appear.
rrr, Jan 08 2004

       [drBob] what prevents the 'partytigers' to leave the capital and to actually meet their electorate is the political party. The party claims to be the intermediary between the citizens and the politicians. The political parties on their turn blame the apathy of the electorate for not becoming a member of the political parties and not coming to party meetings to voice their concerns.   

       This is impossible because citizens don't feel represented by any single political party anymore. They do support a number of (single-issue) NGOs with contributions and volunteerwork though, so the citizens are not the problem at all. The political parties must disappear first as an obstacle between representatives and electorate.   

       When individual representatives do follow their conscience and go meet the people the political party often intervenes with it's own PR- machinery to turn it into a media- event or something good for the party and disruptive for the communication between representative and politician. The politician in the end gives up because he feels/thinks the aides from HQ know best and he can't do without them (and their 'brand').
rrr, Jan 08 2004

       rrr, yes I agree with most of what you've said. However, the internet is just a tool not a solution. Political parties are private clubs and any politicians of good will that belong to them need to break out of that clique and go and have some face to face interaction with their electorate (rather than, as you rightly say, stroll around on a media event). Otherwise the turn out at elections will continue to decline because the politicians have little in common with the people who are voting for them.

It's true, in principle, that if people don't like the politicians they've got then they should throw them out and get some new ones or stand for election themselves but, in reality, most of us just don't have the time, energy or resources to get involved with serious politics. It therefore falls to the politicians, who clearly do have the time and resources, to spend less time passing legislation and more time on going out and visiting their constituents. This would enable them to establish their own support, independent of the party machine which, as you point out, is currently operating a bit like a political iron-lung that they can never be free of.
DrBob, Jan 09 2004

       I dont like this idea becuase it makes it to easy for to Joe Schmoe run for office. I do not subscribe to hamilton style politics often but this is one time i will. we dont need common people in office. we want uncommon and above average people in office. political parties help us keep the upper echelon of canidates in office. of course the immediate response to this is that political parties keep the upper echelon of those with money in politics. especially those damn republicans who are evil and eat babies. But the fact is that most politicions come from the upper-middle-lower middle classes. GOP and Dems. political parties are necesary to make sure the voters have a good selection instead of a huge selection with lots of unfit candidtates. this would just confuse the voting public. the truth is most people arnt fit to govern. and we are all smart enough to know that is the truth.
Space-Pope, Jan 09 2004

       how about drafting people for office?
theircompetitor, Jan 09 2004

       [Space-Pope] Certainly we need uncommon people to get elected. With 1000s of candidates on the internet and only 150 seats in the Second Chamber, the chances are high that only people with solid and convincing political programs pass the threshold.   

       Many of those 'common' people who try to get elected will only get a few thousand votes, insufficient to break through. Only when you convince the electorate you are qualified, you will get votes. You start locally (what jutta said) and gradually work your way up to the national level, showing you are a good representative.   

       Instead of having the political party select the candidates for you, you do it yourself. There is a huge difference between a candidate trying to convince a political party he is the man for the job and a candidate that tries to convince his electorate _directly_ he or she is the man for the job. The second approach is tougher and more transparent than the other inside a political party. Already to become a member of a political party, let alone be candidate to represent the electorate, one has to make many compromises to one's beliefs (and by doing so you represent less your own convictions and more the political party's power hungry, sponsored strategic schemes).   

       For big business it is much more difficult to 'buy' many of those individual candidates compared to just financing a political party. An individual will lose integrity (and votes) if journalists find out he eats out of the hand of big business and not has the interest of his electorate in mind. Unless when it is a candidate that thinks big business is his electorate.
rrr, Jan 10 2004

       [theircompetitor] Interesting. Please elaborate.
rrr, Jan 10 2004

       rrr: This stuff below of course all pertains to US politics but can probably be adjusted to others.   

       Drafting can occur along two tracks.   

       Let's take the easy one first -- that's the drafting of assumed to be qualified candidates. This occurs all the time today. Parties "draft" candidates to run, Bill Clinton "drafted" Wesley Clark to run, etc. Furthermore, everyone in government who is in an appointed role, every Secretery and Under Secretary is drafted by the President, and presumably staff members for members of Congress as well, and, of course, to the Supreme Court -- though there are many elected judges in the US as well.   

       So it's easy to imagine a scenario where many elected offices are filled by qualified individuals who go through a hearings process.   

       The second, much harder to swallow scenario is that we literally lottery elected seats among qualified citizens. Most would object to this on the grounds that the various staff organizations and lobbies would simply become more powerful. To me this is an elitist argument that has also been used against term limits.   

       And finally, my personal belief is that long term goal of direct voting instead of the House of Representatives is achievable, leaving the Senate, The President and the courts as they are today.
theircompetitor, Jan 10 2004

       An Internet Party ran in the last NZ elections. It's policy incubator page is oddly like the Halfbakery: in the sense that party members can make proposals, comment on them, and vote for them (see links). As for the quality of the policy ideas? No comment.
sofacrat, May 20 2015

       I kinda had the same idea.. I called it the Invisible Party. Once the election is over the "party" disappears. It would use crowd funding to support a particular candidate. Basically one party per candidate which may share some of the same mailing lists. And outlaw all radio and tv ads by candidates to even the playing field for the little guy running. The internet made it possible for Dell to compete with IBM back in the day and can do the same for candidates. The government would be required to have a website with links to all the official websites of the candidates in a race so you could research what they believe. Let's do it in the U.S. And get rid of all the laws on Precinct Committeemen and primary elections.... let people organize as they choose and run all the candidates against each other during only one General Election. May the best candidate win!
Willie333, May 21 2015


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