Democracy 4.0

This is a low level revision of an  automatic translation of the original page in Catalan. I apologize for any errors it may contain. 

I have known with some delay the proposal by Juán Moreno Yagüe, Democracy 4.0, which I think is one of those few brilliant ideas that can really change the way we do politics in democracy.

In June 2010, Juan Moreno Yagüe, A Sevillian attorney, wrote an administrative letter, basing it on existing rules contained in the laws applying to Congress that would allow him to participate in the vote of the House (1), from his home, through Internet. The idea is very simple:

The members of the Parliament represent popular sovereignty, but sovereignty belongs to the people. (Art. 1.2 Spanish Constitution).

We, as citizens, have the right to participate directly in those decision-making processes that affect us, since we now know that this is technically possible, via Internet.

This statement proposes that it is possible to take a small portion of representation out of each of them. For example, in Spain, the voting-age population in Spain is 35 million represented by 350 deputies. This means each deputee represents aproximately 100,000 people.

Since all members together represent popular sovereignty, Juan Moreno proposes that a fraction of it be subtracted, the corresponding share of sovereignty given the amount of people who use their right to vote. 

For example, if 300,000 people participated in a vote in Congress, the deputies would jointly keep   347 votes while 3 would remain in the hands of popular voters. In two extreme cases, if less than 100,000 people participated, the members would continue to have 350 votes (the current situation). If 35 million people voted, in this particular vote, Members would have no vote.

Democracy 4.0 obviously applies to all parliaments, it is only needes that the constitution recognizes that sovereignty resides in the people, and to calculate the relationship between politicians and voters.

The first time I met the idea of direct democracy was in Brian Beedham's article in The Economist (2). Since then I have tried to follow the subject, even through books and research papers, because fortunately, this is an area where data is gathered and there is a good reasearch (3). Democracy 4.0 is the first new idea in this field I have found in a long time and I feel it has a number of advantages over traditional referendums. The issue is to find some kind of balance: legislatures should continue to exist and work, sometimes separate referenda or popular initiatives are needed, but democracy 4.0 can be a powerful tool for deepening democracy. Give it support.

  1. Democracia 4.0
  2. Brian Beedham (1996). Full democracy. The Economist, 21 de desembre de 2006.
  3. Veure per exemple el Centre for Research on Direct Democracy (c2d) o l'Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe (IRI Europe)

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