Wikimania

The Wikimania conference is the international conference of the Wikimedia foundation. The 2006 iteration is August 4-6 in Cambridge Ma., and they’re currently calling for papers and topics (the deadline is March 30).

One of my current pet projects is a fundamental rethinking of the way democracy is practiced. A shift from the current top-down political process to one that directly involves large numbers of people bottom-up. I wrote about it here, and there’s a website in Danish about it.

The fundamental meeting place of this party would be a Wiki. This is where policies would be suggested, examined, improved and voted on. I would LOVE to present this idea at the conference, so I submitted the following abstract:

The political process in most modern nations suffers from a number of problems including:

  • General mistrust of politicians
  • Disengagement and disillusionment by most citizens
  • Low voter turnout

Basically, a small group formulate policies and the vast majority of people get to vote every few years.

The solution is to reshape the political process to allow many more people to participate actively in formulating the policies.

This can be done by creating new political parties where the fundamental meeting place is a Wiki, where issues are proposed, examined and decided upon bottom-up involving large number of people. Wikipedia already demonstrates how a community can come to decisions on complex and emotionally engaging topics.

This session lays out a specific plan for a wiki-based political party including:

  • What’s wrong with politics today
  • The technologies and principles involved in the wiki-based party
  • Advantages of the wiki-based party
  • How to implement it
  • Case studies from nations and communities who practice similar approaches

I would sure love a trip to the US in August to present the idea of the wiki-based party.

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