Politics today is mostly top-down. The parties/candidates and their advisors define the politics and the message, often not by talking to people but through polls.
…top-down politics is all about maintaining control. “Think of an established brand with a lot invested in control of its image,” … “The idea of opening that up is scary.”
But maybe we’re seeing a shift away from that towards open source politics. In an excellent article on the nation, Micah Sifry looks at the rise of open source politics:
Using open-source coding as a model, it’s not a stretch to believe the same process could make politics more representative and fair. Imagine, for example, how a grassroots network could take over some of the duties normally performed by high-priced consultants who try to shape a campaign message that’s appealing. If the people receiving the message create it, chances are it’s much more likely to stir up passions.
Here’s my favourite quote from the article:
In the same way that TV took politics away from the grassroots, the Internet will give it back.
I’m really fired up by this vision, which melds perfectly with my dream of an open space-based political party. I think the internet can be an excellent medium, especially combined with regular meetings in physical space also. Something happens when people get together in the same room at the same time with a purpose that doesn’t as readily happen on-line.