There’re municipal elections going on all over Denmark next week, and consequently there are election posters everywhere. I don’t think anybody imagines that those posters will actually sway a single voter, but everybody else uses them, so we’d better too…
This kind of rote thinking and sticking to business as usual is just one reason I’m convinced, that politics is broken. The political process has currently divided people into politicians, who formulate policies, and voters, who get to choose between those policies. That’s not good.
And here’s another idea: If you’re brainstorming on how to improve your town/municipality/region/country – does it make sense to generate ideas together with people who disagree with you? You bet it does. It’s well known in business, that to stimulate innovation and creativity you need diversely populated groups, not just people who already agree with each other. And yet political parties formulate policies in isolation, unimpacted by the views of opponents.
Here’s an article that repeats some of these views for American politics:
So is our politics broken? Without a doubt. Does technology have a role in fixing it? Yes, in part technology, for example broadcast media, helped break it. I think we can look to the Net and open source as a way to help revitalize our democratic processes.
Technology is one way, but only as a tool to create a more participative political process that gives everybody who’s interested a way to impact the political decision making directly.
I’m currently thinking on how this can be done – if you have any ideas, let me know :o)