Direct Democracy

Dutch democracy is famed with its ‘polder model’ which aims to reach compromises between workers, employers and government. It makes for a cozy society where inequalities are being kept in check, the best way to make the most people happy. ┬áIt ain’t all roses though, the system works because Holland is a major fossil fuel hub and exporter for Germany, so basically it doesn’t need to do much to dip into the pool of international currencies and buy anything it needs and doesn’t make itself. Holland is also a financial center of note, and many tax evation and royalty routes go through Amsterdams mailbox firms (and consultancies). This all means fossil fuels are the diet of choice, and this is clearly noticable in the politics.

The problem with dutch democracy is its lack of transparency. Votes for proposals are by party, not by member of parliament. So a voter can not see whether a politican they vote for makes the right decision, he/she can only see that the party follows its program, right or wrong.

Another problem is that the proposals usually stem from individual assesments of the situation. So the green party wants to halt wood burning in power plants. That is not a fundamental concern of many other parties. There is no basic starting point to reason like “we must reduce CO2 emissions”, while there is a basic starting point that “economic growth is good”. The latter is implicit for no apparent reason. In short proposals to deviate or improve on the existing plans of the ruling parties are usually dismissed. A huge waste of time and energy.

As mentioned abouve one can not tell whether proposals have actually been discussed and who liked it or didn’t like it. While it only makes sense that a plan launched once every 4 years needs a few tweaks to work out well. There is no way to know how politicians steer us, only how the parties as a whole behave. In the current makeup of the dutch parliament the right wing VVD is almighty, also because it appears to have brainwashed the labour party into vehemently supporting it and it’s economic (pro fossil fuel) attitude. The labour party leader even goes so far as to say that he won’t even step down if the party loses (to the VVD) in the next elections.

Now what if we created an app that fixed the intransparency of our dutch parliament. One that gave direct feedback to parties and members about what they should vote. Better still what if proposals where also in the public domain, so that competing proposals towards the same issue could be weighted. This app would have a fully public record of all (public) votes cast, as well as allow the members to vote and show their personal preference.

The substrate of the app will be twitter, we wrote earlier about it as a hypertransparency medium. It has the unique properties of being a permanent public record. Any tweet from any users can be found and exists with its date and time fixed (unless it is deleted). Votes cast through twitter are more or less set in stone, user tweeting and deleting a lot can simply be barred from the count.