Feb 272012
 

Today Caucus votes in Australia as to who will Lead the Labor Party – our current Prime Minister Julia Gillard, or our ex Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – and ultimately be Prime Minister. I’ve put together a video to talk about how I think representational democracy is dead, and how Media failed the Australian people.

sooner or later, my ramblings end up on my iTunes podcast – video or audio.  Please subscribe and rate?  :P

Democracy is Linear

Representational democracy is where you vote for a Member, and hand over all your responsibilities to them until the next election. In Ancient Times, every village would vote in a Representative who would go to the next biggest town and vote on the village issues. Very linear. Issue->communication->vote in Village->run to town-> argue the points-> outcome.

Democracy could be Digital (non linear)

Pericles said: ”It is true that we (Athenians) are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many and not the few, with equal justice to all alike in their private disputes.”

Democracy was supposed to be all people acting as Government for all the time. That was Direct Democracy. Well actually, they didn’t have computers or the internet or a Platform, but still it was everyone gets a shot at running the community for a year each.

We don’t live in a linear world anymore. It’s now possible for every Australian to vote on every issue and collaborate on the outcome. Not just the Icelandic Constitution on Facebook but also fixing park benches as a group on FixMyStreets. Who needs councils? :P

Government as a Service

This representational democracy placed Government in a Service role. We have an issue, Government provides a service and fixes it, we pay taxes for that. Cumbersome, with poor oversight, and no understanding of the big Q Questions/issues, but plenty of big A Answers/white papers. What if we had an issue and used Government platforms to find and source and crowdfund a solution? If we crowdsourced the implementation of the solution?

Government as a Platform

Social Politics using social media platforms gives Government the opportunity to provide a Platform. In the same way that peer to peer banks just provide the platform (profiles and transfers) rather than act as mediator bankers, and the same way that eBay just provides the platform (profiles and transfers) rather than actually makes and sells products, Government could provide a platform for Australians to participate in direct democracy. I raise an issue, and educate my fellow Australians and form collaborative working groups to address those issues, using the Government platform.

The Cult of Personality and Adversarial Politics

Representational democracy works or fails on the fact that our politicians are human and singular. With a toxic boss, it’s fails. Even with a great boss, it’s adversarial. Adversarial models fail in a social collaborative world. Competition is atrophying, collaboration is arising. Frenemies at best… The Attorney General reveals just how crippling a toxic boss can be in this interview at ABC Insiders. (not embeddable, sorry).

Crowdsourced politics and collaboration

Crowdsourcing works or fails on the fact that the voters are human and many. There will be other issues with Government as a Platform – an imperative need to educate and communicate amongst them. But it will push Human Evolution along a few steps.

Media failure to communicate

If Kevin Rudd was as toxic as everyone says (even his supporters say he “has changed”) and the Media knew about it, why was he continually heralded as a ‘great media personality’ and popular on Sunrise etc. Conspiracy of silence. Shocking.  It’s time we heard the real truth about Kevin from James Button on SMH.

On Monday, a Fairfax journalist, Katharine Murphy, wrote that Rudd’s swearing and ranting on a recently leaked YouTube video only confirmed what everyone in Canberra knew about his character. “Who knew that?” she wrote. “Well, all of us. We were there – the political staff, bureaucrats, colleagues, journalists, the public who got that side of Rudd through the accounts we all wrote – piecing it together. It wasn’t that long ago.”

Strangely, the information age seems to have made grasping the truth of things harder. The shrinking of the broad base of political parties; their failure to tell stories that inspire and ring true; the increasing lack of penetration of the serious media; the rarity of deep analysis, told in a compelling way; the 60-second YouTube videos that portray Julia as robotic or Kevin as a knockabout bloke who swears a bit too much; the distrust and distraction of we the people: all these promote misunderstanding. They are death to an engaged politics.

Damning indeed. Given that social media wasn’t used at all by Government, it’s hardly surprising that all that people know about are YouTube videos.

Government failure to use Social Media

Twitter isn’t about the few million on Twitter. It’s about using those few million to inform and ripple to the 22 million that are connected to them. That is the essence of social media – it’s the Exposure/Reach, not the Circulation. Opposite of traditional media. Yet social media channels are not used by Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd except as adhoc testomonial statements. There’s no polling, no collaboration, no communication back to people and no distribution (links, retweets etc). Just straight “here’s my press release” statements and the odd jokey statement.

But all government think social media is good for is heckling and stupid videos. Tho the one above is pretty good :)

 

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  • http://twitter.com/silkcharm/status/174012810597113856 SilkCharm

    Democracy is dead, long live social media http://t.co/bJQKzyXO Why Collaboration means Representational Democracy is dead. #auspol #respill

  • http://twitter.com/blogus_maximus/status/174017042079420416 Sir.Blogsworth

    Democracy is dead, long live social media http://t.co/bJQKzyXO Why Collaboration means Representational Democracy is dead. #auspol #respill

  • http://twitter.com/kismetician/status/174017091815489536 Antitank Fortank

    Democracy is dead, long live social media http://t.co/bJQKzyXO Why Collaboration means Representational Democracy is dead. #auspol #respill

  • http://twitter.com/dbxodls/status/174019148156895232 dbxodls

    Democracy is dead, long live social media http://t.co/bJQKzyXO Why Collaboration means Representational Democracy is dead. #auspol #respill

  • http://twitter.com/silkcharm/status/174020527869005824 SilkCharm

    @sylmobile or just watch the video :P http://t.co/IDeXbuoB

  • http://twitter.com/laurelrusswurm/status/174025466397728768 Laurel L. Russwurm

    Laurel Papworth: Representational Democracy is Dead http://t.co/P4xjL6N8 << funny, I've been thinking the same in #Canada #CDNpoli #fairvote

  • http://twitter.com/garyphayes/status/174032656193957888 Gary Hayes

    RT @Silkcharm: Representational Democracy is Dead – voxpop http://t.co/8BFRcjhW

  • http://twitter.com/beccacalvert/status/174032897265778688 Becca Calvert

    RT @Silkcharm: Representational Democracy is Dead – voxpop http://t.co/8BFRcjhW

  • http://twitter.com/sanderdewijs/status/174035167554437122 Sander de Wijs

    Leuke nieuwe term: Government as a Service. RT @SilkCharm: Democracy is dead, long live social media http://t.co/2siX0ajc

  • http://twitter.com/mariamcook/status/174036001692450816 Mariam Cook

    Exclnt RT @SilkCharm Democracy is dead, long live social media http://t.co/3bKbTDjI y Collaboration means Representational Democracy is dead

  • http://twitter.com/jderieuw/status/174042501093662720 Jürgen Derieuw

    Niet alleen in België, dus. “@GaryPHayes: RT @Silkcharm: Representational Democracy is Dead – voxpop http://t.co/BafZqXSA”

  • http://twitter.com/mikey_pants/status/174043723066388480 Mike

    Representational Democracy is Dead http://t.co/hDfFhWKB – the whole system is not required in hyper-connected world. It's time for change

  • http://twitter.com/doctorlaura/status/174068152991350784 doctorlaura

    Brilliant! RT @GaryPHayes: RT @Silkcharm: Representational Democracy is Dead – voxpop http://t.co/zM79Pzfg

  • http://twitter.com/sourayaramadan/status/174069309193191424 Souraya Ramadan

    Democracy is dead, long live social media http://t.co/bJQKzyXO Why Collaboration means Representational Democracy is dead. #auspol #respill

  • http://twitter.com/ecomunidades/status/174097603204628480 comunidades

    Representational Democracy is Dead: Today Caucus votes in Australia as to who will Lead the Labor Party – our cu… http://t.co/ZUmuKXtB

  • http://twitter.com/jherder/status/174103605488521216 Jan Herder

    RT @Silkcharm: Representational Democracy is Dead – voxpop http://t.co/8BFRcjhW

  • http://twitter.com/avinio/status/174117036656566273 Avi Joseph

    Exclnt RT @SilkCharm Democracy is dead, long live social media http://t.co/3bKbTDjI y Collaboration means Representational Democracy is dead

  • http://twitter.com/jamesjohnsonchr/status/174117964814106625 James Johnson

    Congrats for another of your insightful blogs, Laurel. RT @SilkCharm Democracy is dead, long live #SocialMedia http://t.co/oUtjEoeZ

  • http://twitter.com/silkcharm/status/174122016281083905 SilkCharm

    Congrats for another of your insightful blogs, Laurel. RT @SilkCharm Democracy is dead, long live #SocialMedia http://t.co/oUtjEoeZ

  • http://twitter.com/hellosimonlock/status/174141098472644609 Simon Lock

    Democracy is dead, long live social media http://t.co/bJQKzyXO Why Collaboration means Representational Democracy is dead. #auspol #respill

  • http://twitter.com/beccacalvert/status/174182094988251136 Becca Calvert

    "@GaryPHayes: RT @Silkcharm: Representational Democracy is Dead – voxpop http://t.co/hPBRaR4V&quot; A VERY GOOD READ! PLEASE LOOK THIS OVER!!

  • http://twitter.com/silkcharm/status/174263687144677376 SilkCharm

    RT @garyphayes: RT @SilkCharm: Representational Democracy is Dead – voxpop http://t.co/lm4fRHkT [Social Media changes politics forever]

  • http://twitter.com/celeb_leak/status/174267789123661824 Princess Paula

    RT @SilkCharm: RT @garyphayes: RT @SilkCharm: Representational Democracy is Dead – voxpop http://t.co/t532Qc8W [… http://t.co/bCz3NIqU

  • Alex

    Just responding to the points you’re talking about in your video.

    It’s a great idea to use social media as a tool to rally your troops and create engagement. But creating meaningful engagement is a time consuming process. Sure you can create a petition and get them your backers to sign it to create pressure or be indicative of support, but how much ownership is the crowd that follows going to have over a petition.

    I think as humans what we really value, at least it’s what I value, is the time and attention of others. Sure you can create an email form and mail merge a response to include my name at the top… but is that really any different to saying Dear sir/madam, the recognition of my own identity is pretty much the same, except in the former I’ve entered in my personal details to receive that personalisation…

    Social media is a medium, our attentions, our trust, and the time we have are all in their own ways limited commodities.

    • Laurel Papworth

      Good lord, Gov as Platform is not petitions, I was specifically thinking of Brazil, who put up 11 million dollars for crowd sourced local council projects. Not petitions! :p

      • http://egovau.blogspot.com Craig

        Crowdfunding is an excellent example as the projects can be encapsulated in a couple of pages of detail and voted on based on a ‘like for like’ basis. There are X dollars & Y projects. Each project is independent and costs Z. Therefore you can only fund X/Z projects.

        However government policy doesn’t work in the same manner.

        Let’s take parental leave. A proposal that every parent should be entitled to 12 months paid parental leave after the birth of a child has to be considered based on the impacts on the community, on business (small, medium and large), on population growth rates, on immigration, on economic impact, on the tax impact as well as on the direct dollar cost.

        Add the dependencies and interactions on other policies and suddenly you go from having a containable issue to a wicked problem – one which is extremely hard to encapsulate in a few pages stating, if we do X the impact is Y, if we don’t do X the impact is Z.

        That’s where direct democracy begins to fall down. Athens did not have direct democracy – only land owners (male, wealth and most fairly intelligent) were allowed to vote. Slaves, women and labourers missed out.

        With representative democracy a much greater range of people get to vote, however they don’t get to vote on every decision.

        That’s partially because many of the decisions being made are very complex and require full time professionals (we call them politicians and advisors) to grasp and understand – and even then they often don’t understand them sufficiently.

        There is certainly enormous scope for public works and legislation to be suggested and even voted on directly by the public – however there may be a cost where unengaged or underinformed communities make decisions that are not in their best interest… and only have themselves to blame – either for not engaging or not taking enough time out of their lives to become an expert on the consequences and ripples of a decision.

        What governments do need to do, however, is open up decision making processes to external scrutiny as completely as possible (privacy and national security considerations aside) and involve citizens as much as they are able and willing to be involved in all stages.

        Where achievable citizens should be able to participate in voting – perhaps in a non-binding plebiscite – but there’s issues with making this mandatory (does the public want to read thousands of pages of legislation each week and make decisions – foregoing their leisure time) or with making it voluntary (where only the most passionate, not necessarily the most affected, vote).

        So a long way to go, but no real time limit. Democracy will evolve and, to some extent, away from representative models, but I don’t expect it will end up totally, or even a large extent direct.

        • Laurel Papworth

          I’ve heard that argument before – none of us are dumb as all of us. And I’m not convinced. We – humanity- have collaborated on some pretty sophisticated issues in the past and done just fine. The whole of the internet would be excellent example of that including LAMP (foundation technology of Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl).

          A platform that took all the social objects (truly Gov 3.0 not 2.0) and brought them together so that people could see the impact of any one decision on the others would be awesome. There are also a lot of games that teach this stuff (serious games) such as the Macdonalds game on iphone where you run a maccas with decisions on cheap products vs expensive, climate impacting solutions or cheaper ones etc.

          “That’s partially because many of the decisions being made are very complex and require full time professionals (we call them politicians and advisors) to grasp and understand – and even then they often don’t understand them sufficiently.”

          Crowdsourcing can fix the problems of a small group of people working full time on something. We have experts that could collaborate on part of the solution. Checking in and out of problems e.g. SourceForge and working on them. There is plenty of scope for big problems not just small ones. World Hunger is currently a “serious game” that is getting a lot of funding an airtime as millions collaborate to solve the issues. If we can crowdsource banks, equity investment and health, why not policy?

          No one person can understand all the issues – not even a politican. Crowdsourced, Gov as platform fixes that.

  • Netizen

    The opp that social media and the Internet as a whole represents for self-governance is perhaps a powerful motivator for those in government to monitor and control the flow of information?

  • Betty

    You really explained this well. I am grateful for this very informational post. Lot of things I don’t yet understand though. I am glad you shed some light on representational democracy.

  • http://twitter.com/ictlogist/status/174362093296959489 Ismael Peña-López

    "Representational Democracy is Dead" by @SilkCharm http://t.co/EiR6UaEt /via @kedume <-gracias :)

  • http://twitter.com/blogsir/status/174377942770651136 blogsir

    Representational Democracy is Dead | @SilkCharm | Laurel Papworth: http://t.co/0DyaAObF

  • http://twitter.com/merce_g/status/174380802304520192 Mercè Gisbert

    RT @ictlogist: "Representational Democracy is Dead" by @SilkCharm http://t.co/RRGnJla7 /via @kedume <-gracias :)

  • http://twitter.com/antonigr/status/174416762203406336 Antoni Gutiérrez

    Interesante ‘Representational Democracy is Dead’ http://t.co/8lUOXVCt via @kedume Gracias!

  • http://twitter.com/fortuny/status/174420300795092992 Jaume Fortuny

    "Representational Democracy is Dead" by @SilkCharm http://t.co/vTxG95xC /via @Kedume @ictlogist /cc @CoFluence

  • http://twitter.com/hel_rb/status/174434405991976961 Elena R.B.

    Interesante ‘Representational Democracy is Dead’ http://t.co/8lUOXVCt via @kedume Gracias!

  • http://twitter.com/luciadurand/status/174440723058397185 Lucia Durand Rojas

    Interesante ‘Representational Democracy is Dead’ http://t.co/8lUOXVCt via @kedume Gracias!

  • http://twitter.com/piscitelli/status/174442753965572096 Alejandro Piscitelli

    RT @antonigr: Interesante ‘Representational Democracy is Dead’ http://t.co/g5Png7f1 De la democracia lineal a la no-lineal versiòn aussie

  • http://twitter.com/cmartalazo/status/174442913470754816 Carmen Marta

    RT @antonigr: Interesante ‘Representational Democracy is Dead’ http://t.co/g5Png7f1 De la democracia lineal a la no-lineal versiòn aussie

  • http://twitter.com/copywriteregan/status/174446561491820544 Murray Regan

    Congrats for another of your insightful blogs, Laurel. RT @SilkCharm Democracy is dead, long live #SocialMedia http://t.co/oUtjEoeZ

  • http://twitter.com/silkcharm/status/174648800697270274 SilkCharm

    Why Representational Democracy is Dead http://t.co/QLjKUp5I Shifting Government-as-a-Service to Gov-as-a-Platform #gov2 #gov2au

  • http://twitter.com/jurylady5/status/174649034538106881 gail simmons

    Why Representational Democracy is Dead http://t.co/QLjKUp5I Shifting Government-as-a-Service to Gov-as-a-Platform #gov2 #gov2au

  • http://twitter.com/dewafatamorgana/status/174649084756504577 I Dewa Gede Satria D

    Why Representational Democracy is Dead http://t.co/QLjKUp5I Shifting Government-as-a-Service to Gov-as-a-Platform #gov2 #gov2au

  • http://twitter.com/vinceoz/status/174649091303817216 Vince Schultz

    Why Representational Democracy is Dead http://t.co/QLjKUp5I Shifting Government-as-a-Service to Gov-as-a-Platform #gov2 #gov2au

  • http://twitter.com/ozequitist/status/174650989440278528 Equitist

    MT @SilkCharm Representational Democracy is Dead http://t.co/NNCUKJvd Shifting Govt-as-a-Service to Gov-as-a-Platform #gov2 #gov2au #AusPol

  • http://twitter.com/simonaroberts/status/174652643237572608 Simon Roberts

    MT @SilkCharm Representational Democracy is Dead http://t.co/NNCUKJvd Shifting Govt-as-a-Service to Gov-as-a-Platform #gov2 #gov2au #AusPol

  • http://twitter.com/simonaroberts/status/174652650573414400 Simon Roberts

    Why Representational Democracy is Dead http://t.co/QLjKUp5I Shifting Government-as-a-Service to Gov-as-a-Platform #gov2 #gov2au

  • http://twitter.com/rodsherwin/status/174654464924454912 Rod Sherwin

    Why Representational Democracy is Dead http://t.co/QLjKUp5I Shifting Government-as-a-Service to Gov-as-a-Platform #gov2 #gov2au

  • cris

    Democracy is Dead

    send free messages http://www.textme4free.com/

  • Constantina E.

    You really got a solid point there. The last video is really funny but reflects the issue well. When is the exact election in your place? I hope the winners will practice true democracy.

    -Constantina

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