People, Not Technology, Will Save Democracy
Manuel Arriaga of Foreign Policy counters the now-popular notion that technology and Internet-based solutions will be enough to restore democracy’s luster. Instead, he believe they are more of a distraction.
“Sure, empowering citizens at the local level and through trendy new technologies — and the greater public involvement in policy-making this promises — are positive developments. But we must remember that the bulk of political power still lies in the hands of the professional politicians that govern our nations,” he contends.
Arriaga suggests that involving citizens in deliberations and governing is one way to “reboot” democracy.
“The promise of citizen deliberation is that it could free policy-making from the well-known biases that plague professional politicians. Ordinary citizens, chosen at random, can act in what they perceive to be the true public interest, free from the pressures of facing reelection,” he argues.
Furthermore, by letting ordinary citizens make policy could diminish the role of big money in politics because they must neither cater to the interests of those who funded their campaign nor hew to the party line. They don’t have to worry about how necessary-but-unpopular measures will adversely impact their popularity.
Russia’s Future From An Exile’s Point Of View
Ilya Ponomarev, a member of the Russia State Duma, shares his views on dissent in Russia and his vision for his country’s future.
Cities Of The Future
A new website has been launched by Sony’s Global Imaging Ambassadors that explores the problems, solutions, and trends shaping cities all over the world through photography. It is a fascinating visual documentary on the change occurring across the globe.