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Original Posting: New Political System for the Information Age Draft #04

In reponse to The Swiss political model is good for Singapore - [Ted Becker]
Tue, 25 May 2004 11:36:38 -0500

Compatibility with the existing system is crucial
Thursday, 27 May 2004 02:15 Singapore

Ted Becker said:

“Just go with "deliberative democracy" and forget about all the complexities involved in using Teledem. I'll still use it interchangeably with "delib democracy" since the latter employs all methods of delib including electronic....and also includes direct democratic practices, such as the BC Citizens Assemblies.”
Is “deliberative democracy” defined as “democracy through citizen participation and deliberation”?

“I truly wish you well with your work on the web with NPS in Singapore... .”
Thank you very much
“…. and I urge you to continue to argue that the Swiss political model helps their economy and culture and that it can't really do anything but improve Singapore's future.”
There are 2 vital elements in the Swiss model, that also form the core of the NPS: The people “the Sovereign” (in the NPS, it is the sovereignty of the electoral majority) and the citizens’ initiative. Of course, any other good, useful and compatible features or practices of the Swiss model could be adopted into the NPS.

If you were talking about incorporating the Swiss model into an existing political system, then compatibility with the existing system is crucial. For example, if the existing system requires for its operation tough laws to control the people and effectively deny them free political choices, then the Swiss model of the citizens’ initiative would undermine such a system when the people have the powers to reject the laws they do not want or agree.

“If I remember correctly, you are basically running a web forum using the NPS as the focal point of the discussion, right? ….”
Mine is a personal website (http://www.lpc1998.com/) for the exchange of thoughts with anyone who enjoys such a hobby and the NPS is a major matter of interest.
“…. Perhaps we can link to your discussion in our new Journal of Public Deliberation. .. .”
I shall be delighted for such a link, but, in view of the infancy of my website, I do not know whether it is appropriate for such a linkage at this point of time from the point of view of the DDC.
“…. Can you tell me how many people are/have been involved in your forum. …..”
You were among the first 5 people who were invited to comment on the NPS at my website, and apart from you, Ian Green of the Direct Democracy Forum has also responded. But unlike you, Ian Green has the impression that the NPS is no different from the existing systems. And therefore, it is not new at all. He has not yet replied to my last response to him.

The initial NPS discussions began in the now defunct STIC (Straits Times Interactive Chat) chatroom where many people had participated or contributed some comments to the discussions over a period of about two and half years and, most probably, hundreds had read and thought about it, but the chatroom was a very ‘noisy’ place and the quality of the discussions was generally low. I still have copy of many of the postings with me that I intend to put them up gradually at the website when I have the time. Many of the postings need complicated HTML tags to duplicate the original.

One useful benefit of the NPS discussions in the chatroom is the raising of the political awareness and knowledge of the otherwise politically inert, highly dissatisfied or less informed individuals who were increasingly becoming politically and socially cynical.

“Also do you "facilitate" it in some way to get people to speak up and out?”
I intend to invite more experienced and informed people all over the world who share the view or assessment that the present political systems or practices are inadequate for the future or who for any other reasons desire to participate in the discussions, to comment on the NPS and on how to make it a viable new political system for the information age. In this regard, the NPS discussions still have a very long journey to go.

I shall be grateful, if you could inform any person who may be interested in the NPS discussion of the existence of my website.

When the NPS Draft is sufficiently comprehensive and after some of the best available political minds in the world have commented or improved on it, it may then be time to invite the local political academics and social thinkers for comments and assessment.

After that, if the situation remains positive and favourable, the NPS Draft may then be presented to the national leaders for consideration.

In the meantime, if any other people in the world find the NPS useful or inspiring, they will be most welcome to adopt it with or without adaptation.

Best Regards

Replies by:

  1. Ted Becker

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