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In reponse to New Political System for the Information Age Draft #04

I like your ideas

Email: Mon, 17 May 2004 11:40:12 0500

From what I have seen, just in a cursory perusal of your ideas, I like them and they would be an obvious improvement over the one-party elitist rule in your country, a situation that, as you wisely observe, does not begin to bring to bear the full weight of intelligence, experience and expertise of the entire population on serious problems that will confront Singapore and the entire world in short order. Your system would be a big step in the proper direction.

As you can tell from TAN+N2, there is indeed a global movement, small but growing in size and sophistication, to empower citizens to make important decisions in policy, planning, budgeting, constitutional transformations. TAN+N, sad to say, hasn't been updated in over 2 years and much has happened since then.

I will soon have two online publications...one called The Journal of Public Deliberation and the other will be remake of Citizen Power (which you can see on TAN+N2, that was first conceived and posted in 1996. but not reworked until this coming year.) In both of them, we will have lots more updated and improved materials to help you better understand and grasp how to improve NPS.

One quick change you should make is that what you call a "referendum" is in fact a "citizens initiative." The only country that has this sytem at the national level at present is Switzerland, which, by the way, is an excellent model for a small, dynamic, strategically placed country like yours, one with several languages. You might try to find Greg Fosdahl's recent book Democracy in Switzerland...which describes the power of the people through this particular device you recommend.

I look forward to a long and productive relationship with you and those in Singapore who see the future as either empowering the people quickly or seeing the future slip into deep decline.

Ted Becker
Teledemocracy Action News + Network --- TAN+N

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