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New Democracy #16

Who’s afraid of the people?

What are the pitfalls of democracy? Is an electoral representative system in a media era inevitably leading to populism?

Digitale Innovatie E-democracy New Democracy participatieve democratie populisme
source: commondreams.org

Socrates once said that democracy itself will lead to the election of demagogues and dictators. Witnessing today’s events one could claim he was right.

What are the pitfalls of democracy? Is an electoral representative system in a media era inevitably leading to populism? Is a welfare state bound to end up in the erosion of the sense of community? Will the growing reliance on bottom-up initiatives and DIY promote inequality? New Democracy discusses the dark sides of democracy and its institutionalization. More important we challenge ourselves to come up with strategies to avoid the possible negative effects.

Special guest is Hille Hinsberg, co-organizer of the landmark Estonian project ‘The People’s Assembly’. In 2012 the Estonian Parliament questioned how they could make Estonian politics more democratic. Together with civil society organizations the online platform The People’s Assembly was initiated in order to crowdsource new legislation on political parties, the electoral system and citizen engagement. Co-organizer Hille Hinsberg will share her experience with this innovative method that generated 6.000 policy proposals from which 15 have been presented to Parliament and 7 have been accepted. Also joining us are Dick Pels, sociologist and political writer; Godelieve van Heteren, director of Europa Arena; and Ramin Azarhoosh, community builder, social entrepreneur and co-founder of the Meevaart, a community center in Amsterdam East.

This event is part of the Dutch digital democracy project of the Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties together with Netwerk Democratie and Waag Society. It is realized as a part of the European Citizens Crowdsourcing (EUCROWD) conference organised by Netwerk Democratie. The EUCROWD project has been funded with the support of the Europe for Citizens programme 2016 of the European Union.

The next day, 15 March, the second part of the EUCROWD Dutch Conference will take place: Crowdsourcing a new European Democracy. 12:00 – 16:00.