Essential elements of a democracy
Democracy as a form of government always has the following characteristics:
- there is a demos, a group which makes political decisions by some form of collective procedure. In modern democracies the demos is the nation and citizenship is usually equivalent to membership.
- there is a territory where the decisions apply, and where the demos is resident. In modern democracies, the territory is the nation-state.
- there is a decision-making procedure, which is either direct (e.g. a referendum) or indirect (e.g. election of a parliament).
- the procedure is regarded as legitimate by the demos, implying that its outcome will be accepted. Political legitimacy is the willingness of the population to accept decisions of the state (government and courts), which go against personal choices or interests. It is especially relevant for democracies, since elections have both winners and losers.
- the procedure is effective in the minimal sense that it can be used to change the government, assuming there is sufficient support for that change.
- "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 % of the people may take away the rights of the other 49 %." - Thomas Jefferson
- "If elections changed anything, they would be forbidden" - Kurt Tucholsky
Democracy 2.0 as a Wiki-experiment
Democracy 2.0 hopes to answer the question: if the country started from scratch today, meaning there are no laws, what laws would you make for society?
We hypothesize that collaboration through a wiki will filter social norms, transform these social norms into legislation, which in turn will produce superior laws to govern society.
"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter." --Winston Churchill
""It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." --(as well) Winston Churchill
"In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme." --Aristoteles
"People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing." --Walter H. Judd
MattisManzel 16:32, 8 December 2005 (CET): Intereting. Seems to believe this could be done for a restricted territory (USA, in that case, our country) and there seems to be not only intelligence gathered on it. Interesting.