[iDC] Fwd: voting as an act of citizenship, perhaps?

Janet Hawtin lucychili at gmail.com
Thu Jan 3 22:55:06 UTC 2008

On Jan 4, 2008 5:58 AM, Vanalyne Green <V.Green at leeds.ac.uk> wrote:

> Here are the formal questions we've given ourselves via focus groups, art works, performances, architecture:
> 1. How do citizens experience the process of voting in contemporary society?
> 2. What kind of issues – from local to global – would citizens like to vote on if they were given a chance to do so?
> 3. Are there ways of mediating the voting experience that could emphasise its quality as a live event?
> 4. Can new ways be invented to enable citizens to reflect and deliberate upon the intensity of their collective preferences?
> 5. How might people design their own voting methods which emphasise reflexive and imaginative dimensions of choice-making?
> 6. How can the consequences of voting be made more visible?
> I suppose what I'm posing is an open call to you:  are these the right questions to be asking?

Less circus and more meaningful just and aspirational policy developed
in consultation.
Grounded law based on public benefit and open free culture.
Open standards processes which are not just a corporate sumo match.
Real responsibility for mediation and custodianship of biodiversity,
global ecology, and society.

If government can hear only "as money would tell it" (Lessig) then the
public is aware that there is no real intent to match public service
and policy to social purposes except 5 minutes before an election.

Voting is more closely aligned with BB in terms of entertainment v
real contribution.
Subscribing to the idea that this represents real and responsible
democracy is more
of a pantomime with 'Wheres the wolf!' participation and encourges
people to hold
responsibility for cultural issues at an arms length.

Mail lists and facebook groups provide opportunities to collect
connection with ideas which are important to us. It is mediated. It is
also often pantomime. We have not found ways to make this mass machine
accountable for the impact of its actions. And by connection we have
not chosen to be associated with the impact of our actions.
TMI too much information. SEP someone elses problem.
The global mantra or ethic is something closer to 'does it scale?'
than How do we shape ourselves to ensure our world is healthy.

We wear our scale like a toddler in her mother's high heels.
We think it looks sophisticated but are not sure how to drive it.
We dont have the conceptual tools and processes to make choices
about our shoes/footprint or their impact which are responsible regarding our
own sustainability or the sustainability of other species in our care.

Some people are aiming to have people vote direct for policy.
Someone ran for the Senate in Au with that intent. But yes/no binary
participation will not make the ideas on offer any more just or

Voting machines in the USA are not reliable and it is doubtful that
more subtle machinery would provide less opportunities for
questionably 'mediated' results.

We have scaled by abstracting our understanding of our impact so that
we dont get too much information. The earth doesnt scale. It is a
subtle set of interrelated species and
conditions. We are starting to see the impacts despite our cleanly abstracted
data. Now what?

Perhaps a commitment to transparency and negotiated policies with holistic
sustainability as core values. How do we make something like that from
here in BB land?


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