[iDC] voting as an act of citizenship, perhaps? cont.

Janet Hawtin lucychili at gmail.com
Fri Jan 4 21:39:13 UTC 2008

On Jan 5, 2008 2:53 AM, Vanalyne Green <V.Green at leeds.ac.uk> wrote:
> Thanks, Janet,
> I especially appreciate the image of the toddler.  Points taken.  It may help to give some context to where I'm coming from.  I was very influenced by the work of Feel Tank Chicago, of which I was a member when I lived in the States (http://www.feeltankchicago.net/).  In particular, I'm moved by what I perceive as the roundabout ways people have of living with the fact that their governments don't listen to them, be it through not voting, through depression, cynicism, religion -- in my opinion one of the few socially sanctioned opportunities for people to be irrational and proud of it.  So to think about spoiled ballots, shopping as voting, etc., is a  route to a using a language, I hope, a language that might give people more opportunities to bring to consciousness what life would look like if they thought what they wanted could make a difference.  I don't have illusions about making a huge difference, but I live in this world and must respond to its crises, and the project is one of those ways.
> What you wrote about the earth doesn't scale is very lovely.  I agree.


Here is the senator online site

A google on the founder's name

Which is why I think that working around the vote end of the system is
unlikely to offer social
and ecological changes.

The kind of people who currently gravitate towards providing services to manage
digital voting eg Diebold, seem to be loosely joined to the ethics and
core function of voting
and more closely connected to individual candidates or other interests.

In a context where the voting is the only moment where the voters are relevant
it is not surprising that the interests which generally shape
governance for the rest of the year
tend to have a shaping factor on the choices form and effect of voting.

Lessig is aiming to tackle the core corruption of the political
process in the USA.

Obama is running with the same thoughts.
Reengaging democracy with its function.
The issues section is quite comprehensive.

Dont know if he will be able to effect systemic change but the process
he is using to have a go is all based on the voters control/funding of
his campaign rather than the lobbyist groups which normally shape the
profile of the candidate.

Who are the people and what are the systems which need to be tackled
in other nations?
In local areas. What does democracy look like if voters do want to see
what is at the other end of the transactions they are making. What if
there is no TMI or SEP button. How do we manage information as a
volume of information which we are responsible for weilding.

It depends what your goals are but for me the core policies and
thinking behind governance as
opposed to franchise seems to be a body of knowledge which is at risk
through misuse or through
people purchasing policy and law from proponents or from international
agreements at WIPO which do not
have at heart the same kind of public interest and which are
explicitly matters of trade as law and social policy. Intellectual
property, patents and copyright are having a great deal of impact on
how people can participate because these increasingly intrusive laws
are shaped by groups who see the system as money would tell it.

Finding ways to reengage social prirorities is one challenge.
Finding ways to effectively represent and offer responsible custody
for ecology and biodiversty or even for traditional cultures
is a systemic choice about the value of that diversity over the right
of way of a monoculture we are more familiar with.
Wade Davis' TED talk looks at the view from another perspective.

The Chicago people might find something in Wade Davis' call for
inclusion of social diversity:

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