We need a new online democracy
PRETTY much every UK citizen is ready to shout “you’re fired” at their local MP after the depressing expenses revelations.
I’ve always believed that form is content – that how you say something is just as important as what you say.
Barack Obama came to power by having such an effective way of expressing himself, that the full impact of what he was actually saying was hidden.
Obama’s form – and impressive oration – seemed to breathe from every pore.
How would the Obama tsunami come to Britain? People talk about the enlarging of the government everywhere. But the expenses scandal sets this back.
A neutered state has grown over the past decade. Our elected representatives have no sense of stewardship of our money whatsoever, and now their absence of moral authority has been laid bare. They believe that they can pay for their luxury lifestyles by increasing taxes and filling out large expense claims.
With that backdrop, Sir Paul Judge’s new party, the Jury Team, seems to have captured the zeitgest. Launched in mid March 2009, the Jury Team was founded “for those people who believe in democracy, but who have observed how the current party political system has turned the UK’s parliament and government into the creatures of a small and increasingly distant group of oligarch politicians”.
Politics like any old corporate dinosaur is dying an ugly death.
A new two-way democracy, empowered by online pollster YouGov which is one of the most accurate survey vehicles around, is being born.
Transparency is not just in – it is de rigeur. People want something new that they can believe in.
In the same way as corporate man has passed away, and gone plural, so the identification with a political party is no longer the point. Even as Cameron has been detoxifying the Conservative brand, the form has changed on his new content.
Obama’s campaign showed that young people will engage with democracy if the tools look familiar.
The British public overwhelmingly are not active members of political parties. The party is no longer the form.
That’s why the Jury Team is worth greater inspection. Perhaps they have figured out the new form which is ultimately the content. This form is the kind of stuff that people want to participate, blog, read, share, discuss, and survey the key issues of. And they want it all to be transparent – not done behind closed doors by a political class.
Whereas in Brussels, for example, they haven’t had auditors willing to sign off on the accounts for more than a decade. Breaking up that unaccountable mess will be the next stage of the new democracy 2.0.
Open the windows, let the sun in. Democracy hasn’t died; it’s actually just beginning.
Julie Meyer is the chief executive of Ariadne Capital