107th Madeira Consorcio Meeting 20.7.2019

Jul 21, 2019 at 11:32 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

Hello Team,

We met in RESTOCK again, again with a smaller group because some of our members couldn’t come.

We used a Gallery space downstairs for the viewing of the TED talk, and then moved to the breeze outside.

The video we saw:

Cesar Hidalgo- Augmented democracy with digital agents


Cesar Hidalgo points out that very few people vote, and the voters are disappointed that their will is not being followed through by the politicians elected, he proposes an augmented democracy model.

In this model, each voter should create a digital assistant or avatar, who knows his/her preferences and will accordingly, whenever a vote comes up. Such a digital assistant can be controlled at will and if doing well, can be used to delegate the issues, also to other persons/experts who will have mote time to get into the details of an issue

There was greet skepticism that Cesar’s approach will change things because the politicians currently in power, once elected, do not have to listen to the electorate. But Cesar’s approach is disruptive, and if it is picked up from NGO’s and private initiatives and grows from the bottom up, the politicians may well have to listen in the future if they want to be re-elected.

The will to stay in power is the reason why politicians listen to polls, on the other hand, they mainly listen to their followers and try to ignore their opposition.

With the internet, Politicians’ actions become more transparent; more and more are being caught with misbehaviour and have to leave their posts. The internet gives more options to the citizens to compare what the politicians say before an election and what they follow through afterwards.

In this age, we have to curb the growth of production and the exploitation of the resources, otherwise there will be social unrest. This will also force politicians to change their minds.

Public referendums are a way for the people’s will to overturn the politicians’ intentions; this happened recently in Bavaria, where an initiative to save the bees was incorporated in law.

We ought not to look only on the big and well-known politicians, many politicians do a good job on a local level.

But politicians will always have to make compromises.

Switzerland has a law obliging the citizens to vote so they do get themselves informed before a vote comes up

Ce. said that the split between the main parties does not represent the will of the people.

J. pointed out that specialists are needed to decide on complicated issues.

We spoke a lot about the German political scene, and then tried to get away from it to a broader view. We also tried not to talk about Trump.

There used to be very few, big parties in the old days, nowadays the field is wider and more varied. Still the party decision on one issue can be against the will of a voter who voted for this party in general. Voting should be more to the point and more refined to give a better picture of what the electorate (at here: the people who think about these issues at all) think.

U. suggested a kind of excel file, which every citizen could fill out pre-emptively, to enter their preferences and votes in a block chain system (Claus sad that block chain system can be hacked as well).

A definition of block chain is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain

Another nice TED talk, but a dream not coming true: is to elect citizens at random to become politicians, here is the talk:


Another great idea is to make a law that states that laws and public documents have to be written in plain language; the Scots seem to have done it:


Maybe politicians in today’s world are people who didn’t like to work in the stressful private industry?

Other issues:

The “Participatory Budget” in Funchal doesn’t take place, probably because the Regional Government installed a Participatory Budget for the whole island to the tune of 2.5 Mio €.The budget process started in Ribeira Brava and will tour through all districts. It will probably be too late for the prep and voting in October. But it is a good sum, to be given into the hands of the citizens!



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