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Global Forum for Direct Democracy – Rome ‘2018. Рroposal by Tanya Todorova

2018.10.03 Няма коментари

Speech-proposal by Tanya Todorova,

member of the Bulgarian Union for Direct Democracy,

of the Global Forum for Direct Democracy – Rome ‘2018

Photo: Screenshot of Chiarli’s 007 video

 

Tanya Todorova

Ladies and gentlemen,

My name is Tanya Todorova, and I am a member of BUDD – Bulgarian union for Direct Democracy.

Rome – the Eternal city is my favourite town, and I have been here many times, but the first time to speak in front of an audience was in November 2016. I was one of the participants in “How we can govern Europe” conference, and in Camera dei deputati I shared the fact that currently, we don’t have a real democracy. Thanks to the simple semantic deception – to name with the name of the medicine the illness – we all have been deceived. Our society is ill, and there is no need to have a medical degree to notice this. The real direct democracy was built on two simple principles: 1. Elections by sortition and 2. Short mandates.

Without implementing these two principles in the current election system, we can’t produce as a result direct democracy. The correct name of what we have today is a representative oligarchy. Some people in Camera dei deputati disagree with me, but they didn’t have any valid arguments to prove me wrong. It is true that at that time M5S were still not in the government, nor was it talked about the income of citizens and to restore the dignity of the people.

I thought that my speech wouldn’t have a big impact – after all Camera dei deputati is not Twitter or FB with millions of audience where we can easily reach them. Turn out that I was wrong. A month ago Beppe Grillo -the father of M5S – launched in one of his interviews the idea to apply election by sortition to elect members in the Italian Parliament. I am very happy that now this idea is spread from people like Beppe Grillo, because he is one of the main influencers in 21 centuries. I am sure that many people will realise they have been deceived.

But today I would like to touch another very important and sensitive topic – the channels for distributing information and who controls them. Once Jim Morrison said that “Whoever controls the media, control mind’. By having control over the media, you have control over what people create in their reality. If we look around, we will see that we are experiencing a revolution thanks to the existence of social media. Examples of this revolution are – Brexit in the UK, the election of Donald Trump in the USA, but the biggest one is M5S in Italy. All of them happened because their initiators used social media to reach their audience and completely ignored the traditional media. I don’t know if we realize at all the real power of these companies- FB, Twitter and Google. With the flick of a switch, a handful of tech giants can change the nature and extent of mankind’s ingestion of information. In 2013, Google took a step towards understanding the intent of their users with the Hummingbird algorithm. Twitter replaced the most-recent by the most-important tweets by introducing their algorithmic timeline in 2016. Facebook claimed they’d be replacing clickbait with more meaningful interactions on their feeds earlier this year. These changes are almost always met with public uproar for a few weeks, soon after which humanity acquiesces. The ability for an elite to instantly alter the thoughts and behaviour of billions of people is unprecedented. The consequences are serious – algorithms control what we read and shape our behaviour. What can be done?

Although the media mentioned above are private companies, we saw how US Senate asked them to make serious changes in their algorithm. Mr Farage said that after these changes for him is more difficult to reach his audience on FB. We all know how soon after the US election and the scandal with Cambridge Analytica, the administration of Donald Trump reported that he lost over 40% from FB followers. Mr Farage proposes to implement new legislation that doesn’t censorship the conservative ideas and those that not agree with the current government policy. I would rather go in a different direction. I would propose to create more internet-based tools that give independence to democratic people to be heard and not censorship. What is the man difference between Brexit, DJ election and M5S? M5S have their software called Rousseau where they can run an internal election, discuss changes in law and create educational videos for their members. My idea is to create a common internet-based platform for Direct democracy and give space to each country to upload their materials. We can use social media only to redirect our sympathisers to this platform, and if the owners of social media decide to ban our accounts, we still are able to attract and educate people. Having a common platform will facility us to exchange valuable practices and ideas instantly. I read that this Global Forum is special because it will produce a draft of a brand-new charter for a new organisation, the International League of Democracy Cities. I believe that this Global Forum will become a milestone in the process of building democracy in our society if it decides to build such a platform where we can work together.

Thank you for your attention.

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