Real Democracy Working Table

Objective
- 1. To understand the current situation with respect to real democracy.
2. - Define what real democracy is
3. - Develop proposals to implement real democracy.

Current Situation:
The average person doesn?t connect with the current political situation and is disenfranchised, cynical, skeptical, and demoralized from being betrayed and unheard. The politicians are corrupt and betray the will of the people. The mechanisms of participation are not in line and are outdated with the needs of the time. People should be able to have direct access and representation on a daily basis. With such rapid changes, it is not sufficient to have elections for representatives every few years. There are no mechanisms to neither participate nor have representation, directly nor indirectly that coincide with the times.

On all levels from the social base, to the national and regional level, when the current mechanisms of democracy are exercised by the people, people are still betrayed. This is common to all countries of the region of Mexico, Canada, and the U.S.A., as well as worldwide. We only have a ?formal? democracy pretending to be the model of democracy is a farce.

How do we transform the current situation?

We rescue what elements of democracy we do have within the region and throughout the world and come up with a new model of real democracy.

Interest of this working group: Define real democracy and how to develop it with respect to participation of all people and that it augments each day. We want a proposal that facilitates people having an increasingly stronger voice in policies that affect our daily lives and the lives of all people of the region.

In order to have real democracy we need:

- Freedom of the press and full access to the press
- Ongoing Education and Information
- Maximum and ample mechanisms of direct representation/participation
- Political Accountability - The law of political responsibility where politicians and representatives are held accountable for not fulfilling their proposals.

Defining the current situation:

We do not have a political system where people are represented. The system depends on money and gives access and promotes only those interests of those with money.

The leaders are disconnected and disinterested in the people of the social base. The media and education are driven by money, if it doesn?t sell, it doesn?t get printed.

Our educational system forms us to be obedient workers for the system and not to generate communication nor discussion or knowledge on how to participate in the political process.

Politicians make promises and don?t keep them.

Although the problem seems to be so big and overwhelming because political system is so interconnected with the economic system, we do want to come up with a model to transform the current situation.

Each individual can see personally how we are affected and what we can contribute with a proposal to connect personal with social change through a methodology of active non violence and non discrimination.

People are disenfranchised and isolated from ourselves (our opinions are manipulated by fear or false hopes) and from each other. Our communication is controlled and intermediated by media and inhuman values are imposed, and our education system is to foment the values of the system and not for reflective thinking and connected and mobilizing people to be a part of society but rather part of a factory to produce pragmatic people who foment an ?arms? driven economy.

Our proposal to transform a formal democracy to a real democracy takes into account that we can?t necessarily do it from within the system because its foundation is false. We need new models that transform this with active non violence and non discrimination as a fundamental methodology to include all people.

The problem seems so complicated or complex. We need to change the media, education, and vias of participation.

This situation is the same throughout the region - Mexico and the U.S. and Canada have fraud and must be responded to and resolved from a regional perspective starting from the social base.

The proposal is to open the mechanisms of participation and qualification for people to participate in influencing the direction of the political system towards growing organic real democracy. We can make models of participation, starting at the social base.

Open our own publications, for all opinions as long as they do not promote violence or discrimination.

- Open our own mechanisms of participation (electronic voting, opinion polls, etc.)

- Information workshops and mechanisms ? such as town halls, to have people discuss the issues and breaking the isolation among people by establishing ambits of transformation, people see that we have the same issues in common and we can all be part of the solution.

- We can have workshops and mechanisms to qualify and educate people on the issues and how to influence the present situation and generate a new process of real democracy.

The personal and social change goes hand in hand where we awaken faith that we can do some thing new and different.

Solution: close our bank accounts (corruption).Then we could make demonstration effects. We can run for offices to have influence or go to protests but we also see it is essential to do things on a daily basis.

We evaluate our personal and social ambits where we interact with people (work, school, home, families, friends, etc.) our immediate environments. So we?re not taken by this in-human system we can begin to connect the personal with the social change, starting with communication in our immediate environments. And we extend this to our communities:

Making a community meeting (town halls) on a regular basis, ncluding people from all strata.

Web page: Interactive where people have daily access

Mechanisms: On Voting days during and in between elections we can also hold parallel elections in our neighborhoods.

We can run in traditional elections with a platform we want. Even though we may not win, our platform opens a discussion and influences the politicians as we generate and show the current of opinion of the citizens.

1st step is to develop a regional humanist proposal for real democracy in the North America.

Not only the how but the what. We need a vision that is long term and includes structures and implementation that is flexible and changes with the times. This has to be decentralized, from the community levels, by neighborhood, to the city-wide level, to the state and national levels and regional levels.

We hope that from this forum we can make a space on the web and a general committee to develop real democracy discussions and proposals and implementations - a platform and proposal for the region or a framework for a platform that can continue to develop in the next forum in Mexico.


Facilitator: Matt Albrecht