Thursday, August 9, 2007

Democracy Reading

I've found something else for you to read. It might be profitable. It's about strengthening democracy in response to neo-liberalism.

Representative democracy's legitimacy stems from the minimal but equal participation of all through the vote, whereas the legitimacy of participatory democracy lies in the high degree of activity of what is likely to be a minority through institutions that are transparent, open to all and based on mutually agreed rules. Representative institutions determine the principles and general direction of an elected government. The processes of participatory democracy provide ways in which the people can play a further decisive role in the detailed elaboration of these principles. The open, rule-governed process of popular participation in proposing the detailed priorities of a budget, for example, or managing a local public facility, has more democratic legitimacy than a group of officials working behind closed doors, often doing their own deals with certain social groups and economic interests. Participatory democracy also plays a vital role in monitoring the work of the executive and state apparatus, able to go where and know what politicians cannot.

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