Socrates once said that democracy itself will lead to the election of demagogues and dictators. Witnessing today's events one could claim he was right. What are the pitfalls of democracy? Is an electoral representative system in a media era inevitably leading to populism? Is a welfare state bound to end up in the erosion of the sense of community? Will the growing reliance on bottom-up initiatives and DIY promote inequality? New Democracy discusses the dark sides of democracy and its institutionalization. More important we challenge ourselves to come up with strategies to avoid the possible negative effects. Special guest is Hille Hinsberg, co-organizer of the landmark Estonian project 'The People's Assembly'.
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In 2012 the Estonian Parliament questioned how they could make Estonian politics more democratic. Together with civil society organizations the online platform The People’s Assembly was initiated in order to crowdsource new legislation on political parties, the electoral system and citizen engagement. Co-organizer Hille Hinsberg will share her experience with this innovative method that generated 6.000 policy proposals from which 15 have been presented to Parliament and 7 have been accepted.
This event is part of the Dutch digital democracy project of the Dutch Ministry of Interior and Kingdom relations together with Netwerk Democratie and Waag society. The aim of this project is to boost the use of digital participation tools in the Netherlands by tapping into already successfully used e-democracy tools throughout Europe. It is realized as a part of the European Citizens Crowdsourcing (EUCROWD) conference organised by Netwerk Democratie. The EUCROWD project has been funded with the support of the Europe for Citizens programme 2016 of the European Union. The project aims to raise awareness of the possibilities and to develop the skills at national and European level for using innovative channels of e-participation of citizens in politics and policy with a focus on the application of crowdsourcing in fostering a democratic debate on the future of the European Union.