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Many of our so-called modern democracies still run the same way they did almost two centuries ago. With citizens being given the opportunity to participate in the political process once every few years, while their elected representatives get away with quite a bit in the meantime.
Argentinean political scientist Pia Mancini saw this up close while working for the Unión Celeste y Blanco, a traditional political party in Argentina, from 2010 to 2012. And that’s when she decided there had to be a better way.
But for the average person to be heard, they had to be involved directly in the legislative process. This was simply not doable. Why? Because it was not possible for every citizen to devote their lives to politics.
That’s when Mancini, along with her boyfriend Santiago Siri, decided to develop the DemocracyOS, a collaborative, open-source online platform for a more open and participatory government that anyone across the world can get up and running.
With technology developed by Democracia en Red, a non-profit organization based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the platform, launched in April 2012, hopes to fundamentally change the way we interact with our elected representatives, and with each other. It operates on three basic levels – gathering information about political issues, public debate on those issues, and for actually voting on specific proposals.
To promote it, she helped found the Partido de la Red (or Net Party in English) a year later, whose candidates were committed to legislate only as directed by constituents rather than powerful lobbyists.
Today, Mancini’s DemocracyOS, is one of the most used platforms for collaborative decision-making (from Tunisia to Mexico, Kenya, France and even Buenos Aires) and has been translated into 15 languages including Russian, Galician and Ukrainian. It is self-hosted on the party’s own servers, or accessed as an app through the organisation’s website.
With more than 100,000 registered users worldwide, cyber-democracy may soon be coming your way.
RIPAC will investigate the installation of their software and implementation with our current projects. A new article in the near future regarding the reports from developers we interview will ensue. If you are a developer that can is interested in reviewing the Democracy OS software to install on our host, contact us today.