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Society & Ecology
Tuesday, July 29, 2003  
Process vs. Positions

We have gained a good deal of experience with our current democratic system. A system where typically two or more factions are in adversarial positions to each other, and where one faction gains power for a while, creates changes, which are reversed when another faction gains power shortly after. We all know it is an imperfect system.

Over the years, I have come to feel that most of the time it does not matter much who is in power. It is the same game of changing policies which then are reversed at next election. A solution to this is a more deeply democratic and participatory system - a system that focuses more on process and less on positions. One example is the citizen juries in Denmark, composed of a representative sample of the population, which examines in depth a particular issue - interviewing witnesses from all sides - and then comes with a recommendation to the government and the Danish people for how to approach the issue. As the juries are composed of a wide range of people and the process is solid, the solutions are typically perceived as balanced and wise by the general population.

The Co-Intelligence Institute describes this and similar approaches to participatory/process oriented democracy on their website, and in the book The Tao of Democracy.

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