Democratic Utopia

This is an idea I would like to see one day becoming real.

Personally, I am disappointed by politics and I no longer believe in representative democracy.

I dream of a perfect society where all citizens take part in the decision-making process. A modern direct democracy based on new technologies.

In my vision, citizens would have the right to draft, improve and eventually vote new laws. Citizens would approve or reject the new laws by secure voting through internet, and online consultations.

Young people would be encouraged to voice their ideas and they will be given special support in order to work for innovating society.

Elder people would be equally encouraged to enter politics and act as volunteer counselors in their areas of expertise.

There would be no more political leaders, just expert coordinators , people who proved  to be very good in a certain professional area, who can help other people make informed decisions . They will act as combination of teachers, counselors and executive/administrative staff.Their salaries would be voted by people.

The expert coordinators will be elected , but only for short terms (maximum 1-2 years) and will not be decision-makers as citizens will be the only ones empowered to decide.

This idea helped me gain an international writing contest -the “Athens Dialogues” 2010 Competition :

  • Essay A Modern Revival of Greek Democracy, Athens Dialogues E-Journal,2010, Democracy and Politeia

Neverthless, so far I found no way to start working towards its implementation. It’s an utopia, I agree, but I’d love to make it real.

I didn’t find yet the right allies or maybe I didn’t look in the right place for them.

I am much opened to your ideas and suggestions.


first trial in Austria?

Hi Luciana,

I really like your idea!!! I thought about something like that in the past, but I did nothing to make any progress on this idea, so I’m really happy that you published your idea and hopefully you will work for it to make it real!:slight_smile:

I don’t know if it is of any help to you, but I’ve heard that there is going to be a new party (“Online Partei Österreichs”) in Austria which seems to be introducing something like that.

I have to clarify that I’m not a member of this party and I’m even not very well informed about it yet, but I think it’s worth to have a look on it, to see how it works, to see its technical implementation and to see its success at the next elections:

Online Partei Österreichs

The right to vote directly imposes duties

Now to my personal input:

In my opinion the right to vote directly imposes duties. If you want to drive a car you have to learn how to do so and to show your ability to do so.

Why should you have the right to vote and to influence the lives of millions without any check of your ability to do so?

Practically this means for me that there should be objective summaries provided by the expert groups for each topic which is to be voted, especially focusing on the possible consequences that your decision may have. There should be an examination asking you the main questions concerning this topic to ensure that you are well informed about the topic and that you are “aware” of possible consequences of your decision.

After passing the examination concerning the topic you are allowed to vote.

I guess it is a very difficult part to achieve this point, but right now I think it’s necessary…

All the best


Dear Dave,

Thank you for the very useful comments !

Great link…but I need English translation !

Practically this means for me that there should be objective summaries provided by the expert groups for each topic which is to be voted, especially focusing on the possible consequences that your decision may have

That’s exactly my idea , but you expressed it very well ! The education system and the mass media should both help promoting this summaries and making sure everyone reads them !

The idea with pre-voting examination is also great : maybe an online test, assuming voting would be electronic ?

Better to be utopically enthusiast than lamenting

Hi lucyanna,

As appealing as your idea seems when one first reads it, as difficult it is for me to see it in practice… Starting with the right to vote, the channels to vote, the costs to organize elections every 2 years, even online, the setup of online voting which you know in Romania is difficult to instate even for a small part of citizens - diaspora,  the minority of citizens who will be informed enough and really put an effort to help making the decisions, which may not in fact increase participation etc. For now I think Switzerland is the closest to a direct democracy, but it may work there due to a number of contextual elements and quality of citizenship.

Anyway, I think your idea is much more constructive! than the general pessimissim and dissapointment that simply stays there for so many people, young and not so young. Better to think utopically than to let go of any positive thoughts… as I see our parents’ generation doing, more and more. It’s difficult for me to even send them to go vote, that’s how meaningless it all seems for them.

Oh… and congratulations for winning the essay contest, I read your piece and I like it!

  • I’m following this discussion on alternative currencies, here’s another report on that, on Edgeryders. It’s about alternative, local currencies and although the report itself it a bit difficult, for me at least, you’ll find the comment thread definitely interesting. See you around!

I agree

Dear Noemi,

Thank you for your reply.

You are right : making this idea real would take lots of time. I was actually thinking a country needs to pass through a preparation phase prior to the transition to direct democracy. This phase could take 10-20 years and would imply reforms in the educational system and making the media part of the educational  process.

I have no idea about the costs…I believe it could cost a lot at first, but later it might be cheaper for a country not to have anymore corrupted leaders that take everything for themselves.

Thank you for your useful comments !

Also thanks for the alternative currencies link.

Dear Luciana,

thank you very much for your reply!

well, it’s quite a bit of work to translate a whole website, so I think it might be the best to get into contact with this people directly? Maybe they are even interested themselves to present their ideas here?

this is their e-mail address:

do you want to ask them yourself, or do you want me to ask them if they are interested to put some of their essential ideas online here (in English language).

Yes, I totally agree - a online test which will give you a feeling for the consequences of your decision even if you did not read the summary texts very carefully. A test that gives you feedback before you are able to vote.

All the best


If you do know them…

I’d be happy if you could ask them to put some English ideas, thanks for offering that.

Otherwise I will contact them myself.

Thank you for helping me better define my idea. I really appreciate.

I will ask them today…

sorry, I was quite busy the last days. I will ask them later today.

All the best


Liquid Democracy, or Fluid Democracy, is used by the Pirate Parties (and others) and seeks to combine the best aspects of direct democracy (proper control!) with the best aspects of electroal democracy (professional decision-makers and legislators.)

Here’s the German Pirate Party wikipage (translated) which gives a description of how they see the process. I think it’s very encouraging, and if they’re using it today for their internal policies, perhaps they’ll use it for running government on a wider scale as they get into a position of having a stronger political voice.

I hope that’s helpful!


This reminds me of an experiment I took part in about a year and a half ago. Pietro Speroni, an Italian mathematician I know has developed a software called Vilfredo (after Vilfredo Pareto). It assists a group of people to converge on the answer on an open question by an iterative process: each person proposes an answer, then everybody “votes” to agree or disagree on answers. The algorithm then extracts only the answers that are in the Pareto front of the discussion: the Pareto front contains all answers that are non Pareto-dominated. Answer A dominates answer B if everybody that agrees with B also agrees with A, and at least one more person agrees with A but not with B. In such a situation, the algorithm drops B (dominated) and keeps A as part of the Pareto front… unless there is a proposal C that has the agreement of everybody who agrees with A and at least one more person.

The algorithm also finds out who the “key people” are. Key people are participants that, if they just could agree to some proposal X, would allow the Pareto front to be drastically simplified. The software asks these people to rewrite proposal X, keeping its spirit but in such a way that they can live with it. The trick is to shrink the Pareto front at each iteration.

The system is quite clever, but it has important limitations. An important one: ideological differences never converge, so “pro-life” and “pro-choice” proposals would never simplify each other off the Pareto front. Nevertheless, Pietro’s intuition of a mathematically fair decision making tool is worth pursuing some more, methinks.

This is worth exploring…

Thank you.

I guess such a software could be used in the pre-voting phase to help people re-formulate law proposals. What do you think ?

Yes :slight_smile:

Yes, that’s one of the uses Pietro is envisaging.

Liquid Democracy

Thank you. This is really helpful.

My idea would also involve people listening to expert views’ , but I am not sure yet if a person will delegate some votes or vote herself every time. Probably, some votes will have to be delegated, otherwise how would people have enough time to read, learn and vote  everything ?

So I would say “liquid democracy” is not a different type of democracy, but a method to implement direct democracy.

However, this method would actually need lots of improvement and really good guidelines, because otherwise it could lead us back to representative democracy in a second.

What do you think ?

Matching energies


I’m really interested in reading your essay, but the link doesn’t seem to work, could you send me an email ?

I’m working on a website and a few other projects really close to what you have in mind. You can read more about it on my ryde.

It’s getting obvious there is a lot of people thinking in the same direction, it’s great !

Dear all,

Nirgal helped me realize the link I provided is no longer working. So I attached my essay on direct democracy. Thanks and waiting for your views !