Possible roads for our lives to take– Part 4: Flourishing of democracy or Erosion of political power

Posted: September 18, 2012 by Alison in Articles/Essays, Food For Thought
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By Juha Saukkonen
JAMK Senior Lecturer

Last but not least of the potential bifurcation (development crossroad from which the development can start going to two different directions) points is about what will happen to the decision-making systems in our societies. More exactly: Is participatory democracy about to be replaced by some other systems or even gaining more strength?

Pros for “Flourishing democracy”?

The proponents of democracy state that:

1)      Democracy when exercised in a right way is:

  • one of the central and natural values we share
  • is a way of deciding
  • is a way to discussion of things of importance
  • believed in by the people (70 % (Finland) of people are interested in politics + 90 % believe that you can affect the future development by voting

Believers in Erosion of political power say that:

  • Participatory democracy was founded on the mental model of industrial era, it has not corrected itself when world around has changed (quoting Mika Mannermaa)
  • The democracy as exercised today is going for majority vote. But there are no more majorities in our society, but a collection of minorities that change in size and shape dependent on the issue at hand
  • Democracy has been very slow/ inefficient tool in solving the most nasty problems around

Which group do you support? Is participatory democracy taking its last breath, or just on low mode waiting for new revival?

In the next blog post I will present the summary view – the most-likely scenario that the members in the summer seminar of Finnish Society for Futures research voted for. You can start creating your own “World view” along these 4 issues we have talked about. (Hint:  In many cases a synthesis of the two opposite views was created – combining the best parts of both ends of the axis. You can start creating them also yourself). Coming to the blog next week….


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