Participatory democracy is the involvement of citizens in public life through consultations and associations. Before this was only possible in small groups. Now, thanks to technology, it is possible on a large scale.
When a user answers questions, his answers are remembered. With his civic status in addition, we therefore know the user profile. By knowing users’ profiles and comparing them to election results (as well as polls of voting intentions), we statistically correct the results.
We know what user profiles are missing in order for the sample to be representative of the population. With targeted marketing, we can search for users based on their profiles so that the community, the sample, that responds is representative.
By combining these two correction techniques, we arrive at results representative of participatory democracy.
At all political levels
Democracy’s Roots is a platform that works at all levels of political power. A user has access to the questions of the various powers to which he has the right to vote, (therefore according to his nationality, his place of residence, his civic status and his main language). It is necessary for all authorities (municipality, region and community, national, supranational and global) that the sampling and the responses be corrected, and therefore representative.
It is necessary that citizens register on the platform with their national identification number for security purposes: this implies the principle of a single account per user and control of changes of address, civic status, nationality, sex, etc.
With the Internet, we can bring together a whole population entitled to vote in the same virtual place; (bias: those who do not have access to the internet are missing). The first targets are those interested in politics, including members of political parties (they are more than 5% of the population in Belgium). The more users there are on the platform, the more weight can be given to the results.
Since we are looking to create an internet platform, it makes sense to focus on the internet to find new users and publicize the platform; (precisely: the internet is at the forefront of targeted marketing).
The questions are questions of current affairs, debate, or political agendas. Of course, the questions are put forward by the politicians in charge and whose power hires Democracy’s Roots.
There is one exception: questions that are asked by a significant number of citizens. The number of users needed to ask a question depends on the number of users who can answer the question and the size of the actual population in the area concerned; but in the end, the number of citizens who ask to ask the same question, necessary to ask the question, will be specified by the politicians concerned.
Democracy’s Roots’ team of neutral and objective questions professionals compose, or control, questions and introductory texts. They are essential to keep the platform and its issues of influence neutral, with the aim of giving access to the platform to all citizens regardless of their political orientations. They are responsible for managing requests for questions. The neutral and objective team of professionals should also pay attention to the influence of the news on the answers, and therefore report it if necessary.
In addition to the introductory text, if we are dealing with a dichotomous question, two columns of information are highlighted: one for and one against.
For each question, there is a page which lists in alphabetical order the external links related to the subject of the question. Links can be newspaper articles, blogs, comments from journalists, experts or politicians, etc. External links are offered by everyone.
Answers and answers’ comparator
The user can always return to the answer page for each question answered.
For each question, users will be offered to leave a comment. The list of comments is available on the responses page. If the user leaves a comment, he will automatically be visible to other users. There is also linked to the results page a “discussion wall”. It is necessary to have moderation to cancel out abominable or vulgar messages.
Also on the answers page: the user is informed of the latest news on the subject, the effect of answers and reactions from experts and journalists in relation to the work of Democracy’s Roots.
To be able to compare his response to that of someone else, the latter must have posted his response “visible”. That is, whether he checked the box to that effect when he replied, whether he left a comment, or whether he checked the box “always on” in the options.
With the comparison of answers: if you have two different groups that answer the same questions, you can compare the answers of the two groups. Thus, a user can compare his responses to responses from the platform: politicians, political parties, members of a political party, unions, NGOs, Lobbies, Think Tanks, or even their friends. This implies a better situation for the user among the different groups.
Organizations (political parties, unions, lobbies, Think Tanks as well as NGOs) can give their opinions to inform the population but their choices are not taken into account in the result because the members of the organizations can also have a user account.
The results can be represented graphically or geographically; (they cannot be represented geographically at municipal level).
We also compare the results with political votes or decisions on topical issues. In the case of a parliament, we can also put the percentages: who is for and who is against a law. By comparing the results, we therefore have here: “the concordance between political action and citizen will”. We can also check if the decisions of the politicians involved on the issue are the same on the platform and in reality.
Big data management is the set of new technologies that help manage large databases. Democracy’s Roots is dealing with results management based on each user and each response over time; because users do not answer the same questions and do not answer at the same time.
Semantics is the computer technology that makes it possible to search for targeted information on the Internet; that is, to find pages, quotes, parts of texts or information related to the subject that concerns us.
AI Artificial Intelligence is a technology used to perform operations or apply algorithms to computer data that is managed by Democracy’s Roots.
For example :
-categorize user profiles
-adjust sampling and correction statistics
-direct our targeted marketing campaigns
-propose a better immersion on the platform
-inform according to the results
-propose new contacts with the same interests
-automatically manage chat rooms
-propose external links
Blockchains propose sending information or computing objects from one virtual location to another so that everyone can control the flow to remain transparent while securing data without disclosing user data. This technology is ideal for application to sending user responses.
Democracy’s Roots aims to be as connectable as possible to other platforms so that it can interact as much with its environment on the internet.
It is strictly necessary to add a title to a graphic or a map so as not to confuse or propagate false information.
A civic innovation is an internet platform (and mobile applications) which, thanks to new computer and communication technologies, proposes to solve one or more problems related to the links between politicians and citizens and / or problems of democracy.
We prefer to talk about potential partners rather than competition. Given the scale of the Democracy’s Roots project and that it touches on many different subjects, we adopt in our development and human resources strategy a principle of federalization of work and experience; that is, there are already a lot of civic innovations that can help Democracy’s Roots.
After studying the different forms that exist and the suggested model, we understand that Democracy’s Roots solves the set of problems that each solves individually and adds in addition to other data and other tools.
We point out that Democracy’s Roots platform works best at higher levels of power because it is necessary to have a large sample. This is good because it is at these levels that the most tools, civic innovations promoting digital and participatory democracy are lacking.