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Post  Michael_Donnely on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:49 am


There isn't an "oil and water" exclusiveness between representative and direct democracies. In fact at this stage of our efforts toward direct democracy, there are a great deal of functions created that might fit into the "representative" category.

"Committees" are in fact representative. And at this stage, it seems that our committees are neither "elected representatives" or "appointed representatives", but "voluntary representatives".

But we do have some crucial difference from representative democracy: at least the Consultative/Legislative functions shouldn't be restricted to elected, appointed, or voluntary representatives only. Just get everyone involved in the "conversation" as long as they are in the same spirit, and observe some basic degree of civility. And these conversations are consultative (just leaving the "legislative" aspect aside for now).

It's these consultative inputs that are the most important, because they are the most crucial thing that determine the spirit. It is characters, spirit and ideas that count the most when it comes to delivering change. Power, material resources, material circumstances, structures... these other things are rather secondary and should be subservient to the factors that are truly crucial.

So, it boils down to this: the "administrative committee/body" is rather just representative. It may be elected, appointed or voluntary. But it's representative nonetheless, and maybe necessarily so. But it is not this representative body of leaders that makes the whole thing "participatory/direct democracy". Of course not it's a duh, no brainer.

It is the participatory part that makes it "direct". And that is the same as the "consultative/legislative/participatory". And this is pretty much "all the people" (there may be different interpretation as to what "all the people" include. Not getting into that right now.) And I shall add, that this "consultative/legislative/participatory" bunch does have a great deal of executive rights and privileges, because they ARE the leadership. As long as it's a sane idea and in harmony with the spirit, many of these leaders can just go ahead and do. It's spontaneous and voluntary. But no need to call it "executive" because "participatory" does contain the meaning already.

It is this body of leaders that hold the "representatives", for example the Admin, or the "committees", either elected, appointed or voluntary, accountable and responsible.


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Post  Michael_Donnely on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:48 am

It isn't difficult to ban someone, or to just delete comments. The difficult part is to issue a gentle explanation, so that we are not hurting our democratic principles.

So, if there needs to be a template, it may as well go like this:

Dear XXX:

We feel that there's way too much abusive language and irresponsible and confrontational tensions lately. We feel that it may not be appropriate to allow you to comment on this forum.

I assure you that we are not allowed to abuse our admin power to shove our viewpoints down your throat. You are entitled to your viewpoint. I am entitled to mine. It wasn't really because of your viewpoint. It's just the way you present them. Too much abusive language and too much tension.

On a normal day I'd be glad to engage you in a heated debate on some other forums. But here we try to be less confrontational. So it didn't work out that our "debate" got too many people annoyed.

Since most participants have the willingness to cooperate, it creates the least damage by disallowing those who don't have this willingness.

Therefore we as partipants with admin capacity, are moved to "Disallow you from commenting/posting" in this forum.

That means, your past and future comments will be "Administratively removed promptly, will not be seen by other forum participants and will not be responded to". Admins may also "Flag as abusive", repetitive future posting/commenting attempts from any person who is on the "Disallowed from commenting" list, until such person is removed from this list.

But you are still welcome to read posts in this forum and be educated.

Also, you are welcome to come join me in person. Maybe we can have a friendly chat over coffee. Hopefully that way we will find more common sense and civility, and less obstrusiveness. At least that way you will be the responsibility of our Security Committee.

Please have no hard feelings.

Your dear friend


And then, this message may be 1) privately messaged to the individual "disallowed from commenting", or 2) publicly posted on the forum for all members to read, or 3) both

If you PM it, it at least shows your responsibility as an admin

If you post it, it shows our admins' transparency

If you both PM it and post it, it shows our responsibility and transparency


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