We as citizens of the United States observe politics from afar and the vast majority of us may participate in the political process only to the extent that we go to the polls once a year to vote. We may endeavor to follow the news accounts of our nation's politics as they unfold, and of the consequences those political actions yield, but we have little power to influence our "democratically" elected officials. Perhaps we write an occasional letter to our senator or representative, but we almost inevitably receive a vague and impersonal response explaining why they will vote in our opposition.

Over the decades, our representative democracy has been systematically undermined and has ultimately failed in preserving the well being of the people of this nation. The system that the founding fathers painstakingly devised in order to best serve the interests and the will of the people has been corrupted and the systems of checks and balances on power that they instituted have been stripped away. Most of us accept this reality as being beyond our control and continue to observe, comment, and complain without aspiring to achieving any real change, without any hope of instituting a new system of governance that would instead take directly into account your views, and the views of your neighbors, and would empower you to make real positive change possible in your communities.

This site will attempt to explore in depth the places in the world where people are successfully bringing about that type of change in the face of similar odds, where an alternate form of democracy, which is called participatory or direct democracy, is taking root. Initiative, referendum & recall, community councils, and grassroots organizing are but a few ways in which direct/participatory democracy is achieving great success around the world.

Our system of representative democracy does not admit the voice of the people into congressional halls, the high courts, or the oval office where our rights and our liberties are being sold out from underneath us. Our local leaders and activists in our communities, and even those local elected officials who may have the best of intentions are for the most part powerless to make real positive change happen in our neighborhoods, towns and villages when there is so much corruption from above.

In places like Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Brazil, South Africa, India, and the Phillipines, new experiments in grass roots community based governance are taking place. There is much to be learned from these and other examples of participatory democracy from around the world when we try to examine how this grass-roots based governance could begin to take root here in our own country in order to alter our political system so that it might better serve the American people.

In the hope that one day we can become a nation working together as a united people practicing true democracy as true equals, we open this forum…


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Senator On-Line: Australia's Internet Based Direct Democratic Party

An initiative is underway in Australia which has led to the creation of a new political party called Senator On-Line. The party is unique in that it is the first internet based party in Australia, and it seeks to elect representatives to office who have pledged to vote according to the will of the people, and not their own personal views. this will be achieved by an internet based popular poll being held for each bill brought before the parliament. The result of the poll will determine the way the Senator On-line senator votes on the bill, effectively creating a mixed direct/representative democracy in which the senator is merely a proxy representative executing the expressed will of the people. The Senator On-line party was officially registered and participated in the 2007 Australian election receiving over 8000 votes even though they entered only 2 months before the election. This bold experiment, if it succeeds, should certainly lead us to consider the possiblity of a similar initiative being implemented in the U.S.A. as a transitional step towards a more direct democratic system. - Editor

Senator On-Line is Australia's Only Internet Based Democratic Political Party


Senator On-Line is not aligned to any other political party… it is neither Liberal nor Labor.

Senator On-Line (‘SOL’) is a truly democratic party which will allow everyone on the Australian Electoral roll who has access to the internet to vote on every Bill put to Parliament and have its Senators vote in accordance with a clear majority view.

How did SOL go in the 2007 election?

Senator On-Line was approved shortly before the 2007 federal election was called. Senate counting continues and given we had only around two months to develop public awareness, spent no money on newspaper or TV advertising, we've received over 8000 votes nationally so far - a reasonable result and better than the national votes for four other parties.

We had over 1000 people who registered with us in the two months and emails offering support are continuing to roll in. We look forward to contesting the next election.


When a SOL senator is elected a web site will be developed which will provide:

  1. Accurate information and balanced argument on each Bill and important issues

  2. The vast majority of those registered on the Australian Electoral roll the chance to have their say by voting on bills and issues facing our country

  3. A tally of all votes which will then count in Parliament

  4. Each person on the Australian Electoral roll will be entitled to one vote and only be allowed to vote once on each bill or issue.

  5. SOL senators will have committed in writing to voting in line with the clear majority view of the SOL on-line voters.

  6. Senator On-Line will enable broader community involvement in the political process and the shaping of our country.

If you like the concept, please register your details and tell others about SOL.

This is the pre-election website. To find out what will be available when SOL wins a Senate seat click here.

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