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…


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Canada: New Direct Democracy Party Emerges in Nova Scotia

The following is a press release from a new political party being launched in Atlantic Canada that favors direct democracy and citizen participation. To learn more about the party, visit their website:

- Editor


The Atlantica Party announces the start of its campaign to achieve official provincial party status in Nova Scotia.

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, March 12, 2008 - The Atlantica Party today has started its campaign to achieve official provincial party status in Nova Scotia. Central to the campaign is a series of public meetings where citizens can learn about and ask questions of the Atlantica Party. Along with this the Atlantica Party is officially accepting party memberships for the first time.

The meeting schedule is available online at

"This is the start of the mass movement for change in Atlantic Canada," said Jonathan Dean, leader of the party. "It is critical that we meet with and be questioned by citizens all over the province in order to build our credibility and to explain our policies of electoral reform, political reform and a debate on Atlantic Union. Nova Scotia is just the start, we will be initiating similar campaigns in the other three Atlantic Provinces in the future."

The Atlantica Party will advance a debate on Atlantic Union. The Atlantica Party will also reform the provincial political system by re-establishing the independence of the Legislature. This sharing of powers between the citizen's representatives in the Legislature and the Executive will encourage freer debate, better decision making, and establish stricter public oversight of government operations. The Atlantica Party will also institute several direct democracy tools for use by citizens, including Citizen's Initiative and Recall.

The Atlantica Party will introduce British Proportional Representation (also called STV) for provincial elections and ban election contributions from all sources in favor of equal election financing for each candidate. Citizens shall also be able to vote directly for a Premier. These reforms are needed to ensure fairer elections, allow more political voices to be heard, encourage citizens to become engaged in elections, and present voters with more electoral choice.

The Atlantica Party is committed to Atlantic Rights and increasing the voice of the region within Confederation in order to reverse the neglect of this region by the Federal Government.

What is the Atlantica Party?

The Party is a provincial party in each of the four provinces of Atlantic Canada. We represent Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The Party is a reforming party that is from outside the system and has no stake in the current status quo.

Who are we?

We are a small group of private citizens with big ideas concerned with the future of Atlantic Canada.

Who are we affiliated with?

The Atlantica Party is completely independent, made up of unaffiliated private citizens. We are not affiliated with nor receive funding from any corporations, special interest groups, other political parties, or any level of government. And never will.

Briefly what is you policy package?
  • Free The Legislature.
  • Allow Citizen's Initiative.
  • Allow Recall.
  • Use British Proportional Representation (STV) for elections.
  • Equal Campaign Funding.
  • Direct Election of the Premier.
  • A debate on uniting Atlantic Canada into a single province within Canada.

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