Politicization of DiEM25 and internal democracy.

This post only expresses the opinion of the author (Pj)

The question of whether or not DiEM25 should become a political party or not, and if so in which terms, is in principle NOT a subject matter for DiD. What does fall inside the scope of our objectives is to support that debate among other members of DiEM25. With that purpose we intend to organise soon an online debate on the subject, based on the World Café methodology, hopefully together with the CC for whom we are drafting a formal proposal.

I, however, have a personal view on the issue that is directly related to the question of internal democracy and hence relevant to this blog. There are two sides that need to be considered.

  • Whether we are convinced that the decision making process will satisfy the democratic standards that we should aim for.
  • Whether our internal democracy is strong enough to help the future DiEM25 political representatives to withstand, on the bases of the support provided by the grassroots, the pressure that they will experience immediately after they take sit in the European Parliament.

There isn’t a clear road map to organise the decision making process. The unfortunate announcement made in Berlin was the result of a debate from which many members were not aware of, and the CC has rightly taken a more cautious stand in the matter. This decision, whichever way it falls, will have dramatic consequences in the future of DiEM25 and potentially of Europe, but these consequences are impossible to predict. We have to do what we think is right, what we think is best, but before we have to make sure that we are at ease with how such decision is taken. Are we ready? I believe not yet. The present structure of DiEM25 is still inadequate for large scale debate. We aspire to a grass roots structure, but we have a very centralised one. Should we not make sure we are happy with how we operate before we take such a momentous decision?

Furthermore, let us assume that DiEM25 candidates are elected to the European parliament. On which bases will they take decisions? In which direction will they cast their votes? Not only DiEM25 still lacks the mechanisms to agree on a full political agenda which includes fundamental topics such as foreign policy, but it also lacks the mechanisms for internal consultation in the decision that DiEM25 EMP’s will have to take. Will they vote what they think is best? Will they represent the rest of DiEM25 members and voters in the same non consultative way that other existing parties do today? What guarantees do we have then, that those decisions are not going to be lobbied in the same way that they are today in other parties?

I would like to believe that anyone standing for office on behalf of DiEM25 will be a trustworthy person who will try follow the mandate of the DiEM25 grassroots and do the best for DiEM25 and for Europe. I am sure, however, that these people will be under such great pressure that they will hardly have the time or means to listen to that mandate. The main reason being that we do not have the means to express it in a timely fashion. This will create, as we can see in Podemos, a disengagement of the grassroots which will condemn DiEM25 become “one more party”. If we go political now, our present structure will crystallize in its present state and the great hope for a grassroots democracy to take on Europe that DiEM25 represents today will die.

In conclusion I would not get here into the debate of whether DiEM25 should become a party or not, but I would like to suggest that we need more time to take the decision. The interesting point is that this dramatic decision may become the driving force leading to a profound democratisation of DiEM25, a democratisation process that, in my opinion, could eventually make DiEM25 mature enough to stand for election.

Salud, Paz y Democracia
Pj

 

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2 thoughts on “Politicization of DiEM25 and internal democracy.

  1. Totally agree, rushing the decision to go the political party route without the necessary mechanisms to allow the grass routes to control/guide their representatives will fatally undermine Diem’s core value of a directly democratic movement/party.

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  2. At the moment, there is a poor understanding of what democracy is in DiEM25. Yanis doesn’t seem to understand the difference between a democratic and a republican form of government. In the one paper of his on governance that I read, he doesn’t consider that democracy may be possible on the large scale. Adoption of the Liquid Democracy software used by the Pirate Party is one way to make sure the EMPs express grassroots preferences. However, there are significant barriers to adoption with that product.

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