Tendencies for Participatory Democracy: the Influence of the Internet on the Political Representation’s profile and on the Participatory Budgeting

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Extended abstract

The nowadays communications’ reality brought deep changes to many cultural fields. And a significant part of interpersonal relations could not stay immune from the innovations caused by the popularization of technologies as the Internet.

Contracts, family, business, as well as the interactions between citizens and the public administration had their structures and way of functioning significantly changed by the social dynamics introduced with the Global ICTs’ massification.

Due to this, many legal scholars started to question about the role of political institutions and legal institutes as the parliamentary representation, the parliamentary mandate and the function of political parties. There are even those who question if the Parliament is necessary to the survival of the democratic system.

That is the reason why some scholars say that the current pluralist democracies, those based mostly on periodic elections and on the principle of political representation operationalized by the mandate, articulate, from the standpoint of political science, two antagonistic notions.

The first is that, under the representative principle, the People is sovereign, but it is forced to delegate the exercise of power to a small number of members of the Parliament. In turn, the second consists in the fact that, according to the liberal principle, the freedom of elected candidates ahead of the interests of those who are represented, what divesting its operations to the interests of the voters.

In turn, the current situation of Information and Communication Technologies significantly altered the way we exercise the rights to freedom of expression and of association as well as the dynamics of interests in the political scene.

The popularization of the Internet has provided new experiences for the exercise of citizenship.

Thus, the theme of this paper belongs to this issue.

First, we seek to understand briefly some historical aspects that define the structural and functional boundaries of the parliamentary mandate, a mechanism for achieving political representation in democratic systems used worldwide today.

Analyzing certain characteristics of the political representation from an evolutionary perspective, first of all, this paper seeks to study theoretical justifications of the mechanisms of formation of the will of the state on the Modern Times’ representative democracies.

In the same mounts, this work critically describes the current lack of representativity of the traditional methods to crop this scientific research to the specific analysis of some instruments of participatory democracy.

For this reason, it also seeks to analyze the dependence of the representative system on political parties and the distortions caused by this. Especially in the current Brazilian reality.

For the last, it also aims to study some experiences that probably overcome the limitations of this method, as semi-direct democracy mechanisms or those that illustrate the current trend of the fortification of the participatory democracy.

At this point, the subject keeps restrained to the specific analysis of two problematic issues: collaborative draft laws discussed by the Web, specially the Brazilian framework for Internet users; and the experience of participatory budgeting in Brazil, from the beginning in the 80’s until the E-participatory budgeting, a probable tendency for the future and also a reality in many cities of the country.

Tendencies for Participatory democracy – BEÇAK-LONGHI

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