Parts of Brazil practicing e-democracy
Align Remain Calm Join Date: 2002-11-02 Member: 5216Forum Moderators, Constellation
edited April 2014 in Discussions
Overall online civic engagement dwarfed traditional offline participatory budgeting and accounted for a sevenfold increase in votes cast over the prior year when no online component was present.
This may sound impressive, but, statistics reveal that Brazilians may actually have an uneasy commitment to direct democracy. When participatory budgeting is compared to the percentage of people who vote in traditional elections, stats show that less than 10% of citizens voted in the online budgeting process of 2006. Peixoto noted in an e-mail that voting in elections is mandatory in Brazil — an important factor in their average 83% turn out in municipal elections.
But there have been instances that proved more successful. In Porto Alegre, participatory budgeting is credited with increasing access to clean water and service to sewage systems for 98% and 85% of the population, respectively. Though there aren't similar statistics for e-democracy (for logistical reasons), the poorest areas were among the most represented, giving hope that e-democracy is imbued with the same spirit of grassroots empowerment.
The internet was not something that used to be in the average Brazilian's daily life until rather recently, and with the 2011-present availability and realtime nature of social media like Facebook has been greatly contributing to factors that were not previously present up to and including 2010's elections.
Only read spoiler if you're into... massive political ranting, I guess. Some reasoning behind an actual upper-middle class Brazilian's point of view.
Crime, lies and slander, that is all you see in the news aside from celeb gossip and debauchery. Two months from the World Cup, you see Copacabana set on fire by favela gangs; because allegedly cops have killed some dude that was important to them and stuff. Yet on the media, you will hear about "peaceful protests that went mildly violent by the pacified "community".
An album with no less than 200 images of the recent violence wave in Rio alone... http://noticias.uol.com.br/album/2014/03/19/violencia-no-rio-de-janeiro-em-2014.htm#fotoNavId=pr11596287
It's got to the point that the honest, working Brazilian can't even handle and properly express his anger and discontent with the abysmal quality of life, services and simply non-existant security, since we can't own guns (the same crap that Moms Demand Action wants to pull in the US), the police is corrupted, the Army is exclusively controlled by the far left parties of the government, and in the end of the day be glad if you aren't killed after you've been mugged, robbed or raped.
Public hospitals can easily be compared to wartime facilities you see in movies; overloaded and with a complete lack of capable medical staff; there are outbreaks of various diseases including previously eradicated ones, prisons are overcrowded with over twice their current capacity; roads are broken; airports are terrible; maritime ports are insufficient and incapable of handling export capacity; the state mail service is constantly under strike and it can take months for a simple shipment to be processed, man who am I kidding, even the cell phone signal, privately owned stuff is terrible, since there is genuine fear in the market that a communist coup will very soon become a reality and as such, nobody wants to spend on such high risk investment. This year, we're barely in May and there's reports in local news channels that the industry considers it to be a lost year. You do know what that implies, right?