Veganapanda's Blog

Democracy – It will never happen!

Posted on: June 7, 2010

I’m a big believer in TRUE democracy, which I believe will never happen & I’ll tell you why…

Anyone that knows me knows how long I’ve been protesting for, I have a great deal of protesting experience. I feel I know what works & what doesn’t work, for the public perception, the aim & the protesters involved themselves.

It’s important that protesters are not violent in any way & that means in their protesting language too! Shouting at people to stop doing something is not going to get people on-side, as generally people don’t like being dictated to (I know I don’t like it!), particularly in a forceful way… also I don’t know anybody who likes being shouted at!!

I know that something is being totally ignored by most protest movements, particularly the ones who say they care about ‘democracy’ & that’s hierarchy (which is to do with egotism).

I’ve pulled myself away from many hierarchical protests, the ones where there are specific leaders & followers… the ones where your told to do certain things by the leaders & the leaders get all the glory. I’ve been told (not asked) to hold banners, to give out leaflets, etc & I used to take those orders, until I realised it was my SPARE TIME to do what I wanted!!

Also I realised today that there’s a ‘democracy’ organisation (I’m not naming them) that I’ve done so much with, felt passionately about them/their cause. The hierarchy did something today that made me feel like I’m informed when lots of protesters are needed & to spread their message… but not when the good stuff happens for the hierarchy (to do with the cause).

It’s made me realise that the ‘democracy’ organisation is not so much concerned with democracy than they’re concerned with bigging themselves up to the detriment of the protesters & campaigners that give their time… that’s not democracy & not what I signed up for! To sit back when the really good stuff happens but to be at the beck & call when they feel like it!!!

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4 Responses to "Democracy – It will never happen!"

Hi Vegan Panda,

I’m Guy, from Take Back Parliament. I run the Twitter account so I guess it’s us you’re talking about, even though you don’t mention us by name. I’m sorry that you feel let down about the Nick Clegg meeting today and part of me certainly understands where you’re coming from. Late on Friday afternoon we were asked by Clegg’s office if we could meet him on Monday morning to discuss the coming referendum on voting reform. We accepted because we think that’s what our supporters would want us to do – to influence the deputy prime minister in the cause of fair votes when an opportunity is offered.

It wouldn’t’ have been possible to get all our activists into the meeting. We ran a quick poll on Facebook to get people’s views and people said we should support a Yes vote in the referendum. We conveyed to Clegg that people want a fair choice on fair votes and a PR option but many would back AV as a stepping stone to PR.

Take Back Parliament aspires to be a grassroots democracy protest movement and not a lobbying operation but there’s obviously a balance to be struck here and we’re a new organisation and still learning. Believe me it’s not because we want the “glory”. But how would you suggest we approach this kind of meeting in the future if offered the opportunity?

Guy

Thanks for your reply Guy,

Firstly I didn’t mention Take Back Parliament, as I didn’t want to make it like a specific campaign against an organsation I basically respect… I wouldn’t have become so upset if it were an org/group that I wasn’t so passionate about!

“It wouldn’t’ have been possible to get all our activists into the meeting. We ran a quick poll on Facebook to get people’s views and people said we should support a Yes vote in the referendum.”

I didn’t for one minute expect that all (or even many) of the activists would be able to attend, it was during a weekday and not in the evening… do you remember how few of us were at the last meeting because of the time & maybe other commitments? I’m unemployed & do nothing most days (except online campaigning), unless something important comes up. You say you ran a poll on Facebook (Facistbook)… as I’ve mentioned before I refuse to use or publicise any of Murdoch’s rubbish & to be ignored because of my feelings on this surprises me somewhat! I’m not sure why people who are against the Sky Murdochracy, want to use his Fascistbook… but each to their own :p

Not only was I not informed what was going on, I had no clue there was a vote on what course Take Back Parliament was considering or that they were considering anything apart from what we discussed at the last meeting?! You have my email address & as you know I’m on Twitter too 🙂

“But how would you suggest we approach this kind of meeting in the future if offered the opportunity?”

Communication between Take Back Parliament & the activists/campaigners is important, so it doesn’t come across like it’s just another hierachical organisation. The day & time of a protest or meeting means that either more or less people will be able to attend. If the activists/campaigners are seen as only important when an organisation deems so but ignored at other times… it just causes bad feeling & eventually people will leave. Every individual person involved in Take Back Parliament should be valued, as should happen in any democracy!

I’m not saying these things because I feel like an argument (I don’t like arguments) I speak out because I feel something important needs saying.

Miranda (Panda)

That’s a fair point you make about Facebook. It isn’t in fact owned by Rupert Murdoch (though he owns MySpace) but it isn’t to everyone’s taster either and I agree in future we should provide several different ways for people to register their views.

You’re also right that we should let people know much more in advance what’s going on where possible. Again, in our defence I’d say it was very short notice and we only have one full-time member of staff at the moment with the rest of us volunteers, so we’re kind of over-stretched.

But like I say, being democratic and non-hierarchical is something we take seriously so criticism like this is helpful. 🙂

Sorry Guy , I had Myspace in my head mixed up with Facistbook… oops!

Thanks again for your reply. Anyone that knows me knows I’m honest & I won’t just sit & stew about something, that doesn’t help anyone.

I totally understand the short notice but you must realise I got NO notification, which was why I took it all so badly… understandable I think!

If there’s anything I can help with, like if the communication is sent to me I can always forward it to all those activists you have online details for? I will always forward any Take Back Parliament/Fair Votes Tweets or emails I feel need to be spread… I just can’t help with Fascistbook tis all :p

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Non-violent Pro-life Drug-free Abolitionist Vegan, who cares about the Earth & ALL who live here. All drugs should be legalised & be viewed for what they are... drugs, including alcohol, tobacco & pharmaceuticals. I'm also Atheist & will never accept organised religion.

"But if you dig on Vegan food,
Well come over to my work,
I'll have them cook you something that you'll really love,
Cause I like you,
Yeah, I like you,
And I'm feeling so Bohemian like you"

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