Go left: Participative democracy, direct democracy, social democracy!

Democracy means to me that everybody is involved and has a chance to take part in making decisions, on certain levels of the society. People should not be frozen out of taking part in making decisions, modern democracy cannot be elitist to let decisions be only made by privileged circles. Masses have to be involved, we have to reduce the distance between masses and decision makers at the highest levels. Democracy has to be formed to be as direct as it is possible, decision makers have to keep a constant contact with ordinary people, the voice of the people. This is how everyday problems can be solved, when everyday problems can be communicated via a constant channel between politics and the masses. This is how the information of the existence of problems can be delivered to decision makers efficiently and problems can be solved as soon as possible. Most of the voters care about the everyday problems. This is why left-wing has to make local levels of the democracy stronger. Supporting trade unions and civil organizations is inevitable. By supporting trade unions, we can step up for the rights and the interests of the employees and can accomplish social achievements. Going local and dealing with the everyday problems of the people, involving people to politics and letting them raising their voice will help us to solve problems, to make democracy stronger and to make people believe in democracy by providing the opportunity for them to be involved. I firmly believe that making democracy more direct and social will make people trust and appreciate the democratic values much more, since they experience that they can take part in it and they can add their voice. This is the alternative of the far-right politics that is only about identity politics without really caring about the everyday problems of the people. Supporting trade unions and civil organizations is thriving. For instance, unions are keeping on fighting out their demands in the United States lately, from teachers’ unions across the country to Disneyland workers, NYC airport workers, hotel workers in Chicago etc. Bernie Sanders gives a huge boost to this tendency, encouraging people to form unions, helping and stepping up for them, making more and more people believe in social democracy, making progressive tendencies unstoppable as an alternative of the politics of Trump. This is the way in my opinion, representing the interests of the employees, the solution of the everyday problems of the people, going local, initiating communication and channels between politics and people, being active on local levels, in local governments, supporting trade unions and civil organizations. I believe that this is the alternative of far-right based on only hate and identity politics.
4 weeks, 1 day ago in What does Democracy mean to you?
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- Involving people to politics - Being active locally: initiating constant and direct communication between politics and the masses of the people - Stepping up for the interests of the people locally - Supporting trade unions and civil organizations, strong representation of the employees - Consequence: Making politics more direct and social makes people believe in democracy instead of far-right politics based on hate and authoritarianism where they would lose their chance to be involved and to let their voice heard

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The threat of new autoritarian goverments is real. We saw it with the elections in Brazil. Brazil chose to become a liberal (economy) and conservative (ideology) state. It happens because by the time the left was in the goverment there were corruption scandals that blinded all the social achievements made by the left for the people. I was born in Brazil. I see that the major concern of the people is about security and corruption, and the alt-right seizes this opportunity to impose privatizations ,less rights for workers using the conservatorism as a cover of verticality. They use the technique of the nazis , blame the left for all the bad that the world has. So how we can save our people of these mistakes? The only way is trough credibility. We need to remember history everyday. We need to show all the achievements that the left has made and still does for people’s lives and democracy. We need to show that the left of today is not the communism of the past. And we need young influencers to do this job. People are not very open to mainstream opinion makers anymore, they want the menssage from people they can relate with. This is why new movements grow so fast, because they are made with simple people. We need to start a battle using knowledge, history, our achievements and our proposals. And the new proposals must show why solidarity is good for economy, freedoom and happiness for all. And we can never forget about working people! Those people, the working class, are the most important at the moment. If we forget, then they will forget our legacy of fight for a better world .

Living in a democratic regime give us the opportunity of expressing ourselves without fearing persecution for doing it. Democracies should also have separation of powers, respect human rights and promote the active civic and political participation of all its citizens. In my country (Portugal), the memory of the Estado Novo dictatorship that lasted from 1933 until 1974 and the political arrests, poverty and war in Africa, that it brought still lives in many people’s minds. When in 1986, Portugal entered in European union the country entered a new era of development and progress and that is why here, democratic institutions are widely respected just like the European Union itself. Nowadays, democracy is consolidated in Portugal and the country is recovering well from the crisis and a hard Austerity program supported by the former right-wing government, however unfortunately that is not the case in other parts of Europe in which democracy is under threat, with anti-democratic and far-right forces rising up not just in Poland and Hungary, were they hold the government, but also in Germany, Austria, Italy or France. These forces are a threat to progress and European values because they don’t respect the rights of minorities and political opponents promoting a divided society in which people start distrusting or even hating each other for differences like gender, race or religion. This strategy may be pure demagogy but it is effective because their anti-establishment and anti-EU speech is shifting many working class people from left wing parties (socialists or social democrats) towards those right-wing populists or even far-right parties. That is why it is of paramount importance for S&D parties to regain the support of the working class in those countries because they are the key to keep the far-right out of the power and to ultimately save democracy in the EU.

Information is essential for an active democracy, citizens must be informed about the past, the present and the future Rousseau who, in the Social Contract (1762) had launched the famous accusation against the English representative regime (but valid in general): The British believe they are free. In reality, they are only once every four years when they elect their representatives in Parliament. For the rest, they are slaves of those who have elected. While some people are frustrated and staying at home on election day trust me other people vote. But here’s the problem, democracy continues with or without you. They’re are voting in every election, from city council to parliament, because the people who are voting know the impact to that the leaders that they pick can have on every single part of our lives. When you don’t vote, you letting other people make some really key decision about the life you’re going to live the place you’re going to live how it’s going and what that will decide for you. You’re just saying that you do it! And you may not like what they decide. You may not like living with the consequences of others’ choices. But that’s what happened when you’re home and do not go to vote. You are essential to put your future in the hands of others. And the truth is, some people hope you’ll do it. Voting is not difficult, it doesn’t take long, it’s just a few minutes, it’s so easy, the only way to make a change in this country is to go out and vote for the change you’re looking for. Vote, no matter who you vote for. Voting means participation and being involved in this. Your vote can make the difference, it will do absolutely. Remember that the election can be decided by 10 votes 20 votes, sometimes it is only a small margin. And people believe that they need millions and millions of votes. No. It is not for the leader you choose, the power of our democracy is in us. The person you are looking for is standing in your shoes, you are the person who can save you from this. We are our heroes, we are our leaders who do not change. And it does not matter that those who want to manage our vote are above us!

3 weeks, 4 days ago in What does Democracy mean to you?
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