Friday, 1 May 2009

A reaction to "Something unique in elections: a direct democracy model in Hungary"

Since I wasn't able to comment directly, let me reply to the post "Something unique in elections: a direct democracy model in Hungary" by kiazami on Blogactiv.

He writes about a Hungarian party running for the EP elections:
"The system is, that if IDE wins a seat, they will send the first person on their list to Brussels, who can spend there one month then resign and give the seat to the next person on the list, who will spend one month in Brussels as well then resign and so forth.


They also argue that it is no problem if teir representatives are not the best qualified, since it is not the representatives themselves who are to decide on the issues. The party holds an online voting and their representative votes accordingly. That way they could alloy the direct and representative forms of democracy.
Since kiazami seems to like this approach, I would like to react:

If the European Parliament only was about voting, this would be a "funny" thing.

But parliamentary democracy is also about continuity, it is about trust between parliamentarians, and in particular in the European Parliament where individual MEPs have much more to say than in most national parliaments.

A monthly rotating membership would not make this party influential, because it would be unable to build steady relations to other MEPs to influence decisions, it would not be a reliable factor because it would change in ideology and orientation with every new person coming and with every new vote of the internet community.

And they could never be the rapporteur for one of the legislative projects, probably the most influential work an individual MEP can do.

The only persons who would profit from this model were those who would come to Brussels, more like interns than like representatives of the citizens who voted for them. But the idea of democracy is not just to have fun as an individual, and being a parliamentarian is not just a matter of come and go.

So this party may sound like a nice joke, a funny story, but in terms of democracy, neither the Hungarian voter nor the European citizens would gain from this model.