Is There a Place for Those Who are Different?

Another rally for 'fair elections' took place in Moscow on February 5th, 2012. If in December the desire to oppose, and joy deriving from recognizing the beginning of change were paramount, then a couple of months later, rational judgments about future prospects, along with an unwillingness to support "these assholes, instead of those" began to emerge.

Partizaning released its first newsletter especially for the rally on February 5th. One side featured slogans by Kirill Kto; on the other side we published an article by Kirill, along with excerpts from the Citizen's Charter for local government – co-written by Partizaning and the basis for the Wiki Parliament project.

Wiki Parliament is an initiative that attempts to use the current political atmosphere to promote the idea that, while depriving the authority of one group of people to represent our interests, we should not immediately give these powers to others – even if they are more deserving.

Photos from the rally and text of the charter are below:

 

 

Citizen's Charter

English translation, adapted from www.wikiparliament.ru

On December 4, 2011, elections were held in the State Duma of the Russian Federation. During these elections, independent observers recorded an unprecedented number of gross violations and fraud, which distorted the real results of the vote.

In the many rallies and meetings held in Russia since this election, people have strongly protested against the falsification of these election results, as well as against the continued power of a political regime that is ready to do anything to ensure its continued tenure.

We believe that the legitimacy of these elections can and should be challenged using all available legal channels. However, we do not think that changing the people in power is enough to improve the quality of our society. Therefore, we offer an alternative tool for collaboration to form a collective vision for the future of the country – a citizen's legislative platform: Wiki Parliament.

Real change in society includes fairer opportunities to choose our representatives, increased public participation in politics, and self-governance. This requires a redistribution of work and free time, and rethinking the divisions between personal and political, public and private. Everyone must prepare for a difficult and downright revolutionary shake up of their lives in an effort to create something different – and better.

 

 

Preamble

The period of political disillusionment which we are witnessing has provided the motivation to create the Citizen’s Charter, and subsequently develop tools for collaborative action. Failures in the existing hierarchy of power and in its opposition have sped up the inevitable process of mass social change.

Today, we are on the verge of developing a different socioeconomic system, based on principles of horizontal relations and collective cooperation. It has become  apparent that current institutions and forms of representation have been exhausted. In this context, calls for fair elections and a change of elites does not seem as ambitious an attempt as in the past. In the next 10 years, social, economic and political forces in Russian cities in the form of local communities will inevitably create a basis for a leap in quality; and this will come to the fore through local government. Federal government will only operate in those areas where local government cannot or proves inefficient. Even now, local initiatives are changing Russian cities. By leveraging the latest technological developments, the role of politicians and bureaucrats can almost be entirely eliminated.

This Citizen’s Charter has no particular political form; it is a matrix, based on shared values. We want to realize these values in all areas of digital and physical space of the Russian Federation; only by doing this together can we overcome current stagnation in society’s development.

 

 

Proposals

  1. We propose that the means of self-organization and collective decision-making become a permanent system, accounting for the views of all interested and competent parties, rather than creating a hierarchical structure. Organized knowledge is more powerful than the force of the crowd.
  2. We believe that effective direct democracy requires pervasive and widespread computerization, information transparency, and openness. Due to advances in digital communications, we now have the opportunity to link existing networks of virtual and physical communities, which will ultimately lead to a global collective politics (wiki policy).
  3. We encourage you to create an extensive horizontal networks of local communities.
  4. We urge local communities to fully utilize new information and communication technology to enrich the process of direct democracy.
  5. We must collectively work to create a powerful system of e-democracy using a variety of platforms for coordination and collective decision-making. Modern communications technology is not just technological innovation, it has created new opportunities for democratic mobilization.
  6. We confirm that the main aim of the approach by local communities is social and territorial cohesion. The urban community cannot develop on a just basis, without securing mutual assistance between urban residents.
  7. We are convinced that civilians cannot fully ensure the stable functioning of their cities unless they are active and informed citizens.
  8. We will continue our fight against social insecurity, exclusion, and all forms of discrimination...

 

 

The developers of Wiki Parliament offer all enthusiasts and professionals to connect and work on the basic text, which should serve the interests of the overwhelming majority of users and citizens. You can supplement our main proposals, or create separate articles based on you areas of expertise, interest or knowledge – especially related to governance and lawmaking.

The platform is being finalized, and the text will continue to evolve on a daily basis: www.wikiparliament.ru.