[governance] AW: [tt-group] FW: GAID

Michael Gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Tue Dec 29 08:58:30 EST 2009


And presumably this is a discussion among those concerned with determining a
"civil society" position on these issues i.e. not an academic discussion
about what could be the most efficient or effective mode of Internet
governance.  Thus we are looking for what should be advocated by those
presenting/representing non-corporate, non-governmental interests in this
context...
 
So the operative question for us here is not what is the most efficient and
effective form of global (Internet) governance, but rather appears to be
what form of global (Internet) governance most desirably serves the
interests of everyone else in a world defined as one where the corporate
sector and the governmental sector are bent on pursuing narrow self serving
interests. 
 
Also of course, the history of civil society is one where not only is a core
and defining civil society value some form of democracy i.e. governance
which is responsible and accountable to the governed; but also, where the
fundamental value being pursued by civil society in all contexts is in fact
responsible and democratic governance however this might be defined in
specific local contexts...
 
(Also, and not incidentally, one of the reasons that "democracy" is such a
fundamental value for civil society is that history has shown that civil
sociey is only allowed to exist within systems of democractic governance...
outside of those systems, civil society is seen as a mortal threat and is
often brutally supressed... and including -- coming full circle -- a denial
of the right by those in the non-corporate, non-government sector to access
the Internet...
. 
Mike
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Parminder [mailto:parminder at itforchange.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 1:57 AM
To: governance at lists.cpsr.org; Ian Peter
Cc: Avri Doria
Subject: Re: [governance] AW: [tt-group] FW: GAID



It is interesting that this has become a discussion between a democratic
system and a new governance form which is being called as a multistakeholder
system, in contrast to democratic system. I think we should do a discussion
on this list and resolve this issue in some form if possible. I consider
adherence to ideals, principles and practices of democracy as absolutely
non-negotiable. And I have less hesitation that others here to say that I am
very sure that I think that is what progressive civil society and IGC should
clearly adopt and proclaim. 

Is multistakeholderism a form of 'deepening democracy' and thus builds upon
and works with, even within, democratic governance systems, or is it a new
form of governance different from democratic governance? 

I can explain what i mean with democratic governance, though there is lots
of literature on it, but can someone explain to me what is this alternative
of multistakeholder governance - what are its ideals and ideology, its
principles, and its practices. I always suspected that some of this
discourse and practice of multistakeholder governance system is going
dramatically away from democratic governance system, but now this discussion
is more into the open it would be good to follow up on it.  Parminder 

Ian Peter wrote: 

  

From: Avri Doria  <mailto:avri at psg.com> <avri at psg.com>

Reply-To:  <mailto:governance at lists.cpsr.org> <governance at lists.cpsr.org>,
Avri Doria  <mailto:avri at psg.com> <avri at psg.com>

Date: Mon, 28 Dec 2009 16:31:18 -0500

To: IGC  <mailto:governance at lists.cpsr.org> <governance at lists.cpsr.org>

Subject: Re: [governance] AW: [tt-group] FW: GAID



Hi,



I personally would not presume to say what we, as civil society, should be

supporting.

    



NO - and my opinions below are not what I think civil society should adopt,

just my perspective

  

I tend to toward multistakeholder systems where each stakeholder group
figures

their own ways, ie. their choice from various democratic or other forms, of

picking their representatives.

    



Not for me - Ive had enough of dictatorships, meritocracies, feudalism,

nation states, and other unrepresentative structures. Some sort of

representative model is a baseline for me, and unfortunately in technical

community and nation states in particular we don't always see these.

  

As for what the nation states have foisted on us in the name of democracy, i

have grown quite disillusioned with it as I have not seen an election yet
that

has not been tampered with and/or distorted in multiple ways.  i strongly

believe that direct democracy works at the local level but that it does not

scale to the global level, and i believe that bottom-up representation can

grow within the stakeholder model from the most local level up in some
varying

but scalable way.

    



Lets face it, if planet earth had a democratic structure its governance

would be entirely different. For a start, equal size electorates instead of

nation states would see global politics being conducted entirely

differently. For a start, the India and China votes would dominate globally

because of their population sizes. And although India in particular can sit

very comfortably with huge internal disparities between rich and poor, I

don't think the huge current global differences between rich and poor

nations would continue without some improvements. Nation states are a

failure on many levels, climate change talks being the latest example, and

one day we do have to move beyond this. How we do it is the question - and

perhaps multistakeholderism is part of the answer.



Of course we would still have bureacracies, corruption, power grabs, fear,

greed, ad all of that. So it would not create a perfect world, just a

slightly better way of doing things now that we are globally connected.



(well, these few days before the new year are the time for stepping back a

bit and taking new perspectives on things).



 





  

i do not accept that any form of top down so-called democratic form can
really

be democratic, it can pretend and it can lull us into a sense of democratic

security, but it will always let us down and will always serve the people
with

money and not the rest of us.



so yes, I am looking for full participatory multistakeholder process.



a.





On 28 Dec 2009, at 14:55, Michael Gurstein wrote:



    

Avri,



I'm not really sure what you mean by "full participatory multistakeholder

systems" but I would have thought that we, as civil society should be

supporting a full participatory democratic process as the basis for both

national and global policy development.



I have very real concerns about the corporatist outcomes and forms that

"multistakeholder systems" seem to result in--a close look for example, at

classic multistakeholder systems like the IOC/Olympics structures don't give

one a lot of confidence in the broader benefits that are achieved as a
result

of these processes. (The narrower benefits realized by the various

stakeholder beneficiaries and elites are rather easier to identify.)



Mike



(about to become a temporary refugee from the Vancouver Winter OlympicsŠ

  

-----Original Message-----

From: Avri Doria [mailto:avri at psg.com]

Sent: Monday, December 28, 2009 9:09 AM

To: IGC 

Subject: Re: [governance] AW: [tt-group] FW: GAID







On 28 Dec 2009, at 11:29, Parminder wrote:



      

Do we basically lack belief in global policies (polity) of any kind or

just in global policies made exclusively by intergovernmental forums

without due participation by civil society in the spirit of what has

come to be known as 'deepening democracy'?

        

I am not sure that we, in the sense of we the IGC, have a belief.



Personally, i believe that the only valid global policies would come from

full participatory multistakeholder systems.  while it may not always be the

case, the national state still fulfills a relevant function, but in my

personal opinion it is one of several equal partners in any debate.



So as long as we, in the sense of the IGC, are supporting the creation of a

well formed multistakeholder regime, we have something I believe in.  in my

life i work for (either in a volunteer sense or a professional sense) two

institutions that are working toward a multistakeholder future.  neither has

achieved that fully yet - each has a dominant force, in one the nations

states and in the other the private sector, but both are, in my opinion on

the right track an represent as far as we can get at this point.



a.



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