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Democracy and Populism

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Oiwan Lam

on 22 March 2016

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Transcript of Democracy and Populism

Democracy and Populism
Government of the people, by the people, for the people -- Abraham Lincoln
- physical and geographically bounded community --> virtual community --> forum, Facebook groups, etc.
Deliberative Democracy
- active and participatory citizens - online participation and deliberation
Three Approaches to Democracy
- based on individual interest, aggregation of individual choice --> e-voting
- informed decision --> free flow of information, e-government
- individual empowerment --> access, rights to communication
- representation and institutional democracy
- social contract --> state and individual (consent, constitutional, law, rights.
- shared value and "good" based on identity and purpose - community media
- community based decision - town hall - IRC and interactive online decision making process
- freedom of association - e-group, against surveillance
- persuasion rather than community norm --> interactive media
- collective decision guided by agenda, organization purpose, norms - IRC chatting
- public (inter-subjective) vs. private and collective --> online public sphere
- rational and critical discourse vs. smear, hate speech, rumor and distortion
- universal claim vs. social contract and collective norms
The Populist logic and new media
Failure of representative democracy
Rise of contentious politics
- a charismatic leader

- simple solution

- action frame

- thin-centered ideology that addressed power structure

- antagonistic relation between "people" and "elite"

- popular sovereignty - people

- politics of will and decision

- people as homogenous entity

- people vs enemy (class or ethnic)

the marginalized 99%
Real issues but misled solution
- failed and never accomplished universal suffrage

- election politics - small parties and thus extremist

- real social conflict:

e.g birth tourism - 2001: 610 to 2011: 35,000
e.g immigration quota system - 150 per day approved by CN gov. 10% of the city population since 1997. In 2012 the number of adult offspring and retired parent out-numbered dependent kids and marriage couples.
e.g tourist oriented economy and the disappearance of local shops
Discussion: the car crash and death of HKU mainland student graduate
- individual cannot be detached from community --> anomie
- community / collective is more than the sum of individual choices e.g welfare
Full transcript