Parlement Mondial pour le 21e Siècle

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Weekly Summary 13 (April 21- 28)
The next step
[2nd summary, Topic VI]

Arnaud BLIN
WP21 team


For this second synthesis of the last month of discussion, we heard messages about choosing a proper name for our initiative and more about choosing politicians, including measures to insure that a WP will fulfill its moral contract by picking the right people and ensuring that they work effectively and according to the spirit of the WP. Also discussed were the pros and cons of the internet, and of innovative ideas for a WP. Someone proposed the creation of a *Selectory committee * while one participant underlined the importance of ratifiability. We ended this summary with a quotation from an artist (and contributor).

Continuing on the last month of this first phase of the e-Forum, this will be the second weekly summary for this topic which focuses on the next steps that we could take for actually creating the WP. Reiterating what we said last week, the wp21 process can include, during the coming year, the interconnected areas of research, promotion, collective deliberation and self-development of this idea. The aim of this multiple approach is to reach and involve the different strata and sensibilities of the whole world society .We want to do this, on one hand, by informing people about the need for world democracy and a WP at both the scientific and popular levels, and on the other, by starting to put it in practice through participatory and deliberative processes which might include research activities, preparing promotional material and common tools, organizing promotional activities and setting up deliberative processes. This month's debate focuses essentially on the future of this initiative.

This week saw a great number of short exchanges that I will not include here. There were also a number of messages on the war in Iraq which we are accepting in order to exercising real discussions of what is a crucial element of current international politics, but that we have chosen to disregard from the syntheses as they are not central in our main topic and agenda

We discussed last week the relevance of creating a logo for the WP. Choosing a name that describes what we are doing is also very important. On contributor suggested we call this initiative a * peoples assembly * that could also be a prelude to a true representative global parliament.

The issue of what to do with politicians in a WP came up once again. It was suggested that we have full responsibility - and ourselves to blame - in electing people who are incompetent at best, and often dishonest. Thus, one should not be surprised if politicians do not fulfill the moral contract that is given to them by the people, namely to serve the human community. In short, it is not administrators that we elect but bad parents.

Thus, it is crucial that we adopt measures in a WP that allow us to resolve this fundamental problem. Following is an example of such measures :

- That the people who will take the jobs take oath on the values of the parliament.

- That they can demonstrate a real experience at the service of their fellow citizens (for instance as environmentalists or humanitarian) - That these people can be seen by psychiatrists in order to detect any aggressive, megalomaniac or paranoiac trend

- That they have a precise contract to be fulfilled

- That they are in the obligation to do an assessment of their action in assemblies of citizens before undertaking their responsibilities

- That an external body, a * police * of the politicians, can study what they are doing in their work

- That their mandate cannot be extendable more than once in succession, in order to annul the phenomenon of making career out of this

- That they have really the means for doing their actions.

Another problem concerning politicians is to determine how political bodies will actually accept the creation of a Peoples World Parliament, in particular the political leaders of current nation states. Thus we need to answer the question of how individuals can * exert appropriate pressure on their politicians and governments to bring them to agree to the creation of a wp? *.

For this, new tools are available, some of which have been used on this forum (the Internet, machine translations), that allow exchanges amongst vast numbers of interested citizens to occur easily and economically. There are signs however that technology is gradually changing the means of politics. The UK for instance plans to utilize the internet as a major voting tool in their next general election. This type of change could have a profound effect in the ways in which the political will of the individual citizen could be expressed at the local, regional, national and international levels. This means that the seeds of a vastly improved democracy where the power of the people is heard at every level of parliament have already been planted but it is going to take the concentrated effort of people on a forum such as this to use these new tools to bring about the changes needed.

Another contributor seemed a bit skeptical about the usefulness of seeking too many innovative ideas for the WP. This participant suggested that the Forum should be directed to achieve the participation of political parties and political figures of global relevance, adding that despite all its defects the democracy based on the universal vote, division of powers, the majority principle and the minority rights, is the best political technology that has been - up to now -invented. In conclusion, to all the problems derived from a WP, we should not add innovative ideas that could be denounced as utopian by those who are opposed to democracy on behalf of prudence, but to await the constitution of the WP to bring them to the legitimate representatives of the citizens of the world.

Selectory committee and Ratifiability
On the topic of the internet, one contributor was skeptical that setting up a self-selected Parliament on the Internet now would make such a Parliament representative of the peoples it seeks to represent and thus that it might not enjoy a high level of legitimacy. In order to make up for this, he suggests that one could consider setting up a * selectory committee * that would decide the criterion for nations to enjoy representation in the WP and ensure the independence and legitimacy of our world parliamentarians.

Another participant suggested that what is needed is a formula concerning the allocation of the weighting of the voting in a WP. This would in effect be the significant missing link for abolishing war or otherwise dealing with world problems. What would be interesting at this point would be to invent more concepts that might stimulate the many conflicting groups to agree upon establishing and empowering a WP having enforcement powers.

This means that what counts the most is ratifiability. When this problem is effectively addressed, the WP, and any document it is based on, may have more than a trivial impact.

Following on the popular idea of creating an art committee, the originator of this very idea had this to say, which will serve as our concluding remark for this week : * Our waters and mountains on the globe are sources of our beauty sense. And the harmony between human being and nature is truly the liberation of human soul. *
Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer © 2003