Geza Tessenyi, initiator of POP, introduces some of the main innovations POP brings to indirect democracy at the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy in San Sebastian, Spain, November 2016.
In real-time democracy, the citizen’s political capital is not reduced to signing a blank check (by voting) for one political party or another once in every four or five years. Citizens can choose to exercise their real-time control, through the Public Opinion Platform, over political decisions and government. The opposite of real-time democracy is ‘blank-check democracy’, in which citizens can vote in every 4-5 years but have little or no say about politics between the elections.
Any adult citizen with or without a political position or office can use the Public Opinion Platform to convince fellow citizens before a decision is taken. The real- time leadership of a citizen results in real-time majority public opinion decisions. Opinion leaders, like Mohandas K Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. have been exercising real-time leadership without holding any formal office. But then people had to ‘march’ and demonstrate. From now on, POP can apply instead.
Deliberative and participatory interactions on the Public Opinion Platform are based on digital technology and its management. The gap between the digitally apt and those who have no or only limited digital access is bridged through a system of geographic proximity-based cooperation between different users of the platform and through the use of random sample voting.
The POP team has developed a simple model for local, national and, where appropriate, regional levels. This model is the Age-pyramid Leadership Team that reflects the intergenerational and intercultural proportions of society, creating also gender-balanced leadership. See more under How POP works/Age- pyramid leadership teams.
POP candidates are not making political promises before elections, except the only one that can be kept, that, if elected, they will always vote according to the decision reached by majority public opinion. They represent citizens, not their party’s positions or their own personal opinion. Candidates, as any citizen, are free to express their personal opinion at any time, and apply their real-time leadership capacity.
POP is a platform in its substance (able to hold all people and opinions) and a political party in its form. This platform-party lawfully fits in the constitutional order, while it is able to carry out a transformation needed to heal some of the ailments of contemporary blank check democracies and restore citizens’ trust and political ownership.
As POP always represents majority public opinion, it cannot have its own ideology or policies as it will have to follow future majority public opinion decisions. Those decisions cannot be predicted. Consequently, POP as a party, will never be able to form coalitions with other political parties, as POP cannot make open or secret deals with them on any future decision.
POP as a party and its representatives in parliament are bound to vote in accordance with future majority public opinion on each question. Consequently, POP and its members cannot sell their vote on any future decision to special interests or lobbyists. This would be an unreasonable waste of money, as one would need to bribe the entire majority to get POP’s vote on their side.