Posts tagged participatory democracy
“I just want to be happy, walk with tranquility in the favela where I was born. And be proud and have the awareness that a poor person has his place… My dear authorities, I don’t know what to do anymore. With so much violence I am afraid to live. Because I live in the favela I am disrespected. Sadness and joy walk hand-in-hand… While the rich live in a beautiful house, the poor are humiliated and demoralized in the favela… All I ask of the authorities is a bit more competence.”
(Rap da Felicidade by Cidinho)
These lyrics come from a song named ‘Rap More >
Democracy has strayed far from its origin as a system of governance giving all citizens equal access to decision-making authority and the opportunity to serve in office. Modern day political campaigns not only entail budgets reaching thousands, millions, or even hundreds of millions of dollars, but also require extensive networks of coalitions and connections, all of which completely soil the ideals of democracy. Countries, governments, and democratic systems differ, but in today’s democracies, at least one thing seems to be shared: you need money, and a lot of it, to be elected into political office.
But in Rio’s municipal elections, we are seeing More >
The ads for “vereadores” (city councilors) for Rio’s “Camâra“ (City Council) litter the streets of Rio during the campaign season, with this year’s ballot boasting more candidates than even the most politically informed voter could possibly keep track of. There are 51 seats on City Council simultaneously up for election every four years. There are no term limits, so conceivably ‘councilor’ could constitute a life-long occupation. Common across Brazilian politics, a diverse range of parties are present in the City Council. There are 20 parties currently represented, with the plurality being held by the Brazilian Democratic Movement Part (PMDB), which holds More >
With Rio’s municipal elections approaching next month, a lot is at stake for the city’s crucial approaching years. These elections mean mayor and city council, but what if they meant more? Could a city like Rio benefit from participatory democracy?
With social issues, inequality, and a long history of marginalizing favela residents, it’s certainly not difficult to imagine the ways that Rio might benefit from participatory democracy and increasing transparency. However, a closer look at the system employed in my home state of California presents a range of outcomes from great successes to epic failures that should serve as both positive examples More >