Volunteer (or not)

Posted by Romain on

Yesterday’s post discussed about inclusion and exclusion, but people may be not willing to cooperate. How can you make someone participate in politics? Politicians do a good a job in pretending that they want it. In fact they actively exploit our inside mule. They employ the idea behind this idiom: « You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink ». They use our natural laziness and (the illusion of) openness is insufficient. Women and poor people are welcomed in French politics, no law forbids it. Yet they are too few of them. The lack of willingness is an easy excuse. Maybe it is time to ask nicely and convincingly.

Two animals with different degrees of stubbornness. Photos credit Romain Cazé CC-BY.

Election inherently needs volunteers. People outside the group of candidates cannot be elected. Party also pre-select the candidates. This exclude most of the people from politics. They allow everyone to participate but ask no one.

#MAVOIX wanted to make their candidates more representative and de-personify politics using sortition. A good attempt and noble motive, sadly they picked from a list of volunteers. I think that it introduces a dangerous bias. Sortition guarantees to represent the population you pick from. In this case, you select from a population of people that consciously or not want power. As Alain wrote these people are the worst type of leaders. They pick candidates from this population -I think- to ensure a certain momentum that was a good idea but against their first principles.

« Les ateliers constituant » uses a sociocratie protocol to designate a moderator, from a list of volunteers… I went to one of their meeting and I had a hard time trying to change their mind (and I didn’t succeed). People argued that non-volunteers are not going to be motivated enough that they do not even want to be the moderator -funnily it was the volunteers who made this point. This is why I proposed to allow moderators to resign when they want (but 99% of the time they need to BE resigned by the group (power corrupts even a little one)). In conclusion, I think that to allow is not enough, one needs to ask.

Thank you for reading! Will you volunteer to write a comment?