Comment 91889

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted September 08, 2013 at 13:43:24

Ward 1's process definitely has the benefit of simplicity and ease of involvement as residents simply submit ideas online to an appointed committee that then reviews them and comes up with a shortlist. Residents then vote online on the shortlist.

This has the advantage that resident involvement is limited to submitting ideas online and voting online.

The drawback is that this is a much less participatory democratic process since the final list of projects is controlled by an appointed committee with no direct resident involvement.

The goal in Ward 2, based on other participatory budget models, was to have the ideas actively debated in assemblies, have the compromise list decided by representatives elected by assemblies, and to put every proposal submitted by the assemblies on the final ballot together with the compromise proposal (rather than eliminating some).

So the basic tradeoff was having a more participatory democratic process at the cost of more complication and more time commitment from residents. Obviously, the more participatory the process is the bigger the time commitment (independently submitting an idea online is quick and easy, but not very participatory as the ideas are then retained or rejected by a non-elected committee). The idea in Ward 2 is that most important democratic part was the participatory part which involved the discussions during the assemblies open to anyone where the proposals could be debated openly.

There is plenty of opportunity to refine the processes in both wards, perhaps making the Ward 1 process more participatory and interactive and simplifying the process in Ward 2.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2013-09-08 13:58:41

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