democracy

Posted on November 28, 2008
Filed Under computing, sport | Leave a Comment

I’ve always found the idea of a true democracy, that is a democracy where the citizens have a say in all decisions, fascinating. Clearly, it would be a difficult thing to achieve.  The myriad of decisions required to run a  large metropolis, let alone a country would make everyone’s involvement in every decision unworkable.  And yet, with contemporary digital technology making both information and participation readily available for all, it may well be possible to get stakeholders involved on a level that hasn’t been since the Athenian forum. Call me a dreamer (dreamer!) but it has been working for an English football club. In February of this year, Ebbsfleet football club was purchased by its fans, 30 000 of them, who each contribute annual fees to maintain a stake.  In return, they get to vote electronically on every decision that the club takes with regard to its team.  The result?  Chaos?

In February 2008, the members purchased the football club for £600,000. Just three months later, Ebbsfleet United won the FA Trophy at Wembley – the club’s greatest achievement in a history that dates back to 1890.

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