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  The Problem

Traditionally, great ideas, great leaders and active participation of its members have been the driving and energizing forces of successful member-based political and social organizations.

Participation meant face-to-face communications during various organized events: local party meetings, regional assemblies, national congresses, street events, thematic committees and informal social activities. In the best cases, great ideas and great leaders have been the natural outcome of these activities.

Though plagued by important efficiency and democratic flaws, this system has well served many multi-party liberal democracies.
During the last decades, however, two parallel phenomena have created a huge decrease of participation and efficiency of the decision-making processes at all organizational levels:

Transnationalization of the Public Sphere.
Context, objectives, and membership base of political organizations have increasingly become transnational and multi-language; which is evident in the European unification process and the rise of global political movements.
Huge Increase in travel times, travel costs and translation costs.
The costs required to maintain adequate participation levels to such internal processes have enormously increased, relatively to available resources.
Large increase in the power of private and state-controlled TV media systems to shape internal information, communication, agenda and priorities within those same political organizations; coupled with a comparatively decreased relevance of face-to-face meetings and political events.

These phenomena have caused an important decrease in the quality, intensity, visibility, and ultimate effectiveness, of such democratic organizational processes. Such a detachment from the political life may be evinced, for example, by the low turn-out of recent European elections and the difficulty of political parties and unions to keep pace with the internationalization of political problems, solutions and institutions.

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