Traditional political parties have, to a large extent, failed the electorate. In themselves they are no longer enough. We need new politics that will supplement and/or change the existing order.
People around the world have become disillusioned with mainstream politics. Many vote for populists and dictators in all but name as a result. We must not dismiss the people, their reasons and concerns. Rather, we must engage. Listen with humility and respect, learn and react.
All of us who are passionate about politics and want to do justice to the potential of progressive politics must engage, including going out into the streets and talking to people. This is crucial, particularly in the long term. Citizens must never again feel disenfranchised. People need to know that their views count.
It is remarkable that in the 21st century politics is often confined to and conducted within national borders, even on issues that are evidently global; environment, inequality, immigration and security the most obvious ones. What is also undermining democracy is real or perceived lack of interest in local matters that people across the world hold dear: their identity and values. We truly need more local and transnational debate.
It is time to step up to the plate and do something. We decided to do so, despite all the obvious difficulties. Being realists, we start modestly and hopefully build from there.
We won’t formally register as a political party until we are ready to contest elections. This is an important administrative step but not something which is essential for now.
We want to work together with activists, intellectuals and existing political parties. With everyone that shares our values, which we believe means many. We want to build virtual and real connections and alliances, with the aim of offering a viable, progressive alternative to everything that we consider unpleasant in our societies: nationalism and poisonous populism above all.
International Democracy (Idemo) was founded by Shane Broderick and Drazen Simic.