National preview of the documentary “The Choice” (Italy, 2018); talk with the authors Silvia Boccardi, Giuseppe Francaviglia, Giorgio Viscardini, with David Puente.
Screening of “La Scelta”, by unozerozerouno (Silvia Boccardi, Giorgio Viscardini, Giuseppe Francaviglia) and Gabriele Rossi. In Italian with English subtitles.
Talk (in Italian) with Silvia Boccardi, Giorgio Viscardini, Giuseppe Francaviglia and Italian blogstar David Puente. Western democracies are in a state of crisis. People move away from politics, and the voter turnout has reached its lowest point in decades due to disillusionment, indifference or a sense of futility. Meanwhile, far right and anti-establishment parties are on the rise. Political experts call it the crisis of representative democracy. In a world dominated by a 24/7 news cycle, many people think that limited participation and single recurring elections are insufficient: voters don’t actively feel they are part of the democratic process. But technology could be the solution.
The movie. Internet voting could make electing political representatives useless. Direct democracy, without intermediaries, has always been considered utopian and impossibile to implement in the real world. In Italy, the Five Star Movement is using a platform – the operating system Rousseau – to allow citizens to vote online. But since it went live, Rousseau has been harshly criticized. There are no clear boundaries between the platform, its ideator – the Casaleggio Associati – and the Five Star Movement. Associazione Rousseau and Casaleggio Associati are different legal entities, in the same registered office. Davide Casaleggio is the president of Casaleggio Associati, but he have always diminished his role in the Movement. Rousseau’s administrators declared they obtained 500.000 euro through a fundraising campaign. But the platform has a security problem. Within 24 hours of Rousseau’s upload, two hackers cracked the system. And in the months that followed, the platform has been blocked many times, putting users data at risk. Still, Rousseau is currently in use as the Movement’s platform.
La scelta analyses the current status of democracy and its evolution. Could the web transform representative democracy in direct democracy? Is Rousseau a successfull attempt, despite its problems?