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[I-coordination] Europe at a tipping point?

David Cake dave at difference.com.au
Tue Dec 10 09:20:12 CET 2013


On 10 Dec 2013, at 1:20 am, JFC Morfin <jefsey at jefsey.com> wrote:

> At 17:41 09/12/2013, Milton L Mueller wrote:
>> No need to quibble about this, really, but an organization created 
>> by a national law, the majority of whose members are government 
>> ministries, and without any representation from foreigners might 
>> reasonably be called 'state-led.
> 
> Is Democracy not a system where the state holders are all the 
> citizens? We therefore seem to have a controversy between business 
> stakeholderism and democracy?
> Interesting: in democracy we are entitled to control our ministries, 
> in business stakeholderism we seem to be engaged to oppose them?
> What would seem interesting would be to chose, select and support our 
> national ministries.
> jfc
	
	For a start, there seems to be an implicit assumption here that states are at least nominally democratic. True enough for Europe, but clearly not something that should always be assumed - and of course nations like Saudi Arabia ere in favour of state led Internet governance as well. 
	But it is also a poor assumption that a democratic state will allow any but the most minimal and unavoidable control of its ministries in any given process. Take the TPP process that is going on currently (which does include some Internet governance provisions) - allegedly democratic states are negotiating a treaty with no transparency, with provisions that serve business stakeholders in ways they would not even likely try to propose within a multi-stakeholder process (eg criminal penalties for non-intentional copyright violation!), and will not even be presented to national parliaments until after negotiation has concluded. 
	While it might be nice to choose and support our ministries, even in the most democratic nations we are a long way from that (even being permitted to know what our public servants are negotiating in our name seems to be a problem, let along having real input into the process), and many nations make not even a pretence at democracy. Multi-stakeholderism is certainly strong on transparency, which is an essential enabler of real democratic process - and most of the imagined conflict between multi-stakeholderism and democracy contrast real MSism with anidealised democracy that doesn't resemble what our governments actually do. 
	Regards

		David

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