The direct Democrats are a merger of the three direct democratic parties Demoex who had a mandate in Vallentuna municipality, genuine democracy (Värmdö) and active democracy (Linköping).

Here is a direct democratic history from the book Fluent democracy by Anders Maplefält and Joakim Sigvald published by Nomad publisher.


One of the first purely direct democratic parties in Sweden is the telephone party, which is started in the early 1990s by Peter Ahlm (the founder of the Yellow Newspaper). He wants to give citizens a direct link to the Riksdag through telephone votes (the button phone has just become popular). A few years later, Mikael Nordfors starts up the Direct Party with inspiration from the Telephone Party, but also with a representative system for those who do not want to vote themselves. This is probably the first party in the world with fluent democracy as an idea, even though the concept as such has not been coined yet; It is instead described as representative direct democracy. The telephone party only manages to get a few votes when they set up in elections and the Direct Party chooses to cancel the investment against the 1994 election, when the interest is considered too weak in the public. By the middle of the 90s, they are both closed.

During the second half of the 1990s, direct democracy was relatively quiet. However, the development of various electronic voting systems is gaining momentum. They are mainly focused on association democracy but also on local elections. Mikael Nordfors starts the company Vivarto, which is building the NetConference system, and in Kista, Sweden's first electronic local elections are being tested. Internationally, e-democracy is also on the agenda. Arizona is a pioneer in early voting on the Internet, and Estonia is soon following suit with its e-democracy initiative. Sweden hooks on the train and conducts a major democracy inquiry, the final report of which will be presented in 2000. This, in combination with the internet boom that culminates in the same year, may explain the interest in e-democracy that flourished around the turn of the millennium. "

Lönnfält and Sigvald continue with “In the autumn of 2000, Vallentuna Municipality organizes a study day on practical e -democracy with the school's students and invited local politicians. Students may try to both debate and vote between different proposals. A lasting impression for many is how the electronic democracy system lets everyone speak, while the oral debate that follows is completely dominated by local politicians. This is what the teacher Per Norbäck and a group of students lead to work on the theme Electronic Direct Democracy, a work that opens up in a new local party being started in Vallentuna with representative direct democracy as an idea. DemoEx (short for the democracy experiment) is thus born*. The voting system may borrow from Mikael Nordfors who is also involved in the start -up.

Demoex achieves early success. They already receive a mandate in the municipal council in the 2002 election and win additional votes in the 2006 election. But then the development stops. In the 2010 election, they back down but may keep their mandate. Meanwhile, the party also gives up its delegation model and becomes a purely direct democratic party. Partly because they are forced to change voting systems in connection with Vivarto's bankruptcy in 2004. But above all because they feel that delegation in small groups leads to unhealthy power concentration.

In video you can hear Per himself tell us about fluent and direct democracy. The direct Democrats allow local associations themselves to choose between the two models.

Just before the study day on "IT and democracy" is planned in Vallentuna (more specifically in the autumn of 1999), a group of computer science students in Linköping begin to discuss direct democracy, and the idea of ​​starting a party to give all citizens a vote in the Riksdag is hatched. They have also come up with a clever solution to the problem that issues with too little participation can be overcome: If you combine participation and degree of consensus to determine the end point of each vote, no issues are decided until they have had time to gather either broad or stable support. in the population. The idea was soon supplemented with delegated voting and in 2002 the party Active Democracy was formed, with the aim of launching its model of democracy in the Riksdag.

The party is much characterized by internal discussions and contradictions in the first few years and the investments before the 2006 and 2010 elections become half -hearted. But they still manage to maintain a continuity and a presence on the Internet as the only nationwide Direct Democratic Party and they become a gathering point for democratic enuses across the country. Ahead of the 2010 election, a proprietary voting system is launched and the party begins to call itself fluent democratic.

In the 2010 election campaign, no less than four different parties (active democracy, Demoex in Vallentuna, Popvox in Stockholm and trust) participate with digital direct democracy or liquid democracy as an idea, which shows both the growing interest in the concept, but also on the divide within the movement.


In parallel with developments in Sweden, an international movement for fluid democracy is also emerging, initially with its residence on the Internet. The very concept of Liquid Democracy is already coined in early 2000 by the mysterious signature Sayke, which also implements parts of the model in its Liquiddemocracyvoting system. From 2003 onwards, the concept flourishes more and more frequently in network discussions and it should also have been raised during the World Political Forum 2003.

Active democracy has sporadic contacts with interested parties from other countries from the mid -00s who want to study their party model and start something similar at home. Eventually, a more organized international network is formed named E2D International (E2D is an abbreviation of Electronic Direct Democracy), where a dozen newly started direct democratic parties join. The network starts a website in 2011 and writes a manifesto on digital direct democracy that the affiliated parties sign, including active democracy and demoex.

From 2007 onwards, direct democratic parties begin to appear in elections outside Sweden. Australian Senator Online is one of the first and also one of the largest in this group of direct democratic parties. In parliamentary elections 2010, they receive more than 17,000 votes. Fluent democracy is also beginning to receive some attention in the media's news reporting, due to the great successes of some European parties combined with the application of digital member democracy.

The German Pirate Party, founded in 2006, is beginning to apply floating democracy to make its large and growing membership base involved in shaping the party's policies. In 2010, they launch a self-developed open source ‐ based tool, LiquidFeedback, which contributes greatly to popularizing the concept. From 2011 onwards, German pirate parties will take seats in the parliaments of four states with up to 10% of the electorate behind them. But in 2013, they lose a lot of support, much due to lack of internal democracy (the voting system is used only advisory), as well as internal power struggles and scandals.

In Greece, which is severely affected by the financial crisis, a political party appears "without politicians". They call themselves δ powon μουρία ξανά (roughly recreating, which probably refers to both Greece as a nation and their 2500 -year -old invention: democracy). They use new tools for deliberation and electronic direct democracy and want to be a citizens' vote in Parliament. They get just over 2 % of the vote in the 2012 election.

The five -star movement in Italy is also an advocate of e -democracy and direct democracy and they also use liquid feedback for their member democracy (as well as other systems). The party with its colorful leader, comedian and blogger Beppe Grillo, and his anti-establishment policy, goes up like a sun in the Italian national elections in 2013 and becomes 25 % the second largest party.

These more spectacular European successes may in the first place be attributed to dissatisfaction votes, populism and traditional political mobilization. None of these parties can be described as consistently fluent democratic. But they still contribute to arousing interest in the issue as such. One sign in time is that the World Forum for Democracy, held by the European Parliament at the end of November 2013, will start with a two -hour panel discussion on fluent democracy. "

The unknown horse from Athens

Published with permission of the authors.

Read more about Demoex in the book "The Unknown Horse from Athens".

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