this year's Netroots Nation marks the launch of a bold experiment in participatory democracy: together, the Netroots will craft our very own policy platform to be submitted to the DNC in advance of the Democratic Convention.Now, it makes sense that the idea is being pioneered within a subset of a party, since any unanticipated outcomes won't then make for a binding platform. And it would be entirely understandable if a similarly cautious approach were applied to any Canadian adaptation.
To ensure the final platform we submit to the DNC reflects the views of the entire Netroots community, we want this process to be as inclusive and democratic as possible - so we're not just limiting it to those who've made it to Austin...
We've divided the platform into 5 planks (foreign policy, economy, healthcare, etc.) and we may add others by popular demand.
Within each plank, the way it works is that people submit different versions of the plank, edit each other's versions, and mix and match from different versions to create new ones. People can rate each version, and the version with the highest average rating is the one we'll submit to the DNC.
That said, however, the model is one that the NDP should be looking to apply as well as a means of encouraging grassroots involvement in the party's policy process. And the end result could be both to cement the NDP as Canada's people-powered party, and to develop a progressive vision which moves far past what the CCF's founders could have imagined.