Farange on Internet politics and the Dutch referendum


Today’s Dutch referendum on the EU’s expansionist agreement with Ukraine really is the people’s referendum. It wasn’t triggered by politicians or political parties, but by a determined group of well-organised, highly-motivated individuals. GeenPeil, a project stemming from the popular Dutch blog GeenStijl, collected some 420,000 signed, verified, signatures triggering this referendum. It is an extraordinary achievement that highlights how western democracy is evolving. The internet truly is the gamechanger of our time. A small collection of individuals with an idea can find thousands of other kindred spirits who join them in championing a cause. That develops, becoming tens of thousands and then allowing a message to reach out to millions. This revolution is sweeping Europe as we speak. Just look at Beppe Grillo’s Five Star movement in Italy, who harness a system of direct democracy amongst their supporters. When Five Star had MEPs elected to the European Parliament, the party asked supporters to vote on which group they should sit with. Supporters had their say and the Five Star Movement now sit alongside Ukip.