Social (Media) Democratic Party


#1

Idea: A Social (Media) Democratic Party

MVP: A social media Civil liberty organization, with products that engender citizen participation in democracy. Products will include similar tools like Budgit, @WhatisARoad (Kenya), and a social crowdfund solution (When SEC gives the green light).

Could we see an emergence, ahead of 2019?
How would it work?
Where would it originate from?
How would we translate online participation to offline mobilization?
And the biggest one of them all, how would it’s objectives, modus operandi and expectations of members meet all concerned legal requirements? (Constitution, Electoral Law, Crowdfunding and the SEC, Election Finance et al)

*Caveat: I absolutely admit these are crude thoughts that require proper fleshing out. My objective was just to share a thought-starter.


Next Nigerian President
#2

Great idea but I’m not sure about the effectiveness of a bottom-up strategy. I’m assuming that the majority of likely voters are largely disconnected from social media and vote along primordial lines.

However if you have a specific cause you wish to advance, it may be better to organise a private PAC like some boys did during the last guber and senatorial races in Lagos. Unfortunately, change has a real cost.


#3

Awesome idea. Even though I haven’t seen any of such occurring anywhere in the world, so it’s hard to determine the feasibility of such party. Nonetheless, this could become very powerful. The power of social media is highly underrated by the Nigerian elite (political), yet, we’ve seen how movements such as #OccupyNigeria, #BringBackOurGirls, #IceBucketChallenge, #JeSuisCharlie among others have proven repeatedly, the power of social media in unifying people and driving radical change.

We have very intelligent young minds in this generation, taking up and driving socio-economic discussions the past generations never dared to talk about.
The problem is we are too scattered all over, which is good, but we need a platform like that to discuss serious issues, proffer solutions and use active political participation and inclusion to drive the nation in a forward direction.
The more reason why Nigeria keeps moving backwards is the lack of young and fresh ideas in political discussions and decision making. I mean, there was that post about the lecture on why Startups fail, full of these old heads and people who have made their fortune through amassing public funds.

For this to succeed, I think it needs to be more than just a “Political Party”. Politics in Nigeria is a mess, and I know a lot of people who have sworn to never join any political party or participate in any political activity again, I don’t blame them, votes rarely matter in this nation.
What we need is a Movement, you can call it a Social Democratic Movement, it needs to be as active on social media as it is off social media as Niyi rightly pointed out. We need real people in the streets, real town hall discussions, conferences and ideations. It is not just enough to talk, we need to do. But like you said, we also need social media tools to drive participation from everywhere.
If done well, if well structured, and well managed, the 2019 elections could be influenced heavily by the movement, albeit a positive one.


#4

You forgot to include the most important thing - money. Lots of it. Money to fund full-time lobbyists advocacy specialists who drive the discussion forward through the channels of power.

You also have to choose a specific cause. Not a scattered approach. Something short and catchy like Prioritizing STEM is relevant here and makes a lot of sense.


#5

It isn’t a bottom-up strategy as you have capped it. It also isn’t an online only idea.

A PAC is a good idea. I know about the LAGOS venture. Having done political comms strategy for two-three election cycles in Nigeria at both state and federal levels, I understand the burden of money, and that’s why it needs to have multiple products and touch points.

Rallying around one cause is a good idea. But isn’t that an inhibitor in itself? What if the cause doesn’t work for me? No other options? In my opinion, a quick acquisition of customers/believers/supporters is critical to success.

How long did it take us to raise the amount for #SaveMayowa? Beyond the peddled falsehood and the unbridled rumour, what can we learn from there?

Voting along primordial lines? Sighs. Big truth. So what if we use Social media to further deepen those lines? Multiple causes along identified lines. Are people really disconnected from Social media? I also think the definition of the universe of Social media is very good. I have seen what people do with “Wazzup” (Whatsapp), 2go, et al.

Overall, I think the definition of success might also be relative. While it may be imperative to have a presidential candidate at first showing, Success might look more like getting 3 members of the HOA in 3 States where we have critical mass.

*Again, I tend to use question marks a lot when I have semi-formed ideas. So, please pardon me.


#6

Been passive on Radar for a while now but this is something that resonates with me so I feel I should contribute to this topic.

A very good example to share would be that of DemocracyOS founders including Pia Mancini and Santiago Siri who started their own political party in 2012 called Partido de la Red or The Net Party, that pledged to vote according to whatever their user base decided in the city of Buenos Aires, the 3 million-person capital of Argentina. They acquired a little over 1 percent of the vote in the city — not enough to elect a candidate — but enough to influence the legislative process and have city policymakers adopt the platform.

You can read more about it in this Techcrunch article.

Here is their implementation of DemocracyOS. Others can be seen here.

I think this is very possible as long as the right group of people with the will and resources required are involved.

Nigeria has a growing young and vibrant population and the illiteracy level can only get lower. A digital party can go a long way in shaping the future of Nigeria’s political landscape. There are tens of millions of people with internet access, on social media and on IM platforms. A subset of them can potentially influence a great portion of the rest with the right message. Mothers/Women for instance will be more likely to vote for their son or daughter’s mate if said son or daughter appeals to their sense of “parents listen to your children, we are the leaders of tomorrow” (Sorry, couldn’t find a better way to phrase this)

I would suggest such a digital party be run like a startup with a different leadership structure and method of decision making. Why startups? Because they have grand visions and world conquering mentalities and are able to foster the right kind of culture. With a tool like DemocracyOS, Social Media and IM platforms and other custom solutions, a digital party can be very effective and grow to pose a serious threat to the status quo in Nigeria’s political landscape.

There is a need for the current players to be purged and for a new generation to take over. If only we can also get Mr. Robot to join such a movement.


#7

@Yinka Bless your soul! Now the skeleton gathers flesh.

Exactly my point about the startup model. No one is going to take us beyond barrel noising if we come out as Nigeria’s “First and Largest Online political party”, or any of those cliches used to pitch to press.

However, we come out as a for-profit or non-profit CLO/CSO, and we have a better shot. I like the idea of SMDP but I am better excited about the prospect of a good execution hack! (I hope that is the right tech speak to use)


#8

This email is a year old. I sent it to a friend who anyone here may know. He runs a top political media company. He is Stanley Azuokola. In fact, he conducted the last Edo gubernatorial debate.

Any way, this is the email unedited. I’ll be happy to follow up on anyone thinking about this. Personally, I hope to get around working on it later next year when I have the bandwidth. At this point, I don’t have the time, resources and people to join in on it at this point.


Hi Stanley,

So I procrastinated this every minute, till this morning.

So the idea is basically bringing people to actually have conversations on issues, but beyond talking, do actual work to implement, and forge for progress.

The idea is still on a very conceptual level, but can certainly be improved on, or refined.

The starting proposition :

  1. Conversations are public, open, moderated around issues, programs. Top opinions are voted up as part of moderation. Hacker news is run this way. news.ycombinator.com

  2. The entire service is run by donations, volunteers and 100% directed to projects. Similar to how Wikipedia is run, except this is with a political undertone.
    Check out watsi.org

  3. A manifesto is written, and is agreed upon. This can be revised by the community, of course.

  4. Beyond online, there will be allowance for meet ups and actual physical chapters, both local and Nigerian diaspora coordinated and funded by the community. fwd.us has an element of this.

  5. Membership are classified by contributions. In the early stage, it has to be by invitation in fact. There will be mentors, volunteers, the organization team, supporters, contributors et al. Basic idea yet.

  6. Resources and media library.

  7. Vote on major issues, and donation to local programs, grassroots development and causes.

  8. Fundamentals: Rules of engagement, values and ideologies, and manifesto.

The end would be a community of people seeking refound the country with a new voice and perspective, by bringing resources and leveraging the diversity of talents and influence of these people.

At the end of the day, a political party can be founded out of it. And since it is open, the power is distributed and not conserved to one person or entity.

That’s mostly it, at this stage in my head.

Sola.


#9

@codegidi See.


#10

This is massive.
I had a couple of guys expanding on this 2 years ago but again it was swept under the carpet. It is not for the “faint hearted”.


#11

SMP? Count me in :wink: … Checkout http://RepCommend.com/ssr - a project I came up with after shadowing a House of Reps leader that really gained traction for a whille.


#12

Interesting idea and comments so far.
One thing that has been bugging me though is the general belief that when you’re on the outside, you can never have a full grasp of how enormous the issues of the country are. This, I think, means that people with some form of “experience” will be greatly needed to balance the enthusiasm of the youth with the reality of things on ground and the feasibility of their ideas.
Off the top of my head, I think solving that issue can be done either by hand picking trusted existing “politicians” or being prepared to slowly penetrate the political scene by planting seeds, like a previous comment said, in say State Houses of Assesmbly.
I have limited political exposure but with the way APC’s campaign went on the last time and what the reality is now, one can only wonder if it’s a lack of zeal/interest or they were not just prepared.


#13

I love this.
I have no experience with politics but I’d love to be involved.


#14

Wont work without major cash.

Wouldn’t even work at all, unless people are going to make money from it.

Just forget about it.

It won’t work.


#16

Nice idea!


#17

Nice Idea.

Definitely need some of the patriotic political ‘godfathers’ to silently be in support otherwise Welcome to Nigeria


#18

This is an amazing idea. I have spent the last couple of weeks thinking about how we can mobilize ourselves and channel this anger into the next election. I just couldn’t think past how we can challenge the major parties’ existing structures: their meeting places in almost every street corner in the country, their influencers pushing candidates in marketplaces and everywhere else and their complete dominance of traditional media.

But this could crack a hole. If we mobilize properly on such an online platform, we may just begin to resonate in every other corner. Yes, the real election campaigns will require funds to brand billboards and posters, buy airtime for radio and TV jingles, hire RED media and so on, but if we start now, we might just gather enough momentum to attract the funds. Count me in.

PS: Please change the name. Social Media Democratic Party sounds like we’ll just be sharing memes.


#19

Although this sounds good in theory, We have to agree that the Idea wouldn’t come to fruition without money. The only way i can see this working is if its crowdfunded.
Also considering the political climes we are in, i’d say support from a strong political figure might not be a bad idea if the support seems altruistic, because if it doesn’t the party runs the risk of losing credibility from the get go and that might happen if there’s a hint that the “godfather” might exert undue influence on the party.
Candidates must be crowd sourced too…The party will have a set of mandates that serve to guide it, the job of the party may then be to organizing crowdfunding campaigns for candidates that subscribe to these mandates… cue in Budgit… budgit by extension can champion something like An online scorecard for the candidates the party is looking to back, let’s call it policy.ng.

Here, all the candidates profiles showing the policies the candidates have championed ( if it’s a new candidate then initiative she/he has taken). Basically the candidates political antecedents.
Then cross reference that with whether the supposed candidate’s ideals and ideas align with the party’s mandate before presenting the candidates to the to the people for a final decision on who to support.

I admit i don’t know about the legalities of all this and seeing as SEC rules out crowdfunding in Nigeria, i’d say we are fucked for now.


#20

Sign me up!
No idea about the workings of politics (let alone social-media driven politics), but if this means we get the chance to put in some gears that will push for effective change, then this is an idea i can stand behind.


#21

I strongly doubt that the SEC has any business regulating donation based crowdfunding for NGOs. Current regulations don’t allow companies to crowdfund but they can stop people from donating money to a political party.