Yeni Bir Siyasi Parti Türü Olarak Elektronik Siyasi PartilerSezen Kama Işık, Alper Işık
19. yüzyılın getirdiği toplumsal ve ekonomik dönüşümle birlikte oy hakkının genişlemesi ve halkın yönetimde söz sahibi olma isteği neticesinde siyasi parti kavramı ortaya çıkmıştır. Söz konusu kavramın günümüze dek ulaşması, temsili demokrasinin başarılarından biri olarak değerlendirilebilir. Bugünün dünyasında ise teknolojinin ve özellikle internetin ulaştığı nokta temsili demokrasinin farklı bir yöne evrilmesine neden olmakta ve dijitalleşen bir demokrasi anlayışı yaratmaktadır. Teknolojinin yarattığı bu değişim ayrıca siyasi partileri özel olarak etkilemektedir. Bir yanı ile geçmişten günümüze varlığını sürdüren geleneksel siyasi partiler iç ve dış işleyişlerinde özellikle internetin sağladığı imkanlardan faydalanmaktadır. Bir yandan da yeni bir tür olarak doğrudan internet üzerinden kurulan elektronik siyasi partiler ortaya çıkmaktadır. İşte bu çalışmanın amacı, halkın yönetime katılmasında kilit rol oynayan siyasi partilerin teknoloji ve internet sayesinde geçirdiği dönüşümü ortaya koyarak yeni bir tür olan elektronik siyasi parti kavramını ayırt edici özellikleri, tanımı ve dünyadan örneklerini mevzuatları ile birlikte ele almaktır.
Digital Political Parties as a New Type of Political PartySezen Kama Işık, Alper Işık
With the social and economic transformation of the 19th century, the concept of the political party emerged as a result of the expansion of the right to vote and the people’s desire to government/governance. The concept of the political party can be considered as one of the achievements of representative democracy. Today, technology and especially the internet, are causing the evolution and creating a digitalized understanding of democracy. This change created by technology not only affects the idea of democracy, but also affects political parties. On the one hand, traditional political parties use the internet in their internal and external operations. Digital political parties on the other hand, are established directly within the internet. The aim of this study is to reveal the transformation of political parties that have found their basis in the transformation from autocracy to constitutional monarchy and play a key role in public participation in administration through technology and the internet. In addition its purpose is to discuss the concept of the digital political party, which was born as a new genre, with different examples of their legislation from all over the world.
Political parties emerged as a result of universal suffrage and public participation in the government/governance. The concept of the political party has undergone many transformations since its emergence. Today, one of the most important transformations is being experienced thanks to digital technologies. The phenomenon of digitalization affects political parties in various ways.
The first distinction between political parties is benefiting from technological developments and parties engaged in direct electronic activity. Along with digitalization, traditional political parties have included digital technologies in their activities. Traditional political parties use technology in their internal and external operations. Internal functioning refers to intra-party decision making mechanisms. External functioning is the conduct of political communication.
Considering the use of technology in the decision making process of traditional political parties, it is difficult to talk about a fundamental digital transformation. Particularly in the pandemic, focusing on online meetings is a prominent feature in internal relations. However, this situation is limited to consultation activities. In external relations, mass communication is provided through social media platforms.
The most important digital transformation of political parties has been the emergence of digital political parties. Digital political parties carry out their organizations and internal functions using electronic means. They are emerging in many countries around the world. These parties use a variety of software programs to carry out their internal operations. Through these programs, party members are able to determine the policy of the parties and select candidates and party bodies.
The notion of digitalization, besides transforming traditional political parties, reveals a new type of political party. However, although it is claimed that class-based demands have become less important with digitalization and the network society is not in line with the hierarchical structures of political parties, it is necessary to consider digital political parties as a new phenomenon.
At this point, although digital political parties differ from each other in various ways, certain examples are explained hereinbelow. In this context, the Pirate Party, which is organized in many countries around the world, is discussed first. The party carries out decision making processes with software called LiquidFeedback. The Pirate Party also makes new claims in accordance with the emergence of digitalization. It is also achieving successful results in elections in different countries.
Another example is the Argentina-based Democracia en Red. This formation developed software called DemocracyOS that does not belong to any party, and later established a party called El Partido de la Red. The issues determined through DemocracyOS are opened up to discussion by members. If the party shall win parliament seats, it has promised to vote in parliament as agreed upon the application. Italia 5 Stelle, as an example emerging in Italy, operates decision making mechanisms with the software named Rousseau. In particular, the Party’s candidacy process is carried out digitally. The party now runs the national government in Italy.
Podemos is an example of digital political parties in Spain. The party has grown using digital infrastructure. Candidates supported by Podemos in the 2015 local elections won the elections in the municipalities of Madrid and Barcelona. The party conducts intra-party discussions through a software platform called Participa. Decisions such as party policies and party’s executives are made on this platform. In Turkey, there is only one digital political party called E-Party. It was established as a political party in 2014 and unlike other political parties, it included Electronic Assemblies among its central bodies. In addition, the Provincial and District E-Commissions have also been involved in the party’s provincial organization. However, Electronic Assemblies were not sufficient for the organization of the party in accordance with the Law on Political Parties numbered 2820. Therefore, the official identity of this political party as the E-Party was terminated in 2016. This situation shows that the legislation on political parties in Turkey is not ready for digital political parties yet.
In the conclusion, it is mentioned that technological developments can create a change from representative democracy to direct democracy. This situation pushes traditional political parties based on representation into a transformation towards technological developments which are direct instruments of democracy. However, legal change is not that fast. Although the legal framework is wide and flexible in terms of global examples, there is no political party law in which digital parties have yet been officially recognized. Nevertheless, it is said that the flexibility of laws in force allows the existence of digital parties. It is likely that these developments will spread to Turkey. However, unlike other examples in the world, Turkish law has a very detailed and strict law on political parties. Therefore, the change in this understanding of the law stands out as the main point in following digitalization trend in the world.