Ordahhh, Ordahhh!


When I first conceived of a project that would go on to be called 'Ordahhh!', I initially called it '3D Politics'. Later, it's name changed to 'The Third House', before a finally came around to a more - I thought - generally appealing name: 'Ordahhh!'. In truth, none have been more descriptive of the originally envisioned project than '3D Politics' was. The three D's of that name were direct digital democracy; a vision for a future in which the populous of a country could directly participate in political decision-making rather than depending entirely upon elected representatives to decide on their behalf. The app would present visitors with genuine legislation currently going through parliament and allow a yea or nay voting system to gauge public support or opposition to proposed legislation. Hence also, The Third House: the users of the app would sort of act as if they were a third house of parliament. Not one with any actual power over the legislative process but one whose opinion could be gauged and perhaps this could be used to influence lords and representatives in parliament proper. This is not that website. The code for that website currently resides in a private repository while I decide whether or not I'll pursue that again. No, this website is - for now - just a blog. Just my blog. Hardly impartial, perhaps hardly representative of anyone's interests but my own. But, well, we're not yet getting political, are we? This is a statement of intent.

The intent is this: To have a place where I can write, where I can perhaps invite others to write, where we can comment on and discuss political matters of the day, and perhaps where we can gauge public interest in the political process. A part of that final intention will be making politics actually palatable, because politics in general is pretty unpalatable. Most of us would much rather not bother with the whole thing until the next general election comes around. But then, I contest, if we don't pay attention during the interim between pledges to be elected or reelected, we miss the most important decisions of all - the ones not made simply to impress us, the ones not made to secure our vote. That was the fundamental problem that led me to conceive of 3D Politics in the first place; we should know the policy decisions our representatives are making when they least think their decisions are being observed. And we should be able to voice our decisions on those policies too. That's already possible, I know, but it isn't exactly simple. It's - arguably - deliberately obscure, lengthy and outmoded. And where the means of our political communication aren't outmoded - social media, for instance - they are argumentative and divisive; discourse concerns itself with flashy headlines designed to engage and outrage, all of which looks the same to the algorithms that decide what to show us and where to direct our interest. Wouldn't it be so much better to have a calm space where debate could be exchanged without the driving factors being sensation and division? Is such a thing even possible?

We first need to be clear about what politics is. This itself is fiercely debated in order to politicise all manner of matters; the social, the medical, the environmental. There are some who'll claim everything's political, and some who want that to be the case because it is easier to contest a point when it is framed as political opinion rather than fact or science. In a way then... everything is political, because there are political agents forcing that to be the case. In the strictest sense though, politics is the discussion of governance. It is the debate or discourse pertaining to the selection of government, the application of governance over the governed and the reasoning applied to both. That's... broad. Let's examine a for instance.

For instance, environmental science - the research and study of the environment, climate and nature - is not politics. That's science. This is a distinction that's lost when we say everything is politics. Environmental policy... is politics, but arguably much too vague. What is "environmental policy" really? It's economic policy, governance of industries, ordinances on public behaviour perhaps. It is actionable governance applicable to governed systems. The government do not govern the climate, they do govern the people and industries that depend on its stability and can harm it. So politics is actionable and sociological - it strictly applies to people and their actions.

Is that a fair founding statement? Politics is about people? I feel like it is. Some will argue otherwise; they'll suggest that politics is the arena of ideas and environmental science is one such idea. Others might take politics is about people and roll with it into inapplicable territory, like if politics is about people then it may decree that people are a certain thing - straying into the territories of biology and psychology. It isn't the place of politics really though to say what anything is or is not. It is the place of politics to govern a society, to justify that governance and to face challenge and debate about those justifications. Here on Ordahhh! our aim is to fulfill the challenge and debate aspect, and hopefully to invite many others to join us in doing the same.

There's just me here for now, Thom Bruce. Pleased to be of service. Now, let's get political...