Can you imagine a political party that requires no membership or dues, that crowdsources its funding, publishes every expenditure online, invites all citizens to help amend its platform, loathes the cult of the candidate, provides a direct vote mechanism for all citizens to hold its candidates accountable if they break a campaign promise, and whose first sales pitch was to encourage voters to studiously distrust them?
Neither could we until bumping into the X Party: A Citizen Network, a new political player on the Spanish electoral scene that is completely re-drawing what a political party looks like.
They are betting that their novel approach to democracy will not only re-animate the more than 18 million voters disaffected with the current Spanish party system, but will also totally reshape how representative democracy functions. This is a bold ambition that seems be picking up steam as they announced a few weeks ago their slate of candidates for May’s European Parliamentary elections, topping the list is the swiss HSBC leaker and newly converted hacktivist Hervé Falciani whose lack of Spanish citizenship seems to unfaze the self-branded anti-party. In proper situationist fashion, Falciani’s exile to Paris, under the protection of French Authorities, for the numerous death threats leveled against him after leaking the names and account information of more than 130,000 tax evaders, will guarantee that lesser-known candidates sourced through the network will share the limelight and play a more crucial role during the campaign.
Comparisons to Edward Snowden aside, the selection of Falciani to lead the pack of activist-candidates under the X-Party ticket is a clear sign on how serious they are about holding those responsible for the rampant fraud that led to the economic crisis in Spain accountable. The nominating process culminated in March after an open primary process in which more than 2,500 network interactants participated.
The six nominated candidates represent different areas of expertise constituting what they call a “federation of competences,” and their expertise reflects upon the thematic planks of their crowd-sourced platform: public transparency, radicalizing democracy, housing rights, and economic justice. Included on the list are economist Susana Martín Belmonte, former taxation delegate Raul Burillo, and housing rights lawyer Juan Moreno Yagüe.
The number two on the list of candidates is M15 activist, performance artist, political theorist, and X-Party gestator Simona Levi. Simona graciously talked to us at length about this ambitious new attempt to hack the existing political system.