How do we imagine democracy in the 21st century? I don’t think that the system of electing political representatives for four or five years, as envisaged two hundred years ago, is still satisfactory for the citizens of modern states. On the other hand the forms of direct participation, now technically possible through the Net, are very dangerous because the majority is uninformed and tends to decide without considering all the aspects of each issue. Other systems are under trial: “democracy by ballot” (a group of citizens is chosen to get informed and decide on each issue), “democracy by media”, mobilizing people through television or internet, or “primary voting” on very general issues, just to confirm a ruling class that has already been selected. Each system has its own defects. Probably the only possible, even if partial, answer is democracy through the multiplication of local initiatives offering to the citizens a place to debate, as once it happened in the party meetings. It’s a process just starting in Italy, but the demand for participation is high.