Politics Without Politicians

The political scientist Hélène Landemore asks, If government is for the people, why can’t the people do the governing? By Nathan Heller, in The New Yorker, February 19, 2020 Imagine being a citizen of a diverse, wealthy, democratic nation filled with eager leaders. At least once a year—in autumn, say—it is your right and civic...Continue reading

The problem with knowing – and not knowing – a great deal about a complex policy matter, and how to overcome it

Lyn Carson, in The Mandarin 20th December 2019 If we know a great deal about something, we close our minds to alternative pathways, we share our knowledge with people who support our opinion (confirmation bias), and our creativity is constricted because we think we know what’s possible and dismiss anything that sounds unrealistic. Lyn Carson shoes how...Continue reading

Britons should learn to vote like the Ancient Greeks

Much has changed since democracy emerged 2,500 years ago. Women vote. We do not kill or exile politicians who mislead us. We choose representatives to make decisions on our behalf. Our civic responsibilities are hardly ever enforced. Occasionally, we make our way to a conveniently located polling station, cast our vote in private, and trust...Continue reading

Bipartisan support for plan to save democracy

Longer terms for federal Parliament, an independent speaker and Senate president, curbs on donations and even changing the seating arrangements for MPs are among the recommendations of a panel of academics, former politicians and industry chiefs designed to restore faith in Australia’s “fraying” democracy. A report entitled Reforming our Democracy and published by the University...Continue reading

Jay’s new democracy project

Former Premier Jay Weatherill may have retired from politics, but he hasn’t left democracy behind. Indeed, he is hoping to make a new career of it. Weatherill formally left parliament in December, but effectively stepped away from political life a year ago this week, when he relinquished the ALP leadership after leading his party to...Continue reading

Citizen deliberation is the gateway to a better politics

People bridge differences or develop a respectful understanding of them, says Matthew Taylor of the RSA Radical change is needed to overcome the crisis in liberal democracy. The needs range from the constitution to the machinery of government. However, one reform can act as a “gateway” to others: deliberative democracy. At the heart of the...Continue reading

An innovative step toward truly empowered citizen governance

By Luca Belgiorno-Nettis A small Belgian city tries out a new governance system that gives 25 Average Joes and Josephines decision-making influence on the management of important social issues. When people think of Belgium, it’s bureaucracy and Brexit that typically spring to mind. The multicultural achievements of this polyglot country are smothered by its reputation...Continue reading

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