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Is our system working?

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I believe passionately in the idea of democracy. Societies should be run by their citizens, not a self perpetuating elite. It is clear that more and more people are becoming disillusioned with the way traditional democracies are operating. As a political campaigner I meet regularly with people who have concluded that it is pointless voting – because the political elite are too detached from the lives of “ordinary people”.

This morning I was out in Furzton talking to voters – many who had heard that their new MP was claiming from the public purse for rent – whilst he was gaining income from renting out his own property in London (background). They felt let down by ALL parties. One lady explained to me, that she had trusted local and national politicians in the past, but , with all due respect to me, “you couldn’t trust any of them”.  They felt buffeted by the decisions of the Government in London – and by the council in Milton Keynes.

How can we restore health to our democracy? The extremists are happy to exploit these feelings – and promote their paranoid fantasies. How can reasonable people work with citizens to deal with the failings of our democracy – whilst ensuring that people are listened to at a local and national level?

I can’t claim to have the answers – but I would like to engage in a discussion about how we solve these problems. Over the next few days I will link to “new” solutions proposed. I’d value your comments.

Today I’d like to share with you ideas about “citizen assemblies”. Please take a look at the report prepared by the Ontario (Canada) Citizens’ Assembly – and post your comments on this blog. The background paper is available here.



Written by David

December 5, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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