David Seedhouse, Honorary Professor of Deliberative Practice at Aston University and a contributor to Lockdown Sceptics, is launching a new direct democracy initiative called Our Decision Too. In an article in today’s Conservative Woman he explains why it’s needed.
If someone were to ask me: “Excuse me, friend, how do we bring about meaningful democracy in 2021?” I would also say: “Well, sir, if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here.”
I wouldn’t start from a system where every few years millions of citizens have just one opportunity to vote for a single individual who must represent not only their views about policy but the views of every other constituent as well. This is quite obviously an impossible task.
I would not start from a system where MPs are obliged to vote in line with their party’s mandates.
I would not start from a system where political parties publish gleaming manifestos only to ignore them as soon as they win power.
I would not start from a system where a cabal of bureaucrats with their own interests to advance advise MPs who can know only so much.
I would not start from a system where lobby groups, cronyism, inter-party fighting, blatant corruption and the personal interests of politicians create an unbridgeable chasm between government and the people.
In fact I would not start with a system where there are political parties at all. Tinkering will not bring about meaningful democracy. The political elite will not endorse meaningful reform in a million years. So we need to do what they do to us – ignore them and make our own decisions.
Lockdown Sceptics featured the project two months ago when it first started out. Now it has been given its own website and David wants to grow the membership from its current level – over 1,000 – to many more.
We have now recruited more than 1,000 members, debated 55 issues in depth, have had more than 3,000 intelligent responses to the issues, and have generated patterns of members’ values that clearly show the sort of society we want. And this is just the start. …
The site uses various methods to include citizens in decision-making. Issues are discussed in a deliberative fashion rather than decided via simple polling. Democracy requires education, knowledge and reflection, not just blind allegiance to one or another anachronistic political party.
We include people from any and every background. All opinions are welcome. Nothing is censored, hidden, or withheld unless it is illegal or plainly offensive. Everyone’s views and the patterns of their choices are immediately available to all participants, and there are filters to enable ‘deep diving’ into the transparent data.
If you would like to join, simply:
1) Go here
2) Login as prompted
3) You will automatically be in the group which is here
4) Explore and respond to issues, comment on reports, make friends and make a difference.
Then, if you like what you see, invite everyone else who wouldn’t start from here either.
Read David’s piece in ConWom here.