Can democracy survive politics?

7 Aug

My short answer is I hope so. Though I am not part of the anti-party politics crew, I do feel that party politics has a job to do to reconnect and be meaningful if people are to value democracy. That, along with the economy, should be our top priority for all parties in my opinion.

Why am I even wondering about it? Here are a few things that have been whizzing through my brain and digital timelines the last few days:

i loved this 300 seconds but though brilliant,  it was explaining how to ‘play the game’ according to current rules whereas I think the rules need to change. I have worked for charities as someone who helps people do these line by line type consultations, and yes this is a better way of drafting policy and legislation as experts can help ensure implementation does achieve the spirit and intent.

I worked on this project which was pitched for a NESTA innovation grant, and whilst it wasn’t successful in round two, the project really inspired me. This speaks to me about rules of engagement changing. Of the Councillor acting as a part of a ward network rather than viewing Councillors as part of a bureaucratic hierarchy. Of public meetings being ones where the public set the agenda rather than are allowed in to watch the theatre of full council.
Finally a tweet came through my timeline which said something like ‘can democracy survive politics?’ and I now cannot find it, sorry, but if you tweet or leave a comment, will happily credit. Because like all simple questions, there is a really complex answer. And it’s not just about politician’s behaviour…though that’s as a good a place as any to start with!
There is a £4.2million democratic engagement fund to help get people registered to vote – deadlines are quite soon but I hope that a quality project for Brighton and Hove bids successfully.

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