Democratic Society Introduction
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Democratic Society Introduction

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An introduction to the work of the Democratic Society, a UK-based NGO working on participation, citizenship and democracy.

An introduction to the work of the Democratic Society, a UK-based NGO working on participation, citizenship and democracy.

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  • Slide #28: 4 years? In the US it is $$ that talks, so it takes a miracle to change the laws if you are an average citizen. Digital influence is on the rise, but we still have a long way to go.
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    Democratic Society Introduction Democratic Society Introduction Presentation Transcript

    • The Democratic Society A place for citizens 4.0
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Everyone knows traditional politics is in trouble ... http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... low trust in politicians ... http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... disengaged young people ... http://www.demsoc.org
    • ... falling turnouts ... UK voter turnout at General Elections UK voter turnout at General Elections THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY 1950-1969 average 2000-2009 average Source: International IDEA http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... and general apathy. http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY But, away from politics, this is the age of democracy. http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Adverts tell us we can take control ... ... by buying a newspaper http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY We can take a stand ... ... by buying a bar of soap http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY We can even change the world ... ... by using a computer operating system http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Everywhere, you can have it your way ... http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... or tell people what you think. http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY This is the age of mass personalisation http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY It’s the triumph of democracy http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY But politics isn’t keeping up http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY It is still a firmly representative system ... Image: UK Parliament website http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... based on mass compromises ... http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... and declining political parties. Change in party membership numbers in 13 European countries, 1980-2000 0 -10 -20 -30 % -40 -50 -60 -70 ce ly UK y d s ia nd en k nd ium y nd ar wa an an Ita str an ed la la m rla m nl lg or Au er Ire Fr en Sw er Fi Be N he itz D G et Sw N Source: Mair & Van Biezen, Party Membership in 20 European Democracies in Party Politics v 7 (2001). http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY In the age of mass personalisation ... Vote that guy o Big Brother Ten seconds Tell that Times columnist that One minute he’s an idiot Have my burger without mayonnaise Five minutes Buy made-to-measure jeans One week http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... politics isn’t an attractive proposition. Vote that guy o Big Brother Ten seconds Tell that Times columnist that One minute he’s an idiot Have my burger without mayonnaise Five minutes Buy made-to-measure jeans One week Change a government Four years, policy I don’t like if you’re lucky http://www.demsoc.org
    • So among the young ... UK voter turnout 2005 UK voter turnout 2005 THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Voters aged 65 and over Voters aged under 25 Source: British Election Survey 2005 http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... and the not so young ... After 1992, abstention started increasing among older age groups too 60 18-24 50 35-44 65-74 40 30 20 10 0 64 66 70 a b 79 83 87 92 97 01 05 74 74 20 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 20 19 19 Source: British Election Survey 2005 http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... all around the world ... Years of highest and lowest election turnout since 1945 in selected mature democracies* 100 90 80 70 60 Highest turnouts all before 1980 All but 2 lowest turnouts after 1995 50 1945 1958 1971 1984 1997 2010 Highest Lowest Source: International IDEA. *Parliamentary elections in all EU member states that have been democracies continuously since 1950, plus US (presidential), Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, Iceland & Norway. Countries with compulsory voting excluded. Germany = West Germany before 1990. http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... politics has become a hobby ... Image: Trainspotter (Wikimedia Commons) http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... and not even a very popular one. Membership of selected UK organisations 4 3 members (millions) 2 1 0 st PB ion ty es y* ur ) s ng em ru cie bo tiv r RS bu un lT li D yc va La So n na B b (C to r se M Li in io las n lke G TC at Co G N To C Source: News reports 2007-9 and corporate websites. * Glastonbury = 2008 attendance http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY People still want to engage ... EU voters asked “do you approve of the German voters asked “should there be a Swiss government model, with greater use referendum on the Lisbon Treaty?” of referendums?” No No 23% 30% Yes Yes 70% 77% German poll: Open Europe 2009. EU poll: Eurobarometer 1997 (EU = 1997 member states) Photos: World Naked Bike Ride Brighton (Nick Sayers), Tea Party Day protest, Orlando (Instapundit), “Downtown for all” campaign http://www.demsoc.org lobbying Seattle City Council, 2006 (Real Change)
    • ... but they don’t trust the system ... Would trust Would not trust Net %ge saying a member of that profession/group THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY 100% “would tell the truth” 75% Journalists Politicians generally 86% 83% 50% Ministers Business leaders 25% Trade union officials 14% 17% Civil servants 0% Pollsters Parliament Civil service Man in the street Police TV News DON’T TRUST DO TRUST Scientists Priests Judges Academics Teachers Doctors -75 -50 -25 0 25 50 75 100 Trust: Henley Centre report, quoted in Strategy Unit 2002 Risk report; Never Trust A Politician image, Nuno Machado Lopes; Trust in professions: MORI/BMA/Parliamentary Monitor 2003 http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... and they don’t trust its listening exercises. http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Instead they support campaign groups ... 2004 1973 1999 1997 1975 2004 1934 1989 2001 http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... or minor parties ... Vote share of larger minor parties in European Parliament elections 20 UKIP Green BNP 15 % 10 5 0 1989 1994 1999 2004 2009 Source: UK O ce of the European Parliament http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... that focus on their most important issues. Image: European flag, Flickr/Rocohen; Hospital patient, caring.com; Soldier, wikimedia commons; Wind farm, http://www.demsoc.org ecofriendlymag;
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY This creates a single-issue politics ... MORE TRAINS ! £ LOWER TAXES ! £ http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... with no need for trade-o s or compromises. MORE HOSPITALS ! ? £ LOWER TAXES ! £ http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Meanwhile, the small world of politics ... (the ratio of elected politicians to citizens in the UK is the same as the ratio of seats in an executive box to seats in Wembley Stadium) Elected politicians = MPs, MEPs, Councillors (other than Parish Councillors), and members of devolved institutions http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... becomes even more isolated ... Career backgrounds of MPs 90 Politics 80 Manual labour 70 Number of MPs 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1987 1992 1997 2001 2005 Source: House of Commons Library http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... and the narrowing of the battleground ... Source: Labour poster from 1930s (Spartacus); Conservative campaign logo (Conservative Party website); BBC News article; Margaret Thatcher (BBC) http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... makes the issues harder to understand. Source: “Reconstruction” Conservative policy statement on the economy, page 8 http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY So where do we go from here? http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY The party system can’t deliver ... + = http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... neither can electoral reform ... Electoral turnout, New Zealand 100 90 80 70 Proportional representation introduced from 1996 election 60 50 1981 1984 1987 1990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008 Source: New Zealand Electoral Commission http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... or power shifts within the political class. http://www.demsoc.org
    • On the Net, debate is polarised ... Top ten political blogs, by Technorati authority THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ? http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... privileges extreme views ... BBC Have Your Say, 8 June 2009 Actual votes for BNP & UKIP vs 30 most recommended comments to question mainstream parties, 4 June 2009 “Is Britain entering a new political age?” Other UKIP + BNP 20% 23% Pro-BNP/Pro-UKIP Mainstream parties 80% 77% Source: Democratic Society analysis; BBC http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... and buries facts in prejudice. Global warming fears are just that, fears; like everyone with a cold thinks they have the pig flu. In the great scale of things even a million years is just a blink and the green crowd think More stupidity from this discredited administration. What other country has they can foretell the future by sticking their heads out of the so wilfully 'hamstrung' its industry and introduced legislation which will cost window! The government promote the fear to raises tax. The the general populace so much? nut-cutlet and sandal brigade do it because it is the latest fashion. As I sit here, looking out of my window at a beautiful 81 degrees, I wonder if I should put on my bikini and sarong So let's get this straight. We don't emit a trace element quantity of essential, life-giving gas and we BENEFIT by £1 and do a bit of sunbathing! Of course, I have "massaged" Trillion? There's not even any flippin warming that can be the figure, in cardiff it is barely 14 degrees and, when you shown to be out of the ordinary, and for ten years there's been add the wind-chill factor, ITS DAMN COLD AND I STILL flat or cooling temperatures. CO2 driven warming my hat. HAVE THE HEATING ON. In MAY!!! This is obscene, ideologically driven fraud. Insanity, nothing less. We can ALL massage the figures to suit, milliband, this,make no mistake, is just ANOTHER SCAM TO TAKE Global warming is just a con to milk taxes from the ordinary person. EVEN MORE OF OUR HARD EARNED MONEY!!! It would be interesting to see just who has heavy investments in the 'Green' Industries. Government Ministers?; MPs?; Anyone care to place a bet? One way to fill the tax gap ZaNu liebour have created. Green taxes are the new window tax. Why not just stop packing this small island with immigrants, that would reduce our carbon footprint better than more tax. Just why are governments clinging to the hoax that CO2 forces 'Global Warming' ? It is scientific fact that the earth is in a cooling phase and has been for the past 9 years. If Labour ministers say there is a huge risk from so- More CO2 - the gas of life - can only be beneficial to our called global warming, then it is clear that the whole thing is rubbish. Those of us who are "climate change biosphere and human environment and well-being. denyers" are labelled by the enviro-hippies as on a par with holocaust denyiers, but their whole premise is based on poor science. None of the original computer models have been even CLOSE to what we are experiencing now. Comments on Daily Mail article “recommended” by more than 50 users, 5 May 2009. http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Something is missing. http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY the citizen http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Politicians, academics and campaign groups can’t reform democracy on their own. http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY To change politics, we have to make a demand of everyone: http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Decide to be a citizen ! http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY The Democratic Society is there to support that decision. It aims to build: http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY A large-scale membership organisation ... http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... not dedicated to endless discussion ... Global warming fears are just that, fears; like everyone with a cold thinks One way to fill the tax gap ZaNu liebour they have the pig flu. In the great have created. Green taxes are the new scale of things even a million years is window tax. Why not just stop packing this just a blink and the green crowd think small island with immigrants, that would they can foretell the future by sticking reduce our carbon footprint better than their heads out of the window! The more tax. So let's get this straight. We don't emit a fear to government promote the trace element quantity of essential, life-giving gas sandal raises tax. The nut-cutlet and and we BENEFIT by £1 Trillion? There's not latest brigade do it because it is the It would be interesting to fashion. even any flippin warming that can be shown to see just who has heavy If Labour ministers say there is a huge risk be out of the ordinary, and for ten years there's investments in the 'Green' from so-called global warming, then it is clear been flat or cooling temperatures. CO2 driven that the whole thing is rubbish. Those of us Industries. Government warming my hat. This is obscene, ideologically who are "climate change denyers" are Ministers?; MPs?; Anyone driven fraud. Insanity, nothing less. labelled by the enviro-hippies as on a par with care to place a bet? holocaust denyiers, but their whole premise is based on poor science. None of the original computer models have been even CLOSE to Global warming is what we are experiencing now. More stupidity from this just a con to milk discredited administration. What other country has so wilfully taxes fromlooking out of my window at a beautiful 81 As I sit here, the ordinaryIbit of sunbathing! Ofput on myI bikini "massaged" degrees, wonder if I should and sarong 'hamstrung' its industry and are governments clinging Just why and do a person. course, have introduced legislation the hoax that CO2 forces to which will 'Global Warming' ? It is scientific figure, in cardiff it is barely 14 degrees and, when you cost the general populace so the fact that the earth is in a cooling the wind-chill factor, ITS DAMN COLD AND I STILL add much? HAVE THE HEATING ON. In MAY!!! phase and has been for the past 9can ALL massage the figures to suit, milliband, We years. More CO2 - the gas of life - this,make no mistake, is just ANOTHER SCAM TO TAKE can only be beneficial to our EVEN MORE OF OUR HARD EARNED MONEY!!! biosphere and human environment and well-being. http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... but to citizenship. Understanding Discussing Voting Source: Wellcome images http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Connecting online and o ine ... http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... holding local and national debates ... http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... that allow the best arguments to rise ... Marked as “essential reading” by the debate leader http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... so people can pick them up quickly. View all • View only “essential reading” http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Discussions reach conclusions ... http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... which are passed to politicians. http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Groups can form around places ... Images: Goodrich, Herefordshire (shakespearesbaby/Flickr); Ronalds Road, Highbury (yourlocalweb); Ojén, Andalusia (Wikimedia) http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... or shared interests ... Images: Maths teacher (chrisrobinson1945/Flickr); Paignton cricket club (zleap.net); IBM corporate headquarters (Reuters) http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... giving people chances to take part ... Images: Planning consultation meeting, Saipan, Marianas Islands http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... even if they have busy lives. Image: Wellcome images http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Our mission is to be the most popular ... http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... most authoritative and most trusted ... http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... place for citizens. http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY So if you want to work for ... Responsive politics Real communication Active citizens Better information on the issues http://www.demsoc.org
    • THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Find out more and get involved at: hello@demsoc.org or http://www.demsoc.org http://www.demsoc.org