Anthony Zacharzewski: Big democracy


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Anthony Zacharzewski: Big democracy

  1. 1. The Democratic Society Big democracy
  2. 2. Traditional democracy is in trouble... UK voter turnout at General Elections UK voter turnout at General ElectionsTHE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY 1950-1969 average 2000-2010 average Source: International IDEA
  3. 3. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY and so is traditional Government. Photo: Flickr/NoHoDamon
  4. 4. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY The new Government wants More localism Greater public participation in politics A Big Society to step in as the State steps back Photos: Town Offices, Lexington Mass,, by Brian Mahoney; Crowd scene by Arinudh Koul (Flickr); Barn-raising in Lansing, MI from Wikimedia Commons
  5. 5. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY For that, we need a better democracy ... Photo: Speaker Michael Martin in procession through Central Lobby, from House of Commons website.
  6. 6. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ( as many of the public would agree )
  7. 7. What does better democracy look like ?THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY
  8. 8. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Not like Spending Challenge • Few incentives for neutrals to get involved • No evidence • Easy to colonise • No follow-up to ideas, or collation of similar ones • No sense of community or discussion
  9. 9. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Not like traditional volunteering • Small scale • Single issue (or single community) • Founded on intensive contribution of few people • Based around organisations, with the organisational survivalism that entails
  10. 10. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Not like the same old consultations • Background & context remain with officials • Politics kept out of the picture when really it is the picture • Opinions are sought, not discussions • The decision rarely changes
  11. 11. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY It needs better dialogue Where people can see the trade-offs they make Where mass participation is realistically possible Where the divide between governors and governed is more permeable
  12. 12. The web can deliver better democracy ...THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY ... but not on its own.
  13. 13. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Offline has to support online ...
  14. 14. Government has to change its behaviourTHE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY
  15. 15. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY We have to change ours 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 lets get this straight. We dont emit a trace element quantity and do a bit of sunbathing! Of course, I have "massaged" of essential, life-giving gas and we BENEFIT by £1 Trillion? the figure, in cardiff it is barely 14 degrees and, when you Theres not even any flippin warming that can be shown to be out of the ordinary, and for ten years theres been flat or cooling add the wind-chill factor, ITS DAMN COLD AND I STILL temperatures. CO2 driven warming my hat. This is obscene, HAVE THE HEATING ON. In MAY!!! 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 Just why are governments clinging to the hoax that CO2 footprint better than more tax. forces Global Warming ? It is scientific fact that the earth is in a cooling phase and has been for the past 9 years. More If Labour ministers say there is a huge risk from so-called CO2 - the gas of life - can only be beneficial to our global warming, then it is clear that the whole thing is biosphere and human environment and well-being. rubbish. Those of us who are "climate change 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.
  16. 16. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Who knows what Big Society is ?
  17. 17. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY But there are some things we can do
  18. 18. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY 1. Find people willing to hold the ring even on difficult issues
  19. 19. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY 2. Go where the discussion is
  20. 20. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY 3. Get government to listen better
  21. 21. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY 4. Create shared civic spaces • Online and offline • Picking content from everywhere • Bringing everyone in • Testing methods for engagement • Producing useful output
  22. 22. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY 5. Build a positive feedback loop Government invests time in informing & participating Government willing to invest time again Discussions produce useful output
  23. 23. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY 6. Network the groups
  24. 24. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY 7. Build out and work to stay diverse & representative
  25. 25. THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY Presentation by Anthony Zacharzewski for the Democratic Society 2012