Event Alert: Democracy in action? – The Place of Referendums in Scotland and the UK

The referendum is, in theory, one of the best democratic instruments around.  One person, one vote. Direct Democracy in action. Look at Switzerland! However, when we look at referendums in more detail, we can be exposed to a very different picture. Are referendums being used within a democratic culture that generates positive democratic outcomes? Alistair Stoddart from The Democratic Society will speak on a panel about The Place of Referendums in Scotland and the UK in Glasgow on Wednesday 13th September 2017 from 5.30pm.   The event has been organised by the Centre…Read more

#EURef: ‘That’s Democracy’: but is it the type of democracy we want?

The Democratic Society is more committed than ever to helping bring about a more participative democracy. Many people may feel a lot of cognitive dissonance around democracy right now. 17.4 million people seemingly disagree with 16.1 million people, and just fewer than 13 million people, who were eligible to vote but chose not to, have not had a say at all. However, a decision has been made and people may say ‘well that's democracy.’ But is it the type of democracy we should hope for? As many have pointed out referendums can be…Read more

Beyond #BoatyMcBoatface: Digital Tools for Democracy

While various elections were taking place the other week another Democratic Battle was coming to an end: Rest In Peace RSS Boaty McBoatface – and all who will never sail in her. After much hype, laughter and excitement regarding the potential new name of Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) £200m polar research vessel the policy makers decided that it should be named after Sir David Attenborough. This doesn’t initially seem to be a controversial choice, but if we throw into the mix an open Name Our Ship Poll, harnessing the power of the…Read more

#HolyroodTweetUp Scottish Leaders’ Debate Bingo

After the seven-headed Leaders' Debate in Manchester last week, the TV Debate focus is now shifting to Scotland as Scottish Party Leaders prepare to discuss the issues that matter to Scottish voters. The first Scottish Leaders' TV Debate of the General Election Campaign will take place tonight and will be broadcast by STV. You find out all you need to know about the debate and how to watch it here. If you are in Edinburgh tonight and wish to watch the debate in a friendly atmosphere and have a few pints, then please come along…Read more

Better Place Forum: Initial Thoughts.

Demsoc and ERS Scotland recently organised and facilitated a forum entitled: ‘A Better Place: Communities, Citizens and Consumers & New Approaches to Social Policy & Public Services’. We are currently compiling a report based on the discussions at the forum, but in the meantime, you can read my initial thoughts over on the What Works Scotland Blog: http://whatworksscotland.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/a-better-place-communities-citizens-and.htmlRead more
#HolyroodTweetUp – Update

#HolyroodTweetUp – Update

#HolyroodTweetUp Update While democracy and politics are becoming popular topics in pubs and bars across the country, it is difficult to compete with the phenomenon of 6 Nations Rugby Fever that grips watering holes in Edinburgh throughout February and March! As a result there has been no room for our humble #HolyroodTweetUp in recent weeks. Therefore, I propose that the next #HolyroodTweetUp be held on Saturday 28th March. Could you please contact me with alternative suggestions to this proposal, or let me know if you are happy with the date of the next…Read more
Zero Heroes – Final Update – Announcement of All Funded Projects

Zero Heroes – Final Update – Announcement of All Funded Projects

Thanks again to all who voted for ideas and submitted proposals as part of the Zero Heroes Competition. We are pleased to announce the full set of projects that will be funded as a result of the community competition and input from residents of Lewes District. Following our call for proposals, we were delighted to receive applications from across the district to fund community projects that were highlighted as a priority by residents throughout the competition. On the 13th November and 18th December 2014 Councillors Rob Blackman, Sarah Osborne and Paul Franklin met to approve projects for funding from…Read more
Open EU – How do you want to talk to EU policymakers? (Citizens & the third sector)

Open EU – How do you want to talk to EU policymakers? (Citizens & the third sector)

Open EU is a project that has been funded by the European Commission, so that we can show them how open policymaking can be done in practice. We are creating a shared action plan on opening up EU institutions – a collaborative statement that highlights the areas in which experiments could take place, the best standards of openness from around the world, and a clear statement of the expectations of citizens. We will bring together citizens; activists and policymakers to coproduce a shared action plan for EU institutions. This will be a collaborative statement addressing:…Read more

Event Report: #PostIndyRef: The Future of Local Democracy

On a snowy evening in mid-January the Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow was packed for a discussion on the future of Scottish local democracy and community participation in decision making. Our starting point was last summer’s report by the independent Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy. The Commission, chaired by Cllr David O’Neill from North Ayrshire, had come up with seven principles and a number of recommendations. The most important was that local government as a system needed fundamental reform. They called for a review of the structure and functions of local government, to bring…Read more