Have people in Northern Ireland given up on democracy?

Have people in Northern Ireland given up on democracy?

What do people in Northern Ireland think of democracy? Have they become downheartened, disappointed, disillusioned? If the crowds that came for Democracy Day in Belfast last month are anything to go by, it’s clear there’s a lot of enthusiasm and energy for democracy – and plenty of ideas for how to fix it!   Coincidentally meeting as Stormont talks were coming to a close leaving Northern Ireland in somewhat of a political deadlock, it was perhaps a fitting time to be talking about the health of democracy in Northern Ireland!   We spent the day exploring…Read more
How do we take back control?

How do we take back control?

  Digital democracy & democratic deficit in the EU The Democratic Society are working on a project to find out how people would like to communicate ideas directly to the institutions of the European Union. It's about citizens feeding in to policy-making and having a say more than just once every five years in the European elections. The UK's role in this is significant as Brexit highlighted a common perception that there is a lack of democracy, that people in Britain have ‘lost control’ over EU policy making. we will be hosting an online…Read more
DemsocMCR Launch Event Summary

DemsocMCR Launch Event Summary

Last week we launched Demsoc Manchester, our new hub that compliments the work we’re already doing in Brighton, Edinburgh and Brussels. Thanks to everyone who came along and contributed to an interesting and lively discussion. In case you couldn’t make it, here’s a quick summary of what happened on the night!   We asked the room ‘How can devolution be a breakthrough for engagement in democracy?’, a divisive subject at the best of times, and it provided lots of different and stimulating opinions and ideas.   We heard thoughts from Michelle Brook, Demsoc’s…Read more
DemsocMCR’s Launch Event!

DemsocMCR’s Launch Event!

As some of you may know, Demsoc have recently opened a new hub in Manchester, with Beth, Mat and Michelle looking for interesting opportunities to work in the north west to improve democracy, especially around devolution, and local and open government. As part of this new office, we will be launching a brand new series of Demsoc events! Once a month, we will be meeting on a Thursday evening, in a relaxed location such as a pub or café, to explore interesting questions related to democracy and politics, as well as what can…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

GovCamp Cymru 2014

On Saturday 27th of September 2014 Cardiff played host to the first ever GovCamp in Wales. Govcamp, already a regular event in other parts of the UK, is an ‘unconference’ where participants set the agenda, host discussions, share their expertise and work on identifying and solving problems in Government. The predominant, but not single, focus of GovCamp Cymru was about how to bridge the gap between Government and citizens. There were additional conversations about specific ways to improve current practises, most notably ‘How do we stop March Madness?’ and ‘Should there be a…Read more

Event: Post-Referendum – A New Scottish Democracy? – Hemma, Edinburgh, 7pm – 7th October 2014

Demsoc Scotland Presents: Post-Referendum - A New Scottish Democracy? - Hemma, 7th October, 7pm. The referendum is over. The votes have been counted. The campaign posters have been taken down. However, it seems that the referendum has revitalised democracy in Scotland and the United Kingdom. This is due to a record breaking turnout; an increase in traditional and grass-roots political activism ; a continuation of discussions around constitutional reform; and an ongoing discourse  on the transformation of national and local democracy. This post-referendum discourse could be a launch pad for a more participative democracy and the…Read more

10 thoughts: Commission on Public Debate conference, Paris

My “Slee blog” - ten instant personal reflections - on the Colloque CNDP, in Paris, an international (but largely French) conference on public participation. 1. Superficially, at least, the French and UK debates seemed fairly similar - same issues and similar questions being asked overall. But the French participants seemed to feel that their participation efforts were very top down - more than elsewhere (not sure how true that is) 2. The CNDP - a government funded supervisor and organiser of public debate - is an interesting structure, but one that needs to be…Read more

Event Review: Open Policy Making & Public Dialogue @ BIS 5/6/14

Last week Involve, Sciencewise, and the Open Policy Making Team brought together policy makers from across government departments to learn more about the benefits of Open Policy Making and Public Dialogue. The event aimed to explore the barriers civil servants come up against when trying to carry out genuine engagement. The event attendees were also encouraged to think of ways to overcome these barriers. Paul Maltby, Director of Open Data and Government Innovation at the Cabinet Office, outlined the benefits of Open Policy and Public Dialogue. He noted that policy makers now have the opportunity…Read more