The Guardian talks Open Policymaking

Chris, Simon and Ade of this parish were part of a Guardian panel that debated consultation earlier this week. The write-up is here, but a couple of key comments that stood out for me were: Government consultation can learn from Wikipedia and how it manages excess data: I think there are two more elements that get forgotten by policy makers - that it must deal with a real problem faced by citizens in their everyday live and that there are agreed governance processes for dealing with conflict, and a culture of respect and tolerance…Read more

Ideology won’t win back non-voters

Two parallel articles in the papers today. Here's George Monbiot in this morning's Guardian: The real problem is not that working-class voters have switched their voting preferences but that they are not voting at all because there's too little at stake, [so] the correct political prescription is to do the opposite [of New Labour]: to swing further to the left and to emphasise not "order and national greatness" but care and economic justice. And here's Philip Johnston in today's Telegraph: [Focus groups might show that people have liberal social attitudes but] that is…Read more

Media regulation: discussion event report

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been publishing a series of posts from contributors on the topic of media regulation and democracy. On 25 April, the contributors and others gathered at the RSA to discuss their pieces and the issues that were raised, and this is a rough record of the discussion. These are multiple contributors’ views rather than Demsoc’s, and we haven’t attributed them, but the authors will be revising their contributions following this discussion for publication in a pamphlet early next month. Thanks as ever to our partners the Carnegie UK…Read more

Media regulation: Rectifying the flaw

On 25 April, Demsoc is holding a discussion event on media regulation and new democracy at the RSA in London. This contribution to the debate comes from Dave Boyle. If you would like to attend, numbers are limited, but a few free tickets are left. In his famous mea culpa, Alan Greenspan told the US Congress that there was a flaw at the heart of his vision of capitalism, which was that he hadn’t expected shareholders of companies to be unable to ensure their own interests were protected; in his world, such self-interest…Read more

The Worshipful Guild of Free Cobblers

People who believe they've had previous lives always seem to have been Cleopatra or Nefertiti rather than an acne-ridden donkey drover from Lichfield.  In the same way, people who have discovered secret legal knowledge always discover things that enable them to do what the hell they like, while still having all the legal protections that the rest of us enjoy. Enter the Freemen of Land "movement", who (as described by law blogger Carl Gardner) think that if you don't use your legal name, the law can't touch you. In fact, they claim that they are…Read more

Still can’t decide?

Polling Day is tomorrow and if - like a third of voters - you still haven't definitively made up your mind how to vote, here are some resources for you to take a look at: Carrie's roundup of websites that match users' views to parties' policies. Find out which party's opinions are close to yours The BBC's excellent constituency map, so you can find out what the results were at the last election where you live The parties' manifestoes: Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem, or profiles of others The BBC's First Time Voter page (which…Read more