Participatory Budgeting in Musselburgh: Your Voice Your Choice 2

In our first ever podcast, Annie Cook of The Democratic Society talks to Iain Clark of the Musselburgh Area Partnership about Your Voice Your Choice 2. The Musselburgh Area Partnership is one of the recipients of Community Choices funding – supported by the Scottish Government to do participatory budgeting and digital participatory budgeting.  This is the […]

Vacancy – Digital Democratic Engagement Officer

The Democratic Society is recruiting a Digital Democratic Engagement Officer to support our Participatory Budgeting work in Scotland. This is initially a six month contract based at our office in Edinburgh, Scotland. Full information, including the application process, is outlined in the job description below. The deadline for applications is 10am on Monday 14th November 2016. All applicants will be contacted within […]

Scotland’s participation ‘spring’; what are the Scottish Government doing?

Scotland is in the midst of a ‘participation spring’; a unique and enviable position for a government and politicians to have such engaged and involved citizens. But there is a risk that this could all go to waste if the Scottish Government doesn’t seize this opportunity to engage and involve the public in meaningful participation. […]

#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 […]

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 […]

Scottish referendum. Boost for democracy or flash in the pan? – Dan Jellinek

I recently sat down with Dan Jellinek of The Information Daily to discuss democratic impact of the Independence Referendum. Below is an article he wrote based on our conversation. You can read the original article here. The Scottish referendum delivered a remarkable turnout (85%) and an improved quality of political debate. But was this a […]

Scotland: Law v. Politics

This row over the Scottish referendum is going to be fascinating. From a wonkish perspective, I almost hope that they don’t settle it before it goes to court. It’s a classic “law vs. politics” clash, as you can tell from the fact that the UK Government are going on about what is legally required, while […]

Referendums: still not democratic

Another day, another proof that referendums are the tool of the powerful, not of the people. Today’s comes from David Cameron. The Guardian reports that he’s trying to force a Scottish independence referendum earlier than the SNP would like to hold it – in the next eighteen months rather than in 2014. Whatever the legal […]

Don’t hang up

Random thought, provoked by an excellent blogpost on public engagement in planning in Scotland.  One possible way to describe the engagement shift that we want to see : a change from a world of posting letters (intermittent, formal, information-heavy) to posting on social media (constant, personal, each message information-light but builds up richer information over time).