World wide representative democracy is under pressure. Turnout rates are disappointing, elections have become media and marketing driven popularity contests, populism runs rampant and power of lobby overrules the power of the people. Alternatives and fixes are surfacing in abondance: the DIY movement, G1000’s, particpatory budgetting, co-creation, commons… But what if you could hack the representative system to turn it into a deliberative or participative democracy? That is exactly what Peter MacFadyen and Independents for Frome did. They won elections with a complete takeover of the city council based on a simple but appealing promise: future policies will be made as joint efforts with the entire community.
Britain today has a dysfunctional political system. Many politicians are making decisions to meet their own needs or those of their Party, not the needs of the people they serve. Peter MacFadyen’s guide Flatpack Democracy is based on what is happening in Frome, Somerset where after years of missed opportunities, a group of local residents took control of their town council and set about making politics relevant, effective and fun. Flatpack Democracy is both the story of what happened and an instruction manual for taking political power at a local level, then using it to enable people to have a greater say in the decisions that affect their lives.
The author Peter Macfadyen will join episode #14 of New Democracy to introduce his DIY guide to creating independent politics. Together with other guest we will discuss the necessity for democratic renewal and the possibilities to hack representative democracy to make it into deliberative or participative democracy.
Watch the video below and feel inspired to hack the representative democracy.