No democracy without informed citizenship

What hope is there for a re-invigorated democracy in an age of press misinformation and data deluge?   The battle for democratic renewal is also a battle about the control of information: who owns it and what they do with it. We urgently need a ‘new commons of information’ lead by Assemblies for Democracy (two examples given)

A free press is essential to a healthy democracy. There is a purpose to journalism, and it is not just to entertain. It is not to pander to political power, big corporations and rich men. Newspapers have what amounts in the end to a constitutional duty to tell their readers the truth”. Continue reading

A re-invigorated democracy

I want to share with others one approach to re-imagining democracy which may or may not work. It is small scale, experimental  and with no certainty of success but even its shortcomings and failures  will, I hope, afford some useful learning lessons for all of us.

It attempts to tackle two issues relating to representative democracy. The first is the absence of any clear, independent record of what candidates actually say and commit to. Cast your mind back to the last election and try Googling an issue of concern – can you find anything?  There may be scattered references in local newspapers or on defunct blogs  but the most important content has likely been deleted or removed, probably soon after the 2010 election ended.  What your MP said then might be a  source of some embarrassment now – or worse! But it is too late, the information has been deleted. Continue reading