Skip Navigation

How public participation can change politics

British professional politicians are seen as excessively short term in outlook, secretive by nature and arguably unfit for making and carrying though the big decisions that government requires. They are also viewed as having a hold over public life in Britain, which is the reason for the newly formed movement – Democracy 2015 , which launched on 5 September, 2012 in the UK national newspaper, The Independent. Its objective is to get a substantial number of non-politicians into Parliament at the next general election, due to take place in May 2015. Democracy 2015 will spend its first year in participative policy-making, using  digital media to ensure openness and legitimacy.  The purpose will be to discuss and decide what the next government should do – in detail, with expert advice, complete in itself, not neglecting constitutional reform, working in groups, capable of being boiled down into a series of measures that the electorate would find attractive. Then, in 2014 the action would move to individual parliamentary constituencies where primary elections would be held to select Democracy 2015 candidates. These candidates would have promised to serve for only one term in order to make it plain that they could not mutate into a new political class. The final stage would be the election itself, where Democracy 2015 would try to maximise its vote by persuading the 35 per cent of the British electorate who do not normally vote in national elections, to participate. OGP’s work predominantly involves civil society organisations, but on occasion media participate. The press could be more involved in pushing forward the open governance agenda though. The Democracy 2015 movement was born out of a key media outlet in the UK.

Is this happening with other media outlets in other countries? How involved should media be in this discussion? Follow Democracy 2015 – Like Democracy 2015 on Facebook –

Open Government Partnership