Democracy Needs to Re-Embrace People Power



True Democracy Lies in the Hands of Everyday People
The Sydney Morning Herald


The author highlights the paradox of how contemporary structures of Western-style democracy emerged from age-old political and constitutional conflicts that favour the rich and the powerful.

He argues that contemporary democracy continues to reflect these antecedents to the point that modern politics remains a ‘brutish struggle for power’ among politicians and political parties and where citizens accede control over politics and policy to elected representatives.

He highlights the writings of global political thinker Moses Naim who argues that the advent of a digital world has given citizens an unprecedented capacity to consider, deliberate and collaborate on politics and policy. At the same time, this digital world has dismantled traditional power structures and assumptions of top-down authority upon which conventional politics continues to depend.

The author argues that as a result, we need to reconsider democracy through the prism of much greater citizen input and collaboration.

'We've lost sight of the true genius of democracy, of trusted public decision-making, wherein power and competency reside, from the outset, in everyday people, unnamed and unadvertised,' he concludes.


Thumbnail image: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

Luca Belgiorno-Nettis
Published Date
May 10, 2015