“Democracy 2030” is an invitation to all parliaments to interrogate the present, to learn from the past and to prepare the future of democracy. Key questions include:
In some ways, 2030 is very near – only around three electoral cycles’ away in most countries. Arguably, politics in 2030 might still look very similar to today, with familiar processes of elections, political parties and parliaments.
In other ways, it is a distant horizon. Many unforeseen events have taken place since 2000. No-one can predict with any certainty what political events will happen in coming years, what technological innovations will take place, nor how these new tools will be used by citizens.
Since the year 2000, information has become more widely accessible than ever before, reinforcing the demand for transparency and accountability. A generation of “digital natives” have grown up using social networks to connect and mobilize with their peers locally, nationally and across borders.
Young people frustrated by authoritarian leaders and the lack of opportunities have sought radical change to the political system in their country. Workers who have seen their jobs threatened by globalization have begun to look to populists as an alternative to the political establishment.
New political movements have emerged to challenge the way politics is done and have acceded to positions of power in some countries. Meanwhile, the percentage of women in parliament has increased, but only from 13.1% to 22.1%. These factors and many more combine to make this a time of challenge and opportunity for democracy. Political parties, parliaments and other institutions are called upon to adapt to changes in society, to renew political processes, to create space in politics for younger generations and to make use of their energy.
The aspirations for a fairer world that are set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will only be met if there is more democracy, not less. Political leaders everywhere need to make the connection between the internationally-agreed development goals and the demands from their citizens, including for greater transparency and accountability as well as more participative and inclusive decision-making.
David Beetham teleports us to the years after 2030, from where he looks back at the catastrophic crises of the 2020s and how citizens came together to reclaim their democratic rights. Read more
Cristiano Ferri argues that the arrival of the citizen-legislator is imminent and that the tools for “legislative intelligence” are already available. Read more
Laura Anthony and Jane Hilderman set out an agenda for making democracies more reflective and sophisticated in how they measure and track their performance. Read more
Parliaments may find useful background information in the following documents:
Create a video, Snapchat story, drawing, cartoon or photo essay answering one of the following questions:
Best 10 pieces will win an eGift card valued 50 USD for Apple store or Amazon!
Deadline for entries is September 18 2016
Guidelines for participants:
The age at which eligibility for national parliament starts in a third of countries.
Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that every citizen has the right and opportunity to:
• Take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives
• Vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors
• Have access, on general terms of equality, to public service in his country.