RSA ANZ Online Event: The case for deliberative democracy, Australia, Tuesday, 31. July 2018

Join RSA Fellows in ANZ and elsewhere as we argue the case for democratic renewal, and the need for citizen engagement and participation to ensure long-lasting reform. 
For centuries, liberal democracy has been the bedrock of Western society, enshrining the rights of individuals and mandating elected politicians to govern on behalf of the people. Yet, recent world events indicate a significant decline in support for democracy in most Western countries and a growing openness to alternative, more authoritarian, models of government. 
Many political pundits argue that we are facing an existential crisis, evident in the growing trend towards elitism and populism. Democracy is failing the very people whose interests it was meant to protect. Rising inequality, stagnant wage growth, and soaring house prices in most Western countries has led many voters to feel disenfranchised under the current democratic system. This gradual erosion of democracy is destabilising liberal politics the world over and diminishing our sense of personal and community agency. 
Faced with a trend of declining public engagement, government bodies throughout the Western world are trying to find ways to re-engage citizens. This has led to renewed interest in deliberative democracy as a way of enhancing civic participation and reinforcing the legitimacy of government. Many countries are trialing ways to integrate collective decision-making processes into policy making, through the use of citizens’ juries, deliberative polls, co-governance and community empowerment.
But is deliberative democracy able to enact the reform needed to legitimise our ailing democratic system, or is the system already broken? Our panel of political commentators weigh in on the future of democracy and what it means for representative politics. 
Dr Mike Reid is a Principal Policy Advisor with Local Government New Zealand who leads advice on matters concerned with governance, local democracy and local government’s legislative framework. He is currently working on LGNZ’s strategic localism initiative called “Revitalising Democracy – going local”.
Peter McKinlay FRSA is Executive Director of public policy consultancy McKinlay Douglas Ltd and director of the Local Government Think Tank. He has worked extensively in public policy in New Zealand and Australia, including with the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. His focus is on ‘bottom-up’ democracy including co-governance and community empowerment. 
Luca Belgiorno-Nettis FRSA is the Managing Director of Transfield Holdings and a private family office, Prisma Investments. In 2004 he founded The newDemocracy Foundation, a non-for-profit research and advocacy organization focused on political reform.  In 2009 he was awarded an AM for his community arts work, and in 2014 received an Honorary Doctorate from Western Sydney University. Please direct any questions about this event to .
Joining instructions will be sent to attendees upon registration.

Tuesday, 31. July 2018, Australia, RSA ANZ Online Event: The case for deliberative democracy

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