NewDemocracy is an independent, non-partisan research and development organisation. We aim to discover, develop, demonstrate, and popularise complementary alternatives which will restore trust in public decision making.
We conduct real world trials using random selection and deliberation - the jury model - as a central process.
The Magna Carta is a touchstone for democracy: a devolution of power from an absolute Monarch to his subjects. The Treaty, in all its chapters, became a complementary measure to the way the King, the government of the day, governed.
Last year, on the 800th anniversary of that treaty, we thought a further measure might better reflect the aspirations of Australians.
We think a complementary house of randomly selected people - A Citizens' Senate - could be trialed as a third house of Parliament.
We might be wrong, and that’s why we think a fair method for studying this measure, along with any others, is to put the question to a Convention, and let them spend some months deliberating on the measures.
The Irish Constitutional Convention of 2013 is a precedent in this regard.
The Irish had a mix of everyday people selected by lot (as in a jury) together with politicians - two thirds/one third.
In Australia, we could do something similar to consider: ‘How can we do democracy better?’ and report back to Parliament.
Submissions would come from all and sundry on how to improve our government.
Democracy is more than ‘the vote’ - it’s a way of organising ourselves, for no other reason than for ourselves.
Australian governments of all levels are increasingly familiar with two trends in public budgeting. Firstly, the pressure to deliver ‘more with less’ in public budgets; secondly, an increased realisation by communities that they have a democratic right to participate...
By Matthew Knott. Sydney Morning Herald. 20 December 2016.
Australians' satisfaction with democracy has collapsed to its lowest level since the Whitlam dismissal, according to a major study that shows the country in an increasingly dark and distrustful mood about politics and the economy.
Conventional wisdom holds that the common sense of everyday people finds its voice in elections, and referendums. However, it's apparent that political campaigns are banal popularity contests at best, and toxic, divisive, ideological battlegrounds at worst.
The French philosopher Emil Cioran said: "Ideas should be neutral, yet man...
Closing remarks to Strasbourg’s World Forum for Democracy 2016, by "an interloper from Down Under."
On this day of all days (the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States), it’s good to note that this is a World Forum for Democracy, not a forum for representative government, that unfortunate system...
In developing its 5-year costed plan, Yarra Valley Water must pair customer and community feedback with their own in-depth knowledge of their water and sewerage networks, and the challenges these services face. Pricing cannot simply be an expert task.
Additionally, Yarra Valley Water is faced with the fact that water and sanitation...
In April 2016 the State Government acted on the recommendation of an independent Commission of Inquiry and dismissed the Greater Geelong City Council, and committed to consult the community about its local governance model before the next council election.
This inadvertently created one of the single great opportunities to explore how...
The Foundation exists with a goal of finding improvements to how we make trusted public decisions - democratic decisions – which represent the informed general will of the people. To do so, we seek to run practical projects in controversial areas of low public trust and where genuine public discourse is impossible as the topic generates...
The City of Greater Bendigo has a large urban area home to around 85% of the local government area's population; in turn this is surrounded by an array of rural areas and small towns. In most circumstances this pattern generally leads to a sense that the centre “gets everything” at the expense of the outer areas. We had no idea of the...