World wide representative democracy is under pressure. Turnout rates are disappointing, elections have become media and marketing driven popularity contests, populism runs rampant and power of lobby overrules the power of the people. Alternatives and fixes are surfacing in abondance: the DIY movement, G1000's, particpatory budgetting, co-creation, commons... But what if you could hack the representative system to turn it into a deliberative or participative democracy? That is exactly what Peter MacFadyen and Independents for Frome did. They won elections with a complete takeover of the city council based on a simple but appealing promise: future policies will be made as joint efforts with the entire community.
With among others:
Britain today has a dysfunctional political system. Many politicians are making decisions to meet their own needs or those of their Party, not the needs of the people they serve. Peter MacFadyen’s guide Flatpack Democracy is based on what is happening in Frome, Somerset where after years of missed opportunities, a group of local residents took control of their town council and set about making politics relevant, effective and fun. Flatpack Democracy is both the story of what happened and an instruction manual for taking political power at a local level, then using it to enable people to have a greater say in the decisions that affect their lives. The author Peter Macfadyen will join this episode of New Democracy to introduce his DIY guide to creating independent politics. Together with other guest we will discuss the necessity for democratic renewal and the possibilities to hack representative democracy to make it into deliberative or participative democracy.
Thoroughly enjoyed this informative, inspiring, engaging and entertaining read..now to digest it – Diane Louise Sharp
It’s hard not to feel dispirited about how vapid and dull local politics is …….This bright little yellow book is clear and concisely written, packed with information and advice. It will help you understand local politics, how it really isn’t that boring (gnome costumes, weekend ‘party’ retreats and wild parties?!), and how you can make a change for the better. – ‘Diamondflame’ on Amazon.co.uk
What this book suggests is that the Achilles heel of the Establishment is not via a new political alignment at Westminster or a new political party, but rather right where we live in our parish and town councils …… potentially at least this book is a game changer. – Simon Carter on Amazon.co.uk
This is an extraordinary book in terms of philosophy and scope, written with factual detail and exuberant encouragement to anyone else who may feel (is there anyone who doesn’t?) that local politics needs a major shake-up. – C Morrison on Amazon.co.uk
This little book is so clear speaking,, so accessible and sensible it has made me reconsider my stance of “all politics are a waste of time” and all “politicians are liars” it offers up the possibility of change in an ethical and common sense way. Thanks Peter bloody brilliant. – Jane Flood. Flatpack Democracy Facebook site
….. it is a great book. I finished it in the waiting room at the dentist’s last week and the bit about the shorts made me laugh loudly….. – Alex Hart. Flatpack Democracy Facebook site