Taking the Party out of Politics

Why our political systems aren't working ... and what we could do about it

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  • 34. Interview with the podcast host

    Award winning playwright Chris Lee takes time out his busy schedule to interview the host of Taking the Party Out of Politics, Andrew Brown, about the political ideas behind the podcast, about his motivation for putting it all together, and together they explore whether it will be possible to make the sorts of changes to our political landscape which are the conclusion of the podcast series.

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  • 33. Changing the Way We Use the System

    It's not that people don't care enough. Absolutely not.But when we campaign about single issues, we are separate.  The thinking is not (obviously) linked up. And it too easy for government to nod, and to simply ignore.It's not that we need more consultation.But consultations can be simply a way of allowing the public to let off steam before the government does what it was going to do anyway. We need meaningful, engaged consultations, which look at the real impacts.It's not that we need more online petitions.But a collection of (potentially) uninformed online votes is too easy to justify ignoring. We need to demonstrate that our opinions are properly informed, and that we understand the wider context.We need to do more as individuals.We need to ensure that we are better informed.   And to ensure that our elected representatives know what we are better informed.We need to use our systems differently.From Citizen Assemblies, to Citizen Scrutiny, to Citizen Government, to Citizen Information, to Citizen Thinking.
  • 32. Citizen Thinking

    None of us is as clever as all of us together.  We need to listen to experts.  But we also need to allow space for good ideas to come from anywhere.Together, not separatelyIt should be about the quality of the ideas, not about how good you are at lobbying; or how much money or power or connections a lobby group has.To run a country, all these things need to come together.People + good information = good decisionsWe need to be careful. We should listen, but we should not be herded into all thinking the same way.Sharing knowledge is power.
  • 31. Citizen Information

    Ignorance is bliss. And it can also be funny.  But it can also be extremely dangerous.We need to know what the basic facts about the world actually are. Otherwise, how do we know when some new piece of information is important.We need to make sure that we have accurate, up to date information. We need to agree on the facts. We can’t have political discussion descending into whether my statistics are more accurate than yours.  Statistics should be … statistics.
  • 30. Citizen Government

    Could selected Citizens (rather than 'elected representatives') actually be asked to do the jobs which our Government and Ministers are doing at the moment? How successful could they be expected to be? What might we gain, and what might we risk losing?
  • 29. Citizen Scrutiny

    A system which uses informed, balanced, objective, engaged people – citizens – to call our politicians to account, to check that they are doing their job.It’s not a party-political thing. But it is a political thing. It’s making sure that the process of Scrutinizing what our elected Government and Ministers are doing is neutral, constructive, and independent.
  • 28. Citizens' Assemblies

    Get a small group of people together. Maybe 100. Specially selected to be representative of the range of people and perspectives across the country. Young, old. Rich, poor. Different races and genders. Different political views.Give them all the information about a topic. Let them ask all the questions they need to. Let them discuss it, and think about it. Let them hear from the experts, and from the people who really care about the topic.Let anyone who wants to, listen in. Publicize the process. Publicize the information and the ideas and the background to the topic.And then: ask that group of people to make a decision on that topic, on behalf of all of us. A decision which is nuanced and informedAnd then ask our elected representatives to follow up on that decision.