LabourList, a leftist British news outlet that calls itself “supportive of the Labour Party, but independent of it” has this great article written by Geoff Mulgan, the chief executive of the innovation foundation Nesta:
Some cities have now jumped well beyond the old debates of choosing between representative and direct democracy. Instead, they are experimenting with platforms that encourage more citizen engagement in decisions, wherever possible using methods that encourage deliberation and debate rather than just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ votes. Reykjavik, Barcelona and Madrid have been at the forefront under progressive mayors – the latter now going even further with what they call ‘Crowd Law’.
Paris and Madrid have each allocated €100m to fund ideas proposed and voted on by citizens (including €10m for schoolchildren), while 90 cities globally now use the Consul platform (though sadly none in the UK). These tools are better designed for deciding on issues like public spaces than monetary policy, and they’re particularly useful for giving people a direct say over how their neighbourhood is run. But at least they show a positive future for democracy, which is more badly needed now than ever.
LabourList has the full article.