All posts tagged: deliberative democracy

Climate action

Where should we look for democracy?

What does democracy look like? When most people think about democracy, they probably think about voting in elections for a politician to represent them in parliament. The politician is then tasked with ‘debating’ issues on their behalf. This representative model of democracy assumes that we can trust politicians to represent our views. Of course, the reality can be very different. What if you don’t like any of the politicians that are running in your electorate? What if you think they are all out of touch with everyday reality? Or what if you like some of what they stand for, but not all of it? You are left with a blunt choice – out of these imperfect representatives, who is the least worst? It’s no wonder that many people love democracy in principle, but are disillusioned with its actual practice. There are other models of democracy that try to improve on traditional representative democracy. One such model is deliberative democracy. Deliberative democracy puts talking, rather than voting at the centre of democracy. In a deliberative democracy, things are …

Say Yes Australia at Parliament House

Celebrate a carbon tax, then take three steps to a zero carbon Australia

Passing the carbon price through the Senate is a victory, but there is plenty yet to be done. AAP Image/Alan Porritt At long last, the Gillard Government’s carbon price is law. On July 1 next year, approximately 500 of our biggest companies will start paying the government $23 for every tonne of greenhouse gas they emit. In this way, Australia has taken a small, but decisive, step towards a zero carbon economy. Those that have fought long and hard for a carbon price will be pausing to celebrate. Celebrations are hard to come by in the climate debate. We have endured four years of often vitriolic debate since Kevin Rudd ratified the Kyoto Protocol in his first act as Prime Minister. The messy politics of climate change has tested the resolve of climate activists and opened up ideological divides. So it is appropriate to celebrate this victory; because it is a victory. At the same time, I am conscious of how far we still have to go to avoid dangerous climate change. With Tony Abbott’s …


More about World Wide Views on Global Warming

An article on World Wide Views on Global Warming, reposted from here. On 26 September 2009, World Wide Views on Global Warming held a groundbreaking series of global citizen consultations. For the first time, ordinary people around the world came together to express their views on climate change and how a future climate deal should be shaped. The Institute for Sustainable Futures organised the Australian event, one of more than 40 held concurrently in 38 countries. Roughly 100 people – selected at random from all states and territories, and from all ages and backgrounds – gathered in Sydney to talk about climate change and the way ahead. Dr Chris Riedy from the ISF said, ‘Australia is potentially very affected by climate change, so it’s important to give people across Australia a say in the decisions that are made at the United Nations forum in Copenhagen.’ WWViews aimed to give ordinary people a say in the political decision-making process prior to the UN negotiations from 7 to 18 December. The project was initiated by the Danish …

Answering questions at World Wide Views on Global Warming. Photo: Suzanne Cronan

World Wide Views on Global Warming on Radio National’s Future Tense program

Here’s the audio of an interview I did about the World Wide Views on Global Warming project for Radio National’s Future Tense program. World Wide Views on Future Tense I was joined by two of the participants and it was really interesting to hear what they had to say about how it felt to participate in the process and how it made them want to do more. If the audio player doesn’t work, you can find the audio and transcript here.