Join us for a Debate on Democracy and Referenda and whether the use of referenda enhances citizen democracy or undermines it by restricting a deliberative process.
The second of our Out-of-the-Box Thinking series, co-hosted by GlobalNet21 and Conway Hall, will be in the form of a debate on “Future Democracy”. The motion will be:
“This House Believes Referendums Undermine Democracy”
For this event we will be joined by the Great Debaters Club, who will bring with them their experience of running debates.
Some believe that referenda are the way of the future and that with the digital age can now be the instrument for wide citizen involvement in policy.
Others believe they are too simplistic for deciding on complex issues and negate a deliberative process of discussion. They also are majoritarian and often exclude or discriminate against minorities.
It is a debate that is raging in many countries and especially in the UK after the EU Referendum. This is our chance to engage with this vital and topical debate.
Nat le Roux, who co-founded The Constitution Society, will propose the Motion. The Constitution Society is an independent, non-party educational foundation. They promote public understanding of the British Constitution and work to encourage informed debate between legislators, academics and the public about proposals for constitutional change.
Marc Glendening, who joined Policy Exchange in May 2014 as a legal and constitutional affairs research fellow, will oppose the motion. He has been campaign director of the all-party Democracy Movement and in 2010 was a co-founder 2010 of the People’s Pledge, an all-party campaign for a referendum on membership of the European Union. His particular interest is in the way western political systems are undergoing a process of ‘post-modernisation’ whereby law-making powers are being transferred from elected parliamentarians to the judiciary, transnational authorities and Quangos.
The Opposer to the motion will be added soon.
Members of the Conway Hall Ethical Society, GlobalNet21 and the Great Debaters Club will provide speakers from their networks to second the motion and to sum up, with ample time for audience participation.