Provocation

Sustainability and Democracy: Are political parties getting in the way of the sort of collaborative democracy we need to tackle sustainability? If so, what can we do about it?

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Sustainability and Democracy: Are political parties getting in the way of the sort of collaborative democracy we need to tackle sustainability? If so, what can we do about it?

Sara Parkin asks: Are political parties still relevant? She answers that they are: “at best, a diversion from the main business of democracy – to provide a system which enables us to do things together in a way that we are proud of and happy to be involved with”.

Sara argues that climate change is the biggest failure of democracy yet seen. We need to collaborate, not compete, to address it and other similar challenges. Her ideas for a good democratic system include, for example, more public debate, shared values, and linkages between different democratic levels. And a democracy without parties, she suggests, should be more collaborative, more deliberative, have job descriptions for elected people, and roles for the wisdom of elders.

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