Living Democracy aims to facilitate the networking of citizens and hence increase their capacity to organise and engage effectively with the system.
It aims to help create a society in which citizens can in a meaningful way exercise their rights and responsibilities in shaping the decisions that affect them and their future.
Claire and Martin are developing the project as a resource of ideas and information, designed to support people to engage skillfully with the official decision-making system. Having been involved in a wide range of campaigning and awareness raising activities and having found themselves, as citizens, unsuccessful in getting their voices heard, they decided to organise a seminar specifically to investigate the causes of this ineffectiveness.
The seminar entitled; “Empowering the Citizen: Do you feel you have a voice?” (October 2005) attracted a wide range of people from around Ireland.
It revealed a common pattern of experience with people feeling frustrated, disenfranchised and disempowered by the official system. Out of this initiative Living Democracy was born. Claire and Martin are currently designing a significant on-line resource which will be the foundation stone of the project.
We believe this approach, by contributing to the development of real democracy, can lead to lasting change in Ireland and enable us to face the major social and environmental challenges of our time, challenges that are so big we can only deal with them together.
Claire Oakes & Martin Dier