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Citizenship – the tie that binds us together and sustains a free democratic society


“The renewal of capitalism and democracy must be animated by a simple, but powerful, idea: that of citizenship…This is the tie that binds people together in a free and democratic society…If that tie is dissolved, the democratic polity will founder…    

Citizenship must have three aspects: concern for the ability of other citizens to have a fulfilled life; the desire to create an economy that allows citizens to flourish in this way; and ,above all, loyalty to democratic political and legal institutions and the values of open debate and mutual tolerance that underpin them.”    

Martin Wolfe

What do you think?

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IdeaSpies @ 2023.10.28 3:39 AM

Good points Glenn. These are points from an address I attended by a high level ex politician this week:

Politics is now more partisan, angry

Liberal democracy works on the basis of consensus 

Parliaments are designed for horse trading

For politics to work at the centre parties should not be too far from the centre 

Media is a big part of this. Before media tried to reach most people 

Narrow casting occurred fairly

Tech has made narrow casting possible

We are all publishers

People only listen to news they want and it makes them angry 

Media has dramatically changed the political landscape 

Consequences are extraordinary. There is very little bipartisanship

In the digital world people can believe anything. You need to rebut it

How do we manage free speech with the chaotic media environment?

We must hold people who are responsible for lies to account. We're paying an enormous price for it.

Glenn Barnes @ 2023.10.28 5:24 AM

Good points, Lynn

Interestingly, many politicians can see the challenges of the system once they have left it. The book Conversations with Power (based on interviews with retired political leaders), published in 2011, foretold the way liberal democracy would be challenged and the mess that we are now in.

The big disappointments are the lack of willingness of politicians to initiate the changes needed to rebuild community trust in government and of citizens to push for change actively. Politicians will not willingly dilute their power by using processes that have citizens better integrated into decision-making. Most citizens are too self-focused to become involved in the country's governance.

In 2019, an Australian Senate inquiry into "Nationhood, national identity and democracy" had the challenges clearly detailed to them. The remedy chosen by politicians was an insipid proposal for educating young people!

IdeaSpies @ 2023.10.28 6:25 AM

Thanks Glenn

i tried to access the Senate Report Recommendations and only found the discussion of it. Is there a link to the recommendations?

IdeaSpies @ 2023.10.28 7:29 AM
Just found the recommendations in the detailed report with no link to them. Then I tried to find a report about recommendations adopted and couldn't. This seems to be a problem- more focus on process than results....

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