The UK faces important decisions about the future form of its democracy. The aim of this project is to involve ordinary people in shaping the way we govern ourselves.
The Citizens’ Convention on UK Democracy aims to learn from the best examples around the world and work over two years to forge a new partnership between our elected representatives and the people.
After a year’s careful preparation in 2019, we propose a two-year countrywide Citizens’ Convention on UK Democracy to:
- Develop a widespread public conversation about the changes needed, which is facilitated in a respectful and deliberative way, making use of evidence, listening to and uniting the differing interests and perspectives in our society;
- Develop a set of recommendations for reform, reached through a fair and rigorous process, which have widespread support from both the public and elected representatives.
A unique feature of this project is that it has support from a core cross-party group of senior MPs. We have sought the support of representatives of all parties; and participation remains open. Our core group is presently made up of: Tom Watson MP (Deputy Leader of the Labour Party), David Davis MP (Former Secretary of State, Conservative), Dominic Grieve MP (Former Attorney General, Conservative), Sir Vince Cable (Leader, Liberal Democrats), and Caroline Lucas (Leader, Parliamentary Green Party).
This group of representatives has agreed a set of five core democratic themes that they want considered as part of the process, alongside other matters of democratic importance that the process of engagement with citizens may identify.
*These issues will be the starting point for the conversation, but the final list of themes to be considered by the Convention will be decided by the citizens themselves.
Our 'User's Manual', setting out the parameters and intended methods for the project, is now available to download here.
Please send any comments to email@example.com by 31 August 2019.
We will launch a final version in the autumn.
We are grateful for the generous support received for the scoping phase of this project from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust; and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.
* The agreed issues are:
- Reviewing the powers and membership of the second chamber
- Examining the voting system at Parliamentary and local level to encourage greater participation in public life
- Reviewing the relationship between central and local government, and the question of devolution for England
- Proposing how politics should be paid for
- Examining the legal recognition given to some constitutional provisions, including individual rights
- Such other relevant democratic issues that may be recommended by the convention as its work progresses