“Scary” figures show just half of people think they can influence politics

“Scary” figures show just half of people think they can influence politics
21st August 2019 RYLadmin

Almost two-thirds of Britons believe the political system is “rigged to the advantage of the rich and powerful” and only half believe they can influence politics.

The founders of a democracy app Rate Your Leader – designed to bring people and politics back together – have described the figures as “scary” warning of “potentially profound and perilous consequences”.

A poll by the Hansard Society has revealed that 63% of people think the political system works only in the interests of wealthy and well-connected elites.

47% of those questioned believed they could influence politics or the political process .

The figures some as the Citizens’ Convention on UK Democracy launches a two-year national project asking the public to come together to come up with new ideas to make politics better.

A two-year “citizens’ convention” is set to launch on New Year’s Day 2020, with 10,000 people from around the country invited to take part in discussions about improving Britain’s political system – not individual policies.

A later summit of 100 representatives will draft a series of recommendations to be presented to party leaders in January 2022 for consideration in manifestos for the General Election set to take part later than year.

Brexit is explicitly excluded from conversations.

The project has cross-party support with backers including Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, former-Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable, ex-Cabinet Ministers David Davis and Dominic Grieve, and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

The convention has been welcomed by Joel Popoola, founder of the Democracy project Rate Your Leader, whose free app allows voters to influence politics and communicate with their elected representatives at the touch of a button in a way which makes abuse impossible.

The app is available from the Apple and Google Marketplaces

He said:

“The Hansard Society recently reported that Britain is ‘poised to embrace authoritarianism’ . That may sound alarmist, but it’s beyond question that across the world democracy is coming under greater and greater pressure.

“In the last week alone the Prime Minister of Hungary claimed authoritarian governments are the most effective and the President of Brazil hoped people would ‘die in the streets like cockroaches’.

“These figures show Britain is now immune from this virus, and these levels of alienation from our political institutions risk people becoming ever more attracted to angry populists with authoritarian views, or giving up on politics altogether – and both of those scary scenarios with potentially profound and perilous consequences.

“Efforts at encouraging deliberative democracy like this one, or digital democracy through technology like Rate Your Leader have a critical role to play in bringing people and politics back together – before it’s too late.”

The Rate Your Leader app has a five star rating on the Google market, with one reviewer writing “This is the new level of politics…better communication of leaders with the electorates and accountability”.

An ever-increasing number of MPs, councillors, MEPs and Police & Crime Commissioners have already taken advantage of the free democracy app to stay in touch with the people who elect them and to get their message out to confirmed voters in their constituencies, helping them truly understand what matters most to the people who elect them.


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