There’s more to democracy than polling day: Citizen engagement between elections

Last November I was invited to give a keynote address to a Forum on Electoral Research organized by the Australian Electoral Commission. The principal theme of the two-day event was citizen engagement, with most of the papers focused on the period leading up to and during election campaigns. The focus of my presentation was on what happens in the period between elections, on what can be done to engage with citizens after the heat of the campaign has died down and before the temperature starts rising for the next campaign. My interest is in how engaged citizens are in the democratic process; in what steps are being, or can be, taken to engage the citizens, and in how new processes – like the Irish constitutional convention – could be an important step in this regard. My presentation can be downloaded here.

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