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Fri 24 March 2017, 08:00 – 18:00 GMT
We are living in turbulent times for electoral democracy. But it didn’t start with the Brexit referendum and the election of Trump - over the period 2006 - 2016 the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index recorded a decline in democratic health for more than half the 167 countries it monitors.
In many parts of the world citizens are losing faith in the electoral system that had been considered the consensus vehicle of human progress over much of the last century. Northern Ireland is no exception to this trend.
Whilst populist demagogues would have us believe ‘strong’ leadership and a return to authoritarianism is the answer, proponents of deliberative democracy believe quite the reverse - that a key part of the solution to this malaise is a deeper involvement of citizens in decision-making.
The Building Change Trust’s Democracy Day seeks to explore the health of democracy in Northern Ireland and beyond through a deliberative lens - showcasing some groundbreaking experiments both locally and internationally and initiating a dialogue about what some of the solutions may be.
Democracy Day will start with breakfast and drama performance at 8am, with events starting at 9am with the launch of the Trust's research into the health of democracy in Northern Ireland. From there the day will be a whistlestop tour of democracy innovations at local and international level with plenty of opportunities for participants to get involved and experience some of the methods themselves, such as citizen juries, citizen assemblies, digital democracy platforms, participatory card games and more.
Use this page to register for either a full day ticket (up to 4pm) or for the morning or afternoon session only.
Democracy Day will culminate with two evening events, which are also free but require separate registration:
- "Democracy on Trial'' (4pm-6pm, the Mac) - an interactive event by the NI Open Government Network which will see democracy put on trial in a mock court room setting. If you are planning on attending ''Democracy on Trial', please click here.
- "Are we Living in a Post-Truth Democracy" (6.30pm - 8pm, Conor Lecture Theatre, UU Belfast Campus) - a keynote talk by Professor Bill Adair, the acclaimed US journalist, academic and co-founder of the Pullitzer Prize winning fact-checking platform Politifact. To register for this event please click here.