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ScotlandsFest 2016: Our Democracy – Can Scots run their own communities?
Wed 24 August 2016, 15:30 – 17:00 BST
ScotlandsFest 2016: Can Scots run their own communities? with Willie Sullivan of the Electoral Reform Society, Lesley Riddoch, Robin McAlpine and Amy Westwell.
Join author and broadcaster Lesley Riddoch and Willie Sullivan, Director of Electoral Reform Society, Scotland, along with Robin McAlpine and Amy Westwell, to discuss the growing movement in Scotland for people to have control over their own lives and communities. Local democracy , not only through councils but in our own hands.
WILLIE SULLIVAN is the Director of ERS Scotland. He was the Campaign consultant on the successful Fairshare Campaign for introduction of STV for Scottish Local Government and was Campaign Director for Vote for a Change, the campaign to secure a referendum on electoral reform.
LESLEY RIDDOCH is an award-winning broadcaster, writer and journalist. She is founder and director of Nordic Horizons, a policy group that brings Nordic experts into the Scottish Parliament.
ROBIN MCALPINE is the Director of Common Weal. He started out as a journalist and over the last 20 years has worked in political media relations, parliamentary relations, publishing and policy development. Robin was very deeply involved in the referendum campaign and states that his eyes were opened to what a truly participatory democracy would look like and is now looking forward to making change happen.
AMY WESTWELL was born in 1993 and grew up in Leith. A sans-culotte at heart, she pretends to be a historian and has attended Glasgow and St Andrews University in this guise. She mainly studies the history of political thought, particularly the history of hating the rich and their way of life. She has sold her labour to around 14 employers, but has been most productive working against them with Unite the Union. Harbouring a misguided belief in the communist potential of workers’ education, she intends to continue to read history while persuading the people that it is not really there.
Since the referendum, bystanders have become organisers, followers have become leaders, politics has become creative, women have become assertive, men have learned to facilitate not dominate. Independent action and self-reliance have helped create a ‘can-do’ approach shared by almost everyone active in Scotland today.
Scotland’s biggest problems haven’t changed.
But we have.-Lesley Riddoch
This book directly gives voice to the missing people of Scotland as Willie Sullivan (in association with the Electoral Reform Society) investigates why this part of Scotland is lost, asking the missing electorate to articulate why they find themselves so politically disengaged, what their take of mainstream Scotland is and what they feel is lacking, and finally exploring what they feel must be done in order change this for the better.