Democracy Day

Presented with Building Change Trust.

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 a breakfast and drama performance at 8am, with events starting at 9am and running all day. The day will culminate by putting ‘Democracy on Trial’ in a mock court setting and a keynote talk on the ‘Post Truth era’ by Professor Bill Adair, the acclaimed US journalist, academic and co-founder of the Pullitzer Prize winning website Politifact.

All of the daytime events for Democracy Day are covered by a single registration – simply register once on any of the Democracy Day daytime event pages to attend as many events as you wish. All events are free – here’s the lineup for the day: