Riding the deliberative wave to expand democracy

29/February/2024 by Platoniq Foundation
Esepe, Exploding Head, 2023

Today the manifesto “Amplifying Democracy” is presented, which warns of the weakness of our democratic system and proposes 7 concrete measures to tackle this crisis.

Democracy is something that goes beyond the ballot box, but Spain is finding it hard to ride the deliberative wave that is sweeping Europe and a good part of Western democracies. In this manifesto it is proposed to the Congress of Deputies to promote an assembly that operates as a ‘Citizen’s Office’ to provide deputies with recommendations on complex political dilemmas, as the parliaments of Germany, Ireland, Belgium or the European Parliament have already done.

The promoting entities believe that this is the best recipe to combat some of the ills that afflict our democracies, such as the lack of confidence in the political system, polarization and misinformation.

The seven proposals contained in the initiative are:

  1. Promote a more transparent parliamentarism, which is more accountable and takes into account citizen participation.
  2. Reform the Popular Legislative Initiative, to turn it into a real and effective tool for civil society participation, so as to improve the representativeness and decision-making process of the legislative branch.
  3. Promote citizens’ assemblies to help public administrations address complex problems with better information and greater social legitimacy.
  4. Improve citizen participation in the administration’s consultative bodies, taking into account the diversity of the citizenry.
  5. Improve public consultation procedures in regulatory projects.
  6. Regulate the activity of interest groups to reduce the risks of fraud, corruption and conflicts of interest.
  7. Promote an active and involved citizenship in the democratic system, starting from childhood and youth.

Why do we adhere to this manifesto?

Platoniq has been promoting digital participatory processes for more than 15 years and facilitating innovative participation methodologies to contribute to form more democratic societies and organizations, making use of open civic technologies. That is why we could not fail to support the seven demands of this Manifesto.

Our reasons are manifold. On the one hand, we share the analysis of the lack of commitment on the part of public institutions when it comes to incorporating into decision-making processes that allow citizens to express their opinions and recommend public policies, and that these are listened to and implemented. On the other hand, we believe that it is necessary to continue innovating in the search for new forms of participation to get out of the straitjackets imposed by current methodologies, adding the creative and encouraging component in all phases of the processes.

In this way, we will achieve greater participation and commitment of the participants, as well as a much more affective follow-up of the citizen proposals, sometimes little considered, much more affective. Yes, we want to expand democracy, and we want to do it in such a way that anyone can feel part of it.

Therefore, we invite you to read it, share your opinions and spread it among your community. Only in this way will we be able to move from paper to action, or what is the same in this case, from institutional policy to civic responsibility.

Call to action

What do you think? Do you see yourself reflected in the proposed measures? Do you have any ideas to improve them? Tell us your opinion and let’s expand democracy together.

If you want to adhere individually or collectively to this manifesto, you can do it in this link.

The current individual and collective signatories can be consulted here.

Organizations adhering to the Manifesto: Cámara Cívica, Cátedra José María Martín Patino de la Cultura del Encuentro, CECU, Coglobal, Consejo de la Juventud de España, Cooperativa Raons Públiques, Deliberativa, Demos Lab, Fundación Platoniq, DigitalFems, Equipo Europa, Fakali, Hay Derecho, Hexagonal, Ideas en Guerra, Komons, Marea Deliberativa, Más Democracia, NovaGob, Osoigo, Oxfam Intermón, Plataforma de Infancia, Political Watch, PorCausa, Red Académica de Gobierno Abierto, Secretariado Gitano, Talento para el Futuro, Transparencia Internacional España.