openDemocracyUK

Avaaz poll on 'Who's Afraid of Democracy'

Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
20 April 2010
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The excellent Avaaz are polling their members in Britain on whether they should run a positive campaign for democracy (read hung parliament and an alliance for reform) and defy the powers that be. Only existing members of Avaaz can vote, so kick yourself if you are not a member. This the email they have just sent out.

Dear friends across the UK,

These general elections could decide our country’s course for a generation -- and suddenly the race has come alive! Politics as usual has been shaken up, and for once every vote could count.

Chances of a “hung parliament” are rising by the day, with no one party getting an outright majority. According to the polls, more people would prefer a balanced outcome to any one party to ruling alone. But powerful opinion-formers in the tabloid media and the City are portraying this as bad for Britain.
There are now 380,000 members of the Avaaz network in the UK. Initial consultations suggest we care a lot about the election, and most of us would support a campaign on this issue -- Let’s make the decision about it all together, with an open poll in which we share our views -- read the question below, then click YES or NO to register your vote!

Should we run a non-partisan “Who’s Afraid of Democracy” campaign to oppose scaremongering about a hung parliament, and to support the idea of two or more parties coming together in a Reform Parliament to confront the challenges we face with progressive solutions -- from building a green economy and the public services to reforming and cleaning up politics?

Click YES or NO now to cast your vote! The results will be counted on the morning of Wednesday the 21st and emailed to us all.

Previously, members of the Avaaz network in Canada, Germany and South Africa have decided to join together at election time to promote good causes -- let’s see if we want to do the same!

The latest news is that after the leaders’ debates, the Liberal Democrats’ support has surged to join or overtake Labour and the Conservatives -- helping to open up the race and making a balanced parliament more likely. The current electoral system means that even if more people vote for them nationwide, it is practically impossible for the Lib Dems to win most seats in Parliament, but they would likely be a big player in a coalition government. Reform to the system looks more likely if things go this way. And the next UK government will take decisions that have a deep effect on many of the causes we care about, both at home and globally.

To decide whether we should run this campaign, just vote now.

Sign the petition: save our Freedom of Information

The UK government is running a secretive unit inside Michael Gove’s Cabinet Office that’s accused of ‘blacklisting’ journalists and hiding ‘sensitive’ information from the public. Experts say they’re breaking the law – and it’s an assault on our right to know what our government is doing.

We’re not going to let it stand. We’re launching a legal battle – but we also need a huge public outcry, showing that thousands back our call for transparency. Will you add your name?

Who is bankrolling Britain's democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.

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