openDemocracyUK

The birth of a grassroots democracy movement

Andy May
14 May 2010

I was at the purple people rally last Saturday.   It was something truly special.   I may be naïve, but after years working in the not for profit sector to often little avail it felt like the first genuine intervention of the people in a spontaneous outpouring of anger and desire for justice.

The result?   Electoral reform is on the table, even if only in the form of a AV referendum this is a massive achievement for all those who have suffered for years or decades from the vagaries of our ridiculous voting system.   Now let’s start pushing for more.

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After the London rally and 6 others last Saturday, this Saturday sees over thirty taking place across the UK, from Penzance to Paisley. Join us. 

I truly hope this next set of rallies marks the beginning of a broader, deeper grassroots movement which can take on the entrenched interests which have lumbered us with an archaic voting system long past the time when it should have been ditched.

It certainly feels at the moment like that this hope can be realised.   The Take Back Parliament coalition has triggered the biggest and most widespread set of rallies for democracy since the suffragettes.  It seems that finally electoral reformers have moved out of the dusty corridors of thinktanks and university departments into mainstream popular mobilisation.

I hope you will be there to join us at this moment either in London – at 2pm in College Green, Westminster  - or one of the 30-plus rallies happening around the country.   As ever,  wear purple and make some noise for electoral reform!

Peter Geoghegan: dark money and dirty politics

Democracy is in crisis and unaccountable flows of money are helping to destroy it. Peter Geoghegan’s new book, ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’, charts how secretive money, lobbying and data has warped our democracy.

How has dark money bought our politics? What can be done to change the system?

Join us for a journey through a shadowy world of dark money and disinformation stretching from Westminster to Washington, and far beyond.

Sign up to take part in a free live discussion on Thursday 13 August at 5pm UK time/6pm CET

In conversation:

Peter Geoghegan Dark Money Investigations editor at openDemocracy and the author of ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’.

Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy.

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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