With public trust in politicians to tell the truth at a paltry 18 per cent and the forthcoming European elections set to be a new low watermark for democratic engagement, the democratic deficit has never felt so real.
In this pamphlet, innovative new research from BritainThinks reveals that change must be rooted in an understanding of what citizens feel is wrong with politics. When asked what they’d most like to change about politics, people talked about changing politicians themselves: who they are, the way that they talk and act, and the kinds of issues they prioritise. But the solutions that really hit home were those that ultimately put power back in the hands of people, making them more connected to decision-making. Power needs to be recognised at a local level before people will feel that they have a stake nationally.
We need to see democracy spread through all spheres of life. Democracy is a muscle, and restoring it to fitness requires much more regular exercise than just a run around at election time. ‘Back to Earth: Reconnecting people and politics’ brings together leading thinkers from Britain and Europe to consider how politics can be re-situated at the heart of our communities.