Democracy in Canberra: what is it?

posted in: Musings | 0

Recently I was discussing CAPaD and our aim to make democracy in Canberra better. The person I was conversing with challenged me by asking how we can make democracy better if we haven’t a definition of democracy. Good point.

So, this is the first part of my response.

Defining democracy is notoriously hard. Personally I find using the word democracy problematic. Often it is used when people mean governance and such loose use makes it open to several interpretations. I would prefer to talk about good governance. 
 
CAPaD is caught up in this situation. Our words are the outcome of our collective deliberations as we have developed our understanding and work plan. Being collective there is a bit of fuzziness built in. We are getting on with doing, and recognise this understanding will continue to evolve. We also recognise that making better governance is not up to CAPaD to determine on our own, but is a moving target that every one who gets involved will contribute to. 
 
That said, what CAPaD means by better democracy is captured on our webpage at https://canberra-alliance.org.au/about-us/. That also sets out our game plan. 
 
This is a collection of objectives that we are aiming toward, rather than a precisely defined outcome. We don’t want to become tied down in just thinking and talking, but take an action, learning by doing,  approach.
 
Our action foci reflect this. More details of our activity is at https://canberra-alliance.org.au/action-groups/. 
 
Peter Tait

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