I'm just about to go to the airport to fly to Sydney for tonight's event, What should we do about Democracy?
It's part of the Australia/New Zealand tour for Walkaway, and from Sydney, I'm moving on to the Adelaide Festival and then to Wellington for Writers and Readers Week and the NetHui one-day event on copyright.
It feels like democracy is under siege, even in rich, peaceful countries like Australia that have escaped financial shocks and civil strife. Populist impulses have been unleashed in the UK and USA. There is a record lack of trust in the institutions of politics and government, exacerbated by the ways in which social media and digital technology can spread ‘fake news’ and are being harnessed by foreign powers to meddle in politics. Important issues that citizens care about, like climate change, are sidelined by professional politicians, enhancing the appeal of outsider figures. Do these problems add up to the failure of democracy? Are Brexit and Trump outliers, or the new normal? Join a lively panel of experts and commentators explore some big questions about the future of democracy, and think more clearly about what we ought to do.
Speakers Cory Doctorow, A.C. Grayling, Rebecca Huntley and Lenore Taylor
Chair Jeremy Moss