Democracy is politics in motion. Rather than residing in immovable structures and institutions, it takes its form in everyday acts and processes at every level of society, from global deliberations to local decision-making, from national campaigns to the votes of individuals. Majorities wax and wane, alliances shift, divisions open and close, and sometimes earthquakes send shockwaves through the whole system.
It remains fundamentally a battleground, not only for competing visions for society, but also over the very meaning of democracy itself. In the struggle over democracy’s future, Greens and progressives must be present to defend their ideas and the values underpinning them. The efforts of those fighting for the most basic democratic rights and freedoms, both in Europe and on the other side of world, remind us of what is at stake. As democracy wends its way onwards, it is up to us to steer it towards ever greater fairness, inclusion, and participation.
There are two articles in this publication of Irish interest:
On page 52, ‘Referendums in Ireland: Taking Care of a Revered Constitution’ by Susan O’Keeffe, the Irish journalist, broadcaster, and TV and radio producer, in which she discusses how Ireland’s model of amending the constitution through a national debate among the people provides an important route to progress. Susan served as a senator in the Seanad Éireann between 2011 and 2016 as a member of the Labour Party. During her time in office, there were eight referendums. You can read Susan’s article here.
On page 72, ‘Citizens’ Assemblies Won’t Save Us’ by Calum McGeown, a climate activist and PhD student of political theory at Queen’s University Belfast, in which he explains why citizens’ assemblies will not be a silver bullet for the climate crisis. Calum’s research interests include green political theory, post-growth political economy, state theory, climate breakdown, and the post-carbon transition. You can read Calum’s article here.