What is CAPaD for?

The Canberra Alliance for Participatory Democracy (CAPaD) seeks to improve the democratic process by

  • developing and supporting citizen, community and civil society engagement in public decision-making
  • empowering Canberrans to engage in owning and planning for our common future and the common good
  • facilitating opportunities for citizen input to government deliberations
  • developing citizens’ capacity to hold governments and policy makers more directly accountable.

To do this CAPaD will bring together individuals and civil society groups from across the Canberra region.
Similar bodies have been developed, or are forming around the world and in Australia, such as the Sydney Alliance.

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CAPaD strategy for ACT elections

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At its meeting this Sunday afternoon, 14 August, the Canberra Alliance for Participatory Democracy will refine its strategy for the forthcoming ACT elections.

The Alliance exists “To make participatory democracy work in the ACT so we get better decisions and accountability in the public interest.”

It seeks to engage individuals and organisations in promoting “a thriving, environmentally sustainable and healthy Canberra, with 21st-century governance effectively balanced between governments, corporations and civil society.”

The meeting on Sunday from 3 to 5 PM in the Folk Dance Canberra Hall, 114 Maitland St, Hackett is open to the general public and will provide an opportunity for people to share their concerns and what they will be seeking from the newly expanded membership of Canberra’s Legislative Assembly.

At its DemFest (Festival of Democracy) held in June, the Alliance established a series of working groups to further its mission and these will report progress at the meeting on Sunday.

One of the working groups is inviting all candidates in each of the five ACT electorates to lodge a statement on the Alliance website, which includes a commitment to participatory and deliberative methods.

Members of the Alliance are currently discussing with the major parties the detailed wording of the candidate statement.

Professor Bob Douglas said today that he believes the malaise that led to Brexit in the UK and the emergence of Donald Trump in the US is also affecting Canberra, and that participatory approaches can help Canberrans to feel greater ownership and engagement in the decisions of their political representatives.

The main business of Sunday’s meeting will be a series of “participatory” conversations about ways individuals can interact with candidates and make use of the materials prepared by the Alliance for these interactions.

Contact: CAPaD Committee Member Em. Prof. Bob Douglas, Tel 02 6253 3138 or 0409 233 138