In a democracy, the majority of the citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority
Whereas the aim for Devolution is to bring the centres of power closer to the people; the aim of Democracy is to give people greater influence over all centres of power. And this applies to all aspects of life – political, communal, industrial, recreational, and environmental. Democracy has to be embedded in all the important questions concerning people and their lives. We are well aware that devolution has the potential to replicate London rule on a smaller scale, just as people in Scotland and Wales may find reason to complain about Edinburgh or Cardiff. We want to see a more thoroughgoing process of decentralisation and democratisation.
Vital democracy is democracy in action, active not passive. It identifies that there is potential for a mixture of different democratic models to be applied in real life, with different systems for different situations, but always ensuring that all participants have an equal voice and an equal role in decision making. Vital democracy attempts to fairly divide responsibilities and obligations, and to ensure that the necessary checks and balances act on those given the task of fulfilling any leadership role. It also embraces informal expressions of democracy such as protests and boycotts. To function there has to be a free and vibrant media, balanced and accessible to all. A democracy is not institutions alone. It is only as good as the people who comprise it and give it vitality, so a politically aware and informed electorate is essential.
People feel out of control over their own lives; they must want to become the agents of their own future. Many are not engaged by the current political process, and play no part in it, for a whole range of reasons. This leaves political power in the hands of the few.
To overcome this hurdle and bring everyone into the political process is one of the tasks of WR.
We see our role as “educating democracy” and “increasing social understanding”.