Lords Chamber Event 2014: Decision-making in a digital society

28 November 2014

On Friday 28 November, over 190 people from across the UK came together to have their say from the red benches on democracy in a digital age.

The debate focused on the important question:

'Parliament 2.0: In a digital society, is politics for politicians or is everyone a decision maker?'

There were three angles for debate, led by three key teams. After a lively debate, the results were:

  • We should leave politics to our representatives (57) .
  • We should include more expert advice via online conferences and/or community consultation (112).
  • Most, if not all, local and international decisions should be made by UK citizens collectively through online voting (23).

The House of Lords worked with the English-Speaking Union (ESU) to devise and deliver the debate. The ESU trained the key teams and floor speakers on the debate options.

Participants were drawn from partnerships with a number of organisations including UK Youth, the University of the Third Age and the Tinder Foundation, as well as students from the Universities of Exeter, Ulster and Warwick, the London College of Communication, and various schools from England and Northern Ireland.

The Lord Speaker, Baroness D'Souza, introduced and chaired the debate. Speaking ahead of the event, she said:

'We live in an age where anyone can start an online petition in an attempt to influence the government of the day and its policies. And politicians are engaging with voters more and more through social media and online platforms; hearing their views, their opinions and their voices.

'Once again I shall be chairing the debate from the woolsack, and I am very much looking forward to hearing the speakers’ views on how they see democracy working in a digital age.'

Follow the debate

The debate was broadcast on BBC Parliament and is also available in full on the Lords YouTube channel.

You can see how the debate unfolded on Twitter using #digitaldebate

Further information

More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, House of Lords news, Lord Speaker news, Lords news

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