Political and constitutional reform has had a tough time of late but going into the next General Election has never been so important. Too often shoved into the ‘too difficult’ box, reform of our democratic institutions has taken second place to the immediate social and economic issues that are somehow seen as separate from the functioning of our democracy. But political reform cannot be divorced from good policy making.
The growing gulf between people and politics matters because it has a high cost for decision-making. Governments that lack the support and confidence of the public are not able to act confidently to tackle the big issues.
As David Judge neatly describes, ‘the foundations of authorisation upon which governments claim legitimacy are becoming exposed to and corroded by a vacuum of public disinterest’. The crisis of confidence in our political institutions must be addressed and it is clear that the political world cannot continue with the old way of doing things.
Our new Health of our Democracy report sets out to make the case for a new politics that helps bridge that growing gap between democracy and citizenry. The public has never been more cynical and mistrusting of politics – political reform to address this increasing divide has never been more urgent.
Reviving the health of our Democracy, by Jess Garland, is available for download