These days people in or near power can't wait to get our opinions so that they can take them seriously, says Graeme Smith. Or so it seems. But underneath the new cyber-Athenian democracy is a deeper crisis of representation with political and theological roots.
Deliberative assemblies should play a significant part in renewing democracy, says Stuart Weir, and most especially in agreeing a written constitution for the UK. They are at the core of the work of Power 2010, guided by James Fishkin.
The historic news that the leaders of Britain's three main political parties will for the first time take part in a series of televised debates at the next general election has been mired in accusations that they have 'stitched up democracy' for their own benefit.