The Power of Voting, Nairobi, Kenya
On Sunday April 30th, 2023, between 12.00 and 13.00 am, at the Radisson Hotel (Upper Hill) and as part of The Ibrahim Governance Weekend (IGW), the Democracy & Culture Foundation will present its project “Re-Imagining the Building Blocks of Democracy”. This is a 3-year international project, already in its 2d year of implementation which runs in 10 cities across the world (both the Global North and the Global South) and aims through a combination of experts’ roundtables and citizens’ consultations to identify, publicize and push for implementation specific policy proposals that would help Liberal Democracy meet the challenges of our times. The proposals concentrate on five main issues (building blocks) namely people, parties-money & influence, voting, information & disinformation and the balance between legislative and executive power.
After the presentation, there will be a six-hour (13.00 to 18.00) citizens’ driven consultation conducted by DCF’s partner, the ATLAS organization, on the issue of voting. Local citizens, in addition to those attending the Mo Ibrahim Governance Weekend who may wish to stay on, will be asked to debate the issue of voting and come up with policy suggestions that may have either a Kenya-oriented or a universal application that, when implemented, will contribute to the strengthening of the functioning of Liberal Democracy.
Some of the issues that will be debated are the following:
The vote is the foundation of democratic rule, but the uses and misuses of the ballot box are a permanent source of debate and dispute. Some issues to consider:
· Should candidates be vetted?
· Should voting be mandatory? Is mandatory voting compatible with democratic values?
· How should the identities of voters be verified?
· Should voting be open to, say, convicts or non-citizens?
· Is there a political, technological, and social imperative to lower the voting age and will this help bridge the intergenerational gap?
· Should primaries be mandatory?
· Should terms be limited and or fixed?
· How does the use of legislative tools and the management of information impact voting procedures and access to voting?
· What is the relationship between an electoral system and representative democracy? The pros and cons of simple proportional voting vs political stability/instability?
- Nerima Wako-Ojiwa, Siasa CEO
- Clive Donnley, human rights activist
- Boniface Mwangi, photojournalist, politician and activist
- Dave Leichtman Director, Corporate Civic Responsibility, Microsoft Democracy Forward
Find more about the building blocks project here.
For more information: Elina Makri email@example.com
Colombe Cahen-Salvador firstname.lastname@example.org
The 'Power of Voting' consultation in Nairobi is part of our 'Re-imagining the Building Blocks of Democracy' project and is supported by
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