05 July 2007

I like this

From the UK Guardian:

Voters [in the UK] will be given powers to decide how ten of millions of pounds should be spent in their neighbourhood under radical plans being unveiled today. In a potentially dramatic extension of direct democracy, councils will have to hold ballots before deciding where money should be targeted. It would mean that, for the first time, people could direct cash to areas that concern them most, such as parks, curbing antisocial behaviour, targeting drug trouble spots or cleaning up litter.
I think this is a good idea. It's part way toward a Social Policy Bond approach. Ideally the funding would be directed at specified outcomes, and there would be competition to achieve these outcomes. But even so, if this initiative takes off I think it would represent a big improvement over the current system. Voters are better educated and have access to more information than they ever did when the current form of elections was set up. Direct democracy would encourage people to participate in the decisions that affect their lives - and end in itself (may need subscription) as well as a means to further ends.

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