Slide To help you on your journey in democracy CAPaD Resources Hub

Things CAPaD is doing

More information on CAPaD’s activity is available on the main website here.


Raising awareness of new ways for representation

Awakening Democracy by Robust Representation – Pearls and Irritations article by Peter Tait, Beth Slatyer, Sue Ingram and Bob Douglas, 2020. To achieve CAPaD’s aim of trusted, accountable representatives engaging the community in decision making and defending the public interest, we believe that one key element of this is choosing candidates who will work with the community in governing.

We are working with Rob Salter. See the paper on electorate level mobilisations at a community levelRevitalising democracy: possibilities for electorate level mobilisations to achieve better parliamentary representation offers ideas of how to facilitate a better relationship between representatives.

This complements CAPaD’s work on helping voters choose candidates based on their own attributes for working with the community, rather than the party policy platform. Look at Rob’s video session here.


Government with the people

Promoting meaningful means for community participation

Engaging the community in governing with – the Austrian experience

Manfred Hellrigl: YouTube of his talk “Local development and empowerment, methods and inspiration” at Göteborg 2012, describing practical developments with citizen participation (modeled on Wisdom Councils) in western Austria.

A summary of the “Bürgerrat” [Citizens’ Council] approach from Vorarlberg, Austria.

NewDemocracy Paper: Citizens’ Councils: What are they, and why are they so popular in Austria?


Building trust in deliberative processes

Our report, Citizen Review of 2017-18 participatory deliberative processes in the ACT, reflects our experience of the ACT government’s early experiments with deliberation.

The criteria we developed with ACTCOSS against which to assess a deliberative process.

The OECD reviewed international experiences of citizen deliberations. Their report, Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions, is here.

Lyn Stephen’s paper tying this all together: Government with the people – building trust in deliberative processes, and slide presentation. The YouTube video is available here.

CAPaD’S reflections on our 6 year journey of learning and developing the Genuine Engagement Tool for effective public deliberation: Developing a deliberative democracy assessment tool for communities. An open source Word document template for the Genuine engagement Tool is available here. Please acknowledge use.


Sites helping voters get to know their MPs and candidates better



They Vote for You
How do you know what your MP and future candidates is doing for you? They vote on laws. The They Vote for You site lets you find out what they are voting for and against (or not at all).

Political Gadgets “Free tools providing insights into what our politicians stand for.” Actually “this site is all about information. Shining some light on what’s going on. Giving people tools to understand what their representative is really doing.”

smartvote Australia
smartvote Australia is a project of the Australian National University. The platform is an adapted version of smartvote, which was first developed in 2003 by Politools in Switzerland.

Vote Compass ABC
Vote Compass is a tool developed by political scientists for exploring how your views align with those of the candidates.

Voteeasy Australia
Vote Easy is a completely voluntary and independent platform, encouraging communities (voters and candidates) to come together without influence to elect strong local leaders.



Elections ACT legislated candidate information statements.



Voteeasy.votesmart US

Vote Smart provides free, unbiased, in-depth information about current officials, candidates, issues, legislation, and voting. Non-partisan and nonprofit since 1988. The Voter’s Self Defense System.


Things other people are doing

Ideas for stronger democracy

David Mathews in his new book With the People: An Introduction to an Idea (downloadable here) suggests a novel proposition — government with the people. It envisions a form of collaboration that would have government working with citizens, not just for them. People are creators and producers rather than consumers or clients. This approach is informing CAPaD’s work with MLAs and the community.

Governance reformation and transformation ideas.

This is a list of various ideas drawn from multiple sources for changes to the governance, parliamentary and electoral systems that could protect or strengthen democracy in Australia. You can look at these and use them as ideas to look at where you might help make change.

Salter 2020 Measures to improve democracy – a list of ideas for reform.

Flatpack DemocracyPeople taking back control of their local councils to look after local people. Lots of good ideas. 


Organisations facilitating participation and deliberation.

DemocracyCo works with governments, corporates and other organisations who need to find solutions to complex problems and create a social licence for change, together!

MosaicLab works with government agencies, community groups, industry and commercial organisations seeking to invest in quality engagement processes.


Other organisations working in democracy and for the Common Good

Australia Democracy Network: are creating an Australia where civil society is robust and vibrant; public debate is informed, fair and diverse; citizens are engaged, government is clean, open and accountable and the wellbeing of people and the planet comes first.

Industrial Areas Foundation : the USA’s largest and oldest network for citizen leadership development.

Sydney Alliance : a diverse coalition using community organising to make Sydney a better place to live.

newDemocracy Foundation : innovating in how we do democracy in Australia.

Australia21 : an independent research organisation focusing on real-world problems, sometimes called “wicked,” facing Australia.

The Accountability Lab makes governance work for people by supporting active citizens, responsible leaders and accountable institutions. Our goal is a world in which resources are used wisely, decisions benefit everyone fairly, and people
lead secure lives.

Last Update: 26/05/2022
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