How to save parliamentary democracy?

It is by no means my intention here to overdramatize the shortcomings of parliamentary democracy, but as I have mentioned in this german

blog entry

Due to ever growing polarization in society, the re-assertion of populism and ever growing income inequality, the challenges for our democratic institutions are enormous. If these problems are shelved and remain unresolved, the clock may be ticking down for representative democracy in the long run. Therefore, our focus must be on new and innovative mechanisms to supplement parliamentary democracy with other, potentially much more representative institutions to arrive at policy outcomes which are more connected to the citizenry at large and thus much less divisive. As I have pointed out in the piece I referred to above, Switzerland provides a model worth looking at, but there are other ways worth exploring and less radical; deliberative democracy would initially entail no altering of our constitutions, since forums such as citizen assemblies could be employed as advisory bodies only, and they could be entirely issue based. This is to say that whenever traditional means of parliamentary democracy fail to achieve sufficient public consensus on issues particularly polarizing and divisive, such institutions of deliberative democracy could be employed to either arrive at new innovative solutions or give additional legitimacy to decisions arrived at in the policy-making process undertaken in such forums. Such proposals should not be seen as a replacement for our parliamentary system, since I personally remain a big believer in the basics of our representative form of government, but the challenges of the future are so severe that current institutions will not suffice to come to grips with them on their own. In this great

program

these issues are explored in much more depth.

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