Elections and democratic decision making in the era of Covid-19
Democratic decision making during the pandemic
Of course, Covid-19 has changed everything. And it has changed the way the way that we do democracy. LGIU has long celebrated and supported local democracy. On the day we would have been covering the 2020 local elections, instead we reflect on how the pandemic has effected discourse and decision-making. We look at the consequences of cancelling elections and the consequences of carrying them out. We look at the blurring lines between authoritarian and liberal democracy, but also the power grabs by those who wish to deny the power of the people.
We also look at how local government’s democratic functions are adapting to the pandemic, from re-deploying electoral staff to conducting council decision-making functions and engagement online. And we will continue to monitor the situation and advocate for local democracy as we emerge from lockdown into the new normal.
Democracy deferred? To elect or not to elect
This long read from Ingrid Koehler looks at the global consequences of carrying out elections or not and what we need to consider to have safe elections.
Without an election, what are electoral workers doing now?
Peter Stanyon, Chief Executive of the AEA, tells us what electoral administrators are doing now and how they are preparing for the delayed elections and next year’s ‘double democracy”.
Deferred Mayoral elections
Andrew Walker looks at the deferred mayoral elections and that this means for the devolution agenda.
Covid-19 and pandemic authoritarianism
The current spread of ‘states of emergency’ in democratic and non-democratic countries threatens to leave a legacy of strong men and erosion of civil liberties, extending far beyond the end of the crisis. Read the full briefing.
Bolstering democracy in the Covid-19 era
Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of the South Tyneside Council, outlines how councils in the UK might alter their electoral systems for a post-Covid world, in order for local elections to be safe and accessible to all. Have a closer look at the issues in his long read on preparing for elections.
Community engagement during Covid-19
This briefing provides examples of a diverse range of democratic, service and digital innovations introduced by local governments in Australia to address the unprecedented changes to community life caused by efforts to control the spread of COVID-19.
Covid-19 Truth be told
In quarantine with the internet makes fertile ground for conspiracies, misdirection and information that is just plain wrong. But do we make things worse by angrily confronting the lies?
Shifting engagement online during a pandemic
The tools needed to engage remotely are already at our disposal. The current situation requires us to focus on the first principles of stakeholder and community engagement. This briefing looks at how to approach community and stakeholder engagement during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Coronavirus and the risk of hypercentralisation after the crisis
In response to the coronavirus crisis the state is expanding enormously. This has big potential implications for the post-crisis future, including increased centralisation writes Andrew Walker.
Transparency, inclusion and accountability at this uniquely difficult time
Local leadership is vitally important during this crisis, but, writes LGIU’s Head of Briefings Janet Sillett, so too is democratic accountability and scrutiny.
LGIU Fortnightly: Covid-19, councillors and community
In a podcast recorded just after elections were postponed, we talk to new-ish councillor Steve Bridger who’s helping to build community support during the pandemic and another councillor Robert Lamb who is carrying on an extra year following the postponement of the local elections. We hear from Ruthe Isden of Age UK about what we can do to help the most vulnerable.
Cancelling and consequences: Covid-19 and local elections
Cancelling local elections was undoubtedly the right call but it’s not without consequences. Jonathan Carr-West looks at the impact on governance and democratic legitimacy.