What is Your Democracy?
Our political system isn't utterly broken, whatever Russell Brand would have you believe. But there are things about it that suit the needs of the 19th century much better than they do the 21st. That needs to change and for a variety of reasons, government isn't able to do it.
We - you- can.
It's not just the public that's failed by the system. MPs don't have a job description. They're overwhelmed by emails and correspondence. Constituents demand that they perform local case work whilst simultaneously complaining that the green benches need more parliamentary backsides anointing them.
Your Democracy is about creating a reinvigorated relationship between people and politicians, for the benefit of both.
Who are we?
Your Democracy is structured as a limited company, basically because it seemed like the simplest way to do things at the start. Despite that, we're resolutely not for profit. That's why we chose to reward our users for their actions, adding money to a pot to give to charity at the end of the year. We've capped it at £10,000 for now (we need to earn the money!), but that will increase if we make the site a success.
As far as there is such a thing as "normal people", we are. We're not part of the Westminster establishment. There's no sinister agenda or hidden conspiracy; our intentions are what you see here. We live in cities and villages spread across the whole country, not just the South East (John, our founder, lives in sunny Birmingham). We're perhaps unusual in that we're passionate about the values of democracy, but once you realise how terrible all the alternatives are, it's difficult not to believe we have something precious.
We're not the first to have the idea of bringing the ancient dream of democracy into the internet age, but we steadfastly believe that it can, will and must happen if we are to reinvigorate our government for the benefit of all. To do that we need to be politically neutral and eschew the old labels of left and right, a bit like the Speaker in the House of Commons or the BBC. Like those examples, we're sure that people will sometimes will feel that we're biased, in which case we apologise. Our intention is to be impartial.
Your Democracy is a kind of political adventure. It's a grand experiment that aims to shake up the way business is done in the Houses of Parliament, Whitehall and beyond, but in a way that helps improve the quality of our government and the lives of our representatives rather than just by bashing them because life is imperfect.
Basically, we want to make the UK a better place.
What Can You Do?
We need all the help we can get. That ranges from IT support, to community moderation, to fact checkers, to donations and political expertise. If you think that you can add something to Your Democracy, let us know, because we want to hear from you.
Even if you don't have any specialist skills that apply to us and don't have the time to help out in other ways, the single biggest way you can help us achieve change is to use the site and if you like it, get your friends, family and neighbours to use it. Critical mass is absolutely pivotal to making the vision of Your Democracy a reality.