Skip to main content

Evoke BC?

Evoke? Evoke what exactly?

Good question. Evoke BC is a group of people dedicated to sharing and exploring new
practices, approaches, and institutions for democratic decision making.

What does that mean? Think of people working together on a board or committee to run a farmer's market. Think of citizen assemblies. Think of community forums or participatory budgeting. Think of a group of neighbours organizing a block party.

Community governance. Community decision-making. Empowered political citizens from all walks of life. Collaborative governance.

Currently, our democratic institutions are centred around: 1) voting, 2) elected representatives. But democracy can happen in so many different ways. The Evoke research effort is focused on exploring and sharing different and alternative democratic practices that can deepen our civic engagement, and improve community decision-making.

Think Peace of Westphalia, Magna Carta, United Nations, colonialism...all of which shaped our communities, and how they are organized, in big ways. What's next? What's the next big shift in how we make decisions about our communities?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Including rational thought in decision-making: novel idea?

The post last week brought up the idea that we need to think about what concepts and ideas are put forward in the public realm. From pop music to sports to local community events, our approach to decision-making is influenced by commonly understood cultural practices. Meaningful democratic decision-making requires that we think about the practices, ideas, and values that percolate throughout society. More specifically, when it comes to engaging a group of people to get together and go through a democratic decision-making process, practitioners need to think about how participants are being, or have been, educated. By definition, democratic decision-making is not limited to specialists. "Rule by the people" means everyone gets to participate in decision-making, even about issues where we are not experts. This does not mean, however, that democratic decision-making should be approached from a place of ignorance.  Robert Dahl  emphasized the importance of  enlight

Why independence matters for a democracy...and what the heck is an ombudsperson?!?

Remember this definition of accountability, from a previous post : "the relationship between the local population and their representatives, and the mechanisms through which citizens can ensure that decision-makers are answerable for decisions made."  - from the   Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance In British Columbia (Canada) there are over 2800 local and public authorities, not including actual government offices or departments. Sufficed to say, that's a lot of decision makers. How are citizens supposed to make sure decision-makers are answerable? This is the intended role of the ombudsperson (previously ombudsman). This office is an independent agent that has the power to investigate and examine the activities of public officials and bodies. An ombudsperson is intended to represent the interests of the public, those served by public bodies, and make determinations about whether their actions are aligned with policy and legislation, to examine p

Freedom to do stuff vs. freedom from stuff

As our children grow up we typically give them more freedom and discretion over the activities they will pursue, and increasing freedom of choice when it comes to who they will associate with and the type of education they want. It's commonly accepted that freedom from tyranny, oppression, and control is a hallmark of a democratic society; we should be free to lead and build a life of our choosing. Leading and guiding one another to a life of freedom is a great privilege that many communities are still fighting and striving towards.  However, when our children are young, we're a bit more directive. When I wake up my daughters in the morning, whether they get dressed, eat breakfast, and get ready for school is not up for discussion or deliberation. At first, commanding them when to put on their shoes might seem to contravene their freedom of choice. Am I restraining their liberty? Obstructing their progress as free individuals? In directing them through these activities,