30th November 2021

How to move from adversarial democracy toward consensual democracy? At this event, Tony Czarnecki, author of the recent Federal Trust blog Citizens’ Senate – Towards Consensual Presidential Democracy, discussed his ideas on how to renew and invigorate the democratic system in the UK. He favours a system of merging representative and direct democracy by combining a petition system with a “Citizens’ Senate”. Watch the discussion here:



The biggest disadvantage of a single party government seems to be the adversarial nature of politics it generates. In such a system, the whole focus of the government is on winning the next election by tuning the ruling party’s manifesto to passing preferences of the electorate. Once the votes have been cast, voters cannot rectify bad laws passed by the parliamentarians. The  real root cause of the current crisis of democracy is the lack of balance between the power of the voters and that of the elected representatives.

Restoring the balance of power between the governed and the governing should thus become the starting point of a deep reform of democracy. Tony Czarnecki discusses his ideas on how best to achieve this. He favours merging representative democracy with direct democracy into a new type of democracy based on consensus. A Citizens’ Senate of citizens elected at random would become the bridge merging representative and direct democracy, in which the President would be playing a pivotal role in achieving a broader than ever consensus.


About the speaker:

CzarneckiTony Czarnecki is a member of Chatham House, an economist, an author, and Managing Partner of Sustensis. He will discuss his ideas on a Citizens’ Senate as set out in his recent blog: Citizens’ Senate – Towards Consensual Presidential Democracy