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AC Grayling

The Good State: On the Principles of Democracy

Hay Digital 2020, 

The foundations upon which our democracies stand are inherently flawed, vulnerable to corrosion from within. What is the remedy?

The philosopher makes the case for a clear, consistent, principled and written constitution, and sets out the reforms necessary – among them addressing the imbalance of power between government and Parliament, imposing fixed terms for MPs, introducing proportional representation and lowering the voting age to 16 (the age at which you can marry, gamble, join the army and must pay taxes if you work) – to ensure the intentions of such a constitution could not be subverted or ignored. As democracies around the world show signs of decay, the issue of what makes a good state, one that is democratic in the fullest sense of the word, could not be more important.

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AC Grayling