The Congress at the World Forum for Democracy: “Reloading Elections”

World Forum for Democracy strasbourg 8 November 2016
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The Congress at the World Forum for Democracy: “Reloading Elections”
At a time when the abstention rate in elections is steadily rising across Europe, what can be done to get voters voting again? That is one of the issues raised by the Congress-sponsored Lab7 “Reloading Elections”, held in Strasbourg on 8 November as part of the World Forum for Democracy. Various citizen initiatives, many of them accompanied by online efforts, have been developed in response to this challenge but none is a substitute for genuine political debate. Jean-Philippe Bozouls, Director of the Congress and moderator for the Lab7, pointed out that election fatigue has gone hand in hand with the rise of populism and “anti-establishment” candidates, and that the only way to counter these trends is by rekindling enthusiasm for the ballot box. “The key to getting people to start voting again is to restore their confidence,” added Xavier Cadoret (France, SOC), Congress member. One initiative by a Lithuanian NGO “House of Europe” seeks to do just that, i.e. revive citizens’ interest in elections and electoral issues through meetings and debates with candidates. Another project based in Germany uses an online voting advice application. 

Background Paper
Lab 7 - Reloading Elections
Interview - Xavier Cadoret
Congress Special File          

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