Government By Us Productions
Work is underway to find more funders and media partners. The short film series, shot in different states, offers diverse partnership opportunities. Talks are underway with EU and global partners.
It was Europe that gave the world “democracy” - via Ancient Athens - a hopeful flag for all who live under its rule. Yet modern democracy’s loose definition, and poor practice, make its realities hard to love. The result is deep dismay with politicians and a chance for hatemongers. Our antidote is to analyse the problems of politics and seek solutions. This short-documentary series will explore real-life European examples of democracy’s original approach, ones using citizen juries chosen by lot.
Cities in the Netherlands, France, Greece and assorted other EU locations.
What if we took the stage? We already have, in citizens’ juries in Ireland, on abortion, in Dutch cities via the G1000, and in Paris, via Conseils Citoyens. Madrid, Cambridge in England and Northern Ireland are doing, or soon to do, the same. Democratic transformation is here, we just need to look.
People will have broken free of the mental cage that has us think democracy means no more than some basic freedoms and occasional votes. They’ll have learned the original definition truly meant “government by the people”, not via elections but random selection and deliberation among citizens.
This short film series will help diagnose what ails our democracies – by exploring and exposing the structural faults of elections – then showcasing real-life solutions. A proof-of-concept film, shot in Ireland and already released, shows how public juries can step through the political deadlocks typifying electoral politics. A series of films, shot in EU countries and further afield, will show the scale of political progress already underway. This is that rare thing – good news about politics.
I've worked as a freelance and salaried reporter over 25 years, including five years in Brussels. I left a mainstream job at Reuters in 2005 with big questions about the poor state of our democracies and our media. This solutions-focused short film series is the fruit of that thinking.
All beings on the planet, not just the humans alive today. Direct beneficiaries will be those in the showcased centres but also those elsewhere who aspire to help change their political structures.
The core work featured in this application is to research and complete pre-production work for three of the short documentaries in the series, one in Athens, one in the Netherlands/France and one EU wide. Each episode will explore the real-life public juries at work.