Democracy for Dinner – Sharing the burden of democracy

Democracy for Dinner is a platform for exploring policy issues and improving democracy.

We do this in a number of ways: 1) convening informal conversations (often over dinner) on topics related to democracy, community and representation; 2) supporting and facilitating engagement in democratic processes (e.g. ‘meet the candidates’ events for local, state and federal elections); and 3) hosting larger formal events that provoke engagement and discussion of issues relating to democracy.

The topics we explore range from policy, social, economic and environmental issues, as well as alternative models for democracy including mechanisms for representation, voting and decision-making. We encourage balanced views and a non-partisan approach to ensure events are inclusive and informative.

Democracy for Dinner grew out of a small group of residents from Castlemaine in Victoria, Australia who are passionate about our democratic systems, and how they represent (or don’t represent) people and communities.

If you would like to know more or to run events in your own town, please contact: info@democracy4dinner.org.

How do the dinner events work?

The local group nominates priority topics to explore throughout the year, and 1 or 2 members select a topic in advance to lead and learn through teaching, and share the burden of being informed, engaged citizens with fellow attendees. You don’t have to be an expert in the topic area, this is an opportunity for learning.

Speakers provide materials in advance for people who want to explore a topic in depth, and on the night speak to the group for 10-30 min, followed by guided conversation. Events are held over dinner in a relaxed, conversational environment, and offer a way to engage with locals in your area.

Are you a political party?

No. We have not party affiliations, our interest is in a strong community and having this reflected in those who represent us. We believe that our local, state and national governments should be the extension of our communities, not just about politics, political parties or vested interests.

We are committed to our communities working well together for the longer term, and leaving a better place for our children and grandchildren.