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Save Democracy – Abolish Voting

This talk by Paul Evans will offer democracy that we would choose now if we were starting to create liberal democracy from scratch.

The Levellers, formed out of the explosive tumult of the 1640s and the battlefields ofReferendums have a popular appeal. They promise to put ordinary voters in control, and sideline the self-serving elites.

Save Democracy – Abolish Voting sets out to offer an alternative way of managing a democracy that will achieve both of these aims in much more effective, and incorruptible way. It is a proposal that takes the best aspects of representative government while also introducing a much more direct and fair link between the citizen and their own government.

It is more than just an attack on the crude binary referendums though. It takes a radical route out of the sterile debate around electoral reform, questioning everything that is popularly thought about how democratic decision-making should be done.

We have slipped into the comfortable error of confusing government by electoral politics with popular sovereignty. In a less sophisticated age, it may have been the least-worst version of democracy that was available, but in an age of sophisticated communication and feedback monitoring, this is no longer the case.

If anything, politics had gradually turned into a retardant, not an accelerant to democracy. Modern electoral systems evolved in a very uneven way in response to particular political pressures. They were rarely ever deliberately designed to apply any sophisticated democratic logic. Instead, the universal franchise often happened in some token way where, we could all join in the illusion of an equal say in our own governance.

That token is a ballot paper that gives us control over only a small part of the decision-making chain (e.g. “a parliament”, or only a part of it in the UK’s case) by choosing from a limited set of options that we think we may want – in advance.

It shares control over our government very unevenly and unfairly. If we wanted to design a system in a way that helps wealthy and charismatic people con everyone easily, we could barely design anything better.

The book, and this talk, attempts to offer a version of democracy that we would choose now if we were starting to create liberal democracy from scratch, knowing what we know about feedback loops and the democratic flaws that have grown more pronounced as electoral government has evolved.

Save Democracy – Abolish Voting is a meditation on the nature of democracy in the digital age. It concludes with a proposal – a better alternative to electoral democracy for choosing and directing our government fairly and well.


Paul Evans is a trade union official working in the TV and Motion Pictures industry.

Save Democracy – Abolish Voting, (2017) was his first book. It draws on a range of life experiences, including the creation of large-scale e-Democracy platforms and programmes, establishing a successful worker co-op software company, union organising and various consultancy roles addressing problems around democracy in the digital age.

He lives in London with a wife and two children.


Entry £8, £4 concessions (free to Conway Hall Ethical Society members, who should book these tickets in advance via the Book Now button)
Event is subject to capacity, without exceptions. Space will be reserved for ticket holders.
Brockway Room (Ground floor – accessible. Induction loop audio). the Civil War, are central figures in the history of democracy. In this thrilling narrative, John Rees brings to life the raucous streets of London and the clattering printers’ workshops that stoked the uprising, the actions of the rank and file of the New Model Army and the furious Putney debates where the Levellers argued with Oliver Cromwell for the future of English democracy. This story reasserts the revolutionary nature of the 1642–51 wars and the role of ordinary people in this pivotal moment in history.

John Rees is an historian, broadcaster and campaigner. He is coauthor of A People’s History of London and author of The Leveller Revolution and Timelines: A Political History of the Modern World, among other titles. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at Goldsmith’s, University of London and a National Officer of the Stop the War Coalition.


Dr Paul Evans | talks | www


Date and Time:

13 May 2018 at 3:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Conway Hall
Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
0207 242 8034

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£8, £4 - Free

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Additional Information:

Doors 2.45pm. Start 3pm.

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