Strengthening local democracy through dialogue | Prototype 2: Dialogue as a mandatory step
This solution wants to underline the fundamental role of citizens in local politics. The main idea is that decisions can only be approved when citizens have been included in the decision making process through citizen dialogue. When a politician comes up with an idea, he/she presents it to the citizens in order to receive feedback for it. Once this has been done, the politicians can go over the feedback and make a decision. The dialogue must be well documented and transparent so that the politicians can refer back to the dialogue as a way to explain why that particular decision has been made. This dialogue could be done in several ways through meetings, online participation, votes or community boards.
During the testing and discussing of this solution with our stakeholders we got valuable insights and made some adjustments to the concept. The dialogue as a mandatory step could be included in the decision-making process in the same way as is currently done in regards to the matter of gender equality. For every decision, the clerk or politician has to reflect on whether or not citizen dialogue is required in order to make a well informed decision. This would lead to systematic citizen dialogue and transparent way of justifying certain decisions.