National conversations
in The search for democratic renewal
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The three cases considered in this chapter were all in their own way ground-breaking and innovative approaches for bringing both the public and the expert 'voice' into the emerging New Social Democracy (NSD) politics. First, the 'People's Panel' was a consultation initiative which ran for the first term of former Prime Minister Tony Blair's New Labour government. Touted as a world-first, the panel consisted of 5,000 members of the public and was broadly representative of the British population. The second initiative considered is New Labour's 'Big Conversation'. This is arguably the largest consultation ever undertaken by a British political party and was designed to initiate a 'national conversation' with the British public. The conversation was about the future of the country and the content of New Labour's 2005 party manifesto. The third case is Kevin Rudd's federal Australian '2020 Summit' held in April 2008.

The search for democratic renewal

The politics of consultation in Britain and Australia

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