A Savanta ComRes poll for the new campaigning platform Democracy 3.0 has found that a majority of British adults, 57%, say they feel ‘powerless to change how things are done in this country’ and a mere 15% disagree. The survey reveals a majority feel that sense of powerlessness across every key demographic – age, sex, region and social grade.
Democracy 3.0 utilises technology similar to that used for online petition websites but, instead of relying on signatures alone, campaigns are brought to life through crowdfunding. Money raised through the platform pays for professional campaigners to be procured for each cause by Democracy 3.0, giving those without a voice access to the same resource as a professional campaign group or big business.
The survey also found:
- A majority, 53%, agree that ‘signing a petition can make people feel better but they are not generally an effective way to bring about change’
- Almost six in ten, 57%, believe that ‘without having the money to spend on a professional campaign, it is very difficult to influence politicians’
- 48% say they don’t feel their vote changes anything
- Just one in three (34%) believe that the views of their community are listened to at local level, falling to fewer than one in four (23%) at national level
The entrepreneur behind the new platform is former pollster and lobbyist Andrew Hawkins, who in 2003 established the polling firm ComRes which was acquired in 2019 by the insight firm Savanta.
Commenting on the launch, he said, “The Cameron lobbying scandal highlighted – again – the need to democratise the lobbying process, so this new platform will make it possible for anyone with the right idea to get access to the same resourcing and support for their campaign as a multinational business or NGO.
“The problem with digital activism, or so-called democracy 2.0, is that many people think signing an online campaign in itself brings about change – but it doesn’t. Working with literally hundreds of campaigns at ComRes, the most significant factor in determining success was always money. Without proper funding, even the most deserving campaign is unlikely to succeed.
“Democracy 3.0 will turbocharge democratic influence by turning good campaign ideas into powerful forces for change, helping people raise funding and spend it wisely with trusted professional campaign experts.