35

Join a political party and become an activist for it. Being an activist gives you much more of a say in party policy and behaviour than J. Random Citizen because: You get to vote on internal party decisions, and since most people are not activists this gives you a disproportionate level of influence. The party needs activists and doesn't want to make them ...


17

I will take the bait since I was one of those that inhaled lot of tear gas on 10th of August 2018 and I am also following the local politics in Romania. Paul Johnson's answer is what I feel is the right answer legally and democratically. However, this also requires time (at least until the next elections). In Romania's case, you can also choose one of the ...


16

Most every democracy has free speech protections. The key to defending democratic principles is to use the hell out of them. Start a YouTube channel. Write a blog. Submit articles to web sites who share your opinions. Get active on social media. Start a local group with like-minded individuals. Make rational, passionate arguments for all to see. Use your ...


14

The bare minimum: VOTE As provided in Paul Johnson's answer, is to join the political party. That answer is specific to becoming an activist. However, there are many more things that can be done. Run for an elected office yourself. In many countries, there are lower level, more obscure, or more localized elected positions that are more easily obtainable. ...


14

Join a political party. Participation in political parties in Germany has been on the decline for the past few decades. That means that every single member has a much higher influence. Being a member of a party allows you to influence the decisions of the party to a certain degree. Most parties in Germany have a delegation system where the regional party ...


7

I'm sorry, but the answer won't contain anything earth shattering. Vote Donate to political campaigns. Politicians, whether you like it or not, listen to donors more than to regular citizens. Influence people - either regular citizens, or, if you manage to, politicians - through speech. Write blogs. Letters. Books. Speak to people. Convince them that A is ...


7

Change the Political Culture! Even if political leaders have just won an election, they usually worry about what will happen in the next election. So they worry about the political climate. They will not follow through with decisions if they are widely unpopular. What you can do is to do your small bit in influencing the public debate and culture. If a ...


5

Other answers have discussed various kinds of activism. However, while these methods have focused on time commitments like volunteering, protesting, phone banks, etc, there is another less direct form of activism, namely financial. This can be a monetary contribution directly to a particular candidate, or to a group whose cause you support, or to more ...


5

Yes. Ben Carson was invited to the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013 by President Obama. During his speech, Carson criticized the "moral decay [and] fiscal irresponsibility" of the Obama administration by indirectly comparing it to Ancient Rome. At the time, Carson was not known as a political figure, but was merely a famous pediatric neurosurgeon. You ...


3

Read Find out what others think of what "democracy principles" means. A lot of great scholars have written a lot of great things about these concepts. Being from the US, myself, I would naturally defer to the founding fathers of the US in a great many cases, but they are by no means the only people who have written on the topic! Think Why do we have ...


3

In many political systems there is the kind of "positive feedback" you describe. Go to your representative and tell them that you like something they did and that you want more of it, or that they should start doing something they hadn't considered yet. A single voice might not matter very much, but if there are many voices saying roughly the same it ...


2

There are couple of examples i can give from Turkey: Gold Mine project in Erzincan Thermal Power Plant projects in the city of Amasra, and Trakya region. Third Airport to Istanbul Most of these projects are still contested by the locals, but probably will be carried out. Most of the time the way to deal with locals is to promise them jobs in ...


2

The only real solution to NIMBYism is to move power from local towards national levels. Otherwise, you get... well... democracy. People want their political system to improve their own lives, and to represent their own interests. At a city or neighborhood level, increased development means higher density, more people, slower traffic, slower property ...


2

I disagree with you that citizens have no power in a democracy aside from voting and protest. Voting is quite powerful. If you want political power beyond the vote, you can write an influential book or conduct research on topics you are knowledgeable and passionate about. Politicians often use the works of others to inform their decisions. If you do not ...


1

Vote for them. While the lobbying mechanism also exists for individuals and interest groups as much as it does for businesses, normal citizens have one special power that no business has, and that is the right to put an X (or a 1,2,3) on a piece of paper. If you like what a party has been doing, and you think it will keep on doing the same you can vote ...


1

Other public interest groups are able to use the very same mechanisms, at least in theory, that are used by business interests. Labor unions, environmental groups, etc. lobby on behalf of their constituents. Here is a good basic overview of the different types of interests groups that try to influence public policy. In theory at least, the non-business ...


1

I like Philipp's answer. However, with the EU elections coming up, there is one more point. Volunteer for the campaign of the candidate you like best. (Probably after joining that party, but it is not usually required if you are willing to help.) Campaigning in the streets will probably only shift a few percentage points of the result, while social media ...


1

I'll answer with a personal example, as someone who prefers living in a free society but was born in one of the least democratic countries in the world. The solution is... Emigration If you look at our society from a wider perspective, there's absolutely no reason for a person to feel obligated to support a given country simply because they were born there....


1

There are some good answers here but I didn't see any mention of the ultimate power of the citizen, at least in the United States. Here we have the ability to recall elected officials. Get enough people to sign a petition and a special election will be called to decide if the official should get recalled out of office.


1

Organise a protest with a convergence of multiple actors. If there is sufficient anger among the public, it will escalate and become powerful enough to be taken seriously by the elite (like it just happened in France). It's a risk worth taking. If it does not escalate, then there is no sufficient fuel yet for it.


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