As a legislator, you can strengthen your voice and express yourself more frequently through social media and other digital channels where more and more of your voters are active. In many countries, you can learn quickly about the nature and benefits of new communications technologies and how to use them to connect with your constituents.
As a voter, you can get tips from your MP on how to strengthen your voice. Parliamentarians are well-versed in many practical and useful matters of political organization. Your city or region will have representatives in parliament who are likely to respond positively to requests for advice and assistance from constituents like you.
When asked, many parliamentarians will help citizens develop political platforms and the skills to campaign democratically for the causes and issues they support. Voters can use more and more online resources to help study how this is done, through real-life examples from different countries and cultures.
15 September is a good day to discuss key issues facing democracy. These include how to promote mutual respect and dialogue with opponents, honest governance, accessible and accountable parliamentarians and parliaments, the effective participation of women, the young and minorities in local, regional and national politics, and how to make elected officials more responsive to voters' demands and expectations.
Strengthen your voice by speaking up at public events. Sporting events with big crowds are good places for a short International Day of Democracy message. Radio and television broadcasts are especially effective at reaching large audiences, but local print media can also work well. You can raise the profile of International Day of Democracy in your town or village meetings, or perhaps stage a play with song and dance at a festival. Popular concerts are another good way to promote an event, especially if the performers themselves mention it during their performance. You can do this anywhere: out in the open, in schools and other public buildings, in village squares, universities, markets and shopping centres.
International Day of Democracy is best when it reflects the reality of your country, culture and society. Express yourself and your aspirations in your event to mark the day, ideally through specific messages, posters, broadcasts, and publications that speak to your fellow citizens. Please see our Resources page for materials that can be adapted to your situation and distributed as you see fit.
Parliamentarians can help citizens develop political platforms and the skills to campaign democratically for causes and issues.
parliaments have celebrated the International Day of Democracy since 2008
Join the conversation on Twitter using #democracyday or on IPU’s International Day of Democracy Facebook page.
International Day of Democracy provides a special opportunity for parliaments around the world to engage citizens in discussions about parliament and democracy.
Consider organizing a special event in commemoration of International Day of Democracy. More than 100 parliaments have organized such events in previous years – ranging from open days to essay-writing competitions, radio programmes and parliamentary debates.
You can find someinteresting examples of parliamentary activities from previous International Days in our Events page.
You may also wish to approach the local offices of the United Nations – and in particular the UN Development Programme – to explore possibilities for partnership to mark this important day.
Some ideas for activities follow – but remember that Democracy Day is often best when it reflects your own country, culture and society. What are your ideas? How can you make a difference?