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Live Reporting

By Anna Browning, Holly Wallis, Laurence Peter, Alison Daye and Paul Harrison

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    Well, that's it, unlike democracy our marathon is at an end. But if you still have appetite for more, don't despair - you can review today's events on iplayer or iplayer radio or the Democracy Day page. Thank you for staying with us - and goodbye.

  2. Islam & democracy

    The World Debate

    Listen back to the BBC World Service debate on Islam and democracy, with Shaimaa Khalil chairing a live discussion involving Tariq Ramadan, Heba Raouf Ezzat and Shurooq Amin in London.

  3. Need for different platforms

    Arvind Gupta: Over-dependence on certain tools or platforms "can influence democracy, it's a worry". It gives some companies "a lot of control over our thinking".

  4. Digital divide?

    Emma Mulqueeny on the "digital divide": "The divide for me is between digital life and real life - online is real, not a separate thing. Bullying, illegal practice is the same whether online or offline." That mental separation is more of an issue than access to technology, she says, because "lots of people are working on that [access]".

  5. Voting privacy is key

    Rick Falkvinge (Sweden) warns that electoral voting on the internet at home is risky. There is a risk that a voter can come under pressure, from a spouse for example. "You need a physical space where the country ensures you have privacy - then go electronic."

  6. Young 'are politically engaged'

    Emma Mulqueeny of Rewired State, a digital innovation forum: "Young people are unbelievably political." She says electronic voting "makes a big difference to voter turnout".

  7. More languages online

    Arvind Gupta (India): "Content is consumed better if it's in a language people are comfortable with. They're able to engage better, have a better debate." He says it would be good to develop more voice software for the many people who are illiterate in democracies like India.

  8. More influence through web

    Rick Falkvinge (Sweden Pirate Party): "A new generation is taking influence for granted, demanding to be listened to."

  9. Surveillance problem

    What about government surveillance on the web? Twitter's Vijaya Gadde says Twitter has filed a lawsuit against the US government, "but citizens also need to take a stand".

  10. Have Your Say

    World Have Your Say BBC Democracy Day special is on now: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02gthtk

  11. 'Vigorous debates online'

    Do people only connect with like-minded people on the web? Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's manager of legal affairs and user rights, says "it's not just an echo chamber". In the Scottish referendum there were "vigorous debates online - millions of tweets".

  12. Live debate on democracy and technology

    Democracy and Technology debaters

    Panel discussion: How much is the internet changing democracy?

  13. 'Listen, inform, engage'

    Arvind Gupta, new media manager for Bharatiya Janata Party in India: "Listen, inform, engage - the listening part is very important, not just in the election campaign. Listening will have to be improved by politicians."

  14. Revolution in media

    Rick Falkvinge of Sweden's Pirate Party: Internet is as big a change as the printing press was. And again, he says, "a small self-serving elite is trying to be the gatekeepers". "When the truth is democratised nobody has a monopoly on truth - it shatters old structures, and now they're defending themselves."

  15. E-democracy is unpredictable

    The democracy and technology debate is under way. Bill Thompson, co-host of World Service's Click programme, says you can't predict how the internet will affect even small things, like shopping - so much less a really complex thing such as democracy.

  16. Post update

    On the World Have Your Say Facebook page, readers continue to discuss Democracy and Islam. Sachin Laala writes: Democracy is meant for supreme harmony within humanity and moral boundaries. Ngetich Japheth writes: Individual's freedom is limitless but it comes with a consequence. By intruding other people's beliefs you have entered within their boundaries of freedom. Win me over to your beliefs by your words not by the sword and the gun. Paul Callow writes: I think Islam and a country that has personal freedoms and democracy is not a good match. Yet millions of muslims want to live in the free west where they know we have freedoms etc and that confuses me.

  17. Post update

    "Who needs democracy anyway?" That's what people around the world discussed with Chilean author Marta Lagos on our @viabbc Twitter Q&A this afternoon. A flavour of the conversation here:

  18. Your democracy pics

    Here are some photos you sent in of democracy in action this month:

    Esther Lenthall pic of protest against dolphin hunt
    Image caption: London, 17 Jan 15: Protest against slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan (pic from Esther Lenthall)
    Stroud protest against incinerator
    Image caption: Stroud, Gloucestershire, 17 Jan 15: A protest against construction of a giant incinerator (pic from Ruth Davey)
    Liberia campaigners
    Image caption: Liberia, 13 Jan 15: Campaign against new development on Pagos Island (pic from Joseph Doe)
  19. Post update

    Earlier in the day Anas Altikriti, chairman of the Muslim Association of Britain and president of the Cordoba Foundation, a think tank focusing on Islamic issues, took part in a multilingual discussion with our audiences about whether democracy has failed the Arab world. Catch up on the conversation here.

  20. Post update

    BBC Home Editor Mark Easton tweets @timberners_lee and @GuidoFawkes talk to me about digital transparency in government for #BBCDemocracyDay at 6 on @BBCNews

  21. Post update

    Well they do say democracy is all about freedom of speech, and looks like #bbcdemocracyday has the conversation flowing. Figures show so far there have been an estimated 10,775 tweets mentioning that hashtag alone - and at its peak there were around 83 tweets every two minutes.

  22. China 'not stable'

    Dissident Wuer Kaixi: The thousands of uprisings in China in the past few years "shows we are not satisfied". Democracy might be "dangerous" for a short time, he says, "but how much more chaotic can it be compared with Communist China"? Currently China is not stable, he says.

  23. Hong Kong 'let down by UK'

    What does dissident Wuer Kaixi think of the recent Hong Kong democracy protests? Disappointed, he says, but more disappointed with the UK Foreign Office, for its "appeasement" of Beijing. He says the former colonial power should have taken responsibility for the Hong Kong people.

    Wuer Kaixi
  24. Campaign goes on

    Wuer Kaixi says he's willing to go back to China even if it means prison. He says he is determined to continue the campaign for democracy. He is asked: Can there be democracy in China in your lifetime? His reply: Absolutely, remember Gandhi.

  25. Post update

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Helen Deller, BBC World News Publicist

    tweets: Chinese govt not against corruption they are corruption despite the drive says Wu'er Kaixi on @BBCHARDtalk #BBCDemocracyDay

  26. 'Don't appease Communists'

    Chinese dissident Wuer Kaixi rejects the argument that the Chinese Communists are delivering stability, conquering poverty. He says similar arguments were used in the 1920s and 1930s by those who appeased Hitler's Nazi Germany and Italy's Fascist dictator Mussolini. The Communists cannot get rid of corruption, he adds.

  27. Post update

    Stephen Sackur interviews Chinese dissident Wu'er Kaixi. Watch the live stream now and tweet your questions to @BBCHardtalk using the hashtag #BBCDemocracyDay

  28. Post update

    Remember this moment in 1989? This is when the tanks rolled in to Tiananmen Square to crush the pro-democracy protest.

    Tiananmen Square
  29. Communists taken by surprise

    Wuer Kaixi

    Chinese dissident Wuer Kaixi says the Communist Party had no idea how to handle the democracy movement. The images of mass protest were being broadcast to the world.

    "When [ex-Premier] Li Peng met us the decision had already been taken [to crack down on the pro-democracy students]."

  30. Post update

    He continues: The Chinese military crackdown in Tiananmen Square in 1989 meant "we paid a great price, I haven't been able to see my parents, family for the last 25 years - but it doesn't compare with those who lost their lives".

    "We didn't want our lives to be designed by somebody else. Deng Xiaoping just opened the window a little, not the door."

  31. 'Great price paid in Tiananmen'

    Chinese dissident Wuer Kaixi on HARDTalk: "I don't think I've done anything wrong... would I do it again? My answer would be very hesitant, because the outcome was nothing we could have anticipated."

  32. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Charlotte Sexton, UK, emails: We live in a democracy, but how democratic is the UK when only part of the country's population are engaging with the process of electing its government? A disproportionate amount of people who weren't represented are young people and those from low income backgrounds. Politicians need to demonstrate a real commitment to democracy by reaching out to less engaged groups.

  33. Greece reinventing democracy?

    greece

    Western democracy is alive and kicking in its birthplace - Greece, where a key election takes place on Sunday. Left-wing Syriza is tipped to win, and aims to renegotiate Greece's huge debts, rejecting austerity. It is likely to shake up EU politics. BBC Today programme presenter John Humphrys reports from Athens.

  34. Post update

    BBC World Service tweets Chinese dissident Wu'er Kaixi on @BBCHARDtalk at 16.32GMT http://bbc.in/15rVVMy #BBCDemocracyDay

  35. Radio 4 PM Programme

    Have TV shows like House of Cards, The West Wing and Borgen aided our understanding of what makes politicians tick - or have they fostered a cynicism and growing disenchantment with the mainstream parties?

    From 17:00 GMT, BBC Radio 4's PM programme talks to politician Lord Dobbs, who wrote House of Cards, and Professor Steven Fielding, author and University of Nottingham political expert.

  36. China & democracy

    Chinese women

    "Some commentators have argued over the years that, whatever its material growth, China will always be held back by its lack of democracy," writes Jonathan Fenby, China director at the research service Trusted Sources. So is a lack of democracy really a problem for China?

  37. Chinese dissident on HARDTalk

    Chinese dissident Wuer Kaixi - who played a prominent role in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests - is the guest on HARDTalk at 16:30 GMT. The half-hour interview will be broadcast live - you can watch the webcast on this live page. It will also go out live on World TV and World Service Radio.

    Wuer Kaixi - 2014 file pic
  38. Democracy Day

    Want to delve some more? You can explore online features, TV interviews and radio reports as part of the BBC's Democracy Day coverage.

  39. Zambia election

    Voters queue at Kanyama primary in Lusaka. 20 Jan 2015
    Image caption: There was a long queue of voters when polls opened in the Lusaka suburb of Kanyama

    Meanwhile, in an example of democracy in action voters in Zambia are going to the polls in a presidential election caused by the death of Michael Sata last year.

    The vote is expected to be a close contest between Edgar Lungu from the governing Patriotic Front and Hakainde Hichilema from the United Party for National Development.

  40. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Nick Brown emails: It is not democracy that is the problem. It's the outcome of the democratic process. As one example, consider the 'do nothing' Senate & Congress in Washington elected as a result of the campaign money raised from the wealthy and special interests. On the other hand, in the UK, there's the undemocratic Upper House of elitists. What is needed, for every country in the world, is a democratic process that is truly by the people and for the people.

  41. Post update

    When sport mixes with politics. Should competitors express political views, asks the World Service.

    Milorad Cavic
  42. BBC News School Report

    Professor Michael Sandel

    Radio 4's The Public Philosopher, Professor Michael Sandel, speaks to BBC News School Reporters from Lincoln Castle Academy about their views on the voting age, whether political parties were distinctive, and the standard of political debate in Parliament.

  43. Post update

    Did you miss the Islam debate? Don't fear, it's on iplayer here.

    panel
  44. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Supanut Leepaisomboon in Bangkok, Thailand emails: Democracy is a form of cultural imperialism because it originated in the West and then spread all over the world. Although it worked in many countries, there are places where democracy isn't working, or cannot be applied at all, due to cultural/historical factors. In a number of places, western democracy has been introduced at the expense of localized, traditional style of government that may have dominated a country for centuries.

  45. New Delhi

    rally in Delhi

    Amit Bhaskar, in New Delhi, sent this picture of a rally for Indian politician Arvind Kejriwal.

    He says the massive turnout gave a "new angle to the upcoming Delhi election", adding: "The real and true sense of democracy where age, religion, cast, [and] gender broke all the barriers of the true democratic India."

  46. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Patrick Handscombe in Colchester emails: Political parties are the cause of current political apathy and low election turnouts, and cannot provide or be the cure. The current populist parties are a vain attempt at a solution. Most of the electorate do not understand how our constitution actually works. Most want a Parliament of independent, representative, local, non-professional MPs, and a non-party Government of talents. No constitutional changes are necessary for these to come about. Compulsory voting, proportional representation and mass internet referendums are dangerous red herrings.

  47. Dramatising Democracy

    James Graham

    Playwright James Graham tells the BBC he enjoys choosing events and issues from the past to look at democracy. Can TV drama change the national debate? Maybe not, he says "But just putting the conversation out there... and having it talked about in the news... can lead us in a particular direction".

  48. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Louise Matthews tweets: "Free societies are painful but there's no other way" #BBCDemocracyDay

  49. Post update

    You may have guessed by now BBC Democracy Day has gone global and proving it is the BBC Vietnamese Facebook page which has a lively debate going - as have other BBC language services.

    BBC facebook page
  50. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Jonathan Turner emails: The problem with the UK is that we don't have a democracy in the sense that our main Parliament is elected by a democratic electoral system. Our system is designed for a two party state and has almost always elected a majority government on a minority of the vote. It's quite conceivable that we could get a majority government when they have got less votes than the main opposition party. So we have no credibility when telling anyone else they should move to democracy.

  51. Images from Islam debate

    panel
    audience
  52. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Edwina Currie tweets: Happy 750th birthday, Parliament! Something to be very proud of in our great country #DemocracyDay

  53. Post update

    Good - because there's plenty to come, including a discussion with for Wu'er Kaixi - one of the leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. That will be live streamed here at 1630 GMT, or if you're out of range it will be shown on BBC World.

  54. Post update

    Audience

    So who's up for more?

  55. Dramatising Democracy

    The BBC's Radio Theatre is hosting a Dramatising Democracy live event from 14:30 GMT. Those taking part include:

    • Lords Dobbs - politician and author of House of Cards
    • James Graham - playwright who penned This House for The National Theatre among other things
    • Paula Milne - screenwriter whose works include The Politician's Wife
    • Trudi-Ann Tierney - TV producer who now writes scripts for Afghan TV
  56. Post update

    An appeal for pictures...

    BBC tweet
  57. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Struan RT Robertson tweets: Debate is tainted by facile historical comparisons. Religious and political instances of violence don't have same motives. #BBCDemocracyDay

  58. 'Don't teach Islam in schools'

    Kuwaiti artist Shurooq Amin: Islam shouldn't be part of the school syllabus - it's a religion.

    The Islam debate has finished.

  59. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Murtala Wazeer from Lagos, Nigeria emails: The talk about governance may not really be about the compatibility of democracy and Islam. Islam is democratic; the Khilafat and Shura have democratic elements because they involve the people or masses. The problem we have today is, trying to define democracy in tune with Western capitalist democracy.

  60. Post update

    Nick Robinson

    If you missed our first panel of the day from the BBC's Radio Theatre, you can now catch it on iplayer. BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson was in charge and he and the panel discussed Can Democracy Work?

  61. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Luciano Balloi from Cheshire, UK, emails: Democracy is far from perfect, but it's the best we've got. We should remember that this is our own version of democracy, one of the many possible. It is peculiar to the Western world, as it is the outcome of centuries of cultural, social, economic, and political evolution that led us through wars (political and religious), revolutions, and many strongly unpleasant historical happenings. One of the main factors allowing the development of our democracy has been the secularisation of our society.

  62. Post update

    Marta Lagos, who is also the author of Barometro CERC, which monitored Chilean transition to democracy from 1987 to the present, will answer your questions on the topic "Who needs democracy anyway?" from her base in Chile. So please, let us have your thoughts, contributions and questions.

  63. Post update

    BBC tweet

    We have a Twitter question and answer session with Marta Lago, founding director of opinion poll organisation Latinobarometro corporation.

  64. Call to protest

    Prof Tariq Ramadan: We have to stop being obsessed with just Israel and the Palestinians. What about Boko Haram in Nigeria? He urges Douglas Murray to join him in protesting against Boko Haram violence. "Absolutely", Murray replies.

  65. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Bryan Blears tweets: #BBCDemocracyDay Democracy is about giving the non-political class a platform to take part in decision-making

  66. Scottish referendum

    Labour MSP Jenny Marr

    The BBC's Glenn Campbell is at Holyrood to discuss how levels of political participation have changed following the Scottish referendum in September. Labour MSP Jenny Marra says the vote saw a surge in people engaging with politics up and down the country - no matter which party they were from.

  67. Too many excuses

    Journalist Douglas Murray on Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris: A lot of excuses are being given to people. People ask: Why did they do it? Is it the banlieues (Paris suburbs)? The world is filled with inconsistencies - society's like that... But they are being taught to feel these grievances.

  68. Avoiding 'double standards'

    Prof Tariq Ramadan: You should be able to question history (referring to the ban on Holocaust denial in France)... I'm against blasphemy laws - we need more education about living together. We have to look at the causes of violence - we can't just say violence is coming from Muslims. Who's supporting dictatorships? What about the Gulf states?

  69. Heretics

    Journalist Douglas Murray on Islam: The terrorists must be deemed heretics, they must be cast out by other Muslims. (Audience applause.)

  70. Islam debate live now

    Islam debate
    Islam debate
  71. Threats to democracy

    On The World at One: Economist columnist Philip Coggan contemplates whether the media plays a significant role in people's disillusionment with politics.

  72. Defying censorship in Kuwait

    Shurooq Amin, Kuwaiti artist and poet: After her exhibition was shut down by the authorities, she says, "I came back stronger and more outspoken than ever". "I can debate my critics on social media - but I have to deal with the consequences."

  73. Threats to democracy

    What are the threats to our democracy in 2015? Philip Coggan - a columnist at the Economist magazine and author of the book The Last Vote: The Threats to Western Democracy - talks to Martha Kearney live on The World at One.

  74. Individual grievances

    Douglas Murray, British newspaper columnist: The main problem is not that the West is not inclusive enough. It's the narrative of grievance among some individuals - some of whom are in highly paid jobs.

  75. Written constitutions

    Right now on The World at One - Clive Coleman has been talking to people trying to crowdsource a written UK constitution.

  76. Narrow interpretation of Islam

    Islam scholar Prof Tariq Ramadan: The narrow interpretation of Islam has to be challenged, it's an interpretation outside the accepted diversity. The problem is interpretation of the scriptural sources, verses taken out of context.

  77. Concern is rising violence

    Egyptian Tahrir Square activist Heba Raouf Izzat: The concern is rising violence. I don't see a solution coming from politicians, states that have exercised violence against their own people.

  78. Democracy in Afghanistan

    Shukria Barakzai - a Kabul MP - tells the BBC's Afghanistan programme: "Britain is the mother of democracy. In the meantime I know, democracy in Afghanistan is just like a little baby and it needs to be taken care of."

  79. Post update

    Simon de Montfort

    It is said England is the Mother of Parliaments, and it was the 1265 parliament of Simon de Montfort, the "ideologically-driven" rebel earl of Leicester, which provided the pattern card for Westminster. He might have died in battle just a year later, but as Luke Foddy says, his legacy is pretty impressive.

  80. Islam and Democracy - revolution needed?

    The Islam and Democracy debate is under way. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told Muslim scholars that Islam needed a revolution. How many of the audience agree, asks chair Shaimaa Khalil? More than half put up their hands.

  81. Best of UK Parliament

    Archive image of Parliament

    "You are no Parliament. I will put an end to your sitting." Experts pick out some of Westminster's most memorable speeches from the past 750 years. Feature by BBC's Andy Walker here.

  82. Post update

    Meanwhile, a multilingual conversation focusing on whether democracy has failed the Arab world has been going on at our @viabbc Twitter account. Anas Altikriti, chairman of the Muslim Association of Britain and president of the Cordoba Foundation - a think tank focusing on Islamic issues - has been at our London office answering your questions.

    Democracy day twitter Q&A with Anas Altikriti
  83. Post update

    The World at One tweets And on #BBCDemocracyDay @colemancr finds out how to crowdsource a constitution, with @LSEPubAffairs #wato

  84. Post update

    Trends

    And we're moving on up! #DemocracyDay and #BBCDemocracyDay are climbing the UK trending chart on Twitter.

  85. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Harriet Green, tweets: The suffragettes gave me the vote by throwing themselves under a horse. We must keep democracy alive. #BBCDemocracyDay

  86. Islam and democracy debate

    Our next live debate is called Islam and Democracy - at 13:00 GMT in the BBC Radio Theatre. Watch the live webcast on this live page, or you can listen on World Service radio. (On iPlayer here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldserviceradio) The discussion is chaired by Shaimaa Khalil (On Twitter - @Shaimaakhalil).

  87. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Wazeer Murtala from Lagos, Nigeria, emails: The emphasis should be on the rule of law as the most pivotal elements of democracy. Our democratic institutions are weak; the Executive still exert influence on the judiciary, the police force can be easily influenced and, to say the truth, some top guns are above the law. Our democracy has failed us so far, but we are still optimistic. It is the only alternative. With some amendments, we'll get it right...

    .

  88. Power of African leaders

    Former Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade
    Image caption: Former Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade

    Some African leaders try to cling on to power, but others have been forced out through popular protests. The BBC's Maud Jullien looks at the varied picture of presidential power across Africa in this feature.

  89. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Charles Ogle emails: We live in a modern world of communication, not the medieval and Victorian institutions that govern us today in the Houses of Parliament.

  90. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Bonti Benjamin from Ghana, emails: Democracy can be enhanced in Africa if our leaders factor the ideas of the masses into day-to-day activities. We must ensure that democracy brightens every corner of our country.

  91. Spirit of collaboration needed

    panel

    Some closing comments at the Africa democracy debate:

    Robtel Neajai Pailey (Liberian): Diaspora Africans, when they go back, need a spirit of collaboration, not condescension.

    Ayat Mneina (Libyan): People outside Africa should realise that building democracy is a long process.

    The debate is now over.

  92. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Lewis Gordon emails: As human nature is flawed, so is democracy, but there is simply no alternative. We have to make it work, and to do that people have to accept that democracy is as much about submitting to the will of the majority (or its nearest equivalent) as it is getting their own way.

  93. Power of social media

    Social media has a vital role, says Libyan Ayat Mneina - it's difficult to silence, and gave young people a platform during the Libyan revolution.

  94. The men who made Magna Carta

    How did the Magna Carta - "the Great Charter" - become, over the centuries, the basis and byword for the freedom, justice and democracy enjoyed by billions across the world? Explore the BBC's interactive guide.

  95. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Kev Leary in Sunderland, UK, emails: We can only have democracy while we are a secular country. As soon as any religious group claims to have rights above and beyond any other group in society some of us will be disenfranchised.

  96. Education problems in Nigeria

    panel

    Jason Njoku highlights another problem in Nigeria: Those who come back from the West get elite status, but unfortunately it's difficult to find very well-educated people in Nigeria, as the education system has broken down, he says.

  97. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Georgina Harmsworth tweets: We need to picture economic equality if we want true democracy #BBCDemocracyDay

  98. Has democracy failed the Arab world?

    Anas Altikriti

    The BBC is hosting a multilingual Twitter Q&A on the topic "Has democracy failed the Arab world?" from 1200-1300 GMT. Join Anas Altikriti, chairman of the Muslim Association of Britain and president of the Cordoba Foundation think tank, as he asks for your opinions. Follow the @viabbc discussion here.

  99. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Helen Fuller emails: Internet democracy is the biggest threat to traditional political systems and the greatest opportunity for humanity. But can the electorate be trusted to make the right decisions? Should internet voting be confined to TV reality shows or might we find that in a few years time everyone will be voting on line?

  100. Rwanda not all rosy now

    Liberian academic Robtel Neajai Pailey challenges Njoku's view of Rwanda: A lot of Rwandese abroad say President Kagame is a problem - people can't express dissent, she argues.

  101. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Susan Lodder emails: Democracy is not perfect but the alternative is unthinkable. Keep democracy alive and use your vote.

  102. Post update

    BBC Africa tweets Does Rwanda qualify as a democracy? @JasonNjoku thinks so. He praises the country's "leadership and long-term thinking".

  103. Praise for Rwanda

    Businessman Jason Njoku contrasts Rwanda with Nigeria: I was amazed how clean and efficient Kigali (Rwandan capital) is. President Kagame brought in young people with fresh ideas. In Nigeria that doesn't happen - it's still a requirement for somebody high up to give you that position.

  104. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    David Bowes from Middlesborough, UK, emails: Change the voting system. 'First Past the Post' is archaic, not representative of the increasingly switched on and distrusting electorate, it's eroding democratic credibility of Westminster. 'Safe seats' under FPTP are destructive to democracy and leave huge numbers of voices and opinions not represented. We need consensus governance reflecting the complexities of our interconnected societies. We need many voices not one.

  105. Blocks on youth in Africa

    An audience member in the African democracy debate: Younger generation is not being given the chance to participate in politics, because of religion, voting on ethnic grounds and respect for your elders.

  106. Destabilising democracy

    Can modern democracy withstand the forces that threaten to destabilise it - such as extremist attacks or even everyday voter apathy? BBC Radio 4's Today programme heard from Sylvie Bermann, French ambassador to the UK, and Matthew Barzun, US ambassador to the UK.

  107. Post update

    Watch democracy in action. Democracy Live is live paging the House of Commons and House of Lords debates here.

  108. Tribal politics

    Jason Njoku, from Nigeria, complains that in Nigeria politics still comes down to "what tribe are you from"?

  109. Africa democracy panel

    Africa debate - panel

    The panel (left to right): Chairman Alex Jakana, Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghanaian politician), Jason Njoku (Nigerian businessman), Ayat Mneina (Libyan youth activist), Robtel Neajai Pailey (Liberian academic).

  110. Get involved

    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

    Ruth Davey emailed this picture she took on Saturday which she says captures the principles of democracy. She took it at a demonstration in Stroud against Eric Pickle's decision to sign a contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty to build an incinerator nearby - the decision is being heavily opposed.

    Ask the people placard at a demonstration in Stroud
  111. Post update

    audience

    So is Africa inventing democracy? The current debate in the BBC's Radio Theatre is being closely watched by its audience.

  112. Political scandals plague Africa

    Jason Njoku, founder of Iroko Partners, African online entertainment business: In Nigeria if you're in political office you make a lot of money. Every week there's a political scandal, with someone's hand in the till. But nothing ever happens.

  113. Need to fight corruption

    Robtel Neajai Pailey, Liberian academic: Corruption is a problem - politicians signing concession deals which don't benefit people on the ground. Multinationals are complicit in that, and it needs citizen engagement to expose the powers that be.

  114. Post update

    Lenin: No fan of democracy

    To understand modern democracy, it is necessary first to forget about the ancient Greeks, argues Professor Conor Gearty, director of the Institute of Public Affairs. He tracks twists and turns in people's view of democracy - from Russia's Lenin (whose head is pictured above) to UK comedian Russell Brand - as he asks whether it is possible to save it?

  115. Challenge power of presidents

    Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghanaian opposition leader (New Patriotic Party): I'm not happy with the amount of power presidents have - the question is, how can we get more people involved in the process, to say no, the balance should not be this way?

  116. Libyan youth took up arms

    Ayat Mneina, Libyan online political activist says: In Libya groups don't have allegiance to one party, or to a state. Young people have been pushed into the background. The governments are made up of a majority older male demographic. But it was the young who largely took to the streets. Disenfranchised youth took up arms.

  117. Get involved

    Email talkingpoint@bbc.co.uk

    John Richards emails: We do not have any right to regard ourselves as the 'Mother of Democracy', or to lecture the rest of the world on the matter. We need a proper secular democracy with a written constitution and bill of rights, including the right to own our homes and the land they stand on, if we expect to be taken seriously in the 21st century. Keep the monarchy if you want by all means, but not as head of government or armed forces.

  118. Africa democracy debate

    Live debate is under way now in Radio Theatre: Is Africa reinventing democracy? Follow the webcast on this live page.

  119. The Public Philosopher: Why Democracy?

    the public philosopher being recorded in the Palace of Westminster

    Are you interested in hearing more on the question, Why Democracy? If so, you might want to listen back to a special edition of Radio 4's The Public Philosopher, in which Michael Sandel, professor of government at Harvard University, speaks to an audience of MPs, peers and the public deep inside the Palace of Westminster.

  120. Palestinian democracy's difficulties

    Hamas supporters

    The BBC's Yolande Knell in the West Bank city of Ramallah examines the problems bedevilling Palestinian democracy, as Hamas and Fatah remain rivals for power. Read her analysis here.

  121. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    The Crick Centre

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay we've been looking at links between Democracy and Queen's song 'I want to break free' #DemocracyDay

  122. Post update

    BBC Africa tweets Follow #BBCDemocracyDay to participate in our debate on the question: Is Africa re-inventing democracy? Use this hashtag to send comments.

  123. Get involved

    Email talkingpoint@bbc.co.uk

    Graham Hodgin emails: Democracy, yes! But How to implement it? Parliamentary Democracy increasingly looks less and less democratic. We need a broader debate.

  124. Post update

    Poet and activist Shurooq Amin tweets Democracy is more than just a #vote. It is rule of law, freedom of expression & media, minority rights, etc. #DemocracyDay @BBCWomansHour

  125. Is Africa reinventing democracy? - live debate

    Coming up next in the BBC Radio Theatre at 11:00 GMT: Is Africa reinventing democracy? You can watch a live webcast here on our live page.

    Panellists include Ghanaian opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo and DR Congo's Katanga Province Governor Moise Katumbi.

  126. Woman's Hour

    Woman's Hour hears from members of the Girl Guides - who have introduced a Parliament badge to encourage girls to talk about politics. One Girl Guide, Olivia, tells the programme that most girls at her school do not know much about politics.

  127. Woman's Hour

    Guests on Woman's Hour argue that Western-style democracy cannot be imposed everywhere across the world - first nations need certain institutions and standards.

  128. Post update

    Jesse Owens's success dented Hitler's attempt to use the Berlin Games for propaganda purposes

    The BBC's Dan Roan finds out whether democracy matters in sport? Above is a picture of Jesse Owens, whose success dented Hitler's attempt to use the Berlin Games for propaganda purposes.

  129. Woman's Hour

    A spokeswoman for the No More Page Three campaign group - which has pushed for removing the pictures of topless women in The Sun newspaper - says it is amazing how many young women have been involved in the drive. Three girl guides are also weighing in on the discussion.

  130. Woman's Hour

    Helen Pankhurst, granddaughter of Suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst and great-granddaughter of Emmeline, welcomes the rise of single issue campaigns, on Women's Hour. Women are saying "it's not good enough and we are going to change things".

  131. Post update

    Trending map

    Looks like the BBC's democracy day has struck a chord - worldwide. Look at this map, to see where the twitter hashtag #bbcdemocracyday is trending

  132. Get involved

    Email talkingpoint@bbc.co.uk

    David Bowes from Middlesbrough emails: Change the voting system. FPTP is archaic, not representative of the increasingly 'switched on and distrusting electorate', it's eroding democratic credibility of Westminster. Blair in particular wielded enormous power with a relatively low share of the overall vote. 'Safe seats' under FPTP are destructive to democracy and leave huge numbers of voices and opinions not represented.

  133. Woman's Hour

    Radio 4's Woman's Hour is hearing about the involvement of medieval women in the development of Parliament.

  134. MPs optimistic about UK democracy

    Some closing comments from the democracy panellists:

    Douglas Carswell MP: Optimistic, because the internet will help the public to hold politicians to account.

    Ken Clarke MP: Optimistic, because the system hasn't failed.

    The live debate from the BBC Radio Theatre is now over.

  135. Woman's Hour

    is celebrating BBC Democracy Day on Twitter too. @janegarvey1's discussing what democracy means to you. Do you vote? Do you care? Why? Get in touch @BBCWomansHour.

  136. Get involved

    Email talkingpoint@bbc.co.uk

    Susan Lodder emails: Democracy is not perfect but the alternative is unthinkable. Keep democracy alive and use your vote.

  137. 'Listen to youth in Egypt'

    Nick Robinson asks Heba Raouf Ezzat (Egyptian activist): What is necessary to make democracy take root in Egypt?

    She says: There's a rising disenchantment, and the youth should be listened to more. The political elite took over after the Tahrir protests. Old parties came back to negotiate, but youth were left out of the equation. In Tunisia the level of education is higher, the democracy index shows that smaller countries rank higher in democracy. In bigger countries the apparatus works differently.

  138. Woman's Hour

    Speaker of the House of Lords Baroness de Souza tells BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour that the UK should be making it easier for women to enter the House of Lords.

  139. Need to explain issues to public

    Audience member Rebecca Scott says: The main problem with referendums is the issues are often complex, the electorate doesn't always understand. The great success of the Scottish referendum was that the issues were explained well. You should give people enough time to have the issues explained.

  140. Post update

    Mary Morgan tweets Prepping for #BBCDemocracyDay debate on African democracy w @AMneina, @NAkufoAddo, @JasonNjoku & Robtel Neajai Pailey. Join us online at 11!

  141. Get involved

    Tweet @bbcworldservice

    Utterly B. Groovy tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay #democracy debates are all about personality! Where's the breakdown of all the party policies. That's what matters most!

  142. Women's Hour

    Is democracy wasted on some people - Women's Hour asks?

  143. Close-up view of panel in democracy debate

    Panellists in debate

    Panellists (left to right): Joan Hoey (Economist Intelligence Unit), Douglas Carswell (UKIP MP), Sadiq Khan (Labour MP), Ken Clarke (Conservative MP), Heba Raouf Ezzat (activist from Egypt's Tahrir protests).

  144. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Sue Reece tweets: #DemocracyDay 750th anniversary De Montfort parliament. How many realise how much blood has been split for the rights we have today? Vote!

  145. Post update

    Map of world protest

    Alongside the rise to prominence of populist movements, there has been an upsurge of popular protest in many parts of the world in recent years. The Economist Intelligence Unit has put together a map charting protests between 2009-2014.

  146. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Danielle tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay should the parties tell us what the policies are so the public would have a better understanding

  147. Not much enthusiasm for referendums

    An interesting audience show of hands in the democracy debate:

    Chairman Nick Robinson asks: Who wants to be consulted more on policies between elections? More direct democracy outside elections? Fewer than half the audience - not necessarily representative of the British public - put their hands up.

  148. Get involved

    Tweet @bbcworldservice

    Steve Weeks tweets: #DemocracyDay It's a Trade-Off. Do we want the power to be representative, effective, competent, consumerist or ideological?

  149. Get involved

    Email talkingpoint@bbc.co.uk

    Angus Ricks from Oxford emails: Democracy is not about having to participate and be active all the time, it is the ability not to have to worship a Monarch, or a dictator, or a whatever; it's the ability to criticise the government and not be locked away. When a democracy fails it is not due to the lack of participation, it's through a lack of resistance to tyrants and bullies. The current democracy in the UK is far from fair, and it needs improving, but we need to appreciate our wealth of freedoms compares to many other areas of the world.

  150. Big ideas 'from bottom-up'

    Sadiq Khan, Labour MP: Big ideas come from bottom-up, not just top-down.

  151. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Alexander Ballingder tweets: Democracy is overrated. Leaders should be chosen by a Takeshi's castle style television show. Or a drinking contest #BBCDemocracyDay

  152. Can democracy work? Live debate in Radio Theatre

    Panel and audience in Radio Theatre democracy debate
  153. Get involved

    Tweet @bbcworldservice

    Andy Williamson tweets: It's somehow comforting to see that #BBCDemocracyDay is trending behind the #cricket and #CoronationStreet. So very British :-)

  154. UK is 'most centralised democracy'

    Sadiq Khan, Labour shadow justice minister: In UK we need a "people's convention". We need to speak to people round the country, discuss how to make them more engaged in democracy. There have been referendums - whether to have a London mayor, the Scottish yes or no to independence vote. But UK is the most centralised democracy in the world.

  155. Get involved

    Tweet @bbcworldservice

    Arpan tweets: Gap between values of the pol. parties and those of people is the reason for disengagement with democracy. #BBCDemocracyDay

  156. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Jamie Bartlett tweets: I hope the BBC will also take a decent critical look at the role - good & bad - the media play in our democracy. #BBCDemocracyDay

  157. Post update

    trending

    The debate is gaining momentum. #DemocracyDay and #BBCDemocracyDay are both trending on Twitter in the UK right now.

  158. Post update

    Shurooq Amin tweets In the waiting room of BBC's Woman's Hour. Program begins in half an hour. Stay tuned for a discussion… http://instagram.com/p/yEipuQofG0/

  159. Post update

    She continues: Young people don't stick to ideologies - sometimes it's anger that sends them into the streets. That's why they protested in Egypt in 2011. But there wasn't a single ideology, people didn't have a plan in Tahrir Square. They started disagreeing. And there wasn't a plan to change the state itself. So the state took over again.

  160. Egyptian state 'took over again'

    Heba Raouf Ezzat, Egyptian political activist: It's very important to look at ideology. Big party blocs are shifting, ideology isn't what it used to be - and many voters are disenchanted.

  161. Editorial Meeting

    There is praise for the BBC's West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy for his coverage of killings by Boko Haram militants in Nigeria.

  162. Editorial Meeting

    cows

    Editors are also considering what political and business elements to pull out of the story on milk prices. A cross-party committee of MPs has urged the government to do more to protect dairy farmers from sharp falls in milk prices.

  163. Opinion polls can be 'dangerous'

    Ken Clarke, Conservative MP: Public opinion has often been on the side of "some of the biggest blunders" in history, such as appeasement of dictator in the 1930s. Opinion polls can be "quite dangerous".

  164. Get involved

    Email talkingpoint@bbc.co.uk

    Michael Johnson in East Sussex emails: Democracy is a way of life, not just politics and we all need to understand how we can contribute to being universally democratic. Politics is democratic on the surface but with a very high proportion voting blinkered to apparently benefiting them rather than considering the country as a whole. To make it work in the voting system - we must embrace everyone from a young age to understand that voting is bigger than them and vital.

  165. Need for 'sophisticated debate'

    Ken Clarke, Conservative MP: You need a "sophisticated political debate" - and the nature of that debate has changed since he first entered parliament.

  166. Post update

    Nick Sutton, editor of World at One tweets On #wato today, we'll be looking at @LSEPubAffairs project to crowdsource a written UK Constitution. Find out more: http://bit.ly/1801W3U

  167. Westminster politics is a 'cartel'

    The democracy debate is under way in the BBC's Radio Theatre. Eurosceptic UKIP MP Douglas Carswell says voters in the UK realise that "politics is a cartel". He says seven out of 10 parliamentary seats are "safe seats".

  168. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Cora Bauer tweets: Now slightly addicted and can't turn it off #BBCDemocracyDay

  169. Editorial Meeting

    Head of BBC News James Harding turns to politics and discussion of Labour's "mansion tax" pledge. Ex-Cabinet minister Lord Mandelson has said the proposed tax on properties worth more than £2m is "crude" and "short-termist". How significant is his criticism?

  170. Post update

    His guests are Pat Doherty, Lord Hennessey, Lord Steel, Douglas Carswell, Margaret Hodge, Ken Clarke, Lord Lisvane, Chris Bryant and Baroness Boothroyd. You can follow it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/bbc_parliament/

  171. How UK's parliaments work

    James Landale is presenting a special from 09:30 GMT on BBC Parliament explaining how the UK's parliaments work.

  172. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Jamie Bartlett tweets: Voters really wouldn't mind if politicians said: 'I got that wrong. And I'm sorry.' I think voters would celebrate in fact. #BBCDemocracyDay

  173. Decline in party membership in Europe

    Decline in party membership

    There has been a dramatic decline in membership of established political parties in Europe, with the fall greatest in the UK, as this graphic illustrates.

  174. Post update

    News meeting

    The Sun's apparent decision to cover up (slightly) its Page 3 models is also a subject for discussion.

  175. Editorial Meeting

    BBC News meeting

    The issue of freedom of speech is being discussed.

  176. Editorial Meeting

    IS militants

    Now another discussion about the Japanese hostages taken by IS militants. They are asking what parts of an IS video the BBC can show and again, editors say this can be seen as pure propaganda by IS.

  177. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Luke Brynley-Jones tweets: Pleased #socialmedia has been cited in #BBCDemocracyDay as a key factor in modern democracy. It's only 10 years old… just the beginning.

  178. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Eveleigh MD tweets: #BBCDemocracyDay Surely choosing not to vote is also a choice?

  179. Editorial Meeting

    BBC news meeting

    James Harding starts with BBC plans for the US state of the union speech tonight. The speech is at 2:30 GMT tomorrow morning so the BBC will do previews today. This is US President Obama's chance to define his legacy.

  180. Get involved

    Tweet @bbcworldservice

    David Hayling tweets: Casting your vote is a civil obligation & part of the 'social contract' of living in a democracy #BBCDemocracyDay

  181. Can democracy work? Live radio debate

    We have a live radio debate coming up at 09:15 GMT, called "Can democracy work?" A panel of experts on British politics will discuss the current state of democracy. We'll be streaming it on the BBC News Channel.

  182. Get involved

    Email talkingpoint@bbc.co.uk

    Ian Kemmish from Bedfordshire emails: Every country gets the democracy it deserves. The Swiss with their highly developed sense of civic duty get quite a lot of it. The Brits get a parliamentary democracy and the Russians get almost none at all yet seem happier than any of us.

  183. Editorial Meeting

    James Harding is taking the chair as the editorial meeting kicks off.

  184. Editorial Meeting

    Coming up we will be following another editorial meeting - what we call the "nine". It's where the head of news and current affairs James Harding hosts a discussion on top stories - both domestic and global - and sets the news agenda for the day. Catch it live here.

  185. Get involved

    Email talkingpoint@bbc.co.uk

    Ian Molyneaux in Buckingham emails: I think the general public are disillusioned with mainstream politics. I think the UK needs to change to proportional representation. The Westminster system is old-fashioned, unrepresentative of the majority and open to manipulation of electoral boundaries. This has certainly worked well in New Zealand where I was born.

  186. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Ali Stoddart tweets: I'm amazed at how much #BBCDemocracyDay is electorally focused. Democracy is about more than the ballot box once every 4/5 years.

  187. World Service editorial meeting

    Following on from that research - the BBC is looking at the rise of populist parties and the affect they will have on elections over the next year. One editor says that while this is quite a Europe-centric story, the BBC's look at protests related to democracy - for example the Arab Spring protests and those recently in Hong Kong - can be picked up more internationally.

  188. Get involved

    Email talkingpoint@bbc.co.uk

    Morgan Reynolds emails: I'm 19 and this is my first general election that I will be voting in but I still feel that there is not enough done to encourage young people to vote!

  189. Post update

    news meeting

    Behind the scenes at the World Service. Edit