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  1. 20 January 2015 marks the 750th anniversary of the first parliament of elected representatives at Westminster, the de Montfort Parliament
  2. 50 years earlier Magna Carta - or the Great Charter - was sealed by King John in 1215 and established for the first time that everyone, including him, was subject to law
  3. The BBC is broadcasting a day of live events, discussion and debate broadcast from inside Westminster and the BBC Radio Theatre
  4. Highlights include an interview with the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners Lee; live streaming of BBC News meetings; and panel debates from inside the Radio Theatre
  5. Democracy Day is produced in collaboration with the House of Commons and the House of Lords

Live Reporting

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

All times stated are UK

Get involved

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.

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.

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".

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]".

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."

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".

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.

More influence through web

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

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".

Have Your Say

World Have Your Say BBC Democracy Day special is on now:

'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".

Live debate on democracy and technology

Democracy and Technology debaters

Panel discussion: How much is the internet changing democracy?

'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."

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."

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.

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.

"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


Your democracy pics

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

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

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


BBC Home Editor Mark Easton

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

'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.

BBC News Online: Democracy Day

The Peshawar Army School attack, which left 141 people - mostly children - dead, is remembered here in Karachi, Pakistan on 16 January
Riaz hussain

Other pieces looking at democracy we've seen today include:

Stephen Sackur interviews Chinese dissident Wu'er Kaixi. Watch the live stream now and tweet your questions to

@BBCHardtalk using the hashtag #BBCDemocracyDay

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

Tiananmen Square

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]."

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."

'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."

Get involved


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.

They've got there. Our colleagues on Democracy Live

have catalogued the march of democracy in the UK from 1215 until the present day, all day. And they've reached the end - or is it?. Scottish 16 and 17-year-olds were given the vote in 2014. So what does 2015 hold? General Election perhaps?

How are laws made?

BBC Newsround team

The team from Newsround is also reporting on Democracy Day, and

discovering how laws are made in the UK.

Greece reinventing democracy?


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.

BBC World Service

tweets Chinese dissident Wu'er Kaixi on @BBCHARDtalk at 16.32GMT #BBCDemocracyDay