What is a G1000? (Cambridge and London events)

The Sortition Foundation is organising two free events (in London and Cambridge): What is a G1000?

Our aim is to hold one G1000 in London and one in Cambridge in late 2016 or early 2017. As such we are organising these two information sessions "What is a G1000?" with the founders of the Dutch G1000, Harm van Dijk and Jerphaas Donner.

A G1000 is a one-day gathering of a representative, randomly selected group of residents who deliberate on what they would like to see happen in their local area. We have been inspired by the Belgian G1000 and the Dutch G1000 and think these impressive events should also happen in the UK.

A truly representative sample of 1000 people gather, deliberate with each other in a respectful environment, and decide together what is best for their communities. It is a way to do democracy differently.

Come along to find out all about a G1000 and how you can help make one happen!

See http://www.g1000.uk/ for more information.

"Inspiring, evidence-based" sortition book to be published

T100 percenthe book The End of Politicians, by Sortition Foundation co-founder Brett Hennig, is now fully funded and will be published before the end of the year by the crowdfunding publisher Unbound. You can still pledge and pre-order the book (and get your name listed in the book as a supporter) here: https://unbound.co.uk/books/the-end-of-politicians


Sortition Foundation membership

The Sortition Foundation is a member-driven organisation and as such is actively seeking members who would like to see sortition become more than just words. By becoming a member today you will be eligible for random selection to the Sortition Foundation strategy and direction events, you will support the G1000 in the UK, and help us do democracy differently.

Sortition theory and practice: the G1000 comes to the UK

The End of Politicians screeenshotThe "short, powerfully argued and carefully researched" book The End of Politicians, by Sortition Foundation co-founder Brett Hennig, is now 75% funded and well on the way to being published by the crowdfunding publisher, Unbound. You can help get this book to 100% and get published by pledging and pre-ordering it here: https://unbound.co.uk/books/the-end-of-politicians

And the ideas in the book are on the way to becoming a reality - on the 10th and 11th of June Harm van Dijk and Jerphaas Donner, the founders of the G1000 in the Netherlands, are coming to the UK to help launch the G1000 in the UK. The aim of the G1000 is to bring a representative, random selection of people from a community together to deliberate about what they think is most important for their community.

Two open public meetings with Harm and Jerphaas will be held where you can find out more about these exciting events:

  • Cambridge, from 7-9pm, on Friday 10th June (venue TBC)
  • London, from 2-4pm, on Saturday 11th June (venue also TBC)

See http://www.g1000.uk/ for more information.

Sortition Foundation membership: the Sortition Foundation is a member-driven organisation and as such is actively seeking members who would like to see sortition become more than just words. By becoming a member today you will not only be eligible for random selection to the Sortition Foundation strategy and direction events, but you will support the G1000 in the UK and help us do democracy differently.

Sortition - Part 2: the book, the AGM, and a strategy

The End of Politicians screeenshotHere's the latest on the new book on sortition, and two events in London next week: the Citizens' Parliament strategy meeting, and the Sortition Foundation's first Annual General Meeting.

Read on for more details on all of the above.

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Sortition: the idea, the meeting, and a strategy

The End of Politicians screeenshotThere’s exciting news!

  • The idea: A new "compelling, inspiring" book on sortition, The End of Politicians, by director and co-founder of the Sortition Foundation, Brett Hennig, is being crowd-funded now by book publisher Unbound: https://unbound.co.uk/books/the-end-of-politicians
  • The meeting: The first Sortition Foundation Annual General Meeting will be held at 6pm on Wednesday April 6th in central London. Venue to be confirmed depending on numbers, so please RSVP if you intend to come along.
  • The Strategy: A strategy meeting on how to progress the Citizens’ Parliament campaign (http://www.citizensparliament.uk/) will also be held on Wednesday April 6th from 1-4pm in central London. Exact venue will also depend on numbers, so please RSVP if you want to come along.

Read on for more details on all of the above.

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#LordsReform - Let the People Decide

Sortition certainly sounds good to us - but how do we get from here to there?

#LordsReform Let the People Decide

The Sortition Foundation has released a Draft Strategy Document outlining some ideas. The first campaign proposal is a call for a Citizens' Parliament on House of Lords Reform (http://www.citizensparliament.uk/). The campaign, to be officially launched later this year, will call on the UK government to constitute and empower a 650-member, random though representative sample of ordinary citizens to consider, research, deliberate on, and then make a House of Lords Reform proposal, to then be put to a national referendum. You can already sign the open letter calling for a Citizens' Parliament on Lords Reform.

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Planning the End of Politicians

sf-postcard2.jpgAs the year comes to a close the Sortition Foundation reflects on what we think are the most exciting sortition events of 2015, and outlines our plans for next year.

Sortition 2015 highlights

Sortition thrived in 2015. Here are just a handful of the highlights:

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Eyes on Canada: site of the next Citizens’ Assembly using sortition?

Canadian FlagJustin Trudeau, who will become the new Canadian Prime Minister next week after winning the  general election on October 19, has promised that the election will be the “last election” based on the first-past-the-post system.

But without it, he would not have won a parliamentary majority, so there will be considerable pressure from within his own party to renege on, or avoid fulfilling, his promise.

What is more interesting, however, is that Canada has a compelling history of using sortition in Citizens’ Assemblies to address provincial electoral reform – it happened in British Columbia in 2004 and in Ontario in 2006.

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A real democracy would use sortition

What is sortition? How would it work? Why do we like it? All the answers are here in this short video!

Please spread the word and share with your friends.

Coming Soon – Sortition in the UK

Citizens' AssemblySortition is coming soon to the UK!

Or at least three citizens’ assemblies and one forum presenting aspects of sortition are happening in the coming months:

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Summer of Sortition: What do gay marriage and financial and town planning have in common?

Answer: major policies on all three have recently emerged directly from groups selected by sortition.

Using a stratified random selection of citizens (sortition) to create policy is making steady and impressive progress. From Australia, Canada, Ireland, and throughout Belgium, the Netherlands and elsewhere, citizens’ assemblies using sortition are being held, and the practice is gaining increased media attention.

Claudia Chwalisz, a researcher at Policy Network and Crook Public Service Fellow at the University of Sheffield, has made waves with the report The Populist Signal (download it here) which, among several recommendations, calls for the replacement of the House of Lords in the UK with a randomly selected Citizens’ Senate. The argument for increased use of randomly selected Citizens’ Assemblies received favourable coverage from The Independent on Sunday, and an opinion piece by Chwalisz, calling for the Canadian Senate to be replaced by a Citizens’ Assembly, appeared in the Canadian Globe and Mail.

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G1000 – here, there, everywhere!

The Dutch G1000 banner with slogan: Towards another democracy

Dutch G1000The G1000 in Belgium, held in late 2011, was an impressive event. In less than six months the small group of organisers, including David Van Reybrouck, author of Against Elections, raised nearly half a million euros to invite a random selection of 1000 people to come together for one day to deliberate on Belgium’s political problems and potential solutions.

The agenda was set after a broad online consultation, and the large gathering prioritised issues and solutions, and selected a group of thirty-two people to further develop and refine the propositions before presenting them to the government.

Although the extent of its political impact is debatable, there is one thing that is sure: the people attending were overwhelmingly impressed by the experience and it showed, yet again, that ordinary people are not only willing to discuss contentious issues with each other, but that they can do so in an atmosphere of respect and openness.

It obviously impressed the Dutch. Within a few years, in September 2014, the first G1000 was held in Amersfoort and in the coming months there will be another one in Groningen.

To the south of Belgium the idea has also taken hold: a group in France has formed to hold a G1000 in Paris, although this appears to be in the planning phase at the moment.

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What is sortition - explained in 5 minutes!

Melissa Schwartzberg is a professor of Politics at NYU.