Why Citizens' Assemblies?
Because our democracy is broken and needs fixing. And everyday people - not politicians - should decide how to make things better.
Here are ten more reasons (in almost as many languages!) why we think Citizens' Assemblies are the way to fix our broken democracy.
The languages are English, (Brazilian) Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, French, and Hungarian. Enjoy!
What is a Citizens' Assembly?
Citizens' Assemblies look something like this.
A Citizens' Assembly brings together a randomly selected, broadly representative bunch of people to decide how to make things better. It's really that simple.
Q: But what is sortition? A: It's just another word for random selection. To be in a Citizens' Assembly you must be randomly select to take part. You cannot buy your way in, nor can you simply turn up. This makes it fair for everyone. Everyone should, ideally, have an equal chance of being selected. And who knows, for the next Citizens' Assembly maybe it could be you?
How does a Citizens' Assembly work?
It's not rocket science!
- Randomly select a broadly representative bunch of people (the random selection is sometimes called "sortition");
- Bring them together, face-to-face in an Assembly, typically at small tables with a neutral facilitator at each table;
- Have experts and other stakeholders address the Assembly so that the participants are aware of the facts, the possibilities, and the options;
- Get the participants to deliberate, i.e. listen and talk to each other, and give reasons for their opinions;
- Decide! On what is the best way forward.
Here is a selection of guides, with differing levels of detail and different target audiences:
Where are Citizens' Assemblies happening?
Sortition Citizens' Assemblies are happening all around the globe!