Citizens' assemblies are an innovative and powerful way to make political decisions. They break the hold of career politicians on decisions, and bypass the powerful vested interests that often exert undue influence on policy outcomes.
They are a way to put representative groups of people, brought together in informed and deliberative environments at the centre of decision making.
But what is "sortition"?
Simple answer: 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?
But what is so good about sortition in citizens' assemblies?
Here are 10 good reasons to use citizens' assemblies. In short, they:
- Produce better, fairer political decisions
- Increase the legitimacy of, and trust in, political decisions
- Ensure marginalised and diverse voices are included in political decisions
- Helps strengthen the "civic muscle" of assembly participants
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