During the week of St. Patrick’s Day, my website, BuildingANewReality.com, features Ireland’s pioneering use of citizens’ assemblies and sortition to do democracy differently—employing a randomly selected sample of Irish citizens to deliberate and propose a new law on abortion.
This series, by BANR founder, Ted Wachtel, applies the concept of citizens’ assemblies to an urgent need that the U.S. Congress avoids — gun violence and how to prevent it. Wachtel identifies the reasons legislators can’t do it and why a diverse group of citizens can. No longer theoretical, in the last few years citizens’ assemblies […]
We have the illusion that in an election, we are making thoughtful choices. But informed voting is an impossible dream for most of us, and likely self-delusional for those few of us who claim to be meaningfully informed.
By Brett Hennig Over the course of 18 months, from October 2016 to April 2018, ninety-nine randomly selected Irish citizens did an incredible thing: They made policy recommendations to their government. And what’s more, the government listened and responded. The most well-known proposal put forth by this Irish Citizens’ Assembly was that the Irish constitutional […]