“The voters arrived from all over the country: nine of them named John, 10 who’d come from mobile homes, four who lived in South Dakota. Twenty-seven considered themselves extremely conservative; 30 said they were extremely liberal. Twenty-one were out of work and looking for it. Two came with service dogs.”
In 109 deliberative polls held in 28 countries around the world, after hearing speakers and deliberating with others, people change their choices from the first telephone poll almost 70 percent of the time.
Citizens’ assemblies chosen by sortition, completely match James Surowiecki’s criteria for good large group decision-making. They focus on legislation, rather than re-election.
Citizens’ assemblies represent a revolution by conversation, reducing the influence of partisan politics and increasing the opportunity for the citizenry to deal with society’s challenges.
As a veteran Congressional lobbyist once observed, legislators “would like to do the right thing, if only they can get away with it.” But legislators must please their donors, or risk losing their financial support in the next election. That sad fact was starkly demonstrated in November, 2017, in the weeks before the vote approving the tax cut bill.
Democratic capitalism finds itself facing an ominous challenge. Will democracies throughout the world truly represent all their citizens, or will they continue to favor the wealthy and powerful minority, who can influence elections and government regulations to their own benefit? Will free market capitalism share its gains in productivity with everyone…or not?
“While non-profit corporations must be just as businesslike as their profit-making counterparts, they have different motives and behaviors than for-profit corporations.”
A look back at an original post, in which BANR founder Ted Wachtel shared his delight at discovering, in an article, evidence that healthcare professionals are beginning to create a positive new reality in their approach to their work.
In his original post, BANR founder Ted Wachtel gives his overview of the folly of school grading. It’s a good introduction to the foundational BANR belief that it’s long past time that we re-examine our slavish devotion to the traditional classroom.
Revisiting the first post on this blog, which lays out the framework of this foundational idea to the BANR concept and explains the genesis of this movement before it even had a name.