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 […]
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 represent a revolution by conversation, reducing the influence of partisan politics and increasing the opportunity for the citizenry to deal with society’s challenges.
Disparity in wealth is evident not only when comparing ordinary people with the billionaire founders and owners of large corporations, but also with the managers of those corporations.
I feel that my journey so far has been one long proof of the concept proposed by Ted Wachtel in his blog post, Revolution By Conversation: that We, The People can take back our peaceful, convivial way of life, but only if we are willing to do the difficult work of taking back our democracy through working toward True Representation. And that begins with having civil, respectful dialogue with each other.
The future of democracy – whether we live in Baltimore or Brussels – depends on citizen assemblies coming together, putting their differences aside, and working toward common sense solutions that benefit everyone. Without True Representation, we’ll continue to live in societies in which fear is allowed to place barbed-wire fences on our borders and in our hearts.
In case you haven’t noticed, our society is not functioning well. We all feel uncomfortable about it. Our greatest discomfort comes from our system of governance. Political governance isn’t working for us, because it causes eternal bickering and divisiveness.
Ted Wachtel responds to David Heekin’s concerns about sortition in his “Pie In The Sky” blog post.
by Brett Hennig Recently, inspired by my interview on NPR—“Should we replace politicians with randomly selected citizens?”—that aired on October 13, a listener, Zach Roberts, contacted me and sent me the great graphic below, comparing the demographics of the U.S. senate with what it would look like if the U.S. senate was populated by randomly […]
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.