The Trouble with Citizens' Assemblies (part II)

For those interested in (or, in my case, concerned with) so-called direct democracy initiatives this article, from the Guardian, on Tony Blair’s e-petitions may be of interest. It outlines a number of the concerns that were raised on the debate around citizens’ assemblies that occurred on this site.

Also, I’m currently about a quarter of the way through the thoroughly enjoyable book “The Wisdom of Crowds” and it is raising further issues regarding why citizens’ assemblies may not make sense. Hope to share more once I’ve finished the book.

Thank you Peter M. for sending me the Guardian link… particularly gracious given your advocacy for citizen assemblies.
[tags]citizens’ assemblies, e-petitions, public policy[/tags]

2 thoughts on “The Trouble with Citizens' Assemblies (part II)

  1. Cheryl

    Dave, Dave, Dave,

    Only you could possibly advocate for the lessening of the “common” citizens input into the governance structures – or shall I say institutions, elite at that. And I’m sure you’re doing it with a straight face too! Coming from a culture where it was the right of every man, woman, and child and their duty to be involved in the decision-making within the commune I have to say I’m a big fan citizens’ assemblies. I believe in them as I believe we commoners should have a place to learn, explore, debate issues for the common good. I think in the long run it would increase civic participation having the space to allow for public debate and exploration of the issues and make the apathetic voting public feel a little more part of the system. I be if we asked a few of the participants of the Citizens’ Assembly for Electoral Reform here in BC they would be more engaged in the governance of this country, certainly more knowledgeable than they were previously – is that not a positive end result in its own right?

    Guillaume tipped me off to your online antics and my curiosity got the better of me. I look forward to your review of the book when you’re finished.

    Cheryl

    Reply
  2. Cheryl

    Dave, Dave, Dave,Only you could possibly advocate for the lessening of the “common” citizens input into the governance structures – or shall I say institutions, elite at that. And I’m sure you’re doing it with a straight face too! Coming from a culture where it was the right of every man, woman, and child and their duty to be involved in the decision-making within the commune I have to say I’m a big fan citizens’ assemblies. I believe in them as I believe we commoners should have a place to learn, explore, debate issues for the common good. I think in the long run it would increase civic participation having the space to allow for public debate and exploration of the issues and make the apathetic voting public feel a little more part of the system. I be if we asked a few of the participants of the Citizens’ Assembly for Electoral Reform here in BC they would be more engaged in the governance of this country, certainly more knowledgeable than they were previously – is that not a positive end result in its own right?Guillaume tipped me off to your online antics and my curiosity got the better of me. I look forward to your review of the book when you’re finished.Cheryl

    Reply

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