Citizens' Assemblies

A Citizens’ Assembly brings a randomly selected, representative group of people together to deliberate and make policy decisions. Citizens' Assemblies have been used all around the world in America, Europe, and Asia to deal with divisive and highly politicized issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion, Brexit, and climate change.

Citizes Assembly Process

Why hold a Citizens' Assembly?

Proponents of democratic lotteries claim that Citizens' assemblies selected by lot have the following beneficial properties:

FAIR

Randomly selecting participants gives every person an equal chance of being selected, regardless of age, gender, location or any other characteristic.

EFFECTIVE

Hundreds of examples from around the world have shown that citizens’ assemblies work. Research shows that diverse groups of people are better decision-makers than homogenous groups.

INFORMED

People develop an informed, critical understanding of complex policy decisions, hearing from and questioning a variety of experts and stakeholders.

INCLUSIVE

They increase the diversity of voices in the decision-making process, allowing very different people to find common ground by focusing on wider community needs.

POWERFUL

They open up the space for change when tackling ‘wicked problems’ where interest or community groups are blocking progress. They give decision-makers increased confidence that they have broad public support for a proposal.

INNOVATIVE

You will be at the forefront of democratic innovation and citizen empowerment and engagement.

TRANSPARENT

Using stratified random selection and a clear, open process reduces the influence of vested interests — you will not be engaging with the ‘usual suspects’.

DELIBERATIVE

Assembly members work together to identify the pros, cons and trade-offs of policy options, giving you high-quality public judgements backed by considered, easily understood reasons

LEGITIMATE

They increase the legitimacy of public policy-making by enabling a representative cross-section of people to inform the decision.

Examples Across the World

Below is a small cross-section of Citizens' conducted in America and abroad. Again and again, these Citizens' Assemblies demonstrate the beneficial claims made by proponents of Democratic Lotteries:

America in One Room - Climate and Energy (2021)

A diverse set of Americans across the political spectrum came together and came to broad agreement on the need to protect the environment and implement policies to reduce carbon emissions.

America in One Room - Major issues of the 2020 election

Americans came together to deliberate on controversial topics including healthcare and the Affordable Care Act, immigration, taxes, foreign policy, and more.

The Irish Citizens' Assembly

Irish Citizens came together to deliberate on divisive moral issues such as gay marriage and abortion. The Irish people also conducted deliberations on climate change and emission reduction policy.

Climate Assembly UK

The people of the United Kingdom came together to discuss climate change in 2020.

British Columbia Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform

Canadians of British Columbia came together to discuss advanced methods to conduct better elections such as proportional representation and "Single Transferable Vote" multi-member districts.

And More....

How to run a Citizens' Assembly