Charter 2019

Make democracy more democratic

5. Citizens Assemblies

In a democracy, if we don’t like our leaders we vote them out of office. Can there be any greater expression of people power?

Well, yes.

Having a vote once every few years is a very limited form of people power.

We don’t vote for issues, we vote for party representatives, who then go about doing their job of representing their party in parliament without further consulting the people for their views.

So how representative is our representative democracy if the people are rarely consulted for their views?


That consultation should be in the form of properly constituted Citizens’ Assemblies.

And the good news is that Citizens’ Assemblies are being used more and more to involve ordinary people in important decision making to resolve complex issues.

There’s no mystery to Citizens’ Assemblies: you randomly select people, as you would a jury, and bring them together to listen to the evidence, deliberate and make decisions about the best way forwards on an issue, such as abortion in Ireland or electoral reform in Canada

Watch this extract from the YouTube video “When Citizens Assemble” from 12m08s to 12m50s

XR spokesperson Gail Bradbrook proposes a Citizens Assembly to resolve the Climate Crisis in this extract from “Welcome to the Rebellion” 3m02s to 3m40s

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