It’s Bloody Complicated: Citizens’ Assemblies

Citizens’ assemblies represent an alternative way of doing politics: a randomly selected group of citizens are convened to reason collectively, to consider evidence and to have discussions which should arrive at complex, nuanced decisions for the long term. As such, they’ve been called ‘democracy under good conditions’.

They have been credited with tackling some of the toughest political and ethical questions – such as abortion, AI, hate crime and nuclear power –generating balanced and often surprising solutions. Citizens’ assemblies aren’t some kind of wacky democratic experiment – they’re a tried-and-tested tool in our democratic arsenal. That’s why it’s no surprise that the Labour Party, if it wins the next election, is reportedly open to introducing citizens’ assemblies for some of the biggest, most complex concerns of our time – housebuilding, House of Lords reform and devolution.

To discuss this, we were joined by:

  • Jamie Kelsey Fry, Global Assembly
  • James Robertson, Sortition Foundation

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