‘The greatest challenge of our time is to find ways and moments to enable democratic citizens to be citizens, to learn how to sit together, to reason together about what makes for a just society.’Michael Sandel, Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University.
We innovate in how we do democracy.
NewDemocracy is an independent, non-partisan research and development organisation. We aim to discover, develop, demonstrate, and disseminate complementary alternatives which will restore trust in public decision making.
We conduct real world trials using random selection and deliberation - the jury model - as a central process.
We think a complementary house of randomly selected people - A Citizens' Senate - could be trialed as a third House of Parliament.
We might be wrong, and that’s why we think a fair method for studying this measure, along with any others, is to put the question to a Convention, and let them spend some months deliberating on the measures.
The Irish Constitutional Convention of 2012 is a precedent in this regard.
The Irish had a mix of everyday people selected by lot (as in a jury) together with politicians - two thirds/one third.
In Australia, we could do something similar to consider: ‘How can we do democracy better?’ and report back to Parliament.
Submissions would come from all and sundry on how to improve our government.
Democracy is more than ‘the vote’ - it’s a way of organising ourselves, for no other reason than for ourselves.
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Today elected representatives take the tough decisions about public finances behind closed doors. In doing so, democratic politicians rely on the advice of financial bureaucrats, who, often, cater to the political needs of the elected government. Politicians rarely ask voters what they...
Local councils are uniquely placed to engage deliberatively with their community. They make complex trade-off decisions that need to be tailored to local needs. Traditionally, this level of engagement has been too difficult for small councils, and so surveys and self-selected groups are default options. These are both too easy to ignore and...
The ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate is conducting a review of Housing Choices in the ACT. The next stage of engagement will comprise a consultation method that helps reach...