For democracy’s sake, give power to the people

Nicholas Reece, THE AGE, 1 September 2014.

A radical experiment in democracy has begun at Melbourne Town Hall. But it does not involve online activism, marching in the streets, or the Occupy Movement. Instead it draws on the earliest democratic traditions together with some new thinking from social scientists to trial a new approach to public decision-making on tough issues.

Melbourne City Council has recruited a “People’s Panel” of everyday Melburnians to make recommendations on how the council should prioritise spending over the next decade. The panel comprises 46 residents, business owners and students who have been randomly selected to represent a broad cross-section of the community.

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