We thank The House of Lords Constitution Committee and Baroness Taylor of Bolton for this opportunity to contribute to the inquiry into the future governance of the United Kingdom (UK).
While we note the Committee has posed six specific questions, one theme unites them all and one public sentiment underpins the reason for this inquiry: citizens have become disconnected from politics, they see what happens in parliament as remote from their daily lives.
To address this, we recommend complementing this Inquiry with a meaningful and substantive role for citizens using the principles outlined by the OECD following their analysis of over 900 ‘Citizens’ Assembly’ style demonstration projects.
The principles in that work are summarised below for ease of reference. If these resonate for the Committee, then two ways to implement this are outlined at the conclusion of the paper: trial a new format of ‘mixed’ parliamentary committee (Brussels Model) to run this inquiry, recommend a more substantive national deliberative process be conducted and/or take a small first step (drawing on philanthropic support) to gauge its potential value at a larger scale.
These deliberative processes build public trust in decision-making by more substantively involving everyday people in engagement that tackles difficult trade-offs in a way that addresses polarisation and misinformation.