BRINGING CITIZENS BACK INTO DECISION MAKING:
THE CASE OF CITIZENS JURY
Representative VS Direct Democracy
(DIRECT) A form of government that is said to be by the people, but also for the people.
It is a type of government that the people will make the decisions for themselves rather
than to have the decisions made by representatives
Another term used to describe Direct Democracy is pure democracy or “true” democracy
How does this differ from deliberate democracy?
Citizens making decisions
People are deliberating and engaging in dialogue in decision making
o Is an approach to decision making in which citizens consider relevant facts from
multiple points of view, converse to think critically about options and enlarge
their perspectives, opinions and understandings
What is deliberate democracy?
o Deliberate democracy strengthens citizen‟s voices in governance by including
people of all races, classes, ages and geographies in deliberations that directly
affect public decisions
o As a result, citizen‟s influence and can see the result of their influence on the
policy and resource decisions that impact their daily live and their future.
Why consider more participatory models?
Participation by lay citizens on complex or controversial topics raises questions about
o And the quality of their contributions to decision-making
By the same token, complex or controversial topics being decided on by elected
representatives can also be seen as problematic
o Or political hot potatoes, i.e abortion, changing the electoral system, separation
Lay Citizens don‟t have the knowledge to make complex decisions? Aren‟t intelligent
enough to elect a president, so put in an electoral college to account for this
Bringing the citizens back in
One solution to these dilemmas is the creation of temporary advisory bodies that involve
o In cooperative deliberation informed by expert advice
However expert advise can also seem biased…
Some examples include:
o Citizens panels,
o Citizens assemblies
o Citizens juries
o Participatory Budgeting
They have no authority to make legally binding decisions
o At best, can make direct recommendations to elected representatives
Do not have continuing members who develop loyalty to one another
o Or commitment to a particular cause BRINGING CITIZENS BACK INTO DECISION MAKING:
THE CASE OF CITIZENS JURY
o Are these bodies really representative?
o Demographic representation and ATTITUDAL representation
o If just demographic?
o Substantive VS descriptive representation
What contribution can they make in a framework of representative democracy
o If they reflect deliberative or direct democratic values?
o If they‟re going to invest the time and money in to these „citizen‟s jury‟ then
there‟s more of a consensus that the decisions will be taken into strong
What features distinguish these from other institutionalized forms of citizen‟s participation?
What are some forms? Voting, lobbying, interest groups, political party membership
Create opportunities for dialogue between experts and lay citizens
Limit interest group participation
o Because we’re selecting a random representation from the population, it makes it
difficult for interest groups to get their say in.
o Can’t lobby a citizens group, in the same manner that you can lobby the
They lack authority to make legally binding decisions (negative and positive)
Address themselves to both public officials and the general public
o Can speak directly to the public
o The report goes to the public
o With governments, sometimes things aren‟t posted online
o More transparency?
Taking participation to a new level of collaboration and empowerment
Inform (low level), consult, involve, collaborate, empower (highest)
o Inform – newsletter (Low level of impact)
o Consult – public meetings, surveys, focus groups
o Involvement – workshops and deliberate polling (more engaging, disc