Citizens' Assemblies are Driving Progress Around the World!

Fair Vote Canada

As voter disengagement, mistrust, and the lure of populism is growing around the world, a powerful way for citizens to lead is emerging. 

Citizens’ assemblies are gaining recognition as an exciting vehicle to give citizens a real voice. To promote evidence-based decision making. And to instill the wisdom and courage we need in our political leaders to tackle the challenges of our time. 

Citizens' assemblies are being trusted with the toughest issues:

In France,150 randomly selected citizens on the Citizens’ Assembly for the Climate have been tasked with developing an ambitious climate plan: to cut carbon emissions by 40% before 2030. 

In Scotland, their Citizens’ Assembly will make recommendations to guide the future direction of Scotland in a post-Brexit world.

In the UK, the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate will direct the government on how to meet its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

In Ireland, the Irish Citizens’ Assembly will propose legislative changes to achieve real progress on gender equality. Past Irish Citizens’ Assemblies have been held up as a model of citizen participation around the world for their groundbreaking work on issues such as climate change and abortion. 

The parliament representing the German-speaking region of Belgium has formed a permanent Citizens' Assembly.

Citizens are being entrusted to make recommendations on contentious issues that have become politically deadlocked due to partisan infighting.

Citizens’ assemblies are not run-of-the-mill government consultations managed by politicians, full of self-selected participants.

In a citizens’ assembly, randomly-selected, demographically representative citizens are recruited from the voter’s list—either by mail or by actually going door to door.

The entire in-depth process—learning from experts and stakeholders, consultations, and deliberation—is managed independently of political parties. 

2020 will deliver valuable lessons about how citizens' assemblies can lead on issues that matter to their countries—and to the world.

From inequality to threats of war to climate change, first-past-the-post politics is leaving the voices of the majority behind. 

Together, we will do everything possible to achieve a National Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform in this Parliament.

With hope and gratitude,

Anita Nickerson
Executive Director, Fair Vote Canada

P.S. Just in today! Your work at the provincial level has led to a breakthrough: a second candidate in the Ontario Liberal leadership race has committed to a binding Citizens' Assembly in Ontario! More details on Thursday when we release the results of our questionnaire to the leadership candidates.