The Citizens' Assembly project was created by a group of organisations and individuals who felt that a more deliberative approach to democratic reform was needed. They see the question of ‘where power lies’ as a major issue in British politics. With the Electoral Reform Society and academics from the University of Sheffield, the University of Southampton, the University of London and the University of Westminster they ran the pilot projects.
How it shows
Getting Organised; Between October and November 2015, two pilot assemblies were run in Sheffield (Assembly North) and Southampton (Assembly South) to ask how new regional powers can be established in a form that is supported by the people who live locally.
Help and Resources; The citizens assemblies site provides information about the two pilots and provides the resources used by participants. It also has resources for journalists, academics and politicians.
Good Process; Citizens Assemblies emphasise two key aspects of democracy: first, participation of ordinary citizens who are affected by the decision, not just by members of the political elite; and, second, careful discussion that builds deep understanding of the options and the arguments for and against them.