2019 review – sortition-related events

As I have done at every end-of-year of the last 9, I am offering my summary of notable sortition-related events that occurred over the last year.

As polls indicate that people continue to believe that governments do not represent them, the idea of the single-issue citizens’ assembly made strides in various European countries in 2019. In France, the Citizens’ Climate Convention is taking place, where 150 allotted people are tasked with selecting ways to address the climate crisis. This body is relatively high profile and received attention by various writers. A similar body is being demanded in the UK by the Extinction Rebellion movement.

Scotland had a citizens’ assembly for “shaping Scotland’s future”.

Participations journal devoted a special issue to sortition. 24 papers dealt with various aspects of the topic. The book Legislature by Lot, with the papers from a workshop by the same name was also published.

A citizens’ assembly on Brexit was widely discussed in the UK.

A permanent allotted body was instituted by the German speaking community in Belgium and by City Hall in Madrid.

The increasing use of allotted citizen bodies resulted in increasing scrutiny of the ways in which they are constituted and run, as well as their institutional role.

5 Responses

  1. FYI, there are only 150 at France’s Climate Assembly.
    Re Belgium, it looks like Brussels is going to follow the model of East Belgium: https://www.lecho.be/economie-politique/belgique/bruxelles/les-citoyens-entrent-au-parlement-bruxellois/10188020.html

    There is an important event in Germany not mentioned and that suggests Germany will have some kind of sortition-based participatory mechanism within a couple of years: https://www.nexusinstitut.de/en/citizens-assembly-on-democratic-reform-in-germany/
    The picture taken from a drone is alone worth a look!

    Also, the new President of the EU Commission, has announced a lot-based EU Citizens Assembly to come: https://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/en/our-projects/democracy-and-participation-in-europe/project-news/european-citizens-and-the-conference-on-the-future-of-europe/

    The State of Michigan will begin using a redistricting commission that will includes 13 Randomly Selected Citizens: https://eu.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/10/24/state-open-online-applications-redistricting-commission/4079305002/

    Last but not least, Fair Vote Canada wrote an open letter to the PM and is organizing for a Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform: https://www.fairvote.ca/citizens-assemblies-a-more-meaningful-way-to-hear-from-citizens/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Ahmed. Fixed the number of members in the Climate Convention.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] previous years’ summaries see: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, […]


  4. […] previous years’ summaries see: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, […]


  5. […] previous years’ summaries see: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, […]


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