Dutch sortition website

Tegen Verkiezingen (Against Elections) is a dutch website informing and advocating for sortition. In addition to content in Dutch, the website has occasional news about sortition in the Netherlands in English.

A recent item, for example, describes an interview of David Van Reybrouck on Dutch TV on the topic of citizens’ assemblies on climate change – the one in France and a potential one in the Netherlands. In the interview, we learn, Van Reybrouck tells the story of how he met President Macron and how that led to the creation of the French convention citoyenne pour le climat:

Then the interviewer wants to know more on how Van Reybrouck managed to sell the concept of sortition to the French president, Mr. Macron. Van Reybrouck already told about this in the interview on BNR Newsradio a year ago, but now we get to hear some additional details. When one of the guests at the lunch table points out to Macron that Van Reybrouck is working on ‘a revolutionary model for democracy’, Macron immediately gets very interested, forgets about the food on his plate, and concludes after a thirty-minute converstation with Van Reybrouck on sortition: “C’est formidable! C’est formidable!” (That’s wonderful! That’s wonderful!) and expresses “Merci, merci infiniment!” (Thank you so much!) at the end of the conversation. Two weeks later, his prime minister started talking about sortition-based citizens’ assemblies on tv, resulting in the Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat, the French Citizens’ Assmembly (CA) on Climate Change.

4 Responses

  1. Mmmmh. Beware of Macron, his government lied repeatedly these last months. He promised that this convention will lead to a referendum. No referendum is going to come out of it, at one point he was speaking to this convention, one of his response was chilling: “you can propose, but I’ll decide”…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Romain,

    In general, the idea that the ruling class (“leaders”) are supportive of democratization is delusional (or mendacious). Van Reybrouck himself is quite inconsistent about his message: is he really “against elections”? Does he really want to see society democratized? Or is he interested in “giving people a voice” – buttressing the current oligarchical system by fixing its most jarring faults and absurdities?

    That said, despite following the CCC and the debate around it, I have not heard of Macron saying something as blunt as your quote above. Do you have a source?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My leftist side might have over-interpreted what he said ;) What he exactly said: “je prends l’engagement que des décisions fortes seront prises ” In English, “I promess that strong decision will be taken (by me)” Source: Ouest France from an interaction between Macron and the CCC.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. [Macron]:> “you can propose, but I’ll decide”

    This is the exact opposite of Athenian-style democracy, Pericles reminding the demos that “I proposed but you decided”.

    Liked by 2 people

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