The OECD: Innovative Citizen Participation and new Democratic Institutions: Catching the Deliberative Wave

A newly published document from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development draws on data collected from nearly 300 case studies from 1986 to October 2019. Its 200 pages cover randomly selected Citizens’ Assemblies, Juries, Panels and ‘other representative deliberative processes’.

This research and proposals for action fit within the organisation’s work on innovative citizen participation, which seeks to guide countries on the implementation […] of the 2017 Recommendation on Open Government.

The acknowledgements include many regular participants on the Equality-by-Lot blog.

The Canadian organization MASS LBP and the OECD will be launching the publication with a 60-minute Zoom event on 15 July 2020 at noon.

20 Responses

  1. Thanks, David. This is a hefty report covering a lot of ground. I invite blog readers to submit posts discussing various aspects of the report.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. p10 :

    REPRESENTATIVENESS:

    The participants should be a microcosm of the general public. This is achieved through random sampling from which a representative selection is made, based on stratification by demographics (to ensure the group broadly matches the demographic profile of the community against census or other similar data), and sometimes by attitudinal
    criteria (depending on the context). Everyone should have an equal opportunity to be selected as participants. In some instances, it may be desirable to over-sample certain demographics during the random sampling stage of recruitment to help achieve representativeness.
    Inclusion should be achieved by considering how to involve under-represented groups.
    Participation should also be encouraged and supported through remuneration, expenses,and/or providing or paying for childcare and
    eldercare.

    Like

  3. What is ‘attitudional’ criteria in this context ?

    Like

  4. Paul,

    Presumably this means selecting people based on their opinions on certain matters. In the Brexit context, for example, it was suggested that an allotted body would match the leave/remain makeup that was observed in the referendum.

    Like

  5. The idea is that the attitudes of members should mirror the diversity of the population on the topic. For example, when the UK Climate Change Citizens’ Assembly was called, they asked those drawn in the first round whether they thought climate change was a serious concern. Using a public opinion survey that had independently been conducted recently, one of the stratifications they used was to make sure the range and strength of attitudes of assembly members matched the general population. Obviously the worry is that without this stratification, citizens who believed climate change was a serious problem would be significantly more likely to agree to serve, making the final outcome suspect.

    Like

  6. That is very reassuring :-)

    5 Reasons When Respondents are Knowingly Dishonest:

    – Respondents want to appear better than they are. Whether that’s cooler, richer, more beautiful respondents lie to build their self-worth.

    – Respondents give socially desirable answers. Survey estimates of respondent voting are always higher than actual voter turnout. That’s because you’re supposed to vote, right? So respondents lie about whether they vote or not.

    – They don’t want to answer questions about sensitive behavior. Sex. – – Personal finance. Drug and alcohol use. Illegal behaviors. Respondents are always more likely to lie about sensitive topics.

    – People want to give the answer they believe will “help” or “please” the researcher. Many people just want to help you (the researcher) out. And so they make up responses based on their belief about what you need.

    – Respondents believe they can influence the outcome of the research in their favor. If you absolutely love the product concept, you may say you will buy it more frequently than you actually think you will, in hopes of getting it introduced into the marketplace.

    https://www.infosurv.com/5-reasons-why-survey-respondents-dont-tell-the-truth/ https://www.decisionanalyst.com/blog/questionnairebias/ and so on

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In a mature sortition democracy citizens’ assemblies would be convened with members having no idea what issue was going to be the focus (as when drawing a criminal jury today). In the recent French case with a high visibility one-off climate change citizens’ assembly being in the news before the draw, this wasn’t possible. However, people could not anticipate which way to misrepresent themselves if they wanted into the pool. It seems likely that with a majority of French citizens believing climate change was important, that a significant number of people who did not actually feel this way would have reported that they thought it was important (for reasons Paul explains), so that the”Yes, I am concerned” strata would be filled with many people who did not really feel that way in BOTH the independent opinion poll AND in the sampling survey for the assembly… so still creating an assembly matching the population.

    Like

  8. Terry:> the”Yes, I am concerned” strata would be filled with many people who did not really feel that way in BOTH the independent opinion poll AND in the sampling survey for the assembly… so still creating an assembly matching the population.

    This is all just tortuous speculation. Paul, Terry, Alex and myself agree that the only way for a random sample to accurately mirror the target population is if it’s large, short-duration, quasi-mandatory, subject to well-balanced advocacy and limited to activities that can be statistically aggregated (according to Pitkin this means determining the outcome of a debate by voting).

    Like

  9. I am convinced that ‘scientific manipulation’ allows to reduce the number of allotted citizens and still deliver ‘acceptable’ results. Scientifically speaking. But this is at the cost of reducing a robust and trustworthy system into a weak and untrustworthy system. And that makes it useless in a political environment.

    Like

  10. agree — and it’s worse than useless, because it discredits the sortition movement

    Like

  11. I contacted already one of the authors of the OECD document with a link to the Code of good practice from ‘the point of view of a political activist’ and I mentioned the discussion here. Next week I contact the other authors. I don’t think that ‘passive’ complaints will have much results. Their weak spot is our ‘motivation’ for the development of the Code. https://equalitybylot.com/2019/08/07/code-of-good-practice-for-allotted-mini-publics-involved-with-legislation/

    Motivation:

    Some people are trying to resolve the crisis in the electoral representative system (an electoral aristocracy), which is in our opinion a crisis of trust, with another system of which the modalities of application they impose are also based on trust.
    -You have to trust the organising committee.
    -You have to trust the agenda setting and mode of operation.
    -You have to trust the institution and people performing the selection of the participants where sortition is only one element of the selection.
    -You have to trust the proposed sortition system and its application to work with (manipulated sortition and selection system, the use of unsuitable data files, mixed panels, long term appointment, low
    participation levels, live streaming of the discussions, the use of volunteers, and so on [ 2 ] ).
    -You have to trust the people who select the experts to hear.
    -You have to trust the moderators of the discussions.
    -You have to trust the people assembling and writing the reports (and believe me, this is not to underestimate).

    And we don’t.

    This way they risk to discredit a valuable democratic instrument.

    Until this moment I didn’t receive any comment or suggestion that needs a change of the texst. So far I am holding the fort ;-)

    Like

  12. I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for a response Paul. The trouble is the naive belief that a non-partisan procedure is inherently trustworthy. By contrast liberals (like Alex and myself) believe that trust is generated by a dialectical exchange between opposing partisans. If each side nominates their own experts (as in the courtroom scenario) then its up to the jury to decide which is the most trustworthy.

    Like

  13. sorry that was me (you probably guessed anyway)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Statistically speaking the response rate is 50% so far :-) what is not bad at all I think.

    Like

  15. two send one responded (statistics ;-) ) joking, 38 send 23 responded

    Like

  16. Not to forget my interventions on facebook. For example the Global forum https://www.facebook.com/groups/111365802230576/ Proponents of ‘scientific manipulation’ are promoting their system of ‘improved sortition’ everywhere and ‘we’ are nowhere. Nevertheless I think that we have good arguments.

    Some people are trying to resolve the crisis in the electoral epresentative system (an electoral aristocracy), which is in our opinion a crisis of trust, with another system of which the modalities of application they impose are also based on trust.
    -You have to trust the organising committee.
    -You have to trust the agenda setting and mode of operation.
    -You have to trust the institution and people performing the selection of the participants where sortition
    is only one element of the selection.
    -You have to trust the proposed sortition system and its application to work with (manipulated sortition and selection system, the use of unsuitable data files, mixed panels, long term appointment, low
    participation levels, live streaming of the discussions, the use of volunteers, and so on [ 2 ] ).
    -You have to trust the people who select the experts to hear.
    -You have to trust the moderators of the discussions.
    -You have to trust the people assembling and writing the reports (and believe me, this is not to underestimate).
    And we don’t.
    This way they risk to discredit a valuable democratic instrument.

    https://independent.academia.edu/PNollen/Sortition-for-a-real-citizens%E2%80%99-representation

    the problem is that we also have to be pragmatic. When we want to much from the start we will end with nothing. But on the other hand we have to ask ourselves in howfar we are prepared to hand over power to the sortition technocrats and will we, the people, regain power when the time is ready?

    Like

  17. Paul:> we have to ask ourselves in howfar we are prepared to hand over power to the sortition technocrats and will we, the people, regain power when the time is ready?

    We’ve waited 2,500 years, so better to hang on and get it right, rather than risk discrediting the procedure. That’s why I’m so keen that forums like this are dedicated to resolving the theoretical difficulties rather than jumping in with both feet and messing it up. The first thing to determine is what sortition can and cannot do, and this only requires the philosopher’s armchair (plus a vigorous debate): https://equalitybylot.com/2011/03/03/what-sortition-can-and-cannot-do/

    Like

  18. I agree. But staying in the armchair to long holds the danger that the more active parties who are proposing the ‘manipulated improved system’ are gaining ground everywhere without any opposition as it doesn’t exist. An additional problem is that those ‘manipulated improved systems’ are suitable for ‘low level’ (also political) or specific applications

    Like

  19. Yes, it’s very difficult, particularly as Brett Hennig of the Sortition Foundation is the principal traitor to the cause. That’s why I’m attracted to the notion of reviving Andre’s term “stochation” and leaving the sortitionists to go to hell in a handcart. But that might just consign us to oblivion for another 2,500 years.

    Like

  20. La Trahison des Clerks

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: