Mark Rice-Oxley: Should citizens assemblies be mandatory?

Mark Rice-Oxley, acting membership editor of The Guardian, wrote a short piece entitled “Should citizens assemblies be mandatory?” He is supportive of the idea, writing: “Last year, I went to a citizens’ assembly. It was one of the most optimistic moments of 2019 for me.” “Perhaps a stint or two on a citizens’ assembly should be mandatory, like jury service or driving tests.”

2 Responses

  1. Note that this moral (civic duty) argument is different from the case for accurate representation as the author felt that “a few dozen” people (all voluntary) was already “pretty well reflective of the local community”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aside from the fact that making service mandatory would be an effective way to turn it into a poor experience, what would all those bodies discuss? Will they all discuss the same topics, arriving at the same (or conflicting) decisions? Wouldn’t this turn the whole thing into a meaningless ritual at best and possibly into a sort of forced indoctrination session? Would we really like to be forced into sessions where government picked experts guide us into making government-friendly “decisions”?

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