What are the benefits of citizens' assemblies?
Citizens' assemblies have many positive effects on democracy and politics. Here is an overview:
- Time and space for real debate: The social, economic and overall societal consequences of measures can be well thought through and discussed.
- Building trust: Participants understand the work of politics better. They also come into contact with each other beyond information bubbles and echo chambers.
- Signpost function: Politicians perceive the population better and know exactly where the citizens can and want to go with concrete measures. Solutions with majority support become visible.
- More than opinion polls: Citizens' assemblies allow for more in-depth discussion of issues, expert knowledge, debate and personal exchange.
- Involvement of all: The phenomenon that certain social groups participate little in politics is reduced. This is ensured above all by the sortition procedure, but also by the payment of loss of earnings, support for childcare, care of relatives and translation.
- Lobby control: The procedure is transparent and not very susceptible to lobby influence.
- Valuing: The discussion is fair and fact-based. When people meet each other directly, hate speech and fake news hardly stand a chance.
- The results support parliaments and councils in decision-making processes.