Berlin parties advocate sortition

09. September 2021

On 26 September, the Berlin House of Representatives will be newly elected. Mehr Demokratie has taken this as an opportunity to ask the parties represented in the Berlin parliament about their democratic policy goals. This also involves randomly selected citizens' assemblies for the capital.

The Berlin SPD wants to strengthen the participation rights of Berliners. "As long as equal participation in terms of gender parity, but also with regard to other factors such as age, migration experience, impairment, etc. is taken into account when appointing citizens' assemblies, we support the increased use of sortition-based citizens' assemblies and encourage them," the Social Democrats say.

Greens: "Suitable instrument for negotiating conflicting goals"

According to the Greens, citizens' assemblies are "a very suitable instrument for negotiating interests and conflicting goals". They complement the work of parliaments, which is dominated by parties, and direct democracy, which formulates alternatives.

The Left Party advocates that citizens' assemblies can be convened either by a resolution of the Senate or the House of Representatives or by a popular initiative. The House of Representatives should be obliged to deal with the recommendations of the citizens' assemblies.

CDU "rather sceptical"

The CDU wants to "evaluate the experience currently gathered at the federal level and in other federal states and then decide on a case-by-case basis". In principle, however, the Christian Democrats are "rather sceptical" about the random principle in connection with citizen participation measures.

The FDP is "convinced that new instruments of participation will improve the quality of democracy even outside elections". The addressees and clients for more citizen participation are the parliaments, for example through the possibility of citizen consultation by house parliaments, the extension of the right of petition by the "citizens' plenary procedure" or through citizens' assemblies appointed by random selection. "It must always be made unmistakably clear that only parliament makes legitimate decisions," the Liberals said.

The far-right AfD did not answer Mehr Demokratie's question.

More information: Democracy Test Stones for the Berlin House of Representatives Election on 26 September 2021