Citizens’ Assembly

Political Science, 1989

Democracy-like early-stage bridge to politburo revolution. No more need for pesky elections.

As opposed to representative (electing officials) or direct democracy (referendum), a Citizens’ Assembly is a form of deliberative democracy (as named by Joseph M. Bessette in “Deliberative democracy : the majority principle in republican government”), where politicians who have catastrophically lost the public’s trust appease them, by letting them hold a council of randomly-chosen individuals who will never agree, aiming to produce results they can ignore. Their history is reputed to extend back to Athens, however in an unsurprising twist, they were conceived in the 1970s by political theorist Robert Dahl as “Mini-publics” (mini-populuses) and formalised in his 1989 book “Democracy and Its Critics”.