Oregon CIR noted as model in Australia
South Australia is considering a potential nuclear waste facility, and a randomly-selected body of 365 persons recently convened to deliberate on the issue. After reaching a two-thirds majority opposed to the proposal, the jury’s recommendations may or may not elicit a response from the government. What may happen next is a statewide referendum on the question.
In a recent op-ed on the subject, Luca Belgiorno-Nettis of the newDemocracy Foundation had this suggestion.
Should the South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, proceed with a referendum, the government could at least do what Oregon does: append the jury’s findings to the ballot paper. The jury’s considered decision should not be ignored by the government. The greatest underused asset in politics today is the common sense of everyday people – when they deliberate.
This is just one more example of how deliberative practices like the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review circulate and influence ideas about democracy around the world.