A CIR proposal in South Dakota, but only in name

South Dakota’s legislature is considering establishing a Citizens’ Initiative Review Commission, but the name is possibly the only family resemblance to the CIR process created in Oregon. House Bill 1007 explains that “the Citizen Initiative Review Commission shall be composed of eleven members appointed by the State Board of Elections.” That includes former and current legislators, with Commission members serving four...

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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...

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Oregon CIR 2016 wraps up its deliberations

2016 Oregon CIR panel, with facilitators Mike and Mary in top-right corner, and Gracie the Dog front-center. The 2016 iteration of the CIR is the fourth cycle of this process in Oregon, which began with the 2010 election. The result was a balanced statement (with an 11-9 split in the panelists’ vote) on Measure 97, which proposed a dramatic rise in gross receipts tax to boost the state’s general fund, which principally goes to...

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Would a CIR have led to a different Brexit result?

That’s the question I ponder in a new essay published in Zócalo Public Square, an online magazine that circulates ideas around the globe. The gist of my argument is that had there been a CIR-style Review held in Britain in advance of the vote, and had the Review’s one-page analysis been widely circulated, it probably would have reduced the misconceptions about the EU and the benefits of leaving it. It’s impossible to know what...

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