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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CIR proposed for the United Kingdom

Professor Graham Smith, at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, recently presented testimony to the British House of Commons’ Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee. After the Brexit vote, they conducted an inquiry, “Lessons Learned from the EU Referendum.” Smith testified, The government should legally enshrine the requirement for a Citizens’ Referendum Review as part of any...

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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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Seeing the CIR in the larger context of democratic reform

With Hollie Russon-Gilman, a colleague at the New America Foundation, John Gastil wrote an essay for the Washington Post online on February 19, 2016 entitled, “These civic experiments are getting citizens more involved in governing themselves.” In the essay, the authors argue that bringing the public back into the business of government can yield not only better public policy but also, potentially, more public confidence in...

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CIR on Australian radio

Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC, equivalent to BBC in the UK) did a 20-minute story on a citizens’ jury in Melbourne and drew on the experience of the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review as a point of comparison. I (John Gastil) provided commentary on the Oregon case, which serves as an example of how citizen deliberation can get built into government institutions. The Melbourne citizens’ jury came up with recommendations...

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