True Democracy Comes to Cambridge
The Greater Cambridge Partnership were having an issue making decisions. Anyone who lives in Cambridge knows about the struggles to do something about the traffic. Different pressure groups pushing their own messages. A group of us approached the GCP and suggested a Citizens’ Assembly. Randomly selected people listen to the evidence and make the decisions. No pressure groups trying to push an agenda. No groups who have an ideological axe to grind. We managed to get a grant from the Government who are trialling deliberation and random selection based democracy.
And it actually happened! 53 people got together over 4 days spread over 2 weekends to learn about the issues and work out what could be done. The results make stunning reading for anyone who has sat in the endless council meetings listening to objections about a certain cycle path or parking space and wanted to scream at the tedious pace of making obviously required change to a city that is choking. This was real decision making. Real democracy.
The full report is here: https://www.greatercambridge.org.uk/cityaccess/greater-cambridge-citizens-assembly/
It gives me true hope that we can transition to a real democracy soon.
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