Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fixing Democracy, Part 12

This is the last in the series of posts on how to make our democracy work better based on an article in The Intelligent Optimist magazine (formerly Ode) by Tom Atlee.


“Citizen deliberative councils have a unique and pivotal role to play in bringing public wisdom into the formal functioning of politics and governance.  These temporary councils of citizens are designed to reflect the diversity of the population, so when they are convened to deliberate on public concerns and provide guidance for officials and the public, they have a special legitimacy—the legitimacy of We the People, the rightful source of guidance and power in a democracy.


“The primary quality that makes them different from other democratic forms that claim to represent We the People—that is elected representatives, populist partisan groups, public forums open to whoever show up and public opinion polls—is the fact that citizen deliberative councils are microcosm of the whole society, and they are undertaking a near-ideal act of interactive citizenship on behalf of that society.  They call forth, embody and ultimately promote the latent public wisdom of the whole population.


“Creating the capacity for public wisdom in the 21st century is our task, our calling. We are the revolutionary founders of this new democracy—a democracy that will have an impact at least as great, and probably greater, than the impact the American Revolution had on the world almost 250 years ago.”

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