Former Speaker of Dutch House of Representatives endorses sortition

Submitted by webmaster on Fri, 07-06-2019 - 00:09

On June 4th, Mrs. Gerdi Verbeet, former Dutch MP and former Speaker of the Dutch House of Representatives,  endorsed sortition in her speech at the annual congress of the Dutch Association of Municipalities.

Quotes (translated):

"In municipalities all over the country - fine examples are Amersfoort and Groningen - we see experiments with citizens’ assemblies and distict councils in which citizens are selected by lot. This way people can no longer claim: 'It’s always the same people who decide; I’m never asked anything'. And nobody can say: 'Let them do as they please; I’m out'. No more excuses: participate! As a complement to representative democracy, I find this fascinating. And the great thing about sortition is that it works in two ways. The first one I just mentioned: it encourages people to join in. The second one is: those who are assembled by means of random selection, have to cooperate with people they would otherwise never have met. And that I find even more important: talk to each other. Listen to what they have to say. Find out what it is you do agree on."

"I dislike the word debate (...). A debate requires the search for differences. Try, on the other hand, to just have a conversation with one another now and then, to have a dialog."

Mrs. Gerdi Verbeet addresses congress

VNG Jaarcongres 2019, Gerdi Verbeet speech, June 4th, 2019 on YouTube (in Dutch)
Boudewijn Steur and on Twitter