How citizens' assemblies are transforming the political process

Submitted by webmaster on Sun, 15-11-2020 - 17:09

In deze podcast van de Britse denktank Green Alliance interviewt Gwen Buck dr. Rebecca Willis, politicologe aan Lancaster University. Willis was betrokken bij de Climate Assembly UK en schreef het boek Too Hot to Handle? The Democratic Challenge of Climate Change, waarvoor ze belangrijke politici van uiteenlopende politieke partijen anoniem interviewde over hun daadwerkelijke standpunten over klimaatbeleid.

19 mei 2020

Uit de podcast:

  • 'We need more democracy and better democracy, not less, and this myth that, if only people would do as we say would be okay is just that, it is a myth. Instead what we need to do, is make democracy work better to work with people so that they understand the climate issue and so that they can contribute to the solutions and so that they're engaged and part of the climate action we need to see (...) rather than cheating people as an inconvenience to sort of push to one side.' (10m:00s)
  • 'My only hesitation is that there's so much enthusiasm for running these processes at the moment, and I worry a little bit that they absolutely need to land with decision makers. There needs to be as much thought about how the results are used as there is into the process itself, otherwise I think we risk putting a huge effort into making these processes happen. If we get that wrong then the changes that we actually see to climate politics and to policy won't be what we need.' (15m:00s)
  • 'I remember when we were in Penrith and Rory Stewart he was then MP for Penrith when he walked into the room and we explained to him that the twenty odd people in the room were a perfect sample of his constituency and he sort of couldn't quite believe his eyes because he is used to being contacted by the ones to have their voices heard and the ones who have really got something to shout about and so the fact that it was just a randomly selected group and that they were all sitting there, taking their job very seriously talking about how Penrith and the country should respond to climate change I think it was really impactful for him. And I would love to see more processes like that where politicians would actually sit down and role up their sleeves and say to people "Right, how are we going to tackle this" ' (19m:20s)
  • 'Those experts are not expert in people’s lives. They are certainly not diverse enough. (...) People are expert in their own lives. And you could design much better policies if you start by asking people what works for them, what works for them from a practical point of view and also what works for them from a point of view of values and what they care about in life. And so both for climate and for covid it's not a question of whether it's the right thing to do. I think it's a really practical, sensible thing to do to ask people how policies that will affect their lives should be designed so that they actually help people improve their well-being and help people's lives to be better and we shouldn't second guess what the answers to that would be.'  (21m:15s)

Bron: How citizens' assemblies are transforming the political process