Support for sortition from within political parties

Submitted by webmaster on Thu, 27-07-2023 - 19:42

There's also support for sortition from within political parties. The House request for a citizens' assembly on the ageing population was supported by almost every party. Another House request, for a citizens' assembly on the policy for empowerment of the disabled, was widely supported. Neither request was followed up by the government. Taking things a step further, the Animal Rights Party has voiced support for citizens' assemblies with decision-making power, but the most notable advocate for citizens' assemblies is Volt, the Dutch branch of the pan-European social-liberal party Volt Europa. In October 2022, Volt MP Marieke Koekkoek attempted to get a majority for supporting a House request to investigate what would be needed to establish a permanent citizens council accepted, but failed, although the margin was quite narrow.

Overzicht hoe de partijen in de Kamer stemden over de motie inzake een permanente burgerraad

That lost battle has not discouraged Volt in its democratic ambitions. By the end of May this year, Volt published a manifesto for a "permanent citizens' assembly", thus a standing citizens' council or chamber, with citizens drawn by lot, like the ones in East-Belgium or Paris. As stated on its website: Volt wants to radically modernize democracy to restore confidence between citizens and government. Party leader Laurens Dassen expressed on NPO national public radio that he wants the Netherlands to be the first country in the world to have a standing citizens' council. In 2021, Volt entered the House with three out of 150 seats, but its manifesto also got some support of MPs Inge van Dijk (CDA, right-of-center Christian Democrats) and Renske Leijten (SP, radical left Socialist Party). Laurens Dassen recently initiated another House request to investigate the integration of institutionalizing citizens' assemblies within the current representative system, but that request also did not get a House majority. Locally Volt Maastricht is already moving forward, experimenting with a citizens' assembly, and Maastricht council member Mart Den Heijer openly referring on Twitter to the current system as "a broken democracy".