We believe new democratic institutions should be governed by 3 defining principles:
Participation rights and responsibilities ensure that everybody has both the possibility and the duty to decide on substantive issues. It gives people agency and restores their dignity, recognising that everybody is equally worthy and capable of influencing decisions affecting them and their communities. A sortition-based system with rotation at all levels of government implies that in principle everybody will have multiple moments in their lives when they will be asked to serve on Citizens’ Assemblies. It also applies more broadly to citizens’ rights to initiate propositions for new legislation, for repealing existing legislation, and for direct votes via referendums under certain circumstances.
Representation 'by lottery' (sortition) enables equality of political power. It is a fair and equitable way to form a diverse, inclusive, and broadly representative group of people. Inherent to the idea is also rotation – that we take turns representing and being represented, since we can’t all be involved in all decisions all the time. Sortition is also the most sophisticated form of constituting a group, better-suited for large communities than small ones.
Deliberation creates the conditions for people to grapple with complexity, tap into collective intelligence, and find common ground. Creating the conditions to bring people together in times of division and polarisation can help to strengthen social cohesion. Deliberation also provides legitimacy to public decisions in a democratic system.