Recent developments in the state of Oregon demonstrate that there are ways of embedding deliberative, direct democracy into lawmaking. Oregon has long been a pioneer of direct democracy with its 100-year old Citizens’ Initiative which allows citizens to propose a law and put it to popular vote. Recently, however, the legitimacy of the Citizens’ Initiative has been threatened by vested interests and partisan divides. In order to overcome this, Oregon has introduced a citizens jury-style stage to the process. Crucially, participation is embedded into state lawmaking. The example provides some lessons for others looking to do the same.
Read Director Simon Burall and Associate Janice Thomson’s article
in Open Democracy: