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When Citizens DecideLessons from Citizen Assemblies on Electoral Reform$
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Patrick Fournier, Henk van der Kolk, R. Kenneth Carty, André Blais, and Jonathan Rose

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199567843

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567843.001.0001

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Did the Participants Decide by Themselves?

Did the Participants Decide by Themselves?

(p.94) 6 Did the Participants Decide by Themselves?
When Citizens Decide

Patrick Fournier

Henk van der Kolk

R. Kenneth Carty

André Blais

Jonathan Rose

Oxford University Press

One of the underlying fundamental assumptions of the citizen assemblies is that the members would make independent decisions about which electoral system was most appropriate. One of the reasons for this independence is that a lack thereof contradicts pseudorandom selection. If the assembly members were to fall under the sway of some external actors, they no longer can be said to represent the public. In this chapter, the possible influences of specific individuals within the assembly, the people charged with organizing and directing the assembly activities, the public consultations, and political parties are studied. It is argued that none of these actors endangered the independent decision-making within the assembly and that the members indeed decided by themselves.

Keywords:   influence, independence, political parties, experts

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